- 1 The Debate of “What is the Best BBQ Grill?”
- 2 How to Choose the Best BBQ Grill
- 3 Reviews of the Best BBQ Grills in 2020
- 3.1 1. Weber Original Kettle 741001 – Best to Buy in 2020
- 3.2 2. Royal Gourmet CD1824A BBQ Grill – Best Budget BBQ Grill
- 3.3 3. DeLonghi BG24 BBQ Grill – Best Korean Style BBQ Grill
- 3.4 4. George Foreman 15-Serving Indoor vs Outdoor – Best Electric BBQ Grill
- 3.5 5. Coleman RoadTrip 285 – Best Portable BBQ Grill
- 3.6 6. Char-Griller E1515 Patio Pro – Best Charcoal BBQ Grill
- 3.7 7. Philips Smoke-less HD6371 Indoor – Best Small BBQ Grill
- 3.8 8. Cuisinart CGG-180T Small BBQ Grill – Best Small BBQ Grill
- 4 A Comparison Table of the Top-Performing BBQ Grills
- 5 FAQs
- 6 Stainless Steel vs. Cast Iron: Which is Better?
- 7 Best BBQ Grill Brands
- 8 Conclusion
Before selecting the best BBQ grills on the market, we’ll define the different types of grills. We’ll then proceed to the buying guide to assist you in choosing the right product. The FAQs come next, and we’ll wrap things up with the fan-favorite brands.
The Debate of “What is the Best BBQ Grill?”
Barbecue is a unique cooking experience unlike any other: the sound of meat sizzling, the irresistible aroma of wood and charcoal. Of course, after the cooking is done, there’s the mouth-watering taste. It also adds sentimental values to boot: rarely will you find a lone griller. A backyard barbecue is a chance for people to gather around and share good food together.
In its truest essence, modern BBQ grills can be categorized into three types: charcoal, gas-fueled, and electric.
Charcoal grills are widely considered superior for creating the best flavor. You can cook as rare or well-done as you wish, while still maintaining the juice and moisture inside the food, with a faint smoky aroma to boot. That’s probably why they are the go-to choice for meat lovers when planning backyard grill fests, tailgate parties, and camping trips, even after the arrival of the more convenient gas grills and electric grills.
The tradeoff, however, lies in the temperature consistency: it demands constant monitoring and timely adjustments. Plus, igniting the coal can be quite challenging, especially on windy days.
Gas grills are further classified into two different subcategories: natural gas grills and propane gas grills. Both offer just as much heat as charcoal grills— sometimes even more— if they are equipped with multiple burners. The benefit of these grills is that the flames can be kept in check. Just dial the knob to your preferred temperature, and you’ll get the sought-after sear marks while still retaining the juiciness in the steaks.
Earlier gas grills were ignited by throwing a burning match into the flow of gas coming from the burners, a process which was not only nerve-wracking, but also dangerous if mishandled. Nowadays, with piezo starters and other forms of electronic ignitions, the need for matches is eliminated; grills can be started and controlled with ease.
However, gas grills with faulty parts can lead to leakage and a potential risk of fire or explosion. And if these grills aren’t routinely cleaned and serviced, the burners’ life expectancy can drop dramatically due to the build-up of rust, food drippings, and cobwebs.
Electric grills are known for their ease of use: plug them in and preheat for a couple of minutes, then grill all you want. Since there is no open flame as there is with charcoal or gas grills, there is a significantly lower chance of flare-ups. You can use these grills inside your home or even an apartment, provided that the windows and drapes are open. As for the odor and smoke from the meat, these can be removed via a range hood.
The problem is, electric grills’ temperature range is limited, which means you don’t have many high-temperature cooking options like searing. Plus, these grills are considerably smaller than their charcoal and gas-fueled counterparts, so they can serve no more than four diners.
In short, each grill type has its own strengths and shortcomings. We cannot decide which type is the best for you: you’re in the best position to make that call. But we can help you navigate through the BBQ grill market, and narrow down the choices.
How to Choose the Best BBQ Grill
When eating at steakhouses isn’t an economical dining option— particularly when you’re the one who is footing the bill— you might realize that you need a grill at home. But with so many options out there on the market, buyers can have a hard time picking out the best BBQ grills. That’s where this article comes in: to assist you in making the most informed choice.
If you have absolutely no idea what to expect from a new grill, we’ve got you covered. Here is our buying guide for BBQ grills.
BBQ grills are diverse in price. The reasons behind different price points include the grill type, size, and miscellaneous features.
Most charcoal grills run from $80 to $120, and can feed four or five diners. These grills are perfect for griller who want to do casual grilling or practice before they invest in something more expensive. Higher-end models can cost up to $200 and beyond, and may possess more features, including easy-cleaning ash pans, adjustable grates, and side tables.
For the purposes of this article, the only gas grills we’ll consider are the propane-fed variety. Countertop models can go for $100 to $250. They fit nicely on outdoor dining tables and BBQ islands. Some models can even be collapsed and packed inside your vehicle when you’re driving to a camping spot. Larger propane grills can be found in the $250 to $600 price range, and the higher-end models’ price tags can well go over $1,000, depending on the number of burners, interior size, and other miscellaneous features.
