It’s getting to the time of year when our kitchens languish because we’ve started cooking all our meals outside. Which means we’ve started looking at grills again. We’ve organized the list by price–low to high–and weighted it so most of the picks are below a thousand. There are a few picks above that, but we imagine most of you will be with us in looking at those as voyeuristic wishful thinking, not practical purchases. But, hey, if you can afford it, go for it. We respect the hustle. These are the 12 best grills for summer 2022.
Cuisinart 16” Portable Charcoal Grill
We bought a grill like this a few years ago when we only needed one for a season and it worked out perfectly. We got our summer of grilling, had some practice cooking over charcoal, and weren’t racked with guilt over how much we spent to do it. If you’re in a similar position, or just need something smaller and uncomplicated, you could do worse than this.
Sunnydaze Tripod Grilling Set
There are a handful of food truck events we’ve been to where a guy doesn’t even bring a truck. He just brings a tent for himself and cooks over an open flame by dangling everything from a tripod. Inevitably, he has the best food at the event. It’s inspirational really. We envision this more as a summertime camping accessory, but you could use it at home too.
Pleasant Hearth Extra Deep Wood Burning Fire Pit
This is the at-home version of our last pick. Build yourself a respectable backyard fire, get a good bed of coals going, then drop the chrome-plated grill over the top and prepare dinner for you and your guests. It’s the more refined version of spearing a bunch of hot dogs with sticks and roasting them over the fire. Not that we have any sort of problem with that either.
Weber Original Kettle Charcoal Grill
This might be best thought of as a grill for someone who’s serious about charcoal grilling but doesn’t actually know what they’re doing yet. It’s small, manageable, and durable, three things that will provide an invaluable method of education. And it’s a Weber, so if you take care of it, you’ll be able to turn it over to your kids when you decide they’re trustworthy enough to start learning the ropes.
Char-Broil Performance Series
There’s a special place in grilling heaven reserved for these kinds of grills. Simple, affordable grills that last a few years, create good memories, then suddenly dissolve into piles of rust. We’re honestly surprised they don’t come with a pair of cargo shorts and New Balance sneakers. All of these are compliments, even if they don’t immediately sound like it.
Weber Q 1200 Gas Grill
We’re probably preaching to the choir, but you don’t have to limit your grilling to your own backyard. Public parks and tailgates are also enjoyable venues for burgers and hot dogs. Plus, Weber is known for its portable products. You and your traveling grill companions are all in good hands with this one.
Weber Travel Gas Grill
Think of the previous pick as the ultraportable laptop and this one as a regular notebook. They do roughly the same thing for the same venues, but this one comes with a little more functionality. There’s more space on the grill top, a collapsing stand, wheels for easy movement, and hooks for your grilling utensils. It’s for when you still need portability, but expect the event to be a bit longer and more stationary.
Blackstone Culinary 4-Burner Flat Top Grill
This is the kind of grill we’d say is for someone who’s serious about grilling and regularly has large, self-catered events, but doesn’t particularly want to go professional. Like buying a KitchenAid mixer that can also knead bagels. It’s also fairly minimalist, which we like. It’s a big black grill with wheels and shelves and a place for paper towels, but without light-up knobs or well-intentioned but defective side burners.
Traeger Grill Pro Series 22
A friend recently got one of these and we have to say, the marketing might not be too far off. It uses wood pellets for fuel and cooks through a hybrid of light smoking and high heat. The wood makes for a much cleaner taste than we thought possible and the added smoke is a nice touch of flavor. It’s obviously not as deep as you’d get with a traditional smoker, but that’s also not what it’s going for anyway.
Large Big Green Egg
Big Green Eggs are for people who get a little cultish in their enthusiasm for grilling. It’s not an unfounded enthusiasm, since Big Green Eggs are specifically designed to do all the things the cult members love them for. It’s also the main charcoal pick on this list because we’re pretty sure the cult would hunt us down if we suggested you need any other charcoal grill.
Bull Outdoor 69008 LP Steer
Not every guy is into sports or beer or cars, which is all fine, to each their own. But we’re convinced that every single man on Earth would say yes to a built-in grill. Make this thing the centerpiece of your new patio kitchen. It’ll be fantastic. Your friends will be claiming squatter’s rights in your backyard.
American Outdoor Grill L-Series
Or this one. It’s even bigger and includes a rotisserie heater and has a halogen lamp inside so you aren’t grilling with a flashlight in your mouth. One thing to note here is that this one is a natural gas grill, which requires a little different hardware than your standard propane grill. It’s more an extension of your kitchen’s gas range than it is a separate grill.
Sterling Patio FR Island
Here’s the voyeuristic wishful thinking we were talking about. This behemoth claims it can reach 900 degrees, which obviously we believe, but we’re not sure if we’ve ever cooked anything at that temperature before. If you get yourself one of these, you might as well take that next small step and start a barbecue catering company.