Unless you’re in the market for a George Foreman, almost all grills should be used outside…period.
This guide takes our favorites from all categories, breaks them down into the best options for budget, overall best value, the high-end and showstopper level. Every grill on this list is a favorite for overall durability and ease of use outside.
All these grills will conquer season after season and grill up some badass steaks.
We will start with our category favorites and then share our back up options that are some of the top options from other lists on this site. You can think of this guide as the one list to rule them all.
The Final Sear: The Char-Broil 463370719 Performance is my favorite outdoor grill. Packing 450 square inches of cooking space, this thing is a beast. That is a lot of perfectly seared dogs.
This list is a compilation of our favorites with a complete spec breakdown to help narrow the field so you can become the outdoor grill king.
If you know you want a solid grill with proven range and durability, but can’t sacrifice your budget for a ton of bells and whistles, the Performance 463370719 is our top pick.
This grill comes in the $300 range and has all the core features that are must-haves in a decent, well-functioning machine.
We especially like the size of this model at 450 square inches of primary cooking space – it’s big enough to serve up a pile of burgers (24 to be really specific) and dogs for a large Fourth of July barbecue, and will handle a couple racks of ribs if you’re just cooking for your family of 5 on a Sunday afternoon.
The cooking grates themselves are porcelain coated and designed to resist rust and be easy to clean. They’re durable and should hang in for more than just a few seasons. The burners are made of stainless steel for long-term performance. Temperature control is easy with front-mounted gauges and electronic start-up.
The interior offers a roomy push away warming rack for keeping a pile of hot dogs warm for the kids while you finish off some steaks, or to toast the inside of some buns. The signature Char-Broil TRU-Infrared cooking technology is designed specifically to eliminate flare-ups and produce even, consistent heat, no cold spots, so your job is easy easy.
The exterior of this grill is all beautiful stainless steel, exclusive to this specific model, and you know what that means: Quality and long-lasting durability.
The styling is modern and sleek with two pop-up side tables and an extra sear station burner for sauce prep or cooking up a side dish or two. the lid folds down when not in use and it functions nicely as extra prep space.
While this grill doesn’t have a huge footprint and fancier features like Flavorizer bars or iPhone controlled temp tracking – it offers all the core features of a great grill at an affordable price and using high-quality materials. It is solid and a no regrets purchase.
We tend to talk about Weber grills a lot on this site and for good reason: they produce some of the best grills on the market. But most are simply out of reach price-wise for many of our budgets.
Is there a magical unicorn Weber grill that is affordable and still offers some of Weber’s high-end features and overall quality? Internet grillers: let me introduce to you the Spirit II E-310.
This grill hits such a sweet spot for buyers: it packs in the core Weber features and overall durability, but stays in the under $500 range, which is easy on the wallet and makes it the overall pick for “best value” when it comes to outdoor grilling.
Let’s talk size, for the price and brand, this grill is roomy. I’m talking 529 square inches of primary cooking space over three burners with 30,000 BTUs per burner.
With this grill, Weber also added in their new Gs4 grilling system, with three burners, each supported by stainless steel, top quality tubes. These tubes aren’t your typical burner tubes. They won’t rust quickly, or damage easy and leak gas. They are in fact, specifically designed to be durable and they actively limit the effects of rust agents.
Even with just three burners, the Weber really feels like an expansive outdoor kitchen. It comes with generously sized drop down tables on both sides (more room to lay out food) that fold down for easy storage. Both tables are equipped with 3 sturdy hooks to hang your tools (pans, spatulas, knives, etc.).
You can also expect to enjoy Weber’s exclusive Flavorizer bar system, porcelain coated cast iron cooking grates (designed for quick cleaning), and the new infinity electronic ignition system.
What really signifies that this is a Weber grill is how evenly it cooks and how quickly. I’ve used the Spirit to cook just about any kind of meat you can think of: steaks, burgers, dogs, ribs, chicken breasts, chops, etc. It cooks all of them evenly (no random cold spots) and delivers a killer sear. Heat time is quick, usually 10 minutes, tops.
The E310 doesn’t come equipped with a side burner. You’ll have to upgrade to the Genesis for that. While I occasionally like to use one, it’s not a deal breaker and is a pretty minor. If your main concerns are quality for outdoor use and budget, then this shouldn’t be a major deterrent for you and for the under $500 gas grill field, this is the very best value on the market.
