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What Is The Best Outdoor Grill To Buy


The Weber Original Kettle Premium 22-Inch Charcoal Grill is a fan-favorite, and it's easy to see why: It's easy to use, easy to move, and delivers great grilled meals. If you're looking for something a tiny bit bigger than 400 square inches, we like the very versatile Z Grills 450A Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker.




what is the best outdoor grill to buy



The best BBQ smoker for you depends on the convenience you seek. You can get a barrel smoker, which will require hands-on tending of firewood, or you can buy a pellet grill which you can monitor and tend from your smartphone.


In between, there are charcoal, electric (sans pellets), and propane smokers. The thing to keep in mind when purchasing one is how much time you want to spend hunched over or standing beside it and how smokey you really want your food. "They're all great options," said Steven Raichlen, creator of Barbecue University, Project Smoke, and countless grilling cookbooks. Read about how we tested the best BBQ smokers here.


Whether you're just getting into barbecuing or you've spent more days than you can count hunched over a stick burner, a pellet grill like Traeger's Pro 575 is hassle-free and offers steady temperature and smoke. It's also the heaviest-duty grill we've found for less than a thousand dollars.


One of the most important things about a smoker, or any barbecue grill that you're going to operate for hours at a time, is heat retention. If you can't keep steady heat, you're going to struggle to perfectly time and cook your food. We've tried multiple pellet grills (see more below), and while they've all done their job swimmingly, the Traeger is built with the thickest steel and maintains a temperature within about five degrees of your target. Try and do that with manual charcoal or wood-burning grills and you'll have your work cut out for you (you'll also learn quickly why Pitmasters earn their distinction).


Apart from the quality of the steel, all pellet grills follow the same design, more or less. Traeger might be the original, but there are plenty of other brands that come close, and if you want to save some money, Raichlen suggests looking to Green Mountain Grills' models.


Traeger, like many other brands, falls short in the way of accessories. Camp Chef's Woodwind WiFi series, which we also recommend, is modular; you can add on grill boxes, a 28,000 BTU side-burner (great for searing, boiling, and clam bakes), a pizza oven, and much more.


If all you want your pellet grill to do is smoke and grill (they all max out at around 500 degrees Fahrenheit, so you won't necessarily pull off any high-heat searing), Traeger's is the one that's built the best and made to last the longest, which is why we think it's worth spending a little extra.


While we like the Traeger Pro series for people specifically looking to smoke and grill (with smoke), we haven't found any pellet grills as versatile as those in the Camp Chef Woodwind series, which we've been testing for over two years.


Apart from offering remarkably user-friendly interfaces, the smokers in the Camp Chef Woodwind series (we think the 24-inch model with 800 square inches of cooking surface area is best for most people) are compatible with multiple accessories, and it's hard to imagine something you couldn't cook.


While this grill isn't made of the same hefty steel used in Traeger's Pro series, we haven't encountered any issues with it, and it's already been through two winters, accidentally left uncovered through snow, rain, and even hail, and is no worse for wear. We also really love the casters, which seem to be the same kind you'd find on industrial stainless steel carts.


Traeger originated the pellet grill, and the brand makes the hardiest smokers we've tested thanks to the 13-gauge stainless steel exterior, cold-rolled stainless steel interior parts, and double side wall interior. This construction, along with the 36,000-BTU burner, allows for better and higher heat retention (500 degrees Fahrenheit to the Pro model's 450).


Between the double-walled stainless steel sides and the downdraft fan, you're going to get the most precise heat and smoke retention possible, which will also translate to better fuel efficiency. Where we saw upwards of 15-degree-Fahrenheit temperature fluctuations with other grills (Traeger's Pro model included) this one barely veered 5 degrees in either direction, and it stayed burning the longest without running out of pellets or reading an error message.


Overall, if you want something comparable to the ability of a Kamado Joe or Big Green Egg but doesn't require the fuss or extra investment (depending on what package you choose), the Traeger Ironwood series is your best bet for both function and longevity in the pellet grill department.


We find that Weber's Smokey Mountain series' 18-inch smoker offers the most for the casual at-home smoker. It has a relatively small footprint of about 20 inches, is made with the same solid steel and porcelain enamel as the brand's Original Kettle grills, and it will outlast most charcoal smokers on the market for the same price.