Electric grills typically cost between $60 and $200. The price is lower because they cost less to manufacture. Typically, their grilling surfaces are smaller than you’d find in many gas grills, and the temperature range is limited.
If you’re a regular host for neighborhood parties or annual extended family reunions every summer and winter, it’s a good idea to get a full-sized grill that can serve 10 to 15 diners all at once. Morale can sour quickly if people have to wait too long for their steaks.
On the other hand, if you only grill every once in a while for someone special, like your folks, your better half and the kids, or a few close friends and colleagues on national holidays, then a medium-size grill is likely a better fit.
If your appetite constantly calls for ribs and steaks, you should get a grill large enough to accommodate them. But if burgers and hotdogs are the main courses, a small to medium grill should suffice.
You should look for BBQ grills whose body, lid, and grate are made of stainless steel, since it is far more rust-resistant than other materials like basic carbon steel and cast iron. Some manufacturers also add a coating for extra protection against the weather, so keep an eye out for those too.
We also advise you to ask about the grill’s warranty period and the return policy, in case the grill arrives with broken or missing parts.
4. Temperature Control
Charcoal grills are the most difficult to control, because aside from the struggle of igniting the coal— especially on gusty days— you have to keep it burning at a constant temperature by adjusting the dampers or stoking the coals. Charcoal grills are probably not the best option for a beginner, but a long-time pitmaster with years of grilling experience should have no trouble keeping the temperature in check.
For those looking for ease in temperature control, gas grills are a great option. They are just as powerful as charcoal grills, sans coal-related issues. Ignition is much easier and safer too, though you have to make sure that you don’t run out of gas midway through cooking. This, however, is an easy problem to mitigate if you keep a backup propane tank or if you use a natural gas grill.
Electric grills are the most reliable when it comes to precise grilling because they have various cooking modes and pin-point temperatures for several types of food. However, they don’t allow you to get creative and exceed the preset temperature range, meaning users expecting sear marks on their sirloin are going to be disappointed. These grills are simple to use: plug into the socket, preheat, and you’re all set.
5. Cleaning Ease
The inevitable work of cleaning up after a scrumptious meal can be a mood-killer. Grease splatter, food drippings, and charred pieces can make the process messy and laborious. Luckily, there are countermeasures to alleviate the cleaning hassle, including the ash pan, drip tray, heat shields, and lid.
You should look for grills whose components can be easily removed and reattached when it’s cleaning time. Dishwasher-compatibility is also a much-needed feature, though not all models have it.
Barbecue parties tend to be at the mercy of unpredictable weather. Keep an eye out for models that are easy to carry or ones that come with all-terrain wheels or 360-degree casters, so you can move the party to a place where the wind and the rain won’t put out the flames.
Electric grills are usually the right choice for those who like to grill inside the home. Since there is no combustible fuel, there’s no chance of open flames, flare-ups, gas leakage, or excess smoke coming from the grill. Manufacturers nowadays also add micro safety switches that automatically turn off the grills whenever there’s a malfunction with the electricity.
Gas grills nowadays are equipped with piezoelectric ignition systems, so you don’t have to use matches like you once did with older models. The chance of flare-up is much lower, thanks to the heat shields that also protect the burners from the falling grease. However, there are the potential risks of explosion and gas leakage if your unit is faulty. Always inspect your tank and connection hoses prior to use, and keep a nose out for gas odors.
A BBQ party can turn out awkward in a hurry if someone accidentally injures themself by touching the grill, so you should look for grills that are well-insulated, particularly on the lid and the handle. You should also get a grill whose return policy and warranty are clear, in case it underperforms or malfunctions.
8. Extra Features
If you’re looking for the perfect grill, take a look at its features to see which are most important to you.
- Side table: This gives you extra working space where you can place spice jars, condiment bottles, or food trays.
- Side burners: Sometimes you need to reheat the sauce or sear a few slices of steak when the main burners are already occupied.
- Thermometer: Naturally, you want to keep an eye on the internal temperature of the grill when the lid is closed.
- Bottom shelf: Like the side table, this gives you more space to store things like the fuel tank, seasoning containers, or a cleaning rag.
- Tool hooks: They’ll keep your utensils within arm’s reach whenever you need them.
Reviews of the Best BBQ Grills in 2020
These are some of the best BBQ grills we could find on the current market, as of the time this article is written:
- Weber Original Kettle 741001 BBQ Grill – Editor’s Best to Buy
- Royal Gourmet CD1824A BBQ Grill – Best Budget BBQ Grill
- DeLonghi BG24 BBQ Grill – Best Korean Style BBQ Grill
- George Foreman GFO240S – Best Electric BBQ Grill
- Coleman RoadTrip 285 – Best Portable BBQ Grill
- Char-Griller Patio Pro 1515 – Best Charcoal BBQ Grill
- Philips Smoke-less HD6371/94 – Best Indoor BBQ Grill
- Cuisinart CGG-180T – Best Small BBQ Grill
If you need to know what each of these grills can offer and how well they perform, read on for our reviews of the chosen products.
