Grills are the center of the piece of your family’s summer. Knowing how to find the best grill for your summer parties is challenging. There are so many grill brands, offering a wide range of complex technology, like Tru infrared or heat diffusing burners, that promise to give you the ultimate grilling experience. This grill buying guide will talk you through all the confusing technical sales jargon to explain what it really means, and to help you choose the best grill for you.
Top 5 Bestseller Grills
If you are in a hurry, we recommend the Weber Spirit II, as gas grills are the most popular type of grill. Gas grills are often the best, as they offer a low cost, easy use, with the greatest versatility. Alternatively, the Char-Broil Performance is the best infrared grill, and the Cuisinart Griddler as our top pick for an indoor electric grill.
However, personal preferences matter: propane, infrared and electric all have different benefits and disadvantages. A propane grill is easier and less expensive than cooking over coals, but the tank needs to be refilled occasionally. Infrared grills heat up faster than gas grills and allow you to cook meat using powerful sear burners, but aren’t designed for low-temperature cooking for veggies or fish. Cooking on an indoor electric grill is fast and healthy, but you lose some of the tasty smoky flavor infused by other grills. Below are our top picks for each category.
Best Grill Wirecutter Reviews
WEBER SPIRIT II – Best Gas Grill
- Boasts the GS4 grilling system with improved infinity ignition, burners, porcelain-enameled Glamorizer Bars, and grease Management system
- Porcelain-enameled, cast iron cooking grates
- 529 Square inches of cooking space over three burners. Left Table down width - 42 inches
No other gas grill performed as well as the Weber Spirit II. From assembly to cooking the last burger, this grill never stopped impressing. The Spirit II is built with quality parts and was more durable than other grills. It stayed at a consistent temperature over prolong periods of time and was reheated quickly after we opened the lid. We simply enjoyed using this grill to cook.
CHAR-BROIL PERFORMANCE – Best Infrared Grill
- Power Source: Propane/ liquid petroleum gas. The propane tank is not included.
- Exclusive Stainless Steel finish for increased style and durability
- Reliable electric ignition to fire up your grill and 10, 000 BTU side burner
Not only is the Char-Broil Performance a great infrared grill, but it is also a great deal. Infrared grills can get costly, but the Performance costs under $400. This grill excelled in all our preheating, heat distribution, and heat consistency tests. This translates to cooking food well and evenly. You can fit about 15 burgers on the grill surface, and use the side burner for other dishes. This grill is top-notch, especially for the price.
CUISINART GRIDDLER – Best Indoor Electric Grill
- This electric grill & griddle features two removable and reversible non-stick grill and griddle...
- Sold individually
This multifunctional grill was the best indoor electric grill we tested. It heats evenly and gets plenty hot to cook meats safely and quickly. This grill has six different settings to cook anything from pressed paninis to steaks and chicken breasts evenly. The best feature is the reversible plate which has a flat surface on one side and a ribbed grill surface on the other. Since you can remove the plates, this grill converts to do anything you need.
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How we tested
Almost all the grills we reviewed come unassembled, although some models can be pre-assembled for an extra fee. Our lab crew assembled each one by hand, timed how long it took, and kept notes on their experience.
Once they were assembled, we gathered all the grills we reviewed and cooked with them side-by-side to determine which one was the best. Tests included grilling hamburgers, chicken breasts, steaks, vegetables, and fish.
We timed how long each grill took to preheat, how well they retained their temperature and how long it took to return to cooking temperature after the lid had been open for one minute. When cooking was completed, we timed how long it took to clean each grill. At every point during the testing process, we took notes about our personal experiences.
Our editorial and lab teams ate the cooked items and gave us feedback. All of the feedback and raw data went into our final rankings for each grill.
Gas grills are the most popular type of grill in America. Most brands have a wide range of grills that extend from smaller budget models to bigger premium-sized grills that have every ease of use feature imaginable. An average-sized gas grill will allow you to cook between 10 and 20 burgers. If you are in a hurry, then a propane gas grill is a quick and safe option. If you are looking for the best gas grill under $500 that outperformed all other gas grills in our side-by-side review.
Charcoal grills are the second most popular grilling choice. Charcoal grills are more basic than gas grills and rely on charcoal as a fuel source to heat food. Although this might seem simpler than a gas grill, charcoal grills have a very steep learning curve. They come in a range of sizes, and shapes but are generally cheaper than a gas grill buy.
Infrared grills are relatively new on the market compared to gas grills and charcoal grills. These grills bridge the gap between outdoor grills and indoor grills as they can be fueled by propane or electricity – usually depending on their size and purpose. These grills are popular in commercial settings, like restaurants, as they distribute heat evenly and more economically than other grills. This lower running cost is only beneficial if you are grilling on an industrial scale, however, due to the high price of the grills.
Electric grills are the best grill for indoor use. Even though a large majority of electric grills are designed for indoor use, there are some models that can be used outdoors too. Most electric grills are used in the kitchen as supplementary grills to support other kitchen appliances.
As the majority of electric grills are designed to be indoor grills that are used as kitchen appliances, they tend to be more portable than other grills. They’re often small enough to be placed on a kitchen counter.
They are often quicker ways of grilling food when compared to ovens and leave the food with a juicier and tender flavor. If you are looking for a quick recommendation for an indoor electric grill, we highly recommend the Cuisinart Griddler. This indoor electric grill offers a wide cooking space, a great cooking time for a low-cost price.
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