- Best Outdoor Kitchen Grills: Brief Reviews
- Buyer’s Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Verdict
Everybody loves grilled food and BBQ parties. Some folks do it regularly, while others consider it an art and take it seriously, ensuring that they have the best outdoor kitchen grills available.
While using an ordinary grill is okay, nothing beats a built-in griller right in your backyard where space will not be a problem. Having a stable griller at your disposal has a lot of perks, especially if you love to entertain friends and family at home.
Best Outdoor Kitchen Grills: Brief Reviews
Z Grills ZPG-7002B 2020 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker, 8 in 1 BBQ Grill Auto Temperature Controls, inch Cooking Area, 700 sq in Black
1. Masterbuilt Electric Digital Smoker
The Masterbuilt company has been known for their smokers, fryers, and grills since 1973. This family-owned business markets its products online and in some choice retail shops.
- Electric Heating Element
This product is powered by electricity. If you are the type who does not like using gas and charcoal, this grill is for you. It is easy to operate and heats up to your desired temperature quickly.
- Insulated Body
The electric smoker’s body is well-insulated to lessen heat loss, providing a steady temperature that results in even cooking. This insulation feature is suitable for areas where the weather gets cold.
- Built-In Thermostat
Having the ability to set the right temperature on your grill is essential in achieving the perfect smoked food for your barbecue get-together. The integrated thermostat allows you to keep the temperature at a constant level for a smooth cooking experience.
- Digital Control Panel
The temperature information of the smoker is digitally displayed, so you quickly get the exact reading at a glance. Likewise, your hands are safe from any hot surface as the controls are conveniently placed on top of the grill alongside the digital display.
- Side Wood Chip Loading System
For those who want to have the smoked flavor on their grilled food, this smoker can also function using wood chips. The wood chip pan is accessible on the side of the grill, so there’s no need to open the grill door and affect your set temperature.
- Door Latch
The locking system of the grill ensures that all the heat is locked in. The door will remain tightly shut unless you open it once the cooking process is completed.
What We Like
This electric grill is easy to use because there’s no need to ignite any charcoal on fire or tinker with a lot of dials just to turn on a gas grill. Although it is primarily an electric grill, it can also function using wood chips.
The unit also comes with four pieces of chrome-coated smoking racks. This grill is suitable for beginners, as it is easy to use.
What We Don’t Like
The grill is stable but small in height. You can place it on the ground, but you need to stoop and squat every time you need to check on your cooking. It needs to be placed on top of a platform if you have issues with bending.
- Distributes heat evenly
- Removable control panel
- Easy to set up
- Limited warranty
- Sometimes doesn’t produce enough smoke
- Faulty control panel
2. Dyna-Glo LP Gas Smoker
This Dyna-Glo smoker has a sturdy body made of steel that offers superior durability that will last for several years. The powder coating protects the smoker from the natural elements that can be harmful to the grill.
- Multiple Cooking Grates
The smoker has four cooking grates, providing you with ample space to grill many items at the same time. You can also adjust the height of the cooking grates according to your preference.
- Heavy-Duty Burners
This is equipped with heavy-duty dual-cast iron burners that provide dependable heating whatever the season is. An Electro-pulse ignition system offers a safe and reliable start-up every time you want to grill something.
- Built-In Thermometer
The smoker comes with a premium- quality built-in thermometer that promises to last for years. It will let you know the actual temperature of the grill while cooking, as it is easily readable.
- Vertical Design
This cabinet smoker is designed for you to use gas efficiently. It helps maximize the effect of the rising smoke and heat, minimizing cooking time.
- Dual-Door System
This has two doors that are positioned in a way that will not affect the heat temperature inside the grill in case you need to check on the food or add more wood chips.
- Added Convenience
There are hooks installed inside the grill for holding sausages, plus a rib rack where you can conveniently put the ribs while grilling.
What We Like
The smoker is equipped with a smoke zone that guides you with the ideal temperature for smoking. It also has a wide range of temperature settings to choose from depending on what food you are cooking.
A large water tray and a heavy-duty wood chip box is also part of its design.
