Best Outdoor Grills
Best Outdoor Grills for the Money
I just love a product that offers you more things in one. These combos are worth every cent, and this is why they belong among the best outdoor grills for the money. One of these units is the Char-Griller Trio Gas/Charcoal/Smoker Grill. Char-Griller is known as a manufacturer that isn’t looking to empty your pockets without a good reason. And this unit is an excellent reason to splash some cash.
Here is how it works – the Trio Gas/Charcoal/Smoker Grill is divided into three sections. The one on the left is intended for gas grilling. The right half is for charcoal-fueled elements. Aside from the primary cooking surface, you also have a side firebox that also runs on coals. The total grilling area comes up to 1,260 square inches, but 876 square inches are considered primary.
The gas grill offers 438 square inches of grilling space. The heat is delivered by three burners, and there is an adjustable knob for each of them. The automatic ignition switch is located on the front panel, while the temperature gauge is on the lid. On the left side is a side burner that you can use to prepare side dishes or warm up sauces. When you are not using it, it can serve as an extra prep area and a place where you will leave your platters.
The charcoal section is located on the right. It offers the same amount of cooking space. You can adjust the height of the coal pan, as well as the height of the grate. That is how you regulate the heat to ensure that you get perfectly grilled meat. On the right side of the unit, there is a side firebox that doubles as a stand-alone portable grill. When it is attached to the central unit, it acts like a Texas-style smoker. But if you are going camping, you can detach it and take it with you. The space inside this cook box is 14 x 14 inches, which should be enough for your traveling needs.
Let’s return to the Char-Griller Trio Gas/Charcoal/Smoker Grill now. The entire unit rests on a vast open cart with a bottom shelf and an extra wire shelf for additional storage space. On the left of the stand, there is some room predicted for inserting a 20-pound propane tank. The bottom of the cart is equipped with two big wheels for more comfortable transport. However, due to the weight of the grill, it’s not recommended to move it around often.
Top Rated Outdoor Grills
Top rated outdoor grills are a perfect combination of quality and price. If you want to get the best value for the product you are purchasing, consult the existing reviews. I believe that if hundreds of customers commend the product and have a good impression of it, they might be on the right track. Weber Performer Deluxe Charcoal Grill is a clear example of that.
Weber is a company that has an incredible reputation among the customers. Pretty much every model they make is of excellent quality. As for the Performer Deluxe, it weighs 90 pounds and measures 30 x 48 x 43.5 inches. It has four wheels, two of which are big for comfortable transport. The other two have locking caster to increase stability once you place it in the desired location. Considering its weight, it can’t be portable, but it is perfect for your backyard or patio.
It’s interesting to mention that this unit has automatic ignition system even though it runs on coal. That will save you a lot of trouble when it comes to igniting the fire. The quality of construction is remarkable and heavy duty steel was used to design the cart frame, charcoal grate, and the cooking grate which is hinged and plated with steel. The cooking bowl and the lid are both enameled with porcelain to resist rust, while the handle of the cover is reinforced with glass, which is why it remains cool at all times.
The cook box has a kettle design with a 22-inch diameter and roughly offers about 360 square inches of grilling space. The hinged grate allows easy access to the charcoal pan. You will also notice that there is the ash catcher pan. The table that serves as prep area is made of painted metal. In fact, the unit offers a combo of stainless steel and black color for modern design.
The thermometer on the lid shows the current temperature inside the firebox. You even have an LCD timer that is detachable and can help you know how much time has the meat spent on the grates.
Best Portable Outdoor Grills
For me, portability is essential. I appreciate having an excellent backyard grilling system, but I will never stop being impressed with the best portable outdoor grills. One of my favorite models is undoubtedly Cuisinart CCG-190RB Portable Charcoal Grill. It is impressively compact regarding both size and weight. Just listen to this unit, the only weighs 2 pounds! That’s right, the entire grill is as light as you could imagine. As for the size, it measures 14.5 x 14.5 x 15 inches once it is taken out of the box and assembled.
