The 10 Best Types of Outdoor Grills

This comprehensive guide on outdoor grills is the only one you need to get all the important information and recommendations. There is a right grill for every occasion, either for hosting a large gathering or enjoying a quiet meal with family. This guide explores the top 10 types of outdoor grills, their uses and which brands are worth it to invest on. Let’s discover more about outdoor grills and see which type is best suited for your culinary adventures. I listed the Pros and Cons and a Pick This If for each grill to help you determine which fits your needs the best. Ready to see which is your perfect grill?

Gas grills stand out for their convenience and ease of use, and are a favored choice for both casual backyard cooks and grilling experts.

Charbroil Gas Grill
Quick start-up and easy temperature control.Generally more expensive than charcoal grills.
Minimal cleanup required compared to charcoal grills.Some purists believe gas grills lack the authentic smoky flavor.
Wide range of models with various features to suit different budgets.
Pick this if:
You prefer convenience and ease of use over anything in your grill, and enjoy hosting gatherings without the lengthy preparation and cleanup.

Here are some of the most popular gas grill brands in the market:

Char-Broil Gas Grills

Are an excellent balance between affordability and functionality. It’s an ideal choice for those new to grilling or with budget considerations. Known for their Even-Heat distribution technology, Char-Broil grills ensure your food cooks evenly to reduce the chances of unappetizing hot spots.

Weber Gas Grills 

Are synonymous with high-quality outdoor cooking equipment. Their grills are celebrated for their durability, superior heat control, and exceptional customer service. Weber’s Flavorizer Bars are a standout feature, designed to catch drippings and create smoke.

Cuisinart Gas Grills

Are perfect for those who value precision and versatility. Many models come equipped with temperature gauges, warming racks, and even built-in smokers, providing a comprehensive grilling experience that can cater to a wide range of cooking styles.

Blackstone Gas Grills

Are renowned for their expansive griddle range. Their unique flat tops are perfect for cooking everything from pancakes to Philly cheesesteaks. 

Napoleon Gas Grills

Are unique with features like infrared side burners and integrated smoking trays. These grills are designed for those who take their grilling seriously and are looking for a high-end experience.

Broil King Gas Grills

Are all about power and durability. Their heavy-duty construction and performance-grade burners are ideal for lasting and frequent use. Their advanced Flav-R-Wave cooking system ensures delicious, evenly cooked meals.

Nexgrill Gas Grills

Provide great value without compromising on features. With a range of sizes and configurations, they have something for every backyard. From compact models for small spaces to larger grills equipped with side burners and rotisserie kits.

Charcoal grills embody the traditional essence of grilling that many purists swear by for its ability to infuse a distinct smoky flavor.

Weber Charcoal Grill
Imparts a distinct smoky flavor to the food.Requires more time to ignite and reach the desired temperature.
Generally more affordable than gas and pellet grills.More cleanup involved due to ash residue.
Offers a traditional grilling experience.
Pick this if:
You’re a traditionalist who loves the process of prepping and firing up the grill.
You prefer to get the authentic smoky taste that only charcoal grilling can provide.

Some of the preferred charcoal grill brands include:

Weber Charcoal Grills 

Known for their durability and easy-to-use features, such as the One-Touch cleaning system and precision heat control.

Masterbuilt Charcoal Grills

Introduced innovation into the classic grilling experience with their unique designs and functionalities, such as built-in temperature gauges and adjustable charcoal pans for heat management.

Royal Gourmet Charcoal Grills

Are recognized for their spacious cooking areas and versatile designs, accommodating everything from a family dinner to a large social gathering, all while ensuring your meals are cooked to perfection.

Char-Griller Charcoal Grills 

Bring robust construction and versatility to the table, with models that include additional smoking capabilities for those looking to explore a wider range of outdoor cooking techniques.

Char Broil Charcoal Grills

Merge tradition with modern convenience. With user-friendly designs and innovative technologies like the TRU-Infrared cooking system to reduce flare-ups and improve heat distribution.

Pellet grills are distinguished for combining the rich flavors of charcoal grilling with the convenience of gas grills. These use wood pellets for fuel and often feature digital controls for temperature precision.

Traeger Pellet Grill
Combines the ease of gas grills with the flavor benefits of charcoal.Higher initial investment than gas or charcoal grills.
Precise temperature control with digital thermostats.Relies on electricity, limiting some outdoor uses.
Versatile for grilling, smoking, baking, and roasting.
Pick this if:
You’re a fan of smoky flavors and enjoy experimenting with various cooking techniques but prefer the convenience of automated temperature control.

For pellet grills, there are a wide variety of options and functionalities offered by different brands:

Weber Pellet Grills 

Recognized for their Smart Grilling Technology which enables precise control over cooking temperatures and times.

Traeger Pellet Grills 

Started the pellet grill integration and continue to lead with their products that have consistent temperature control and versatile capabilities.

Pit Boss Pellet Grills 

Features rugged construction and unique features like direct and indirect heat options.

