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Summer’s coming, and your backyard is calling for epic cookouts. But picking the right grill can feel like flipping a coin—so many choices, so much at stake. Our guide cuts through the smoke, laying out all you need to know about barbecue grills from types to tricks.

Read on—we’ve got the lowdown to fire up your best BBQ yet.

Key Takeaways

  • Different grill types offer unique flavors and benefits; choose from charcoal, gas, pellet, kamado, electric or portable grills based on your taste preferences and cooking style.
  • Important factors when picking a grill include size, budget, fuel type, desired features for temperature control and added functionalities like side burners or rotisseries.
  • Essential grilling accessories are must-haves to improve the experience. These include utensils like tongs and spatulas, protective covers to shield your grill from weather damage, non-stick mats for easy cleanup, and thermometers to ensure perfect cooking temperatures.
  • You can buy grills at home improvement stores where you’ll get hands – on help or online retailers with lots of choices and customer reviews. Grilling websites provide helpful tips from seasoned barbecue enthusiasts.
  • Well-known brands like Weber offer quality gas grills while Traeger is praised for wood pellet technology. Green Mountain Grills have precise temperature controls with Wi-Fi connectivity. Big Green Egg provides versatile ceramic kamado-style grills suitable for multiple cooking methods.

Types of Grills

From charcoal grills to gas grills, there are several different types of outdoor cooking options to consider for your backyard cookouts. Each type offers unique benefits and features that cater to different cooking styles and preferences.

Charcoal grills

Charcoal grills are classic for backyard cookouts. They give food a smoky flavor that gas grills can’t match. You light them with charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal. The heat and smoke rise up, cooking the meat, vegetables, or whatever else you’re grilling.

With these grills, you control the temperature by adjusting air vents. Opening vents make fires hotter; closing them cools things down. It takes practice to get it just right. Charcoal grilling is hands-on and fun if you like playing with fire and flavors!

Gas grills

Gas grills offer convenience and quick heat, making them a popular choice for outdoor cooking. They come in various sizes, with options for natural gas or propane. Consider the grill size and configuration, fuel type, preferred class (entry-level, mid-range, high-end), and available features like side burners or infrared technology when choosing a gas grill.

When selecting a gas grill, it’s vital to consider your cooking preferences and budget. Gas grills are known for their even heat distribution and quick startup time. For those who prioritize ease of use and minimal cleanup, a gas grill could be the ideal choice.

Ensure you assess your outdoor space availability before deciding on the appropriate size and type of gas grill that meets your specific needs.

Pellet grills

Pellet grills offer a unique grilling experience by using wood pellets for fuel, imparting a smoky flavor to the food. These grills are versatile and convenient, allowing precise temperature control for consistent cooking results.

Pellet grills are ideal for low-and-slow cooking, making them perfect for smoking, roasting, and barbecuing. They also eliminate the need to constantly monitor the fire, providing a hassle-free outdoor cooking experience.

Pellet grills come in various sizes to accommodate different cooking needs. Some models feature advanced technology such as Wi-Fi connectivity for remote temperature monitoring and control.

Kamado ceramic grills

Kamado ceramic grills are versatile and efficient for outdoor cooking. These grills use lump charcoal as a fuel source, providing an authentic smoky flavor to grilled dishes. With excellent heat retention and distribution, kamado ceramic grills offer consistent cooking temperatures, making them suitable for smoking, roasting, and searing foods.

These grills are known for their durability and ability to reach high temperatures quickly, suiting various cooking methods. Due to their insulation properties, kamado ceramic grills are fuel-efficient and can maintain low and slow cooking temperatures for extended periods.

This makes them ideal for barbecuing enthusiasts who want precise control over the cooking process while achieving great flavors in their backyard cookouts.

Electric grills

Electric grills are convenient and easy to use, making them ideal for small outdoor spaces or apartment balconies. They offer a quick start-up time and precise temperature control, perfect for those who want a hassle-free grilling experience.

With no open flame and minimal smoke production, electric grills are also a great option for indoor or enclosed outdoor cooking areas.