1. Weber Original Kettle 741001 – Best to Buy in 2020
We’ll begin with the Weber Original Kettle 741001, a well-rounded and reliable charcoal grill that beats its competitors by a landslide.
Though it doesn’t possess as many flashy extra features like some of its peers, the Original Kettle 741001 is second to none when it comes to its core function: grilling. And that’s why it is lauded by the BBQ community for its overall cooking performance, even earning the Amazon’s Choice tag— a badge of honor for high-quality products. As a matter of fact, the Original Kettle also makes its presence in our list of grills to consider buying within this year, especially as the Fourth of July looms nearer and nearer each day.
The grill measures 25 inches long by 22.5 inches wide by 39.5 inches tall with the lid closed. Its diameter measures 22 inches, and it can provide up to 363 square inches of grilling surface.
The manufacturer claims that it can hold up to 13 burger patties, but we feel that’s a bit of an exaggeration. That said, the grill can readily serve up enough for six adults at once, so it would be suitable for a small family who regularly hosts outdoor dinners on the weekends.
The Original Kettle 741001’s lid and bowl are constructed of steel, which is then porcelain-enamel coated for faster heating and durability. Weber places the bowl and the lid under a 10-year warranty. They claim that these parts not only can withstand extreme heat, but also are highly resistant to rust, cracking, and peeling in severe weather conditions.
The plated steel cooking grate is highly durable, and it distributes heat evenly across the surface for consistent grilling. That’s why the food coming out of the 741001 is uniform in doneness and juiciness, displaying the grill’s reliability.
The charcoal grate is made of heavy-gauge steel, and the handles are made from glass-reinforced nylon.
As a charcoal grill, it is hard to adjust the heat with pinpoint precision. Once you ignite the charcoal, however, you can still open the top and/or bottom dampers completely or partially to control the amount of air that’s allowed in to feed the embers. And when everyone’s full, you can shut both dampers completely to starve the coals.
If you’re craving seared meat, you can stack the coal so that the flame can reach the grate by using a charcoal basket, focusing more heat on the steak above. Or if you prefer indirect grilling— also known as slow cooking— all you have to do is push the coals to the sides of the grill so they’re not directly under the food..
According to Consumer Reports, the Original Kettle can reach an average temperature of 520°F on three pounds of briquettes across its surface. It can sear well sirloin steaks that are 1 ½ inches thick with lightly charred results, though the sear marks are less pronounced compared to those made by a kamado grill. Since Weber’s recommended temperature maxes out at 575°F, the 741001 should not be pushed beyond that limit.
In a slow-cooking test, the Original Kettle can hold a steady temperature (hovering around 330°F, the middle ground between low-heat smoking and medium-heat grilling) continuously for four hours; long enough to cook thoroughly time-consuming items like brisket and ribs without making them bone-dry. The grill was able to retain the tenderness and juiciness in these items.
The 741001’s specialty, however, is burgers and hot dogs. The grill’s consistency and even heating will cook small items uniformly with clear grill marks.
Once the guests have thanked you for the meal and cleared out, you have to deal with the aftermath: cleaning the grill.
Fortunately, you don’t have to struggle too much. Once the unburnt coal chunks are extinguished and fully cooled, you can easily take them out of the grill using gloves or tongs.
As for the remaining soot and ash that cannot be picked up by hand, the One-Touch cleaning system will take care of that: just swipe the opening at the bottom of the grill, and any remaining ash will fall through the holes and onto the awaiting catch pan right below, allowing you to discard it easily. The cleaner system is under warranty for up to five years. A vacuum cleaner can take care of any remaining stubborn ash, if any at all.
As for the grate, since it’s too large to fit into a dishwasher, we advise you to take it out and clean it manually with warm, soapy water and a grill brush. Once it dries, you can put it back in the grill.
The 741001 comes with two all-terrain wheels, which will make it easy to move the grill from one spot to another, regardless of the surface where it is stationed. However, since the wheels aren’t steerable, moving sideways or turning corners can be tricky.
Although relatively lightweight, we would warn against moving the grill while cooking, since you can spill the food or even the burning coal.
The side handles are well-insulated and offer a firm grip. Also noteworthy is the heat shield right below the lid handle that prevents the handle from heating up too much.
As for the ash catcher, although we do appreciate the well-intentioned thought, it is not a well-designed feature. Upon letting the fine ash and cinders fall on the catch pan, a slight wind can scatter them around into people’s food or eyes. Worse, if the ash is still hot, it can become a fire hazard. Therefore, we advise you not to open it until it’s cleaning time and all the ash is cool.
When you open the lid, often you’ll instinctively look for a place to put it down, such as a table nearby or deck railing, but there’s actually no need. The 741001 features an angled hook on the side where you can hang the lid.
The bottom rack is small, and the gaps between the bars are wide, so realistically you can only place one extra food tray there.
Besides the original version above, Weber also manufactures the premium version, which is basically the same as the original, with the addition of two hooks, a built-in thermometer, a deeper bottom, and a bigger ash catcher. We felt that it really isn’t that different.
If you need extra storage space and mobility, then the performer is a nice addition to your culinary arsenal. Despite a rather exorbitant price tag, it still attracts a lot of buyers.