What We Don’t Like
There’s a slight difference with the temperature between the built-in one and a regular kitchen thermometer. Set temperature sometimes fluctuates, which is why you need to check it regularly to ensure that your food does not burn.
- User-friendly design
- Easy to assemble
- Sturdy wood chip box
- Leaks liquid and smoke
- Loose wire racks
- Lousy customer support service
3. Weber Charcoal Smoker
If you are looking for a charcoal smoker that you can bring along when you go to the lake, then this smoker is the right choice for you. This smoker is also perfect for slow-cooking your barbecues.
- Plated Steel Cooking Grates
This charcoal smoker has plated steel cooking grates. This coating ensures that the heat is retained longer and that the cooking grates don’t rust. Cleaning is also a lot easier with coated cooking grates.
- Rust-Resistant Metal Legs
There are three metal legs connected underneath the charcoal bowl of the smoker. These are resistant to rust, ensuring durability and stability.
- Built-In Lid Thermometer
An integrated thermometer is strategically placed on top of the cover so that you can easily read and monitor the current temperature of the smoker while you are cooking.
Two grommets made of silicon are cleverly placed so that you can insert probes into the cooker to check on the temperature of the meat or the actual grill.
- Rust-Resistant Aluminum Dampers
You can easily control the heat in your smoker by adjusting the rust-resistant dampers, ensuring that you get perfectly smoked food.
- Glass-Reinforced Nylon Handle
Nylon is known for its strength, shock-resistance, and high-temperature endurance. Adding glass fibers to the nylon material enhances all these characteristics.
- Porcelain-Enameled Water Pan
This porcelain-enameled water pan provides indirect heat to the meat while being protected from direct contact from the coals. It also regulates the temperature inside while providing a moist surrounding so that the meat does not dry out.
- Two Plated Steel Cooking Grates
There are two layers of plated steel cooking grates, allowing you to cook two food varieties at the same time.
- Heavy-Gauge Steel Charcoal Grate
This is where you put the ignited charcoal and smoke wood. As such, this charcoal bowl is designed to withstand high temperatures.
- Fuel Door
You will find this door on the cooking section’s side. It provides easy access if you need to add water or smoke wood while cooking.
What We Like
This charcoal smoker is built with the manufacturer’s quality standards. The rust-resistant materials used for this smoker ensures that the product will last a long time. The sturdy lid handle offers reliability while smoking.
This 14-inch model is just the right size for home use and small gatherings. It also uses less fuel but can keep a consistent temperature throughout the smoking time.
What We Don’t Like
The access door and the lid does not seal well unless you make some adjustments. There’s also no place to put or hang the cover on when removed from the top of the cooker.
It’s hard to add water using the fuel door with the way it was placed on the grill. The temperature gauge is inaccurate, making it hard to determine the actual temperature of the cooker. Cooking time also takes longer during the cold season.
- Has 10-year limited warranty
- Easy to assemble
- Recipe book included
- Flimsy access door material
- Needs a bit of learning curve
4. Z Grills Wood Pellet Grills and Smoker
This new grill and smoker came from an American company that has been in the business of making grills and smokers for more than three decades. This product is designed so that you can smoke meat without much trouble.
This wood pellet grill and smoker has many uses. In addition to grilling and smoking, you can also use this for baking, searing, roasting, braising, barbecue, and char-grilling.
What’s more, it also has the capability of convection cooking, removing the need to use a different device for other types of food.
- Upgraded Design
In this model, flaws from the previous model were fixed. It now has a more accurate temperature that you can set from 180 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
With its automated electric pellet feed system, maintaining the heat and creating the right amount of smoke is very easy. It’s equipped with a digital control board with an auto-ignition grill, too.
- Large Grilling Area
The grilling area for this upgraded model measures 700 square inches. This large grilling capacity lets you smoke a large amount of food in one batch. Its pellet holder is also on a large scale, which can hold pellets up to 20 pounds.
- Electronic Ignition
The electronic auto-start ignition is easy to use with just a turn of the knob. No need to trouble yourself with igniting the flame.
What We Like
The grill comes with a three-year warranty from the manufacturer. We also like that most parts are pre-assembled upon delivery, so it’s easier to set up. An easy-to-follow instruction manual is also provided in the box.