One of the top advantages of electric grills is their low maintenance requirements. They are easy to clean and do not produce as much residue as charcoal or gas grills. Additionally, electric grills come in various sizes to suit different cooking needs, making them versatile for both intimate gatherings and larger cookouts.

For those seeking an eco-friendly option, some electric grill models consume less energy compared to other types of grills.

It serves as an efficient solution for anyone searching for a straightforward, space-saving option that delivers juicy grilled meals without the fuss of traditional fuel-based options.

Portable grills

When considering outdoor grilling options, portable grills offer convenience and flexibility for picnics, camping, and tailgating. These compact grills are often fueled by gas or charcoal, making them easy to transport and set up in various outdoor settings.

They provide a smaller cooking surface but are ideal for small gatherings or cooking for a few people.

Portable grills come in various sizes and styles, catering to different needs such as tabletop models perfect for beach outings or larger foldable designs suitable for car camping.

When choosing a portable grill, look for durable construction and convenient features like sturdy legs, latches for secure closure during transportation, and easy-to-clean surfaces.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Grill

Consider the size and cooking capacity of the grill, as well as your budget and preferred fuel type. Look for features that align with your grilling needs and consider the cleaning and maintenance requirements of each grill option.

Size and cooking capacity

When choosing a barbecue grill, consider the size and cooking capacity to ensure it meets your needs. Different types of grills offer varying cooking areas, from compact portable options ideal for small gatherings to larger models suitable for hosting parties in your backyard.

This is an important factor to consider when selecting a grill that aligns with your typical cooking requirements and the number of people you usually cook for.

Grill size and cooking capacity play a crucial role in determining how much food you can prepare at once, making it essential to match these specifications with your entertaining habits.


Consider your budget when choosing a grill. There are various price points for grills, ranging from affordable to high-end options. Look for a grill that fits your budget while still meeting your cooking needs.

Ensure that the grill you select offers a balance between cost and features. With different types of grills available, it’s possible to find one within your budget without compromising on quality or functionality.

Keeping your budget in mind will help you make an informed decision and find the best barbecue grill for your backyard cookouts.

Fuel type

When choosing a barbecue grill, consider the fuel type that best suits your needs and preferences. The guide covers various options including charcoal grills for that classic smoky flavor, gas grills for convenience and quick heating, pellet grills for natural wood-smoked taste, kamado ceramic grills for versatility in cooking styles, electric grills for indoor/outdoor use and portability, ensuring you find the perfect fit.

The comprehensive buying guide provides essential tips on fuel types to help consumers select a grill that aligns with their outdoor cooking goals. With information on different brands and options like built-in grills or smokers, consumers can make an informed decision when choosing the best barbecue grill for their backyard cookouts without feeling overwhelmed by choices or features.


Consider features such as temperature control, cooking area, and additional functionalities like side burners or rotisserie options when choosing a grill. Look for easy-to-clean grates, built-in thermometers, and convenient ignition systems to enhance your grilling experience.

Opt for models with durable construction and weather-resistant materials for long-lasting performance in outdoor environments.

Select a grill with versatile cooking capabilities, including direct and indirect heat options, searing stations, and smoke boxes for adding flavor. Look for innovative features such as WiFi connectivity for remote monitoring and control of the grill’s temperature settings.

Ensure that the chosen grill includes essential safety features like automatic shut-off valves and sturdy lids to prevent accidents during use.

Cleaning and maintenance

To keep your barbecue grill in top condition, regular cleaning and maintenance are essential. After each use, ensure the grill grates are scrubbed clean using a wire brush to remove any food residue.

Wipe down the exterior with warm soapy water and a sponge to prevent grease buildup. It’s crucial to regularly inspect and clean the burners or heating elements as well as clear any blockages in the gas lines for gas grills.

For charcoal grills, dispose of ashes once they’ve completely cooled down and scrape off any residue from the bottom of the grill. Additionally, check for signs of rust or deterioration on all types of grills and address them promptly to prolong their lifespan.

Regularly oiling moving parts such as hinges and handles will also help prevent corrosion over time.

