Hosting a backyard cookout on a warm summer night is an American pastime. Whether you’re kicking back and sharing brews with old friends or trying to impress the in-laws with your grilling expertise, firing up the grill is a great way to bring everyone together.
The big question is which grill is right for your space. A quick online search will overwhelm you with options across different brands, grill types, and price ranges. While price point and brand reliability are certainly important, the first thing you need to decide is which type of grill you want.
There are four main types of grills—gas, charcoal, wood pellet, and electric.
Gas Grill: This is the most common style of grill you’ll find in backyards across the nation. While pitmasters would scoff at the notion of using a gas grill, the casual griller will appreciate how user-friendly they are. You hit the igniter, fire it up, toss your food on the grate, and you’ll be eating before the pitmaster has even stoked his fire. The downside? Unlike wood pellet or charcoal options, a gas grill isn’t going to infuse your meat with extra flavor.
Charcoal Grill: Stoking coals may require some extra time, but it’s hard to beat the flavor of a juicy steak cooked on a charcoal grill. Using charcoal briquettes as the heating source, you can achieve much higher temperatures than with gas grills (up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit), which makes these grills ideal for searing. However, you can also go to the other end of the spectrum and set up a charcoal grill for low-and-slow cooking (ribs, anyone?). The downside of charcoal is that it requires a bit more skill, time, and clean-up.
Wood Pellet Grill: It’s all about flavor when you’re grilling with wood. These grills utilize wood pellets made from the sawdust of popular smoking woods such as hickory, cherry, and apple. While traditional smokers may be intimidating, wood pellet grills use thermostats and electronic ignitions that help deliver consistent results, even for amateurs. Whether slow cooking a rack of ribs or grilling up burgers, the wood pellet grill helps ensure your meats (or veggies) come out perfect every time.
Electric Grill: Ideal for small balconies or tight spaces, an electric grill is ultra-easy to use and doesn’t require any fuel source beyond an electric outlet. These grills work by generating radiant heat via heating coils, and then powering off or reenergizing the coils to maintain a consistent temperature. While they won’t deliver the same flavor you get with charcoal or wood pellet grills, they are one of the healthiest ways to grill outdoors as they don’t produce carcinogens.
Now that you have an idea of the different types of grills, let’s get you fired up with top grill options from popular brands including Traeger, Cuisinart, Weber, Char-Broil and more. These are the best grills to shop this season.
The 11 Best Grills of 2022
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