If cost isn’t a factor on your grill buying check list then 1) Consider yourself lucky and 2) these next two picks are for you.
For a high-end grill with all the fun high-end features you expect from a higher price tag, you need look no further than the beastly Weber Genesis II S-435 4 Burner.
This is the fancier, jacked up, beefier brother to the Spirit grill in our best value category. It packs all the best frills weber has to offer and is big enough to cook for any size group.
With 4 burners, it’s roomy, offering 435 square inches of primary cooking area with an additional fold-away warming rack for toasting buns or keeping veggies warm while you cook. Solid stainless steel rod cooking grates cover the space and provide a consistent, even cooking surface.
The power on the S-435 is also impressive at 48,000 BTUs for the main burners plus an additional 12,000 on that lidded infrared bonus side burner and 9,000 on the dedicated sear station burner. The sear station burner is a great bonus and designed to provide quick, perfect sear marks on whatever meat you’re working with to finish it off.
Like all of Weber’s grills, this one comes with their signature Flavorizer bars to vaporize drippings and infuse the aroma back into the meat, stainless steel burner tubes for optimal gas flow from back to front, 7mm stainless steel cooking grates, and their new Infinity Ignition for consistent, quick start ups.
Weber has also recently revamped their grease management system for the GS4 line-up. Why does this matter? It’s just clean up stuff right? Nope, grease management matters because improper handling can cause flare-ups, which will scorch your meat and provide uneven temps across your cooking surface.
Their new system funnels drippings that don’t end up getting vaporized away into the disposable drip tray in the catch pan. To clean, you literally just pull out the pan, remove the tray, pop a new one in and done. It’s so easy to access and disposal couldn’t be more hassle-free.
My favorite perk? The iGrill 3 app-linked thermometer so you can monitor temps from your phone. We are living the future, folks.
Overall construction is just what you would expect from a Weber and this price point: high-quality stainless steel designed to last many, many seasons. The overall hood is solid stainless as well as much of the front fascia. The stainless side tables also provide hooks for tools and the cabinet style offers ample storage down below.
This is a beautiful large grill that is designed to give you a durable outdoor kitchen, without having to move to a custom built-in set-up.
If you are shopping the showstopper category then you are living the grilling dream and I salute you, my friend. If I had an unlimited budget or no plans to retire someday, this is where I would drop my money.
Lion is a premium grill maker. They are professional grade and while we may ooh and aah over Weber, it’s mainly because Lion grills just a aren’t ever going to be in most grilling budgets. BUT. If we are living in a dream world, Lion is going to be the top-pick every time.
So what can you expect from this king of grills?
Let’s talk about materials. 4 words: commercial grade stainless steel. The whole damn thing. This doesn’t really need explanation, but in basic terms, it doesn’t get more high quality and durable than this. If you want something to also forever, this is your material of choice.
You’re also going to enjoy a double-layer, seamless welded, stainless steel grill head with polished edges. 5 cast stainless steel burners push 75,000 BTUs of overall power with precision cooking control. A 15,000 BTU back rotisserie burner finishes the package so you can pretty much cook anything you can think of.
The overall grill size is massive at 802 square inches of primary cooking space. The package also includes the rotisserie, smoker box, griddle and a griddle remover with built-in bottle opener, because why not?
Temperature monitoring is even commercial grade with an extra large front-mounted gauge. Interior lighting illuminates the cook box so you can grill anything to perfection even late at night.
The grill comes mounted on the signature Lion cart with four heavy-duty casters, two locking and two non-locking for maneuvreability and thoughtful accessories, including a towel rack, bottle opener, two side shelves with rails and tool hooks and a front access door with pull out drawers for maximum storage and easy organization.
The Lion truly is a professional level grill that transforms a backyard cooking experience. If you have the funds to support the purchase, you really don’t need to look anywhere else for the most top-level grilling experience.
The rest of the grills on this list are some of our other favorite options that didn’t quite hit the top spots for our four categories.
They are still badass grills and I would be happy to own any and all of them. If you are looking for a smaller grill, portable grill, flat top grill, or charcoal grill these are good choices.
