With summer fast approaching, now is the time to get ahead of the game and find the best barbecue grill for outdoor eating and amazing tasting food all throughout the warm seasons. Considering there are so many places and types of grills out there, it may be best to narrow the scope down a bit and look primarily at outdoor (bbq) barbecue grills with some portability.
In this category, there is a baseline that needs to be met, but from there on out a wide variety of different types of barbecue grills exist for various specializations or to simply provide a superior grilling experience than most of their competitors can muster. That said, for the intended purpose, there are still a plethora of options.
This can make figuring out which barbecue grill is the best for your needs a difficult and confusing task. That is why we have put together a list of the 5 best barbecue grills, highlighting what each one is best at. Then we provide a helpful buyer’s guide, so you can find the best outdoor (bbq) barbecue grill grill for you.
|Name||Dimensions, in||Material Type||Power Source||Weight, lbs|
|Char-Broil Patio Bistro||25.2x24.4x38.2||Steel||Electric||44.5|
|Coleman Road Trip LXE||33.8x13.5x19.1||Cast-Iron||Propane||51.2|
|George Foreman GGR50B||20.5x22.2x13||Metal||Electric||21|
1. Char-Griller 3001 – Best Performing Barbecue Grill
When it comes to history, Char-Griller is definitely more of a young buck than a venerable master in the world of barbecue grills. That said, the company was founded specifically because they believed that there was a better grill that could be offered at consumer-grade prices than some of the more established and reputable brands were manufacturing.
With that in mind, Char-Griller has continuously made a name competing with large companies through quality, and that same battle is the reason we named the Char-Griller the Editor’s Choice Best Performing barbecue grill.
To make things even better, the Char-Griller 3001 actually features a second deck built into the lid of the barbecue grill to expand its cooking area further. As if that were not enough, the Char-Griller 3001 even comes with a 12000 BTU side burner to keep your food warm if different pieces cook at different rates.
That it comes to generating heat, there is no other barbecue grill that we reviewed which can even come close to generating the same levels of heat as the Char-Griller 3001. Though this barbecue grill is fueled by propane, it grill burners are still able to get up to a blazing 48000 BTUs. While that is not quite enough to get a proper sear, it is more than enough to provide plenty of heat for every size and type of food.
The propane fuel is also much easier to turn on than some other form, and the Char-Griller 3001 has an electronic ignition to ensure that you do not have to worry about starting the fire.
2. Char-Broil Patio Bistro – Best Infrared Barbecue Grill
When it comes to consumer-grade barbecue grills, few brands have the name recognition as Char-Broil and with good reason. For one, this is arguably the most storied barbecue grill companies with a history that stretches back 80 years and includes numerous instances of revolutionary innovations developed in-house.
The original Char-Broil is arguably responsible for the practice of casual backyard grilling, and Char-Broil has won multiple awards including World’s Best Barbecue Grill
In terms of cooking without fire, another benefit of the cooking quality is that there are few if any cooking flare-ups to throw off the temperature of the grill. The porcelain-coated cooking grates also help to ensure that the heat is evenly distributed among your food.
The Char-Broil Patio Bistro actually presents a couple of ways to look at power in relation to itself, and all of them trends toward favorable. For instance, this is one of the few electric barbecue grills that we reviewed and in the first to use the “traditional” open or grate grill. This saves the Char-Broil Patio Bistro in overhead costs compared to many of its competitors, since electricity is generally pennies on the dollar of the other popular fuel sources.
The other way to examine the aspect of power is by looking at the burner which generates the infrared waves which ultimately cook your food. The Char-Broil Patio Bistro has a 1750 watt burner that is more than powerful enough to make full use of its 320 sq in cooking area.
3. Coleman Road Trip LXE – Best Travel Barbecue Grill
Coleman is a bit of a unique company on this list in that it is one of the few brands reviewed which does not actually specialize in grills–though Coleman is not without its focus. Instead, Coleman specializes in manufacturing and selling some of the best outdoor products designed for use often while camping.
Keeping that in mind, Coleman is still a respected brand with a century-long history. That is why it should come as little surprise to anyone that the Coleman Road Trip LXE is rated our best travel barbecue grill.
Still, being able to transfer the propane tank separately only makes taking this barbecue grill on the go even easier.
While the durability of the materials is important for all barbecue grills, it is arguably more important for the Coleman Road Trip LXE due to the fact that it is almost without exclusion expected to be used in the open outdoors. This means that the Coleman Road Trip LXE needs to be protected from the elements to justify the fact that it is a tad more expensive than some of the other barbecue grills we saw.
Thankfully, the majority of the materials used for the Coleman Road Trip LXE are either aluminum or plastic. While this is not ideal for superior cooking quality, it does mean that the Coleman Road Trip LXE will not have to worry about rust or corrosion while exposed to the elements.
4. George Foreman GGR50B – Best Electric Barbecue Grill
That said, The George Foreman Grill line is noted for being both innovative as well of exceptional quality and has been known as such for as long as it has been in existence. On top of that, the George Foreman Grill brand does focus exclusively on manufacturing electric grills and is the primary product of the brand noted for its market share.
In fact, this arrangement can even allow you to sear and then cook your food without having to transfer.
Another benefit of the George Foreman GGR50B is how easy it is made to use from start to finish. For instance, the direct contact approach allows the temperature to be controlled from a single knob while turning it on is no more complicated than plugging it in. From there, all you have to do is wait until the indicator light tells you that it has reached temperature. While there is no thermometer or other types of a temperature gauge, the direct contact design once again makes this a small matter.
Finally, the griddle surface is coated with a non-stick coating to make cleanup just as easy as setup. This barbecue grill is also the only one that we reviewed with the ability to be used countertop as well as outdoors without issue.