Or if you’re a camping enthusiast, the 18-inch is a perfect companion for the road.
The Weber Original Kettle 741001 is truly a well-made BBQ grill that can consistently dish out gourmet results. Granted, it doesn’t have any many flashy features, but this grill will bring out the best flavor in everything you grill.
2. Royal Gourmet CD1824A BBQ Grill – Best Budget BBQ Grill
You don’t have to spend a crazy amount of money for good BBQ, and the Royal Gourmet CD1824A is here to offer you the best bang for your buck.
Although it’s not the most sought-after BBQ grill, the CD1824A is still the darling of many who are willing to give it a chance. Those who are willing to give this grill a chance hold it in high regard for its even cooking, indirect grilling, and cleaning ease.
The CD1824A measures 50 inches long by 22 inches wide by 48.8 inches tall. With a main grilling area measuring 393 square inches and an additional 205 square inches from the warming rack, you’ll get a total of 598 square inches of usable heating space. Royal Gourmet claims that it can fit 20 burger patties, which can serve a party with up to 10 diners.
The main cooking grate is a steel grid coated in porcelain-enamel, while the warming rack is made of chrome-plated steel. The lid and the body is heavy-duty steel, while the attached handle is stainless steel.
What sets the CD1824A apart from other BBQ grills is the adjustable charcoal grate.
You can choose from the six different heights using the handle on the front of the grill, which allows you to raise or lower the grate at will, so you can grill the meat directly above the flame or let the meat cook slowly further away from the heat. With such a design, it’s hardly surprising to see the CD1824A excelling at different cooking modes, including searing and slow-cooking.
Normally, when adding coal to a charcoal BBQ grill, you need to take out the food grate first or drop the new coals through holes at the sides of the grate. But if you’re not careful, you can wind up burning yourself. The CD1824A remedies this dilemma by integrating a front access door, which lets you tend to the coals inside the grill with ease.
To better adjust how hot the flames get, two side dampers and a smoke chimney control air circulation inside the grill.
Whenever the coal burns out, the ash will fall into the drawer right below it. Once the grill is completely cool, you can pull the drawer out and toss the cinders or vacuum-clean it. Royal Gourmet’s design ensures that the bottom of the grill will always stay clean and ash-free.
Since the grate are oversized for household dishwashers, we advise scrubbing it with a soft-bristled brush and dish soap.
The Royal Gourmet CD1824A weighs 57 pounds, so it’s easy to move around, particularly with the assistance of the two all-terrain wheels. That said, when moving sideways or turning corners, it can be quite hard to maneuver the grill.
The handles on this grill— one on the lid, one on the crank adjusting the coal grate, and the one attached on the coal door— remain cool to the touch.
With the CD1824, you don’t have to fret about burning yourself since the coal can be added through an easy-access front door, and the coal grate can be adjusted by cranking the lever on the side of the grill.
The Royal Gourmet CD1824A comes with multiple additional features. It’s the little details like these that add a nice sense of comfort and convenience for grillers.
The lid-mounted thermometer will let you read the temperature inside the grill.
What we particularly like about this grill is the extra space it offers, from the stationary two side tables— where you can place condiment and spice jars— to the bottom shelf— where you can put food trays, as long as they’re large enough not to fall between the gaps between the bars. The bottom shelf measures 18 inches long by 25 inches wide. Also noteworthy is a built-in bottle opener.
For a best-for-value grill, the Royal Gourmet CD1824A has a lot to offer, and its performance far exceeds most customers’ expectations.
3. DeLonghi BG24 BBQ Grill – Best Korean Style BBQ Grill
If you frequent Korean BBQ, you’ll notice that they use charcoal grills built into the dining tables, with the suction fan right above or under the grill itself. While you cannot recreate that dining experience at home— the smoke from the charcoal makes it nearly impossible— you can still recreate Korean barbecue dishes using the DeLonghi BG24.
This portable grill will dish out Korean-style grilled meat just as good as what you get at restaurants or buffets. Not only can the BG24 cook full-size slices of steak, but it also works flawlessly on thinly sliced meat, similar to that served at Korean BBQ venues.
The BG24 measures 19.7 inches long by 13.2 inches wide by 6.7 inches tall. The cooking surface is 12 inches long by 6 inches wide, offering 72 square inches of grilling area.
Some people may scoff at the modest cooking area, but multiple review videos show that the BG24 can readily grill up to 12 burger patties or multiple smaller slices of beef and pork— called bulgogi in Korean. It can serve three or four diners at once.
The grate is made of die-cast aluminum, which is less expensive and not as durable as stainless steel. That would explain the grill’s relatively low retail price. The BG24 also comes with a tempered glass lid.
The BG24 can warm up quickly thanks to its 1500-watt M-shaped heating element, which will distribute the heat across the surface with speed and uniformity. All the food will bear distinct grill marks. However, reviewers lamented the short power cord, so you may need to find a spot for it that’s close to an outlet or keep an extension cord handy.
After attaching the power cord to the grill, you can dial the knob from low to high setting, and the coil below the grilling surface will heat up. The BG24’s grate is lauded for its consistent temperature across the grilling area, with no irregular cold or hot spots.
