Grill buying guide: How to buy the best grill for you – Low Calorie Diets Tips

The days are getting longer and the weather is getting hotter. It is summer. And with that, the barbecue season is in full swing.

From tailgates to grilling in the backyard this summer, now is the best time to invest in a grill—and there is many options out there, from a pellet grilla classic charcoal model or a gas grill.

Choosing the right grill for you means making decisions based on many different factors: fuel type, size, price, style, and additional features. All of this can quickly become overwhelming, so we’ve compiled our top tips for finding the perfect fit for your patio and we update them regularly. Here are some important features to consider.

Also read: How we test grills

In this article

One of the many grills we tested

Choosing the right grill for you means making decisions based on many different factors.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

fuel type

There are hundreds of grills out there, and it can be intimidating to narrow down your options. Finding the right fuel for your fire is a good start.

Which type of grill is right for you? The answer depends on what cooking style and comfort you expect from your grill. Each type has advantages and disadvantages. So if you know their main characteristics, you are well on your way to a match made in barbecue heaven.

A silver and pink grille

Deciding on the type of fuel is one of the most important steps when buying a grill.

Chris Monroe/CNET

gas

Gas grills are one of the most common types of fuel. built in wagon style, gas grills Use either a clip-on liquid propane tank or natural gas via a conversion kit that connects the grill to your home’s natural gas supply line.

The natural gas versus liquid propane debate is burning hot. Natural gas burns cleaner in terms of greenhouse gases, is cheaper to use and you don’t have to worry about topping up propane tanks. However, you cannot move your grill because it is connected to a gas line. Liquid propane is the more popular fuel choice and it’s portable. It is also more expensive and needs to be refilled. The good news is that many gas grills can accommodate both, so you don’t have to decide right away.

With a gas grill, you have more control over the heat and how it is distributed across your cooking surface. gas grills such as Char-Broil Commercial 3 burner are great for adjusting between high heat for searing and low heat for even cooking. However, if you plan to cook meats like whole chickens or ribs for hours, you’ll get better results with a charcoal grill, pellet grill, or smoker.

Steaks on a grill

What you cook is important in determining which grill you should buy.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

charcoal

Charcoal grills offer the traditional smokiness that most people think of when they picture grilled flavor. They come in many shapes and sizes, including the original Weber kettle that introduced the charcoal grill design that is widely recognized today. However, charcoal grills have their quirks, so you have to be prepared to put in some work if you go down this route.

Charcoal grills burn with charcoal briquettes or lumps of charcoal. Hence the smoky taste. You will have to spend a little more time lighting the briquettes and preheating the grill than with a gas grill. You will also need to clean the grill and dispose of the charcoal ash when you are done grilling.

Charcoal grills may not be as precise or adjustable when it comes to cooking as a gas grill, but they pack a distinct flavor and are the most affordable option. You can find small, portable charcoal grills for as little as $50.

The Traeger Timberline 850 outside

The Traeger Timberline 850 is a pellet grill with an accompanying temperature control app.

Chris Monroe/CNET

pellet grills

Pellet grills such as Traeger Timberline 850, burns wood pellets and features an on-board computer to heat to the desired temperature and add a smoky, wood-fired flavor to your food. Pellet grills produce flavorful meat, especially when slow-cooked, but the pellets can be expensive and harder to find than propane or charcoal. Be prepared to call around or order online.

Pellet grills use a hopper on the side to hold the food-grade wood pellets. Once you ignite the grill with a switch and set the temperature, a rotating auger connected to the hopper feeds these pellets into a burn pot. Pellet grills are available in barrel or cart styles and prices range from around $350 to $1,300.

A group of nine different types of grills

All the grills we tested on the CNET Smart Home.

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size

Once you’ve decided what type of fuel is right for you, think about the size of grill you need. Most small to medium sized charcoal grills and gas grills with two burners work well if you occasionally cook for four people or fewer. The Weber Spirit E-210 is a good example of a two burner grill with plenty of space. Grills are often measured in square inches. Grills in the 400 to 500 square inch range are large enough for most people.

A red Weber grill

Weber and KitchenAid offer grills in fun, festive colors.

Chris Monroe/CNET

If you’re the center of the neighborhood grilling scene or have a large household, consider a larger model with four, five, or even more burners. When you really want a gas grill, but you also want to use it to cook meats like whole chicken or ribs indirect heatyou want at least a three burner model.

Additional functions

Basically, a grill should simply cook well. In addition to the right steps Prepare your grill, there are a handful of additional features to look out for that will enhance your experience. For example, a side burner is a great place to heat up sauces or side dishes without running back and forth between your stovetop and your patio.

If you think you might move your grill around during the season, make sure your grill comes with wheels on all four legs and a locking option.

Weber's iGrill with Bluetooth thermometer

Weber’s iGrill system includes a Bluetooth thermometer and is compatible with iOS and most Android devices.

iGrill

You can even spice up your grill with smarts. The Weber iGrill system is now in its third generation with the Weber iGrill 3. This accessory allows you to monitor the internal temperature of your food using the Weber iGrill app, the probe device and an iGrill compatible Weber grill such as the Weber Genesis II E-335 on our Best list of gas grills. With the Traeger app, you can remotely control the grill’s temperature, set timers, and view recipes with the touch of a button.

No matter what grill is right for you, getting outside with friends, family, and food is one of the best ways to spend a weekend.


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