From classic to cutting-edge: The best grills to buy this summer

Photo of author

| Updated:

Whether you’re a barbecue beginner or a seasoned grill master, finding the right grill for your backyard festivities is key to unlocking the best flavors and experiences; this comprehensive guide will navigate the smoky waters of grill buying, from understanding your grilling preferences to exploring the various types of grills available.

Patties on grill grates over hot coals with flare ups.
Burgers on the grill. Photo Credit: YayImages

This post may contain affiliate link(s). As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See Disclosures.

The best grills for every type of griller

We’re breaking down our top picks based on hands-on use and experience with our favorite grills. From timeless charcoal grills to trending pizza ovens, we’ve hand selected the best grill for every type of cook and backyard barbecue. 

Editors pick charcoal grill: Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch

When grilling, there is something about a charcoal grill. If you love flame-kissed flavor, there’s nothing like a classic kettle grill. The Weber Original Kettle is as timeless as it gets. With its ease of use and portability, this is our favorite pick for the best grill for anyone who wants to grill over charcoal. 


  • Perfect for the weekend BBQ: The size of this grill makes it a powerhouse for a variety of grilling recipes
  • Versatility: The shape of the Kettle is a perfect grill for low-and-slow or hot-and-fast cooks. 
  • Option to add wood: With the Weber Kettle you can add wood chips or wood chunks to the coals to get added barbecue flavor. 


  • Heat control: Although the robust flavor of charcoal is our favorite, the kettle can be hard to learn at first when starting out. 
  • Refueling: The grate does fold up for adding wood chips over the charcoal, but not enough to add a new basket of coals. In order to refuel this grill you need to take items off and remove the grill grate. 
  • Cleaning: Given you have to wait for the ashes to cool down, it’s easy to forget to clean out the ash cans to extend the life of your grill. 
Burgers on a gas grill with flare ups.
Burgers on a gas grill with flare ups. Photo Credit: YayImages

Editors pick gas grill: Weber Spirit S-315 Liquid Propane Gas Grill

There are a lot of great gas grills on the market. They also run the gamut from inexpensive to a home mortgage, but some of the more expensive models are truly worth their price. They are the easiest to use and effortlessly get the job done when you want to grill.  For quick weeknight cooking with controlled, even heat, it’s hard to beat a well-built gas grill. We have tested a few at different price points and the Weber Spirit S-315 is our choice for the best gas grill for anyone just starting. It’s priced reasonably and is a great grill that should last several years.

FDL’S 75 Best Bites

FDL's best bites tasty recipes.
FDL’S 75 Best Bites. Photo credit: Food Drink Life.

Our cookbook with 75 tasty recipes will be your go-to kitchen companion for easy dinners with ad-free recipes right at your fingertips. Crafted by experienced chefs and recipe developers, this collection offers a treasure trove of tried-and-true dishes that make mealtime a breeze.
Get the Recipe: FDL’S 75 Best Bites


  • Even heat: With a gas grill controlling the heat is as easy as turning on the burners. 
  • Easy to use: If you’re just starting to grill or are an experienced pitmaster, using a gas grill is the easiest grill to master. 
  • Weeknight warrior: Because these grills preheat with propane, they are fast to heat up with minimal prep or wait time, making them ideal for busy weeknights. 


  • Lacking grilled flavor: When cooking with propane, you simply don’t get any wood flavor unless you use a smoker box on your gas grill.  
  • Check your fuel levels: If you don’t keep an eye on your propane levels, you could run out of fuel unexpectedly. 
  • Hard to clean all the components: About twice a year, you should disassemble the grill and clean all the components but it can be hard to take the heat deflectors off or clean the insides of the grill properly. 