To reduce cooking time and keep the food warm and moist, you can use the glass lid.
Since the grate has an electric portal where the plug attaches, it cannot be put inside the dishwasher. That said, we found the grate easy to clean even by hand, as long as the control socket is kept away from the water.
If your food has high fat content, grease spatter is inevitable, and that’s where the tempered glass lid comes in. It fits snugly over the grill, and will contain the splatter, saving you from cleaning the walls and the countertop. The glass lid is to be cleaned manually as well.
The drip tray is removable and dishwasher-compatible, a much-needed feature that BBQ party hosts will certainly appreciate.
The BG24 is a compact BBQ grill, weighing only 11 pounds. It can be carried with ease from the dining table to the kitchen countertop.
Though the BG24 doesn’t use combustible fuel, it still produces smoke, even with the lid on. However, this can be alleviated— to a certain extent— by filling the drip tray with some water— as long as it doesn’t fill up to the brim. Doing this will also keep the grease from sticking to the drip tray, making cleaning much easier.
The tempered glass lid protects you against the grease spatter, while it also allows you to monitor the food as it cooks.
DeLonghi has added a built-in safety microswitch that automatically shuts the grill off if it detects any irregular electrical surge.
The BG24 doesn’t have any other notable extra features.
Whenever you have the munchies for Korean BBQ, you can always count on the DeLonghi BG24 to deliver scrumptious bulgogi in the comfort of your own home. Why drive to the restaurant when you can do it yourself with this mighty little grill?
4. George Foreman 15-Serving Indoor vs Outdoor – Best Electric BBQ Grill
The George Foreman GFO240S is a versatile electric BBQ grill that can be used indoors and outdoors. With its patented grease-draining slope design, this grill will keep the meat from sitting in its own fat.
The GFO240S measures 23.5 inches long by 21.2 inches wide by 12.1 inches tall.
The grilling surface offers 240 square inches of space, enough to fit up to 15 servings worth of drumsticks or bratwursts— according to pictorial reviews from buyers.
What we like about the GFO240S is its slope, a signature feature in George Foreman grills. The fat-draining slope will guide the droplets of grease off the grill surface and away from the food. The manufacturer claims it can remove up to 42% of fat from a quarter pound of uncooked ground chuck. Although those statistics are yet to be confirmed, the meat won’t be sitting in its own fat, since the grease is drained to the drip tray below.
The cooking surface is covered with the proprietary George Tough nonstick coating, which eliminates the need for butter or oil when preheating.
You can also put a warming rack inside the grill, but it doesn’t come with the package: you have to purchase it separately.
As an electric BBQ grill, you can adjust the temperature to your heart’s content, with five different settings. Buyers also noted that the embedded heating element heats up very quickly.
The domed lid will retain the heat inside the grill, preventing the food from going cold, as well as shielding users against grease splashes. However, there are customer reports of the lid occasionally slipping off.
Although George Foreman claims that the grill is coated with a non-stick layer, some customers complain about cleanup struggles. Since the lid and the grate are oversized for most household dishwashers, it’s a safe bet to clean these parts manually. A sponge and dishwashing soap should be enough to remove the gunk and grease.
On the bright side, the drip tray at least is compatible with a dishwasher.
The GFO240S can be carried from place to place— and even used outdoors— with ease, as long as there’s an outlet.
Though the GFO240S doesn’t use combustible fuel, it still produces steam. Therefore, if you decide to grill inside your home or apartment, it is advisable to open all the windows and drapes. For even better ventilation, you can use it under a range hood.
Since the GFO240S can also be used outside, you can place it on the garden dining table on a sunny day. If it’s a standup party, you can attach the grill to its outdoor stand and host an outdoor stand-up grill fest— again, as long as there’s a socket nearby. The stand is easy to assemble: you just attach the legs, attach the grill’s base to the stand, and lock it in place.
The George Foreman GFO240S will help trim down the fat and grease, while still retaining all of your food’s juiciness and moisture inside. It is a versatile grill that can be used both inside and outside your home.
5. Coleman RoadTrip 285 – Best Portable BBQ Grill
Whether you’re planning a camping trip or a picnic, the Coleman RoadTrip 285 is the perfect road trip companion: it’s a powerful portable grill you can pack into your vehicle and carry with ease.
The manufacturer doesn’t specify its dimensions, but according to avid reviewers in the BBQ community, the grill roughly measures 20 inches in length, 45 inches in width, and 35 inches in height. Under the lid, the grill offers 285 square inches of grilling surface. It can cook for four or five adult diners.
The grilling surface consists of two grates made of cast-iron and coated with porcelain. They retain heat very well.
When you don’t feel like grilling, the grate is interchangeable with other cooking surfaces, like a griddle and a stove. Unfortunately, these cooktops don’t come with the grill: you must purchase them separately.
The RoadTrip 285 is compatible with one-pound propane cylinders, which will fuel the three built-in burners. You can use the burners individually or together, which combine for a total of up to 20,000 BTU of heating capacity. If you adjust the trio of burners— two curved burners on each side and a straight burner in the middle— individually, you can create three different temperature zones with different functions, say, one for searing, one for regular grilling, and one for warming cooked items.