The Char-Broil is a little powerhouse of a grill and a more wallet-friendly option than the Weber Spirit if you’re sticking to a budget and want to make the most of your money.
The Performance delivers a 2-burner set up, like the Weber, but with slightly less power at 24,000 BTUs. Total cooking space is 300 square inches with the addition of a 100 square inch swing away warming rack for toasting buns or keeping a rack of hot dogs primed and ready for eating.
The cooking grates on this grill are also porcelain coated, like the Spirit II, which makes for easy clean up and even grilling. The Flavorizer bars are a Weber hallmark, so you won’t see those here, but you can expect an electronic ignition system for quick and easy start-ups.
The grease pan is also removable on the Performance 300 for easy cleaning and maintenance.
The lower storage cabinet is easily big enough for the propane tank (side-mounted on the Weber), along with any accessories, and the side tables fold down to reduce the footprint when not being used. The lockable casters – a must, especially for those with restricted space – mean it can be easily wheeled away after everyone’s been fed.
If you’re in the market for a natural gas grill and have a more expansive budget, this is a great alternative to the Genesis or the Lion.
The Prestige series is an especially solid pick if you’re looking for those extra burners not offered in the Weber line up without a crazy price tag.
The 500 comes equipped with 4 main burners, 1 infrared rear burner AND 1 infrared side burner. It’s also roomy, allowing space to cook up to 30 burgers on the main cooking area, and 8 on the side burner. The tube burners, sear plates, and cooking rods are all made from stainless steel as well as the entire outer casing to prevent rust and corrosion.
Napoleon grills also come with the brand’s signature WAVE cooking grills, for a unique, perfect sear experience, providing even heat distribution and preventing smaller pieces of meat from slipping between the bars while cooking.
The side shelves are extra large, with one holding the extra side burner and the other designed to fold down for storage. They also come with an extra towel bar, which makes it convenient to store tools or a drink. The Prestige also offers a quick and easy jetfire ignition system, a heavy- duty rotisserie kit, soft touch control knobs and an easy grease management system to limit flare-ups.
This is a great mid-size natural gas grill that gets top marks for durability and quality.
If your outdoor grill game requires a flat top, restaurant-style set-up, this model from Blackstone is a great pick for you.
Blackstone’s grill and griddle combo is considered restaurant grade, and is priced as a friendlier option for your wallet. Blackstone has also recently added a bunch of fun new features to their line up which packs in a good dose of extra value.
The overall cooking area measures a massive 720 square inches. This is one of the biggest grills over on our flat top list. If you’re regularly feeding a pretty big crew then this should be on top of your shortlist. It offers 4 independently controlled burners at 15,000 BTUs each for a total of 60,000 BTUs overall.
The Blackstone also has a removable griddle top and all four legs of the grill are foldable so it’s a great choice if you’re looking for something that’s portable and can travel with you for tailgating or grilling up some favorites at a block party or community event. It is also a perfect take-along for group camping trips!
All the important parts are stainless steel including the burners, frame and cooktop which will help maximize the durability.
So what are all the fun, new and improved features I teased earlier?
Blackstone added a nice little built-in, removable cutting board right in one of the side shelves for easy prep, a convenient paper towel holder for all you messy grillers and trash bag hooks, which are a really nice touch if you’re taking this big boy along on a camping adventure.
The rear mounted grease management system is also a nice touch for keeping the grill easy to maintain, especially when it’s seeing a bunch of use.
This is a top-level machine for a grill snob with the quality build and materials you expect from the brand. If you were considering the high-end and showstopper categories, this is another solid option.
The S-470 4-burner is what we consider the sweet spot for size, power and frills if you have the budget to invest. It offers 580 square inches of total cooking area, with 110 square inches in just warming rack, and 48,800 BTUs of overall power over 4 main burners. That’s the equivalent 20 burgers cooking at one time.
You’ll also score with a ton of extra burners that Weber packs in for every possible cooking need, including: a lidded sear station burner, side burner, smoker burner and an 10,800 BTU infrared rear-mounted rotisserie burner, basically making your grill a sweet outdoor kitchen.
The cookbox and shroud are made of cast aluminum requiring the bare minimum of maintenance to keep in top working condition and are designed to handle the highest possible cooking temps.