This portable grill and smoker has two wheels on the side, so you can move it as you wish. The automation and its versatility are some of the reasons why it’s worth investing in. Clean-up is also easy with its waste oil collector.
What We Don’t Like
One of the downsides of this product is how it reacts to weather changes. The grill’s cooking temperature changes as the temperature surrounding it changes. The grilling and smoking outcome will also be affected.
- Easy to use
- Inconsistent temperature
- Not smoking
5. Char-Broil Big Easy Smoker Roaster and Grill with Cover
This three-in-one smoker, roaster, and grill allows you to do these three functions using infrared technology, so your food comes out juicy and tender. Char-Broil is a known American brand producing quality grill for almost five decades now.
Big Easy is equipped with a 1,200-square inch basket that allows you to smoke, roast, or grill large amounts of meat with its infrared heating system.
- TRU Infrared Grilling Surface
The 180-square inch removable grilling grate is perfect for cooking different kinds of food, like vegetables, burgers, steaks, chops, chicken, and more. The meat will stay on top of the grate while you cook.
This portable grill is easy to use. All you have to do is connect it to a liquid propane tank and turn it on. It has a removable grease tray for easy cleaning after each use. The grill’s steel legs keep it stable and off the ground.
- Stainless Steel Smoker Box
The smoker box is placed on the side of the grill. You can easily open it from the outside and add wood chips for that smoky flavor on your meat.
The grill measures 36.2 inches tall, 23.4 inches wide, and weighs 50 pounds. The product is comprised of the three-in-one cooker, smoking and roasting basket, cooking chamber, hose with regulator, removable grease tray, two half shelves, basket lift hook, metal thermometer, smoker box, and the grill’s manual.
- Carry Handles
You can move the grill anywhere in your backyard using two carrying handles placed on each side of the unit. You can even bring it with you to picnics and campings.
- Grill Cover
The grill cover fits perfectly. It is made of a grey PVC that can protect the grill from all kinds of harsh elements, ensuring that the unit is kept dry. The inner fabric lining will not scratch the outer part of the grill.
A vent is also placed on the upper side of the cover to prevent water build-up. You can clean it using a damp cloth.
What We Like
Since infrared is the primary heating source for this product, the meat retains its moisture as compared to traditional cooking, which uses hot air that dries out the meat. The result of cooking food using infrared is similar to what deep frying does.
Since it is fueled by gas, it is easier to control and retain the temperature.
What We Don’t Like
The grill has no built-in thermometer, which means that you have to use a portable kitchen thermometer to check on the actual temperature of the smoker if it’s similar or close to the temperature setting you made.
Another downside is the short amount of time that the smoker box produces smoke, which is not enough to add flavor to the meat. It’s hard to achieve a low-temperature setting when you have the lid on.
- Easy to assemble
- Small smoker box
- Drip tray not aligned
- Poorly built
A lot of people love to have a backyard barbecue party, especially when the weather permits. However, if you don’t have the right working grill, you will not be able to serve a quality smoked feast to your visitors.
The first thing you have to decide is what kind of smoker you want. What type of fuel works best? If you are on the hunt for one of the best outdoor kitchen grills, then this buying guide will help you decide.
1. Grill Type
- Gas Grills
You have two choices when it comes to gas grills. It can be powered by either natural or propane gas.
Natural gas grills have to be installed by a pro, as it needs a dedicated gas line. Installation may be a bit expensive but will prove to have a lower fuel cost in the long run. In natural gas, you have to heat the coal first before transferring it to the grill.
On the other hand, liquid propane gas grills are more comfortable to use with just a turn of the knob or a press of a button, and it’s ready to do its job. When looking for a gas grill, take note of how high the temperature is after preheating. Also check the temperature range and the durability of the unit.
- Charcoal Grills
This grill type is the usual choice of consumers because it is easy to use, plus it adds a real barbecue flavor to the grilled food. It is simply made, affordable, and dependable. It can produce high heat for searing.
Charcoal grills are usually tested by its ability to indirectly cook the food without burning, as well as how evenly it can distribute the heat.
