Into the Fire: The 8 Best Grills
Any holiday that takes place during the warmer months mean two things: Grilling and beer. Be it Memorial Day, the 4th of July, Easter, Father’s Day, Flag Day, or Satur Day, the best way to celebrate is by charring some flesh over an open flame. Whether you prefer holding a luau, throwing a shrimp on the barbie, or even trying to make grilled tofu, it is an undeniably enjoyable way to cook. Everything from kebabs to steak to foil-wrapped vegetables just taste better when they’ve been grilled.
Since grilling is so popular, and the only way a man should truly eat, there are a lot of options when it comes to choosing a grill. Do you like the clean taste that you get from a gas grill or do you like the smoky flavor of charcoal mixed into your meat? Do you want something that can sit on the deck for ages or a portable wonder that can ride in your trunk for visits to the in-laws where they’re going to try to make you eat indoors like some kind of “dapper gent”? Well, whatever you need, we’ve got you covered with our 8 best grills.
Kamado Joe Classic Ceramic Kamado Grill
Kamado Dragon: Before you Big Green Egg fanatics send in your hate mail, hear us out. The Kamado Joe has a shell that is slightly thicker all the way around for better heat retention. The gasket is superior and will last you years – that’s right, years – longer than the BGE or any other Kamado out there. It has a stainless steel hinged cooking surface that lets you get at your coals any time your meat-clogged heart desires and is easy to clean. The thermostat is one of the most accurate and goes up to 750 degrees. Add in a heat deflector that will let you change from searing meat to grilling up a pizza and you have a Kamado to make you cream with joy. [Purchase: $1,095]
Broil King Crown 90
1001 Cooking Options: The Crown 90 is not only royalty because of its quantity of features, but also due to its flexibility. Many gas grills rely wholly on propane and won’t use anything else, which can bother those that prefer greener gases. The Crown 90 still uses the propane standby, but works equally well with natural gas. It comes with more features than most kitchens including an infinity burner for searing, a rotisserie burner that makes poultry succulent, and a stainless steel side burner.
The exterior is 100% weather resistant aluminum so don’t worry if it has to spend its life in the yard. The part that will make your mouth water will surely be the cast iron cooking grids wrapped in porcelain. They’ll take care of all your backyard grilling needs, but can also carry enough heat to rapidly cook the most exquisite of meats. [Purchase: $620]
Char-Broil Quantum Infrared Urban Grill
Truly Even Cooking: This is the grillenator. It has been sent back through time for one purpose: to avoid uneven or improperly cooked meat. It uses special infrared plates in the hood to absorb and then evenly distribute heat so that you don’t end up with hot or cold spots that ruin your flawless grilling style, wreck your bar-b-que, and force your family to move to another state in shame. These plates do more than just cook your meat evenly, they also help you find and maintain greater cooking levels whether slow cooking, searing, or targeted intensity. It also saves gas consumption since it maximizes the use of your heat. [Purchase: $240]
REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill
Woodsy Goodies: It’s technically a smoker, but grill fanatics that like the woodsy flavor of wood pellets can use it just as easily for some damn succulent grillin’. It can also sear and even do a little backyard baking if that is to your liking. It can hold a temperature between 200 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit that increases by 5 degree increments. Like most grills that begin their lives as a smoker, it is most adept at cooking up ribs and brisket, as well as anything else that takes a little longer. That isn’t to say it can’t whip up burgers and brats with the best of ’em. It’s a little pricey, but just as good as pellet grills that cost twice as much. [Purchase: $998]
Breville BGR820XL Smart Grill
Electric Indoor Grill System: Do you hang your hat in the Pacific Northwest where it only rains twice a year, for 6 months each time? Maybe you hail from the frozen north where summer was that one day in 1984. Either way, backyard grilling might not be the easiest thing, but you still crave some sweet meat grilled to perfection. For that there is the Smart Grill for electric cooking you can do inside. Nearly every part of the Smart Grill is dishwasher safe to limit the work of greasy cleanup. It has an 1800 watt element and flat grill style that allow you to perfectly control the temperature whether you’re making grilled cheese the way it was meant to be or searing a filet mignon. It even has a drip tray so you can save or discard your leavings. Can work just as well outdoors as in if you get a break in the weather. [Purchase: $295]
Lodge Cast Iron L410 Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill
Powerful and Portable: Hibachi and Travel grills are a dime a dozen, so if you want an inferior product, go ahead and find one of those nancy little aluminum messes that don’t retain heat properly, either burn your glorious meat, dry it out, or stick you with a mouthful of raw flesh right in the center. Once you are done trying to make those work, you’ll buy a Sportsman’s and be happy for the rest of your days. It’s only 33 pounds of cast iron but the heat retention is so good you really shouldn’t leave it on wood. The size is perfect for packing while camping or making steaks during a romantic cookout as you savor one of the best microbrews in the land. A necessary accessory for the go-everywhere grillsman. [Purchase: $95]
Bison Stainless Steel Grill Head
Stationary Charcoal: Most charcoal grills are meant to be mobile. Weber perfected the kettle grill that can be rolled anywhere like a wheelbarrow and there are now tons of foldable and Hibachi-style grills that can go anywhere. But not every grillmaster wants his charcoal grill on the go. For these tong twirling maestros there is the Bison Stainless. The hood and the firebox have the necessary vents for temperature control. It gives you much more cooking space than the average kettle or Hibachi charcoal and the room to maneuver your briquettes to create different heating environments across the surface. It even lets you adjust the height of the coal for quick heating and cooling. [Purchase: $1,636]
Cheap, Classic, Perfect: One day you will need to take over the role of grillmaster from your father, and when that times comes, the only way you can be ready is with the same basic, tried-and-true piece of hardware that he used: A Weber Kettle. No matter what new technology is on the horizon or what strange voodoo the grill geniuses concoct, few things can outperform the old standby. They still have the steel cooking grills and aluminum ash catchers to make your cleanup easy. The excellent hood vent system and built in thermometer will give you a perfect atmosphere every time. In an array of sizes and affordable prices there are few reasons not to have one. [Purchase: $79]