Outdoor Grill Buying Guide of 2023
There is nothing better than sizzling hot food from your backyard grill.
The grill is at the center of every great barbecue, whether it’s a family reunion or dinner for two. Today’s outdoor kitchens are more than just barbecues: they’re outfitted with burners, hoods, grills, pizza ovens, and more. Consider upping the ante with an outdoor refrigerator, wine chiller, or even a kegerator to make your open-air space work for you.
This guide will explore the latest and greatest outdoor entertaining trends essentials.
Choose your style:
Common Grill Installations
Next, you’ll want to consider the style of the grill. Each style is designed for a specific installation. So select the location, measure for size then check out the information below to make sure you get the style that is perfect for your home.
Post Mount Grills
Anatomy of an Outdoor Grill
1. Stainless easy-to-open lid
2. Halogen canopy lighting
3. Removable smoker box
4. Infrared rotisserie burner and motor
5. Collapsable side tray or burner
6. Backlit control knobs
7. Storage drawers, shelves, or cabinets
8. Rolling casters and wheels for easy transport
9. Electronic ignition
10. Stainless steel cooking grates
11. Rotisserie rod and forks
Top Considerations when Buying a Grill
The core of any good grill is the cooking system. For a freestanding, non-portable gas grill, you should look for models that have two or more separate burners (not just control knobs) which allow greater heat control.
Smaller, portable and electric models may have fewer burners but should still have solutions for temperature control and emitting even consistent heat.
A well-made charcoal grill will contain a sturdy, heavy-duty, plated steel cooking grate and a charcoal grate to place the briquettes on. There should be a lid with air vents as well.
All grills should also have an efficient grease or ash collection system to keep the heat source clear of any clogs and any run-off juices from making a mess of your gorgeous grill. The best systems quickly flash the drippings, eliminating flare-ups and creating flavorful smoke.
In the market for a new grill?
Pro Tip: Give it a shake
Quality, sturdy construction in both the grill body and frame are important whether it is made from ceramic, stainless steel, or cast iron. An easy way to test construction is with a simple shake. A poorly made grill will wiggle unevenly and may sound loose or flimsy. If a grill isn’t solid on the sales floor, chances are it will fall apart rather quickly on your patio or deck. Not all grills are created equal, but there are several components that are common to nearly all models.
What is a BTU?
BTU stands for British Thermal Units. But BTUs alone cannot measure a grill’s effectiveness. Size and shape, construction, design elements such as distance from the flame to the grilling surface, and burner control all play a part in how a grill heats and maintains its temperature. As a guideline, you can look at the size of the primary grilling surface and figure 80-100 BTUs per square inch for a regular gas grill and 60-80 BTUs for an infrared gas grill.
Consider before you get your grill on
Certain features simplify the way you use and maintain your oven. There are several features you should look out for depending on your cooking preferences, aesthetic tastes, capacity needs, and demand for easy maintenance.
The primary or main grilling surface is measured in square inches and should be your most important consideration. The secondary work surface includes other areas such as warming racks and side burners.
Come in either cast iron, porcelain-coated cast iron, stainless steel, and porcelain-coated steel or steel. Look for strong, high-quality grates that will resist heat damage and hard weather corrosion.
Help controls the heat. A good grill will have two individually controlled burners; three on high end grills. Stainless steel or porcelain-coated steel burners are known to be rust-resistant.
For preparing vegetables or sauces can be useful if your grill is located far from your kitchen.Shop Side Burners
Cooks food quickly using infrared radiant energy that sears the outside of meat, locking in the juices and flavor.Shop Infrared Burners
Illuminates the grill's surface making it easier to cook at night.Shop Halogen Lighting
Infuses food with flavor and makes meat mouthwateringly tender through slow cooking at low temperatures. They require a chamber to hold the smoke and smoke source, like wood chips. Some grills come with a smoker box. Freestanding smokers are also available in charcoal or gas-fueled models.Shop Smokers
Rotates food within the heat-filled grill chamber, for slow-roasted meats with a juicer more intense flavor. This requires less heat than flaming grilling. Grills may have an integrated rotisserie and /or built-in motor with a dedicated rear rotisserie burner.Shop Rotisserie Grills
Built into most grills to allow for monitoring the temperature of the grill without lifting the lid. Some models have digital displays with meat probes.Shop Thermometers
Take the party outside!
Transform your deck or patio into your favorite place for entertaining family and friends by adding an outdoor kitchen to the backyard. Outdoor kitchens at minimum start with a built-stainless steel grill or grill with a base cabinet. If you want to entertain with style consider installing a fully equipped kitchen complete with countertops, sink bar, refrigerator, icemaker, warming drawer, storage cabinets, and more. Depending on how plan to use the kitchen – for a typical barbeque or a gourmet meal – will determine the appliances and accessories you choose. Then all you’ll need is a bright sunny day and a yard full of guests.
Imagine the convenience of having everything you need at your fingertips without running to your indoor kitchen. If you do, plan to include stainless steel cabinets and drawers for storage space in your outdoor kitchen. There are options available to meet every countertop or space you need. So you can store your grill brush, outdoor dishes, pots, pans, and more to make it much easier to cook and serve a delicious meal.
Outdoor Living Essentials
Outdoor Cabinets, Islands, and Access Doors
Just like in your indoor kitchen, consider outdoor storage solutions. There are many options for cabinets and drawers for storage or deluxe options such as a refrigerator unit, marinating drawers, warming drawers or adjustable shelves.Shop Outdoor Cabinets, Islands, and Access Doors
A great way to have cool drinks ready for your guests on a hot day. Sizes vary from 30”-60” and can be freestanding or built-in. And for the weekend bartender, it can be as elaborate as you want – Stainless Steel Sink, Faucet, Ice Storage, Bottle Boots, Cutting Board, and Towel Bar.Shop Outdoor Bars
Outdoor Range Hoods
Recommended if your outdoor kitchen is going to be located under the eaves of your home or a closed patio cover. A range hood for ventilation will make your outdoor kitchen safer and keep the fresh air fresh.Shop Outdoor Range Hoods
All-weather units that work even in extreme high and low temperatures. Available in compact, under-counter (under the grill), or refrigerator drawer models they can be used to keep food cold nearby. Freestanding or built-in they are usually 24” wide with 5.5 cu. ft. capacity.Shop Outdoor Refrigerators
Outdoor Ice Makers
Generally 15” wide and provide a steady supply of fresh, crystal clear ice – some models producing up to 65 lbs. in 24 hours.Shop Outdoor Ice Makers
Outdoor Beverage Refrigerators
Ideal for cold drinks – some models include wine racks, even convert to a kegerator. Freestanding or built-in they are typically 15” wide with 3.2 cu. ft. capacity of 24” wide with 5.5 cu. ft. capacity.Shop Outdoor Beverage Refrigerators
Outdoor Patio Heaters
Warms you with infrared radiant heat from propane, natural gas, or electric. Providing cozy mood lighting and warmth like the model shown from an attractive single, luminous flame.Shop Outdoor Patio Heaters
Outdoor Fire Pits
Adds ambiance along with warmth. Most are fueled by propane but some can be converted to natural gas. Use these units outdoors in a well-ventilated space – not inside a screened-in porch, gazebo, or any other enclosed area.Shop Outdoor Fire Pits
Take your outdoor entertaining game to the next level with an outdoor kegerator. Sold with either one or two taps, you can wow your guests at your next party.Shop Outdoor Kegerators