For charcoal and electric options that cannot be measured the same way, we drew upon evidence from testing and an infrared thermometer to measure internal grill temperatures. We also factored in the number of burners of each product, how well the grill body insulated heat, and the volume of the coal bed. For the fans of pit-cooking out there, we offer up the Weber Go-Anywhere. This well-built barbeque is an innovative take on the manufacturer’s classic design, incorporating their enameled, cast-iron construction into a convenient, compact package. The rectangular basin can hold a coal bed that is both deep and evenly spread. The Grillster is great at searing steaks and other high-temperature cooking, but it is tough to control the overall range on this rip-roaring grill.
One thing to love about this model, however, is the damper adjustments that allow you to control airflow and, in turn, the heat for more precise grilling. The Akorn Jr. charcoal grill got hotter than any other grill I tested, which is not surprising since charcoal grills often do. The shape and style of this grill make it very good for heat retention, heat distribution and evenness of grilling. With 189 square inches of cooking surface, this grill was not the biggest on the list, but it’s plenty big enough to cook burgers, chicken, fish, and veggies for a group of six hungry people.
Food grilled over charcoal has that coveted backyard-grill smoky flavor. One annoying thing about toting along your grill when out and about in the outdoors is that inevitably, after a few grill-downs, your trusty appliance will become coated with grease. But with the HitchFire, you get portability outside of your vehicle, plus the convenience of having a swing-out grill that’s ready to go and at a back-friendly, waist height.
And it’s perfect for going from cooking a barbecue dinner to a post-meal fire pit session. This sleek portable gas grill from Weber is superior in almost every category and was a fairly clear winner as the best portable grill overall. It’s easy to assemble, with just a few parts, and once completed feels solid and sturdy, even when given a few vigorous shakes. The igniter works well and, once lit, the grill got hot, reaching its advertised 500 degrees Fahrenheit after just 15 minutes with the lid closed. The flame is easy to control and keeps a consistent temperature throughout cooking, even when grilling with the flame turned low. If you want an upgraded portable gas grilling experience, take a look at the beautiful Blaze Professional LUX Portable model.
Unless we were aiming for blackened chicken or blistered peppers, we rarely found ourselves using anything more than the lowest gas setting. Although it is compact and portable, there is a tradeoff with its smaller grilling space. Petite and sure-footed, the Grillster is the perfect companion for a picnic for two, no matter the location. The fact that this grill is on wheels already makes it an ideal option for on-the-go outdoor cooking. Plus, the stand also offers additional counterspace, which most of the other portable grills do not. Not only will this free up space on your outdoor table, but it’ll make sure you always have a place to rest your spatula between flipping burgers.
The Dome Extension and Chicken Roasting Stand offer a great alternative to traditional roast chicken. For the best grilling results, you can use the Griddle and CobbleStones. You can grill fish, meat, and veggies to perfection anywhere, anytime. It runs on either fire wood or charcoal, and holds the fuel on a rack surrounded by a heat-resistant mesh coating. The mesh layer is tight enough to prevent ash or flames from escaping, but increases the FirePit+’s airflow to prevent smoke from getting overwhelming.
We slid each grill out of the box, and while it was still new and clean, looked over its workmanship and build quality, checking every nut and bolt and the neatness of its manufacturing. Check out quick reviews of five of the top models below—from homeowner-grade appliances to gourmet options—then scroll farther for more in-depth reviews of these and others, plus buying advice. The Good-One Open Range is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. This is the first propane smoker with a thermostat, making this baby foolproof. Set ThermoTemp’s dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin’.
For charcoal, we assessed how easy it was to maneuver the coal bed to create heat zones. We also considered if the grilling surface presents a consistent temperature throughout, whether it portable bbq includes a thermometer or push-button ignition, and how well both perform. There are advantages and disadvantages to a grill surface that naturally presents different temperature zones.
We had some trouble with the griddle-like design in the middle of the cast-iron grates; the flat portion transferred more heat than the spaced grates, creating an uneven heating pattern. The removable water pan is designed to catch grease, but it was a complete mess after our weber charcoal grill tests. The gas-powered Q2200 pumps out 12,000 BTUs on a 280 square inch cooking space, which should be sufficient for grilling anything in a reasonably short time. It’s very easy to assemble and use thanks to a minimal setup, fold-out side tables and electronic ignition.