Unlike old propane BBQ grills, which required matches to ignite, the RoadTrip has a matchless lighting system. The InstaStart system will effortlessly fire up the grill with a push of a button.
BBQ-lovers highly laud the RoadTrip 285 for its wide temperature range, which can go from preheating, slow grilling to searing with gourmet results. However, this doesn’t make up for the fact that it has certain hot and cold spots, as reported by unsatisfied grillers.
Since the grate is cast iron and coated in porcelain, it goes without saying that it requires not only manual cleaning, but also meticulous maintenance, though not as much as bare cast iron.
As its name suggests, the RoadTrip285 is a must-have for every trip in the open. It’s a snap to fold and pull this grill like a piece of carry-on luggage thanks to the all-terrain wheels and pull handle. The grill will fit snugly in the back of the car, where it will not eat up your limited space.
Upon arriving at the camping spot, the grill unloads and sets up easily. And when it’s time to leave, you can fold it back down and store it away until the next trip.
Since there is no heat shield, this grill is likely to have flare-ups— sudden outbursts of flames when fat and grease are exposed to direct fire. To minimize the chance of flare-ups, you should trim the fat before grilling.
We like the fact that the RoadTrip is equipped with two side tables, but in reality these tables are too small to be actually useful. At most, you can fit two condiment bottles on each table, at most.
The lid-mounted thermometer can read the interior temperature, though it isn’t really helpful when each burner is at a different temperature.
If you’re on a tighter budget, you can give the Sportster a look. It’s the RoadTrip’s smaller and less expensive brother, and it’s worth your consideration.
With the Coleman Roadtrip 285, you will become the heart and soul of every tailgate party and outdoor BBQ cookfest.
6. Char-Griller E1515 Patio Pro – Best Charcoal BBQ Grill
As a classic charcoal BBQ grill, the Char-Griller Patio Pro 1515 is the budget-friendly choice for those looking to do a little casual grilling on the weekends. Not only is this grill a highly functional model, but it also blends nicely into any garden, patio and front lawn, while offering home cooks a sense of convenience with a series of features.
The Patio Pro 1515 measures 31 inches long by 21 inches wide by 44 inches tall. Its grilling surface offers 250 square inches, which can fit large items like a whole chicken, multiple slices of steaks, or racks of ribs.
The body and lid are constructed of heavy-duty steel and coated with a weather-shield paint to guard against rust, the elements, and daily wear-and-tear.
The grate is made of cast iron, which retains heat as well but doesn’t heat up as fast as stainless steel. Furthermore, when cooking on high heat, the iron tends to leach with the flavor of the food, particularly food with a high acidity level.
Normally, when you need to add or remove coal from the bottom of a charcoal BBQ grill, you must first take out the food grate. Doing this not only interrupts the cooking, but you may also drop the food if you’re not careful. To counter this, engineers at Char-Griller install a side-access coal door, through which you can tend to the coal with ease.
With two dampers— one on each side of the grill— you can control the air circulation inside the grill by opening the ports to the desired degree. Once the party is finished, you can shut them off completely to cut off the flow of air and snuff the flame.
It’s quite a shame that none of the Patio Pro’s detachable components are dishwasher-compatible.
The Patio Pro 1515 comes with an ash pan that collects the fine ash and cinders falling from the coal grate above, saving you the work of cleaning the bottom half of the grill.
Since the grate is constructed out of cast iron and doesn’t come pre-seasoned, it requires more care and maintenance than stainless steel grates, since food tends to stick to the bare iron surface. To prevent this, you can apply a thin layer of vegetable oil before cooking for better taste and easy cleanup. After cleaning, you’ll also need to re-season it (we’ll get to that part later in the article.)
The grill weighs 50 pounds, so it can be a challenge to move it around on your own, even with the aid of its two wheels. Since the wheels don’t swivel, moving sideways and turning corners can be tricky as well.
The lid handle is always cool to the touch since it’s made of wood.
As with most charcoal grills, flare-ups are a problem. However, this can be mitigated by trimming the fat off the food prior to cooking.
The Patio Pro 1515 features a number of small extra conveniences. The side table gives you space for multiple spice and condiment jars. If you need even more extra space, the bottom rack can hold the food trays. And when you’re not cooking, you can hang the cooking utensils on the hooks affixed to the side table.
Alternatively, if you like to go full-kamado (pun intended), Char-Griller has two other highly-praised models, the E06614 and the E16620. Both are kamado-style BBQ grills and are versatile in cooking options: you can bake, roast, and smoke on these grills. But of course, that makes them more expensive than the Patio Pro 1515.
The Char-Griller Patio Pro 1515 is a charcoal BBQ grill that reaches a good compromise between functionality and price. And if you hesitate for too long, this well-made grill won’t be around for purchase, and it will be a while until you can buy it the next time it restocks.
7. Philips Smoke-less HD6371 Indoor – Best Small BBQ Grill
With the Philips Avance HD6371/94, you can comfortably enjoy BBQ inside your home or apartment. With its powerful heating element and a specially designed drip tray, this grill will cook tasty dishes while keeping the smoke to a minimum.