Camp Chef Pellet Grills

Integrate convenience and versatility with features like the Ash Cleanout System and customizable cooking options.

Z Grills Pellet Grills

Have quality construction and affordability that brings flavors of pellet grilling to more households. complete with user-friendly interfaces and substantial cooking surfaces.

Electric grills plug into any standard electrical outlet and are perfect for balconies, patios, and indoor grilling.

Hamilton Beach Electric Grill
Ideal for indoor use or where open flames are prohibited.Some models may not achieve the high temperatures of gas or charcoal grills.
Also fitting for those who have limited space.Limited in size and power compared to outdoor grills.
Easy to use with simple plug-and-play operation.
Requires minimal maintenance and cleanup.
Pick this if:
You have space constraints or live in an apartment but still want the grilling experience without the hassle of fuel.

If you’re in the market for an electric grill, consider these excellent options:

George Foreman Electric Grills 

Synonymous with compact and health-conscious cooking. Known for their patented slope design, these grills channel fat and grease away from food. Their versatility extends from countertops to outdoor models.

Weber Electric Grills 

These grills are designed for precision, with temperature control that rivals traditional grilling methods. This ensures that even the most finicky grillers are satisfied with the results.

Kenyon Electric Grills 

Known for their luxury and innovation. Their sleek designs fit well into upscale outdoor kitchens or elegant indoor settings. Their no-flame cooking has minimal smoke output that’s why they’re ideal for indoor use.

Ninja Electric Grills

Stand out for their multifunctionality. Not just grills, these appliances often combine several cooking functions like baking, roasting, and air frying, all in one. They are an excellent choice for those who want versatility and space-saving options in their kitchen gadgets.

Hamilton Beach Electric Grills 

Have straightforward designs that make grilling accessible to everyone. Their indoor grills are particularly popular for year-round grilling regardless of weather conditions.

Built-in outdoor grills are the cornerstone of custom outdoor kitchens. They are integrated with countertops and cabinetry to make a cohesive and functional outdoor cooking space. These grills improve outdoor entertaining and savory meals.

Napoleon Outdoor Grill
Elevates outdoor kitchens with a sleek, integrated look.Significant upfront investment for installation and equipment.
Durable and designed for long-term use.Less flexibility to move or change the setup compared to standalone grills.
Has extensive cooking surfaces and professional features.
Pick this if:
You’re committed to creating a luxurious and functional outdoor kitchen and enjoy entertaining large groups.

Built-in outdoor grills are costly. It is important that you invest in a reliable and durable brand that will last for years to come. Here are some trusted brands:

Napoleon Built-in Grills 

They are known for their high performance and advanced cooking technology. Equipped with high BTU burners and infrared searing capabilities, these grills are ideal for those who want precision and reliability in their outdoor cooking ventures.

Twin Eagles Built-in Grills 

Known for luxury and advanced engineering of their grills that ensures optimal heat distribution and cooking consistency. Their grills are for the discerning chef who likes perfection in their outdoor kitchen.

Bull Outdoor Products Built-in Grills 

They focus on durability and robust construction. With a variety of grill sizes and innovative features like the ReliaBULL flame tamer system, Bull grills are designed for those who take their grilling seriously and need a grill that withstands the test of time.

Blaze Built-in Grills 

Their grills are of professional quality at an accessible price point. With features like precision flame control and a lifetime warranty, Blaze grills are a smart choice for grillers who want to invest in quality outdoor kitchen grills.

Alfresco Built-in Grills

Build models that feature restaurant-grade materials and versatile cooking options, including integrated rotisserie systems and smoker boxes. These grills are ideal for the gourmet chef who seeks the ultimate in outdoor cooking performance.

For the adventurer and the urban dweller alike, portable grills combine the delight of grilling with the convenience of mobility. These grills are designed for small spaces or where the grill needs to be moved frequently.

Coleman Portable Outdoor Grill
Easy to transport and store, perfect for tailgating, camping, or small patios.Smaller cooking surface limits the amount of food that can be grilled at once.
Available in various fuel types, including gas, charcoal, and electric.May lack some features and power of larger models.
Quick setup for spontaneous grilling sessions.
Pick this if:
You’re always on the move or have limited outdoor space but still want to enjoy the experience of grilling.

There are a lot of options for portable grills, here are some that are known for their quality:

Weber Portable Grills

They stand out for their durability and efficient design. Famous for even cooking and high-quality construction, these grills are a favorite among those who want the best in portable outdoor cooking.

Traeger Portable Grills 

These grills bring the unique flavor of wood pellet grilling to the portable market. Ideal for those who love the taste of smoked meats and vegetables when out in the great outdoors.

Char Broil Portable Grills

They are known for their features like the TRU-Infrared cooking system. These grills deliver high-performance grilling in a compact, easy-to-transport package.

Coleman Portable Grills

This brand is synonymous with outdoor adventures. Their grills are designed for the camper, using sturdy construction and easy setup for a hassle-free grilling experience wherever your travels take you.