And when I say assembled, I mean placed on a flat surface because there is no set up involved. The model comes in red color, which seems to be the favorite of guys from Cuisinart (and mine, too). The base of the unit consists of four legs for increased stability. You even have a plate that has been built-in between the legs. It can be used as prep space or work area. Although, this is a tabletop model, which means that you can place it on a table and use that as an extra work room. The legs are not foldable, but the BBQ is still compact enough to fit in any car trunk.
As for the cook box, it has a diameter of 14 inches. In other words, you can expect approximately 150 square inches of grilling space. That is not a lot, but it should be more than adequate for small families or a picnic that you plan to spend with your partner. The grate is made of wire that is plated with chrome for extended durability. The cook box itself is coated with enamel to ensure the stylish look and improve resistance to rust.
Accessing the charcoal bed is a piece of cake, as well as adjusting the temperature during grilling. You can do that by using the dual venting system. The lid has three locks that keep it in place whenever you are not using the grill or moving it around. Overall, there is no doubt that Cuisinart CCG-190RB is a proof that this company knows how to make reliable appliances.
Best Outdoor Grills under $300
As a grilling enthusiast and writer, I had the chance to try numerous high-end BBQ systems with various perks and features. But back when I was starting, I was limited to using only those units that I could afford at the time. That is why I am well familiar with the best outdoor grills under $300. If you ask me to single out just one, I would recommend Char-Broil Performance 475 4-Burner Liquid Propane Gas Grill. Now, it’s only natural to ask me why.
The crucial reason is that you can get a lot of grilling space at an incredibly affordable cost. Believe it or not, this unit has whopping 475 square inches of the main cooking surface. On top of that, you have a warming rack with extra 175 square inches of space and a side burner that you can use to prepare side dishes or warm up sauces. All that means you can comfortably plan a BBQ party for the weekend because you can host your neighborhood and serve them delicious food cooked on Char-Broil Performance 475.
The grill runs on propane. It uses LP tanks of 20 pounds that you need to purchase separately. The good news is that they are placed out of sight. There is a two-door cabinet in the cart, and that is where you set the fuel container. It doesn’t disrupt the aesthetics of the product and, even when you place it in the cabinet, you will have enough storage space remaining for your grilling tools and utensils.
But let’s talk about power now. Char-Broil Performance 475 is equipped with four gas burner tubes. Together they can provide 36,000 BTUs of heat per hour, which is enough to deliver hotness to the central cooking grate. However, keep in mind that you shouldn’t expect those searing marks like on charcoal grills. As for the grate itself, it is made of top-quality cast-iron and coated with porcelain to prevent food from sticking to the surface. It is by no doubt the component of the best quality in this unit. And experts will agree that it is also the most important one.
On the left side of the grill, there is a side burner that provides 10,000 BTUs. You can use it to whip up a sauce or simmer some veggies as a side dish. If you don’t want that, just close its lid and use it as an extra work area. Combined with the side table on the right, you will have enough room for all your platters and utensils.
You have a control panel on the front that makes it simple to adjust the desired settings. For starters, igniting the fire only takes you pressing a switch because there is an integrated automatic ignition system. Each of the burners has a separate control knob, including the extra side burner.
Features to Consider When Buying an Outdoor Grill
The grilling market has a lot of high-quality products, and it might be tricky to choose the best one for your needs. If you are having some doubts, take a look at this guide that should resolve all your dilemmas.
Think of it like this – would you like to take the grill camping? Do you need it to serve you while you are having a picnic with your family in the natural surroundings around your city? If that is the case, you should look for portable outdoor grills. Two of their essential characteristics are that they are compact in both size and weight. They need to fit into your trunk, but it is also vital that you can carry them around without getting tired. That is why being lightweight and having a carrying bag or handle are features that you should look for.
However, keep in mind that portable grills offer restricted cooking surface. You won’t be able to cook for more than four people when using them. That is why they cannot double as a backyard grilling system. If you are looking for an impressive unit that you will during summer afternoons in your home, perhaps it is a better idea to purchase a fixed grilling unit. These are generally heavier than portable grills, which is why it is not advisable to move them around. On the plus side, they have a considerate cooking surface, and they can even host an entire neighborhood (in some cases).
Now, what about the available grilling space. That depends on your desires only. The general rule that applies is that you need between 60 and 70 square inches to cook for one person. In other words, if you intend to grill only for you and your family’s needs, any compact BBQ will do the trick. However, if you would like to be the host of a neighborhood barbecue party each weekend, I suggest purchasing a large unit with ample grilling surface.