5. Weber 741001 – Best Charcoal Barbecue Grill
When it comes to an affordable classic, there are few barbecue grills as iconic or more reasonably priced than those made by Weber. With over 6 decades of experience and born out of a labor of love, Weber has made sure to stay within a specific market and provide the best barbecue grills within that niche. In this case, we are referring to the classic charcoal barbecue grill that put Weber on the map in the first place.
To that end, Weber is still a brand that specializes in grills and grill accessories and is actually the least expensive barbecue grill we reviewed.
When you are using a charcoal grill, it is always nice to enjoy the simplicity of the task. Whereas propane barbecue grills have various knobs of dubious accuracy and electric barbecue grills do not even produce flame, reliable charcoal provides you a cooking experience that is knob free while still giving you that flame-broiled flavor. Beyond the simplicity of cooking source, the Weber 741001 is also reasonably easy to clean. The lid and body of the barbecue grill are made explicitly to be easy to clean while the steel coated grates are similarly effortless. Cleaning the ash is also as easy as turning a lever underneath the body.
Moreover, the enamel not only makes the Weber 741001 easier to clean, it actually helps protect it from the elements as well.
Best barbecue grill – Buyer’s Guide
When examining a barbecue grill, it is important to note what materials it is made of as these will influence a number of qualities. For instance, the general durability of your barbecue grill will be enhanced if the manufacturer uses more metal components as opposed to plastic ones. That said, too much metal and the barbecue grill can become exceptionally difficult to move–even if it is mounted to a frame with wheels. On top of that, it is important to consider materials that are used to treat grills to either make them easier to clean, more resilient to the elements or to provide a better cooking experience.
- Plastic – Plastic is by far the worst material to be used for a barbecue grill in most respects, but there are a few parts of a barbecue grill which are not at all likely to create a negative impact and may, in fact, turn out to be better than comparable metal components used for the same parts. For instance, depending on the type of plastic, knobs, buttons, and handles are excellent components that do not require the most durable of materials and can actually provide value as a substitution. This is because plastic is by far the lightest and least expensive material on our list. On top of that, plastic is waterproof and is unlikely to be affected by the cold.
Moreover, there are plenty of different types of plastic that have both a high melting points as well as poor heat retention. Both of these qualities make anything near the heat that is not directly exposed to it a prime candidate for a component that can be made of plastic without concern.
- Aluminum – Out of the different materials used for barbecue grills, aluminum can best be described as the middle child. It offers plenty of value in so many different categories, but because it is considered the worst material to cook with. Keep in mind that aluminum will cause no negative effects if used to cook your food, but it is somewhat limited by its inability to retain heat like the other material used the come in direct contact with the food.That said, it does still offer plenty of benefits in a number of other categories. For instance, aluminum is the only metal used in barbecue grills that will naturally resist rust and corrosion on its own. On top of that, aluminum is by far the lightest metal used in the construction of barbecue grills while still providing comparable strength when compared to steel. That said, an aluminum grill with a body out of steel will likely serve just as well as one with a steel grate as well.
- Steel – When it comes to barbecue grills, steel is by far one of the most common and most useful materials to use for virtually every part of the grill outside of those that you will need to touch which also make direct contact with the heat of the barbecue grill. When it comes to strength, there is no material used for barbecue grills which can truly compare to steel. That said, it is not as if steel is without its own faults that can make the consideration of how important it is for the grill to include plenty of still in its composition.
For instance, steel is by far one of the heavier materials used for barbecue grills which can decrease its portability even if it is mounted to a frame attached to wheels. On top of that, steel is also one of the materials more susceptible to rust or corrosion on our list and is even liable to suffer the consequences of these processes if protected after enough time.
- Cast Iron – Cast iron is a fairly unique material to use with a barbecue grill because it can only reasonably be expected to be used on one or two parts of the barbecue grill. This is primarily due to the fact that cast iron is easily the heaviest material on our list and compared to its next closest competitor, cast iron makes steel look like a bed of feathers. On top of how incredibly heavy cast iron is, it is also by far the least rust or corrosion resistant material on our list, often beginning to form rust after being exposed to constant water for a little as 10 to 15 minutes–especially if the cast iron parts are not properly “seasoned” with oil to protect them from breaking down under the elements.
That said, due to its immense weight, cast iron is used exclusively for the grates and occasionally, for large higher-end models, the body of the barbecue grill. The reason for this is that cast iron heats up evenly and will thus cook the food evenly, making this by far one of the best materials to actually cook with.
- Porcelain – Porcelain is rarely, if ever, in and of itself used as a primary material. The only time this is true is for the grate–and even then, this usually only applies if the heat is not generated by a direct flame or if the flame does not actually touch the porcelain grates directly. Instead, porcelain is generally used as a coating for other materials. Depending on what surface is coated in the porcelain, this can provide a variety of benefits. For instance, if a metal grate is coated in porcelain, the porcelain with even out how the metal heats up and how the heat is distributed to the food.
In theory, this is to put nearly any base material cook comparably to cast iron. In practice, a porcelain coating will not allow your poorly heat retaining aluminum grate to heat food as well as a cast iron grate. That said, porcelain definitely enhances the evenness of the grate better than without it. For steel, this can make controlling the cooking rate easier while for aluminum it can bring it to a baseline solid evenness.
As we can see, there is no single barbecue grill that is going to serve all people’s needs equally. If you do not intend to transport your barbecue grill all that often, chances are you will not be as interested in some of the limitations inherent with the portable travel barbecue grills. Likewise, you might be more interested in using one fuel source over another.