The manufacturer doesn’t provide any information on the dimensions. However, there are review videos in which the Avance HD6371/94 fits four thick slices of steak at once.
The grate is made of die-cast aluminum with non-stick coating. Although not as durable stainless steel, the grate warms up fast and distributes the heat evenly across its surface.
Below the grate is the removable drip tray, which will catch the grease droplets. We felt that it isn’t very deep, and it may overflow if you’re grilling for a long time.
The 1660-watt grill can preheat in about five minutes without the need for oil or butter, and it spreads the heat evenly across the grate, so it shouldn’t have any irregular hot or cold spots. The infrared heating element will focus all the heat toward the grate above it, thanks to the angled reflectors built in the grill.
You can set the temperature to a maximum of 446°F— the optimal temperature for searing— or leave it on a low setting to keep food warm. Once cooked, your food will bear distinctive grill marks.
Typically there are multiple settings on electric BBQ grills, but the Philips Avance grill only has two. For some users, they feel that the grill deprives them of the creativity and freedom to grill food to their favorite doneness. But for others, they are grateful they don’t have to worry about many settings and options they seldom use.
The drip tray and the grate are dishwasher-safe. In case you don’t have a dishwasher, though, the parts are easy to wash by hand as well.
However, the same cannot be said for the interior. Grease has a tendency to splash onto the reflectors and the interior of the grill. These stains are hard to wash away, even using a sponge soaked with degreasers. To combat this, the manufacturer recommends using a ceramic scraper, which can be purchased separately.
The grill weighs 5.6 kg or roughly 12.34 pounds, so one can carry it from one place to another with ease.
Compared to charcoal grills, gas grills, and even other electric grills, the Avance HD6371/94 produces significantly less smoke. However, though advertised as an indoor BBQ grill, high-fat food like bacon and ribs cooked on this grill can still produce smoke if cooked on high heat for too long.
This is a simple grill that doesn’t have any notable extra features.
For those living in an apartment with stringent fire safety regulations, or those who don’t have a yard for an outdoor barbecue, the Philips Avance HD6371/94 is a worthy option.
8. Cuisinart CGG-180T Small BBQ Grill – Best Small BBQ Grill
The Cuisinart CGG-180T may look small enough to fit on any tabletop, but its surprisingly sizeable interior can cook for up to five adult diners.
The grill measures 18 inches long by 12.2 inches wide by 12 inches tall. Its grilling surface measure 145 square inches, with a volume of 2.23 cubic feet.
At first glance, the CGG-180T may look tiny, but it can cook a surprisingly large portion: eight patties, eight steaks, four pounds of fish, ten chicken breasts or six pieces of chicken fillet all at once— as confirmed by a review video.
That said, we feel that you shouldn’t cook that much food on the grate since the heat cannot thoroughly cook through the items placed near the edge of the grill.
The grate is porcelain-enameled steel, while the burner is constructed of stainless steel.
The burner can provide 5,000 BTU of heating power. Although much less powerful than other gas grills, the CGG-180T packs a punch and cooks well for such a small design. The main drawback is its limited temperature range.
Like other propane grills on this list, the CGG-180T is easy to start, thanks to the piezo ignition system, eliminating the need for matches.
The grate is dishwasher-compatible, much to the joy of hosts. The drip container will catch all the grease and fat, but, ironically, proves challenging to wash, since the entry hole can only fit one finger.
The CGG-180T is designed to resemble a suitcase, with a carry handle and a lid lock to keep the contents from spilling. When you need to move it, just retract the legs, lock the grill, and carry. The grill does, however, weigh about 18.5 pounds, so it may be a bit heavy for some.
Since there is no heat shield to cover the burner, grease can fall onto the burner, causing flare-ups. However, you can minimize this problem by trimming off the fat before barbecuing.
A lid lock will keep the food from spilling when the need to move the grill arises, such as when it’s starting to rain, or the wind is keeping the flame from starting. Note though, that it’s always important to shut off the gas flow before moving cleaning the grill.
The CGG-180T has no notable extra features.
If you have limited space at home, or if you’re an avid camper who frequently goes picnicking, this little BBQ grill will be able to provide you with mouth-watering BBQ without taking up too much space.
A Comparison Table of the Top-Performing BBQ Grills
|Model||Grilling Area (sq in)||Fuel Type||Extra(s)||Warranty|
|Weber Original Kettle 741001||363||Charcoal||Wheels,|
Angled lid hook
|Royal Gourmet CD1824A||598||Charcoal||Wheels,|
|1-year limited warranty|
|DeLonghi BG24||72||Electricity||Glass lid||1-year limited warranty|
|George Foreman GFO240S||240||Electricity||Removable outdoor stand||3-year limited warranty|
|Coleman RoadTrip 285||285||Propane||Wheels,|
|3-year limited warranty|
|Char-Griller Patio Pro 1515||250||Charcoal||Wheels,|
|Philips Smoke-less HD6371/94||---||Electricity||---||1-year limited warranty|
|Cuisinart CGG-180T||145||Propane||Lid lock|
Below are a few of the burning questions regarding BBQ grills that circulate in the meat-lover community.
How to Clean a BBQ Grill?