Popular Brands and Their Features

Explore the features and benefits of popular grill brands such as Weber, Traeger, Green Mountain Grills, and Big Green Egg to help you make an informed decision when choosing the best barbecue grill for your backyard cookouts.


Weber offers a wide range of gas grills renowned for their quality and performance. With options like the Spirit, Genesis, and Summit series, Weber provides durable construction, even heat distribution, and convenient features such as side burners and sear stations.

These grills come in various sizes to suit different cooking needs and are equipped with advanced grease management systems for easy cleaning.

The brand’s charcoal grills, including the Original Kettle series, are known for their iconic design and excellent airflow control. They also offer durability and versatility in outdoor cooking.


Traeger grills are renowned for their wood pellet technology, allowing users to infuse rich, smoky flavors into their grilled dishes. These grills offer effortless temperature control and consistency, making them ideal for both beginners and experienced grillmasters.

Traeger grills come in various sizes to accommodate different cooking capacities, offering options for small gatherings or larger backyard events.

With its user-friendly interface and versatility in cooking styles, Traeger grills have gained popularity among outdoor cooking enthusiasts. The brand also provides a range of accessories to enhance the grilling experience, including innovative tools and add-ons designed to elevate barbecue results.

Green Mountain Grills

Green Mountain Grills offer wood pellet grills known for their precision temperature control and WiFi connectivity. These grills use wood pellets to infuse food with rich, smoky flavors, while the digital controller maintains consistent heat levels.

Green Mountain Grills are versatile and suitable for various outdoor cooking needs, making them ideal for barbecue enthusiasts looking for convenient and flavorful grilling experiences.

The brand’s line of pellet grills includes models like the Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, and Jim Bowie, catering to different cooking capacities and features such as meat probes and convenience trays.

Big Green Egg

Big Green Egg is a popular brand known for its kamado-style ceramic grills. These grills are versatile, allowing for different cooking methods like grilling, smoking, and baking. The Big Green Egg is renowned for its superior heat retention and precise temperature control, which is essential for achieving perfect results when grilling or smoking meats.

Big Green Egg offers a range of sizes to fit various cooking needs, from the compact MiniMax to the extra-large XLarge model. This brand also provides a wide array of accessories such as convEGGtors for indirect cooking, pizza stones for creating crispy pizzas, and temperature controllers for effortless heat management.

Additionally, with its durable construction and long lifespan, purchasing a Big Green Egg grill can be considered an investment in high-quality outdoor cooking equipment that will elevate your backyard cookouts to the next level.

Essential Accessories for Grilling

Essential accessories for grilling include tools, covers, mats, and thermometers to enhance your grilling experience. These items are crucial for maintaining and improving the performance of your grill.

Grilling utensils

Grilling utensils are essential tools for any backyard cookout. They include tongs, spatulas, forks, and brushes. These utensils aid in flipping burgers, turning hot dogs, and basting meats with barbecue sauce.

Quality grilling utensils are made of durable materials like stainless steel or heat-resistant plastic to withstand high temperatures without warping or melting.

Investing in a set of reliable grilling utensils will make outdoor cooking more efficient and enjoyable. Look for utensils with long handles to keep hands away from the heat and built-in hanging loops for easy storage.

Grill covers

Grill covers are essential accessories to protect your barbecue from the elements, keeping it clean and ready for use. They come in various sizes and materials to fit different grill models, ensuring a snug and secure fit.

Quality grill covers are weather-resistant, helping prevent rust and corrosion on your outdoor grill.

Look for durable materials like polyester or vinyl when choosing a grill cover, as they offer superior protection against rain, UV rays, dust, and debris. These covers also help maintain your grill’s appearance and prolong its lifespan by shielding it from harsh outdoor conditions.

Grill mats

Grill mats are essential accessories for grilling, helping to prevent food from sticking to the grill and making cleanup a breeze. These mats are made from non-stick materials like PTFE (Teflon) or silicone, allowing you to cook delicate foods like fish and vegetables without them falling through the grates.

With a grill mat, you can achieve those perfect sear marks on your meats while keeping your grill clean and free from flare-ups.

When choosing a grill mat, consider its thickness and durability to ensure it can withstand high heat without warping or melting. Look for mats that are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning and reusable for multiple barbecue sessions.


