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While the summer is potentially starting to wind down, the weather is still warm enough to keep the grilling season alive and well. There are a lot of great choices of grilling machines out there, and we spent a lot of hours testing them all.
What’s the best grill of 2023?
After spending countless hours grilling smoking, burning and eating hamburgers, chicken, corn and kebob skewers we’ve managed to narrow down the best grill overall to the Denali smart grill from Monument. It’s a gas grill and is large enough to feed a huge family — or the entire block if you’re having a cookout. It’s smart too so you can keep an eye on the food even from the kitchen.
We’ve rounded up some of the best models available to help you find the grill that works for you and your budget. If you’re considering what type of grill to get, check out our guide to pellet, charcoal and gas grill variants. After all, there are tons of different grill types to compare and consider, including gas grills, traditional charcoal grills, heat-loving kamado grills, infrared grills, portable grills and more.
While “the perfect grill” may not exist for everyone, many grills tick a lot of boxes. It will depend on what type of food you want to grill, so bear that in mind. Here are some ideas of the types of grills you might use.
- Charcoal grill: Good for high heat and getting that perfect char.
- Gas grill: Great for large grills and for spur-of-the-moment outdoor cooking.
- Flat top grills: Perfect for smash burgers and tacos.
- Pellet grill: Perfect for long, slow cooks that smoke your food.
- Kamado grill: Great for extreme heat or heat retention.
- Pizza oven: Wonderful for pizza, sure, but great for other bread too.
No matter what type of outdoor grill you choose, you should absolutely brush up on how to clean it (keeping that grilling surface clean with a grill brush and grill cleaner is essential in outdoor cooking) and get the best accessories for grilling. Having the right techniques and tools of the trade will complement your perfect grill, turn you into a grill master extraordinaire and make your cookouts a breeze.
How we test grills
We test different types of grills differently, but for most, we include a high heat test like searing steak or grilling burgers, a medium indirect heat test like grilling a whole chicken for more than an hour and a low and slow test with racks of ribs.
To determine what should be regarded as the best outdoor barbecue grill, we collect data like total cooking time, temperatures inside the grill and temperature inside separate pieces of meat. All that information helps us spot where grills might have hot spots or thermometer inconsistencies.
I use the InfiRay P2 Pro to test how fast the grills heat up and if the heat is even. It only works as the grills heat up because the top temperature is too high, but it gives me a good idea of how well each grill spreads the needed heat.
There’s also a fair amount of (read: so much) blind taste testing, lively debate and voting among our editors and families, in addition to the data we gather about grilling temperatures and cooking times. You might think it would be more fun than work to eat delicious food while discussing the merits of a grill, and you’d be right.
If you’re interested in any particular method of testing, we’ve got that, plus our full list of recommendations for cooking with kamado grills, portable grills and charcoal grills ready for your perusal. Happy grilling!