Outdoor Cooking: Grill Buying Guide

Treat your tastebuds at your next outdoor picnic to some mouthwatering burgers and hot dogs straight off the grill. Whether you’re a beginner grilling up hot dogs for a few friends or a grill master looking to serve up the perfect rack of ribs for the whole family, Electronic Express has the best grill for all your outdoor cooking needs.

Frequently Asked Questions When Buying an Outdoor Grill

Should I buy a gas or charcoal grill?

The gas versus charcoal debate has gone on as long as both grills have existed. Gas is the more common grill type, though each has its own advantages. Gas grills are convenient because they can be quickly turned on and off, while charcoal grills can offer a greater degree of control over the amount of heat you want. The gas grill is the most beginner-friendly grill and doesn’t require the extra work or cleanup of lighting and using charcoal.

The most popular size, the mid-size grill, can typically serve over 18 burgers without taking up too much storage space. For the beginning griller who plans to cook semi-frequently or who wants to master a variety of dishes, a mid-size grill is a good investment that will last many years. It gives you the cooking space and features you need to feed larger crowds and try out new recipes. If you only need a few burgers for a family of four or fewer, a small, portable model like the George Foreman grill can whip them up in minutes.

What features should I look for when buying a grill?

  • Stainless steel or coated cast-iron grates: These grates will last for many years to come, will maintain more even cooking temperatures, and are the best choice for searing.
  • Electronic igniter: An electronic igniter is a nice feature on your grill as it provides a more reliable and easier light.
  • Dual-tube burners: If you’ll be cooking out a lot, consider investing in a grill with dual-tube burners. The extra flame ensures even distribution of heat when cooking.
  • Side burners: One or more side burners are a must-have for the chef serving a multi-course meal who wants to cook veggies or warm up beans on the side while your meat is grilling. Side burners can cook, fry, boil, and warm virtually any food you put on them.
  • Storage space: Many medium to large sized grills have storage space underneath for storing your propane tank and other grill accessories between uses.

Mid-Size Grills: Most Popular Outdoor Grills

Mid-size grills are one of the most popular options due to their space-saving nature while still being able to serve a large group. Grills like the Broil King Baron 440 offer an affordable price tag for beginning to intermediate grillers with four dual-tube burners for efficient and even heat distribution, reversible cast iron grates, a side burner for cooking veggies and soup or keeping side dishes warm while grilling up the main course, a warming rack, storage cabinet underneath, and drop-down side shelves for easier storage between cookouts.

If you really need to stretch your dollars, consider the Char-Broil Performance 650 grill, which has six burners, a side burner, porcelain-coated cast iron grates, and storage space underneath. It lacks the dual-burners of higher end models, so consider how often you cook out and how important exact control of heating is when making a choice.

For the occasional chef who values portability and storage, and who only needs to grill up a few hot dogs or hamburgers at a time, the Char-Broil Performance 4 Burner grill is a good starter grill. Its small size and two large wheels make it easy to roll in and out of the garage on the weekends. It features porcelain-coated cast iron grates and an electronic igniter for easy startup in addition to a side burner for extra cooking space.

Large Grills: Best Grills for Large Gatherings

For the professional griller, you’ll want an outdoor grill large enough to feed your whole family (and all those relatives!), that can cook, smoke, and roast a variety of meats to perfection, and one that includes all the latest features to save you time and effort.

The Broil King Regal XLS Pro and Broil King Regal S590 Pro stainless gas grills both offer a range of features for high capacity grilling. The Regal S590 Pro has five dual-tube burners, stainless steel grates, a side burner, warming rack, illuminated control knobs, and storage space underneath. Need something bigger? The Broil King Regal XLS Pro adds a sixth dual-tube burner, rotisserie burner, additional warming racks, and more storage space in addition to the features of the lower end models.  

Broil-King grills also utilize their Flav-R-Wave™ cooking system for improving heat distribution and protecting burners. Drippings from your food are vaporized and that vapor is infused back into the food for the ultimate barbecue flavor.  

Kamado Smoker and Grill: Best Smoker

The kamado style grill, also known as the “egg” grill, goes beyond basic grilling. It can grill, sear, bake, and smoke all in one. The oval-shaped, ceramic body is inspired by traditional Japanese stoves dating back 4,000 years. The kamado is a portable version of this popular stove and has several advantages over traditional grills.

Kamados are charcoal fueled and their ceramic body is insulated to reduce the charcoal and oxygen needed for cooking. The lower airflow from this insulated design lets you grill and smoke juicier meats as well as maintain steady temperatures with no flare-ups. It is great as a smoker and superb for roasting. The unique design is also optimal for pizza and breads.

Simple and precise temperature control is made possible by controlling the top and bottom vents. For easy startup, our Vision Professional C-series kamado grills have an electric starter. Cleanup is as simple as removing the used charcoal. Charcoal can be reused before it needs replacing due to lower rates of consumption. To learn more about the perks of a kamado grill, see our in-depth kamado grill guide.

Portable Grills: Best Everyday Indoor Grilling

If you only need to feed a few people or don’t have room for a traditional outdoor grill, you can pick up a George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill or the Char-Broil TRU Infrared Grill2Go. Portable and small enough to store in your kitchen cabinets, these grills can serve up burgers, hot dogs, or even grilled veggies for dinner or on your next camping trip.