Looking for the perfect grill? Here's how to find an affordable grill that has all the features you need—and none you don't.
Not everyone needs a super deluxe grill with all the bells and whistles. There are plenty of grill models out there to fit every lifestyle, whether you’re a pro searching for a bigger model or an apartment dweller looking for a tabletop barbecue. Find the features and price range that are right for you with these shopping tips for every type of griller.
For the no-fuss griller:
If you're looking for that authentic, smoky flavor, get a charcoal grill. The classic model of charcoal grills has always been a kettle grill, which doesn’t come with extravagant features. Most have just a grate, a chamber for charcoal, a vent (or two) and three legs. The design of these well-known grills has remained almost unchanged for the past 65 years, so they must be doing something right.
For the backyard weekend warrior:
If you're going to be at the grill every weekend cooking up a storm, then you should opt for a grill that has least 360 square inches of cooking surface. You'll be grateful later when you have enough room for all your corn, burgers, hotdogs and kebabs.
For the on-the-go griller:
If you’re tailgating or going camping, you can take a portable grill along with you. They can be charcoal or gas, depending on what you want. Look for ones that are lightweight and choose a size that fits your needs. Someone cooking for a small family of four will need a much different grill than a frequent tailgater cooking for 20 of her friends, so be sure to check the features.
For the small-space griller:
If you don’t have a huge yard for a grill, choose an electric grill. Many can be used indoors or outdoors as long as you have an outlet nearby. You’ll get the same grill marks as a traditional grill and some grills even have a tray to catch grease.
For the adventurer:
If you can make a simple wood fire, then you can have a grill. Just place a heavy-duty grate over the fire to create an impromptu outdoor grill. This is a popular option for people that already have an available firepit in their backyards.
For the busy family griller:
Try a gas grill. You won't need to light the charcoal, wait for it to heat up or clean up ashes afterward. Gas grills will always be a bit more expensive than their charcoal counterparts because of the convenience, but you can find one under $100 if you look for models with just two burners.