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We’ve Been Testing Grills For Years, And These Are Our Top Picks

The weather is warming and pitmasters are dusting off their smokers—just kidding, pitmasters never let dust get on a smoker. But grilling season has arrived and it’s time to get out the grill—and maybe even replace it. It’s a little overwhelming though. Which is the right grill for you?

We’ve been testing grills for years—searing, smoking, grilling, and even baking on them in all kinds of weather—to find the best choice for everyone. Below, you’ll find our top picks for each category (charcoal, gas, pellet, hybrid, and other types) as well as a few alternatives, plus general buying tips if none of these capture your fancy.

For all your outdoor needs, be sure to check out our other buying guides, like the Best Portable Grills, Best Grilling Accessories, Best Camping Gear, Best Tents, and Best Binoculars.

Updated June 2024: We’ve added the Big Green Egg Genius, demoted the Konnected Joe due to electrical issues, and updated links and prices throughout.

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Photograph: Weber

Best Charcoal GrillWeber Original Kettle Charcoal

The Weber kettle is ubiquitous at neighborhood cookouts for good reason. It’s reasonably priced, well made, and just works. It can be used to sear a steak to perfection, smoke a brisket overnight, and handle several families’ worth of burgers and hot dogs in the afternoon.

There are two versions of the Weber Kettle: Original and Premium. The Premium is $80 more and features a built-in thermometer in the lid, a hinged cooking grate, and a fancier ash-removal system. They’re the same size, with the same cooking space. Unless you really like the easier ash-removal system though, I’d suggest sticking with the Original Kettle and putting the money you save toward a good thermometer system like the Weber Connect Smart Hub ($85). Kettle sizes range from 18 to 26 inches. Weber sent me the 26-incher to test, and it is colossal. I have grilled for 10 people on it and had plenty of room to spare. But if you’re cooking for a family of five or fewer, the 18-inch model is perfect. Whichever size you decide on, if you’re storing it outdoors with no roof, grab a cover to protect your investment.

★ Alternative: The PK 300 ($525) is a fantastic grill. It’s made of cast aluminum, so it’s a little heavier than the Weber, but it can also be used for ovenlike cooking, much like a Big Green Egg (see below). The main reason Weber wins here, for me, is price. You don’t need to spend this much just to get your grill on. If you do want something sturdier and capable of oven-style cooking though, the PK 300 is a great grill.

Photograph: Weber

Best Gas GrillWeber Spirit II E-210 Gas Grill

This is by far the hardest reviewing decision I’ve had to make. The truth is, there are about five grills I could put here (including the Weber Genesis), but in the end I went with the Weber Spirit II E-210 for its simplicity, build quality, even cooking temps, and easy-to-adjust burners. It features nice side trays with plenty of space for platters, and hooks to keep tongs and other tools handy. It lacks some niceties, like a side burner, but it does what a good grill should: Cook your food well. The porcelain-coated cast-iron grill grates are solid, and clean-up is easy with a little soap and water. My favorite feature is the massive turn radius of the burner knobs, which makes it easy to dial in the perfect flame.

★ A Bigger Option: If you’re cooking for a crowd and want something larger, I recommend Charbroil’s massive 6-Burner Performance Series ($499). It’s a great grill for crowds. It also has a 10,000-Btu side burner to heat up your beans while the hot dogs are cooking.