Editor pick pellet grill: Traeger Grills Ironwood 885 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker with WIFI Smart Home Technology

Pellet grills are perfect for the person who wants the ease of a charcoal grill but is dabbling in the flavor of smoking. They allow for the griller to program the temperature and add different varieties of wood flavors to achieve grilled flavor on everything from easy recipes like grilled steaks to long cooks like smoked pork butt. The Traeger Grills Ironwood 885’s ease of use makes it a great pellet grill for anyone looking to invest in a new smoker. 


  • Intro to smoking: because of the ease of use and pellet smoke flavor, this is a great tool for anyone who wants to get into smoking but doesn’t have the time or desire to master a stick-burning or other type of smoker. 
  • Ease of use: Simply set the Traeger to the temperature you want and make sure your hopper is full with pellets and you’re ready to grill. 
  • Variety of pellets: There are a variety of different wood pellets available on the market now allowing you to pick and choose the flavor you want to infuse your recipes with. 


  • Wifi: We aren’t a fan of any built-in wifi on grills. We find it spotty at best and often with a short range. 
  • Flavor: It’s hard to get authentic smoke flavor with pellets but the flavor you get is better than a gas grill.
  • Error messages: Although you don’t have to work to maintain the temperature of this grill, it can get unexpected error messages to keep your eye on it at all times to respond to any unexpected issues quickly. 

Editor pick ceramic grill: Kamado Joe BJ24RH Big Joe I 24-inch Charcoal Grill

Ceramic grills are for anyone who wants to take their charcoal grilling game up a notch. They require more patience and time than a kettle grill but offer longer cooking times and more durability. These grills are a big investment for the backyard grill but can also last a long time with regular maintenance. We love the Kamado grill for its sleek red color, durability and the brand’s innovative ideas for the future of grilling. 


  • Quality: The weight and feel of the Big Joe are heavy and durable. Even the reflector plates are designed to hold up to years of cooking. 
  • Great warranty: Kamado Joe has a great warranty on the ceramic components of this grill and a five-year warranty on the metal parts. Make sure to register your grill when you buy it to activate the warranty. 
  • Essential tools include: The purchase of this model includes a base on wheels with locking casters, deflector plates, grill gripper, scraper, and grates are all included with your purchase. We do recommend a grill cover immediately to protect your grill from the elements. 


  • Takes some practice: When going from a kettle grill to a ceramic-style grill, there’s a learning curve that takes time. 
  • Weight: Because this is a quality ceramic grill, it’s heavy. Moving it anywhere but to and fro on a patio or deck won’t really be an option. We recommend considering a built-in option for the most secure base to prevent any tipping and cracking. 
  • Delivery can be tricky: This grill ships in a large box on a pallet and most delivery services only have to leave it in your driveway. Due to the weight, mentioned above, have a case of beer handy to employ some friends to help you carefully maneuver this grill into your backyard. 

Editor pick griddle grill: Blackstone 1883 Gas Hood & Side Shelves Heavy Duty Flat Top Griddle Grill Station

If you grew up with a griddle in your kitchen, you were probably as excited as we were when the griddle trend hit. It’s the perfect grill for flipping flapjacks with Boys Scouts on camping trips or making burgers for dinner. The versatility and ease of use of the Blackstone Griddle make it our editor’s pick for griddle grills. 


  • Portability: This grill easily folds up and can travel with the family for camping trips, tailgating and more. 
  • Big cooking area: The 28-inch cooking area is plenty large enough for grilling tons of food and even grilling multiple things at the same time. Pancakes and bacon, anyone? 
  • Propane heat: Cooking with propane allows the grill to heat evenly with ease. 