Aside from the central cooking space, you also need to pay attention to warming racks. Some of the units (average and large-sized ones) come with them. They are usually located above the central grate. Their main characteristic is that they can keep the food you prepared warm. In case you are cooking multiple batches of burgers that can be extremely useful.
Finally, you can get extra grilling surface with side burners. There are two types of these burners – some of them will serve as an excellent addition to prepare sauces and side dishes. In other cases, they act as a searing station and give your food those beautiful high-heat sear marks. Their common feature is that they are usually available on gas-fueled grilling systems.
When it comes to charcoal units, you might look for those with a side smoker. That is an extra firebox that you can use to smoke food.
Choose the Right Fuel
The choices at your disposal are gas, charcoal, and wood. If you are a newbie that is only entering the world of grilling, you should consider purchasing a gas-fueled unit. They scream convenience every step of the way, and they will save you a lot of time and hassle. You can ignite them by merely pressing a button and adjusting the temperature only takes turning the knobs. They also burn clean, which is why the cleaning process won’t take more than a couple of minutes.
The other alternative is charcoal. Older grillers and lovers of traditional grilling believe that this is the only right way of barbecuing. While that may be because they are opposed to modern technology, they are right about one thing. The food cooked on coal units is delicious and full of flavor. However, it will take you a bit of effort to figure out how a charcoal grill works. You will need to get your hands dirty to arrange the coals in the pan predicted for that. You will also need a lighter and some paper to ignite the fire. After that, you also need to learn how to use the adjustable venting system and dampers to regulate the heat. It might sound complicated, but after you try it for the first time, it will become clear, and you will be close to preparing a deliciously cooked meal on charcoal grills.
As for the wood, in most cases, you can use it instead of coal in charcoal-fueled units. Some products are solely wood-burning grilling systems, but they don’t come cheap. That is why most people decide to go with gas or charcoal to fuel their units.
Outdoor Grill Safety Tips
Outdoor grilling systems deliver delicious food, but you need to handle them with care. Newbies often don’t know what steps they need to take to ensure their safety is at the highest level, so let’s take a look at some crucial tips in this area.
Grill Outdoors and at a Safe Distance
Since you are reading this article, I will assume that you only intend to use your grill outdoors. That is a smart move because using coal or gas-fueled BBQ indoors is not advisable and it can oppose to community regulations. But let’s talk about outdoors. You need to be careful when choosing the right spot for your grill because you can’t just place it anywhere.
The crucial thing to keep in mind is to keep it away from your house. The safe distance is considered to be ten feet (or more). Some units can be used on the patio but be extra careful when grilling. Believe it or not, over 50% of fires caused by grills started on the patio, terrace or open porch.
Another thing to keep in mind is branches in the vicinity. If you see that any of them are hanging low from the trees, avoid placing your BBQ below them. In fact, it might be the best idea to apply the 10-feet rule to trees, too. If you are in a public space, you will also want to set up the unit away from foot traffic areas and playgrounds. I hope that there is no need to remind you to keep the children away from the grill.
Gas Grill Tips
If you are using a grilling system fueled by gas, you should make sure to check for leaks before you start it. That is especially important if you haven’t used your BBQ in a long time. In that case, you might want to check the burner tubes for spiders or other insects.
As for leaks, once you check that there are not any you can go ahead and ignite the flame. If it doesn’t turn on, that might be a sign that you missed a leak. Also, if you can feel the smell of gas around your BBW, perhaps a leakage is what’s causing it.
Charcoal Grilling Tips
The most issues with coal-fueled units occur when people are igniting the fire. That is why it is the best to use a chimney starter. That way old newspaper will ignite the flame quickly. Alternatively, you can use a liquid starter, but only if it was designed to be used with coal. Oh, and keep in mind one thing – never add a liquid starter to an existing flame.
Aside from that, it is vital to keep your grill clean. Most of the models have a tray that collects drippings and ashes, and you need to ensure to replace these pans on a regular basis. Keep in mind that the coals need time to cool off. That is why you should start cleaning the unit before they are completely cold.