I've spent the better part of a decade tinkering with and smoking all sorts of things with this very grill, and looking back on that experience I can say this: my most monumental successes in smoking have occurred on this very smoker, but so too have my greatest failures. If these prospects don't appeal to you, save yourself the anguish and consider a pellet, propane, or electric smoker instead.


Approach this grill for what it is knowing that while it's in some ways a starter smoker, and one that you can easily store away or station in tighter spots, it will allow you to produce a wide variety of superb smoked goods.


If you're willing to forego the element of fire, a propane (or an electric) smoker is a great way to go. It requires almost no input from you beyond adding wood chips and igniting a burner. There's also plenty of surface area spread out between four roughly 200-square-inch porcelain-coated stainless steel racks, which is comparable to the cooking surface area of a medium-sized barrel grill. And because it runs on propane, you can load it into the back of a truck for car- or off-grid camping, should you be so inclined.


Even with an electric grill, this is as easy as smoking gets, and about as compact as well. So, if you don't want to tend to a fire and would rather not pay for wood pellets, this is your best and most efficient option.


Vertical electric smokers are the same shape, size, and every bit as straightforward as propane smokers, but without the hassle of dealing with propane (namely, running out of it). The size lets you cook just about everything you would on a mid-sized barrel grill or smoker, and a glass window in the door is a nice touch that allows you to keep an eye on things without having to open it up and lose heat.


We wish this grill had handles because we have had to move it quite a bit, and there's no great place to get a grip on it. Plan to keep this grill more or less where you park it, and know that you'll need a solid electrical source.


Dyna-Glo Wide Body Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker: The Dyna-Glo is a fine grill in design, but we're not convinced that it will last more than a few seasons based on looking at the materials used. Expensive as it is, there are plenty of options that will probably well outlast it for a little more money.


Green Mountain Grills Trek: If you're looking for a pellet grill you can take on the go, the Trek is a great option, though it comes with the same price tag as some full-sized budget options, so you'll want to think whether you want to spend so much on a portable grill. That said, it offers great temperature retention and it's also great for smaller outdoor spaces like balconies, and we highly recommend it.


Nexgrill 29-inch Barrel Charcoal Grill/Smoker: If you're on a tight budget or you just want a charcoal grill (and smoker) in a pinch, this is the best you're going to do. Our hesitation is that this is one of those grills that you could outfit with gaskets to function very well, but the quality of the parts means it's not destined to survive past a couple of years with moderate use.


Z Grills: Another great budget option, Z Grills offers pellet grills in plenty of sizes, and comes with a free waterproof grill cover, which few other brands offer. We're still testing this one, and may yet recommend it as a budget option.


We also walked through Lowe's and The Home Depot opening and examining every smoker there. We looked at fittings, the quality of the seal between the lid and the grill, and the thickness of the steel.


Smoking method: While smoking over hardwood is probably the most fun experience, we all agreed, not everyone wants to spend the better part of a day hunched over a fire. And while pellet grills might not offer the same flavor charcoal and wood-burning grills do, they come mighty close and are almost entirely hands-off.


Ease of use: Inextricably linked to the smoking method is the ease of use. The learning curve on wood-burning grills is stratospheric. Pellet grills offer a great balance between smokiness and user-friendliness, but some don't hold a steady temperature all that well, which presents another set of problems.


Material quality: Most smokers have to live outside, and while a cover is a worthy investment, a grill is still going to have to withstand the elements. Flimsier metals and cheap wheels were immediately disqualified. Thicker steel and industrial-grade casters were positive points, especially on competitively priced smokers.


Performance: Because heat retention and maintenance of a consistent temperature is so paramount to smoking, we chose grills that excelled in those areas with little oversight. In the case of charcoal or wood-burning, you are entirely on your own.


Warranty: We looked for a warranty of at least two years, but in the case of some picks, we made concessions. In the end, the grill is only so good as the quality of the materials and build. It's hard to call in a warranty on something like a grill or smoker because "normal wear and tear" involves starting fires and spilling grease. Plus, it's going to live outdoors. We find that investing in a grill that's built to last is ultimately the better consideration. 041b061a72


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