  • No grilled flavor: It’s a griddle, so if you are looking for authentic grilled flavor, it’s probably not the best choice. 
  • Rust: If you don’t maintain the Blackstone griddletop it can easily rust. You have to maintain this grill to keep up its quality. 
  • Exposed to the elements: Using a griddle outdoors can make cooking times variable as there is no convection heat. The wind, rain and other factors can make this challenging to cook on especially if you don’t have or can’t fold down the hood while cooking. 
flipping ribeye steaks on Ninja Woodfire Grill.
Ninja Grilled Ribeye Steak. Photo credit: Girls Can Grill

Editor pick electric grill: Ninja OG701 Woodfire Outdoor Grill & Smoker, 7-in-1 Master Grill

One of our favorite things about the Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill and Smoker is its small but mighty size. It opens up access to grilled flavor whether you live in an apartment or travel the country in an RV. Fueled by real wood pellets, you can get a true grilled flavor on what looks almost like a countertop appliance. 


  • Accessibility: The portable size of this grill makes it amazing for apartment living, tiny homes and mobile lifestyles. 
  • Cooking times are fast. Due to the convection heat, cooking times are almost half of what they would be on a traditional grill. 
  • Flavor: For the size of this grill, the wood pellets do a great job of imparting a smoky flavor. It’s not as robust as charcoal, but it’s great for a portable, small electric grill. 


  • Limited grill space: Due to the size of the grill, traditional grilling can be problematic. With this model, you have to cut a rack of ribs in half to fit it on the grill.
  • Additional purchases needed: Additional accessories need to be purchased to get the most out of this 7-in-1 model. The portable stand, griddletop and cover don’t come standard with the grill. 
  • Short electric cord: The built-in cord is short, and we don’t recommend using an extension cord for safety reasons, so you’ll want to make sure you have an available grounded outlet nearby that can handle the amps this grill pulls. 

Editor pick pizza oven: Ooni Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Outdoor Pizza Oven

As long as we’re talking about appliances for cooking in the backyard, Pizza ovens are really cool and we’ve got lots of opinions on which are the best to buy. When we narrowed it down to the best, the Ooni Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Outdoor Pizza Oven was the fan favorite for those looking to make wood-fired pizza at home without installing an actual pizza oven. 


  • Quick to heat up: The Ooni Karu 12 heats up to 950 F in just 15 minutes, allowing you to cook a delicious pizza in just 60 seconds.
  • Portability: It’s ultra-portable and weighs only 26.4 pounds, making it easy to move around your backyard or take it with you on camping trips.
  • Amazing temperature control: The custom-designed fuel tray maximizes airflow and delivers a powerful blast of searing flame, allowing the Ooni Karu 12 to maintain the ultra-high temperatures needed for perfect pizzas.


  • Takes some learning: The Ooni Karu 12 can be a bit tricky to use at first, especially if you’re not familiar with wood-fired ovens. But with a bit of practice, you’ll be making perfect pizzas in no time.
  • Price point: The Ooni Karu 12 is a bit expensive compared to other outdoor pizza ovens on the market. But if you’re serious about making great pizza, it’s definitely worth the investment.
  • Additional accessories may be needed: The Ooni Karu 12 doesn’t come with a gas burner attachment, so you’ll need to buy that separately if you want to use gas instead of wood or charcoal.
Flank steak on grill.
Grilled flank. Photo Credit: Girl Carnivore.

What to consider when buying a grill

Be sure to evaluate the price versus the quality of the build. Grills are available for every budget but the more expensive the grill, oftentimes, the better the quality. With good maintenance, regular cleaning and proper storage, expect to get three to five years out of lower-end grills. Consider a grill an investment for your home and decide what you’re comfortable spending for the expected life of the grill. 

Another thing to consider is the ease of use for how you like to grill. Is it easy to ignite, does it require a lot of experience, is it easy to operate and how often will you be using it are all important factors when choosing a grill.  

In essence, the perfect grill isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution; it aligns seamlessly with your personal needs, preferences and budget. Whether you choose a charcoal grill for its smoky flavor, a gas grill for its convenience, or an electric grill for its simplicity, the power to transform your backyard barbecue experience lies in your hands. Remember to consider all factors carefully and make an informed choice that will bring you joy and mouth-watering delicacies for years to come.

Kita Roberts is a meat maven behind the top food blog for meat lovers,, as well as and 

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.