Thermometers are essential grilling accessories for ensuring the perfect level of doneness. They come in various types, including instant-read, probe, and wireless thermometers, allowing you to monitor the internal temperature of your food with precision.

Using a thermometer helps prevent overcooking or undercooking meat and ensures food safety by accurately gauging when it’s ready to serve.

Accurate temperature monitoring is crucial for grilling enthusiasts as it guarantees that meats are cooked to perfection while maintaining flavor and tenderness. Investing in a quality thermometer can elevate your grilling experience by providing accurate readings for different types of meat, promoting consistency in cooking results.

Where to Buy Grills and Additional Resources

You can find a wide selection of grills and accessories at home improvement stores, online retailers, and grilling websites and forums. Explore your options and get ready for the ultimate backyard cookout experience!

Home improvement stores

Visit your local home improvement store for a wide selection of barbecue grills and accessories. Browse through top brands like Weber, Traeger, and Big Green Egg to find the perfect grill for your backyard cookouts.

These stores also offer additional resources such as maintenance tips and expert advice to enhance your grilling experience.

Home improvement stores carry various types of outdoor grills, including gas, charcoal, electric, and pellet grills. They provide in-depth buying guides and knowledgeable staff members who can help you make an informed decision based on your specific needs.

Online retailers

When shopping for barbecue grills, online retailers offer a wide selection of options from top brands like Weber, Traeger, and Green Mountain Grills. You can easily compare prices, read customer reviews, and access detailed product information to make an informed decision.

Browse through online retailers for a diverse range of BBQ equipment, including built-in grills, infrared grills, and essential accessories like grill covers and thermometers. Online resources also provide valuable tips on grill maintenance and cleaning techniques to keep your barbecue appliances in top condition for backyard cookouts.

Grilling websites and forums

Explore popular grilling websites and forums to join a vibrant community of backyard cooking enthusiasts. These platforms offer valuable tips, BBQ recipes, and advice on using different types of grills and barbecue tools.

From grill cleaning techniques to mastering the art of outdoor cooking, these websites provide essential resources for both beginners and seasoned grill masters. Dive into discussions about BBQ accessories, outdoor kitchen setups, and explore new grilling equipment to elevate your backyard cookouts.

Discover the best barbecue forums where like-minded individuals share their experiences with various grill brands, top picks for outdoor kitchens, and expert advice on choosing the right built-in grills.

Grill maintenance tips

To maintain your grill, clean the grates after each use to prevent buildup. Use a wire brush to remove any food residue and then wipe with a cloth. Check the burners for clogs or damage, and clear any debris to ensure they heat evenly.

Empty and clean the grease trap regularly to prevent flare-ups and prolong the life of your grill.

Inspect hoses and connections for gas grills, looking for leaks using soapy water. Ensure all parts are tightly secured before use. Protect your grill from the elements with a cover when not in use, extending its lifespan.


In conclusion, selecting the best barbecue grill for your backyard cookouts involves considering various factors such as size, fuel type, and features. The guide has covered different types of grills and highlighted essential accessories for successful grilling.

By using this comprehensive resource, you can confidently choose the perfect barbecue grill to enhance your outdoor cooking experience. Whether you’re new to grilling or an experienced outdoor cooking enthusiast, this guide will help you make an informed decision when investing in a new grill for your backyard cookouts.


1. What should I look for in a barbecue grill for my backyard cookouts?

When you pick a barbecue grill, think about the size, type of fuel it uses (like gas or charcoal), and other features like built-in grills that fit your cooking style.

2. How do I choose the best grill for different grilling techniques?

Think about what you like to cook. Some grills are better for slow-cooking meats, while others are great for quick searing. Choose one that matches the way you love to grill.

3. Can I get a good barbecue grill without spending lots of money?

Yes! There are many quality grills that won’t break the bank. Look at different models and compare their features with what you can afford.

4. Why might built-in grills be a good choice for my backyard?

Built-in grills can save space and look great in your yard. They’re perfect if you love hosting big cookouts and want something permanent in your outdoor kitchen area.