You should also consider other things like the ease of adding coals while cooking, regulating heat by adjusting air vents, and how to dispose of the ashes after cleaning the grill.
- Wood Pellet Grills
This new type of grill uses hardwood pellets as fuel and provides similar advantages as gas and charcoal grills. The wood pellets are dispensed automatically into the unit based on your temperature settings through a digital control system.
It uses the convection cooking process by circulating the outside air pulled by an induction fan. It heats up quickly and offers even grilling surface, and the wood pellets add flavor to the meat as it cooks.
- Electric Grills
This grill type needs to be plugged into an electrical wall socket to function. It has an electronic heating component that evenly distributes heat to cook the food.
However, food cooked on electric grills lack the smoky flavor found in charcoal-grilled foods. This grill is the only type that can be used inside the house.
2. Temperature Range
The temperature range in a grill is vital to the outcome of your food. You need a very high temperature when cooking a piece of steak, while a low temperature is critical when slow-cooking meat.
Charcoal grills let you adjust the heat from 150 degrees, allowing you to slow-cook meat for five hours. You can also set it to as high as 700 degrees and cook food for five minutes.
This grill type is the choice for two-zone cooking, where one side is set at a high temperature while the other part is at a minimal heat range.
When buying a grill, heaters are also considered because it aids in the distribution of direct and indirect heat. It should be rust-resistant; look for ones made of stainless steel or coated with porcelain.
The location of the burner is also essential. It should be placed a bit farther from the grates to avoid flare-ups. The higher the number of burners on a unit, the longer it takes to heat.
Since heaters are the most replaced part, especially on a gas grill, look for a burner with at least a five-year warranty.
Check the kind of material the grill is made from to determine the durability and longevity of the unit. Professionals prefer units made of stainless steel because they are easy to clean and does not rust.
Ceramic grills are also making a name in the grilling world because of its ability to keep the meat tasty and juicy after grilling.
5. Safety Features
The stability of your grill is vital for your safety, plus the fact that it can withstand numerous grilling seasons. Your unit should not have sharp edges and corners, too.
The grill’s handle should not be near any hot surface to prevent accidental burning. Another way to ensure safety is to follow the grill manufacturer’s guidelines from assembly to operation.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are cast iron or stainless steel grill grates better?
Both materials are known to be safe and effective when it comes to cooking food. However, they may produce different outcomes based on how the food reacts.
Cast-iron grates have excellent heat retention as compared to stainless steel grates. Well-maintained cast iron grates can last for many years. Meat does not stick to cast iron grates since most have a non-stick coating.
Stainless steel, on the other hand, is more resistant to rust and corrosion. Its smooth finish makes it easy to clean it after each use. This material is also lightweight and more reasonably priced than cast iron grates.
Based on the qualities we mentioned for both materials, we can say that they are better than grill grates made of other metals.
2. How do you maintain stainless steel grill grates?
Stainless steel grates are rust-resistant and can tolerate high temperatures. Most of the time, you only need to brush the grates to clean it. The best way to keep the grill grates clean is to clean it after each use while it’s still hot.
To remove hard leftover food on the grill grates, cover it with a sturdy aluminum foil and turn the heat up for at least 10 minutes. Once the grates have cooled, scrub the leftover food with a nylon brush.
3. Is it ok to grill on rusted grates?
Grills are always exposed to different kinds of abuse and harsh elements, which may cause rusting. Cooking on rusted grates is not safe, as the rust may stick to the food. Continuous ingestion of rust particles can harm your intestinal tract.
4. Should I oil stainless steel grill grates?
Putting oil on a stainless steel grill grate is necessary, especially those that are not coated. This process is also known as seasoning. It should be done before and after grilling.
5. Can I pressure wash my grill grates?
Some people say that pressure washing your grill grates will only consume time but will not yield the expected result. There’s also a high chance of scraping the grate’s coating that may only hasten corrosion and rusting.
The best outdoor kitchen grill is the one that serves its purpose based on your needs and preference. It doesn’t need to be the most expensive. As long as it meets your needs, then you can call it the best as per your standards.