For charcoal grills:
- Once the coal is completely cooled, remove the unburnt chunks by using gloves or tongs. You can discard them or save them for the next grill fest if you so wish.
- Take the grate out of the grill and scrub using a grill brush. Most gunk and charred pieces will come off with ease, though you can use baking soda and vinegar for stubborn stains. Grill brush materials are either nylon or metal.
- If your grill has an ash pan, jiggle the grill until all the ash fall through the vent door and into the ash pan, then take it out and discard the cinders and ash. If not, you can vacuum the bottom of the grill.
- The interior of the grill can be wiped down using a clean rag.
For gas grills (be advised that we are talking purely about propane gas grills, not natural gas grills)
- Turn off the valve and burn off any remaining gas inside the grill. Disconnect the fuel tank, and let the grill cool completely.
- Remove the grates, heat shields, and grease tray. Scrub them using a dish soap-soaked grill brush or sponge to remove gunk and charred pieces. Baking soda or vinegar can be used for stubborn marks.
- Cover the burners with aluminum foil, and scrub the interior wall and the underside of the lid. Use a vacuum cleaner to pick up the debris that falls to the bottom of the grill.
- Wipe the burners with a clean rag (though every two to three months, you should take the burners out and service them more thoroughly). Clean the holes using a nylon or steel brush, and make sure that the burners are completely free of grease.
- The interior of the grill can be wiped down using a clean rag.
For electric grills: since most electric grills have removable parts— namely the grate and the drip tray— that are compatible with a dishwasher you can let the machine do the hard work, although this feature varies from model to model. If your grill’s components need to be washed manually, a sponge soaked with dish soap should suffice.
Stainless Steel vs. Cast Iron: Which is Better?
Each material has its own pros and cons, but before we can put things into perspective, you need to differentiate the two materials.
Cast iron grates are made by pouring molten iron, along with steel and other scraps in some cases, into a mold. The process is known as “casting”, thus the name.
Stainless steel grates aren’t made purely from steel. For better heat conduction, manufacturers add chromium and nickel.
In this comparison table of the two materials, the cast iron surface we refer to is bare cast iron, which means it isn’t coated with any protection layer. Most coatings are either enamel or porcelain.
|Stainless Steel||Cast Iron|
Best BBQ Grill Brands
Before we wrap up this article, here are a few brands that are popular among the BBQ community.
Weber has been a household name for a long time, and it’s still going strong. Founded in 1952 by George Stephen, the original kettle grill remains one of Weber’s bestsellers, although its series of gas grills and electric grills are also popular. Needless to say, Weber remains the go-to brand of choice for many meat lovers.
2. Royal Gourmet
Royal Gourmet manufactures different types of grills, including charcoal, gas, portable, and hybrid grills and smokers. Royal Gourmet wants their products to offer not only gourmet results, but also the simplicity, convenience, and joy BBQ lovers crave, whether they are long-time pitmasters competing on national stages or amateur dads grilling on the weekend.
Coleman was founded by W. C. Coleman in Brockton, Alabama. As a camping gear and equipment supplier, their products are diverse, from sleeping bags to tents, outdoor grills to lanterns, just to name a few.
Although not a prominent grill manufacturer, their luggage-style grills still earn campers’ stamps of approval for their overall performance.
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t recognize this brand.
Philips doesn’t specialize in grills. Rather, its operation is diverse. The blue-and-white logo can be found on many household products, such as electric razors, toothbrushes, smokeless grills, air fryers, and lightbulbs, just to name a few. The Dutch-based conglomerate has found success not just in the US, but worldwide.
5. George Foreman
Founded in 1994 and endorsed by George Foreman himself, this brand boasts an impressive sales record of over 100 million units. Their products are designed with the signature grease-draining slope, which makes the food leaner. Their grills are diverse in size and function, and their price points fluctuate from surprisingly inexpensive to reasonable.
Char-Griller was founded in Atlanta, Georgia in 1994. And ever since, it has always aimed to provide top-performing grills at an affordable price so that anyone can barbecue. If it can continue offering high-quality products, along with excellent customer service, we expect this brand to be able to compete head-on with the big players.
Carl Sontheimer founded Cuisinart in 1973 as a food processor manufacturer. It wasn’t a bed of roses when the brand was struggling to gain recognition. Luckily, it was media exposure and celebrity endorsement that brought it back to its feet.
Their kitchenware products and appliances are diverse, from air fryers and grills, to ice cream makers and juicers. Cuisinart is also the recipient of many awards, including the Good Design Award, the Gold Hermes Award, and the Gold Summit International Award.
Founded in 1902 in Italy, this brand is now well-known to US consumers, particularly coffee lovers. Although it is not a prominent grill manufacturer, their grills have met with praise from consumers. DeLonghi also dabbles in other household appliances like air treatment products, rechargeable stick cleaners, and kitchen products like bread makers and electric ovens, among others.
We hope that our picks of the best BBQ grills will meet grillers’ various expectations and demands: be it a backyard stand-up party, a grill fest by the beach, or simply a gathering at a friend’s place. Your insights, feedback, or grilling experience is highly appreciated, and you can leave them in the comment section right below this article.