Weber also includes their Snap-Jet individual burner ignition for quick starts, durable 9mm stainless steel cooking grates for even heat retention and their signature Flavorizer bars to evaporate drippings and infuse those flavors and aromas back into the meat as it cooks.
The burner tubes are constructed of top-quality stainless steel, made to last despite the small amounts of water they are exposed to without rusting and degrading over time.
Front-mounted controls are well designed and constructed with a sturdy feel. The lid features a built-in temperature gauge and a separate gauge measures the propane tank levels.
Grillers using the S-470 will also notice a beautifully designed enclosed double-door cart for storage and hiding the propane tank, stainless side shelves with towel racks and tool hooks for a seamless outdoor kitchen experience.
If you’re looking in the super-portable category, skip everything else and stop right here!
If you’re really getting outdoor and need a small, travel-ready option, this grill is known for its reliability and at-home experience on the road, without sacrificing functionality for overall convenience.
With up to 20,000 BTUs of grilling power and 285 square inches of cooking area, the Coleman RoadTrip LX makes a great option for people on the go. Its size means you can grill a lot of food at the same time, perfect for picnics or family vacations.
It also has three independently adjustable burners compared to most portable grills that only offer one or two. It offers an integrated thermometer for regulating the temperature to achieve that perfect sear. Also useful is the Coleman’s push-button ignition that lights the grill without matches; just one less thing to worry about when you’re packing for a getaway.
As any camper knows, one of the most important aspects in a portable grill is that it’s easy to clean. The RoadTrip has a water pan to catch cooking grease, which is removable for hassle-free cleaning.
Just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you should feel cramped in your grilling set-up. The Coleman RoadTrip has two side tables that slide out for your utensils and drinks so it really offers that great portable kitchen experience.
What I really love about the Coleman is that it’s sturdy. Just because something is portable doesn’t mean I want it to feel like it could collapse mid-barbecue or that I’ll have to replace it every season.
I couldn’t resist finishing this list off with a modified version of a tried and true classic: The Weber Deluxe Charcoal Grill.
This grill is back to basics but in the very best way: the iconic Weber saucer shape charcoal grill plus a sweet rack and cart set-up to give you more prep space and a better overall outdoor experience.
The 363 square inch cooking surface on the Performer Deluxe is spacious enough for you to show off your grilling expertise and grill for a crowd, without dominating your backyard space.
A removable backlit LCD timer takes all of the guesswork out of pre-heating, while the built-in thermometer on the lid helps you to maintain the perfect grilling temperature. The extended side table provides the perfect amount of space to prep food beforehand, or to stockpile plates for when it’s dishing up time.
With the extended table and convenient Charbin charcoal storage container, everything needed for a great grilling session is tidily encompassed in the grill itself, no add-ons required. This 43.5-inch by 48-inch powerhouse can be assembled in less than hour and is stable and strong enough to roll around even when lit.
A simple, yet effective One-Touch cleaning system makes for hassle-free clean up and prevents ash and burning embers from being carried away by the wind. There’s no need to lift the lid to keep the temperature regulated, you can simply adjust the dampers to increase or lessen airflow to the coals. Closing the dampers completely will help to extinguish the coals quickly and safely when you’re all finished.
Starting the Weber is also significantly easier than you’ll remember from the old school charcoal grills, Weber has incorporated a one-touch ignition system, much like what you’ll find on their line up of gas grills. I really love the convenience of this.
Perhaps the most noteworthy feature that Weber offers is that this grill was built with durability and quality in mind so you won’t have to look for a replacement for YEARS. Weber is a brand known for quality and while the price point is inevitably a bit higher, the long-term value is really worth the extra initial splurge.
Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.
Week 1 - Types of Grills
Week 2 - Grilling Basics
Week 3 - Steaks
Week 4 - Chicken
Week 5 - Ribs!!!!
Join Todd(me) and learn all the basics of grilling!
I am a grill freak! It's hard to pick my favorite thing to grill, but if I had to choose... it is still a tie between pork ribs and a juicy beef burger. I am currently grilling on a Weber S210(I live in a small space) but my dream grill is definitely a summit. Those things are bad ass. Anyways I would love to hear from you, leave a comment or question below!