Cuisinart Portable Grills

They have a range of models that are versatile and stylish, from the minimalist to the aspiring chef. These are compact and easy to use and are a great choice for any outdoor activity.

Royal Gourmet Portable Grills 

This brand combines spacious cooking surfaces with the convenience of portability. Their grills are designed for those who need a bit more grilling space without compromising the ability to take their grill on the go.

Hibachi grills are part of the tradition of Japanese grilling, distinguished by their compact size and direct heat method. Ideal for limited outdoor spaces or intimate dining, these grills use charcoal to achieve high heat which are perfect for quick searing. The simplicity of hibachi grills promotes a hands-on grilling experience that encourages group participation and makes them a lively addition to social gatherings.

Hibachi Grill
Compact and highly portable, ideal for small spaces or on-the-go grilling.Limited cooking space restricts the quantity of food that can be prepared at once.
Direct heat allows for quick cooking and searing.Manual heat control requires more attention to prevent overcooking.
Simple design leads to an authentic grilling experience.It’s typically made of cast iron which requires regular seasoning to maintain its non-stick surface and prevent rust.
Pick this if:
You enjoy intimate, interactive cooking sessions outdoors.
You need a compact solution for grilling during outings and picnics.

Some brands that make hibachi grills are Cuisinart, Lodge, Go-Anywhere, Marsh Allen, Giantex and Everdure.

For those with limited space, tabletop outdoor grills allow the ultimate convenience in places such as apartment balconies or small patios. Despite being small, these grills deliver excellent cooking performance. They have options available in gas, electric, and charcoal models. They’re versatile enough for everything from a quick weekday dinner to a leisurely weekend barbecue and are easily stored away when not in use.

Char-Broil Tabletop Outdoor Grill
Convenient for small outdoor areas like balconies and patios.Smaller cooking area may not be suitable for larger gatherings.
Easy to transport for picnics or camping trips.Some models might lack the power and features of full-sized grills.
Quick setup and cleanup, suitable for casual grilling.
Pick this if:
You have a small space, but you still want the pleasure of grilling close to hand, whether at home or away.

Some brands that have excellent models for tabletop outdoor grills are Weber, Char-Griller, Char Broil, Cuisinart and Nexgrill.

Hybrid grills merge the best features of different grilling methods into one versatile unit. These grills allow users to switch between gas, charcoal, and other fuel sources like electric or wood pellets. They are ideal for the griller who loves both the efficiency of gas and the flavor that comes with charcoal or wood. Hybrid grills have spacious cooking areas and sophisticated features for an overall outdoor cooking experience.

Pit Boss Hybrid Grill
Versatility to switch between fuel types offers the best of both worlds.More features can increase the price point.
Suitable for a wide range of cooking styles, from quick grilling to slow smoking.Larger size may require more space than single-fuel grills.
Often includes advanced features for precise cooking control.
Pick this if:
You’re a casual cook who enjoys experimenting with different grilling methods and flavors, and looking for versatility in outdoor cooking.

Not all brands have available models for hybrid grills. The brands that make good ones are Char-Griller, Nexgrill, PIT BOSS, Char Broil and Royal Gourmet.

Outdoor griddles have a broad cooking surface ideal for preparing a variety of foods, from breakfast classics to full dinners. Their even heat distribution and large cooking area make them a versatile choice for outdoor chefs.

Blackstone Griddle Outdoor Grill
Large, flat cooking surface ideal for versatile meal options beyond traditional grilling.Requires a flat surface for setup which may limit some outdoor applications.
Even heat distribution for consistent cooking results.The cooking style might not provide the same flavor profile as traditional grilling.
Suitable for cooking large quantities of food, perfect for gatherings.
Pick this if:
You want diversity in your outdoor cooking or need to accommodate meals for large groups efficiently.

Griddles are quite versatile and have models made for backyard gatherings or camping. Here are some of the trusted options:

Tabletop griddles are a compact solution for those who want the versatile cooking capabilities of a griddle without taking a lot of space. These griddles are easily transportable and are perfect for small patios, balconies, or taking on the go.

Blackstone Griddles

Popular for their solid construction and heat retention. Their wide variety of models are great to prepare everything from pancakes to steaks with restaurant-quality results.

Charbroil Griddles

Famous for their innovative designs that incorporate infrared technology that allows for even cooking and reduced flare-ups.

Camp Chef Griddles

These griddles come with the advantage of adjustable heat settings and a seasoned finish; enhancing the flavor of a wide variety of dishes.

Weber Griddles

 Are designed to fit well into the Weber grilling ecosystem. These models have durable and easy-to-clean surfaces for delicate foods that might fall through traditional grill grates.

Halo Griddles

Stand out with their unique circular design and efficient heating system.

Nexgrill Griddles

Are equipped with multiple burners that allow for distinct cooking zones.

Camping griddles are designed for the outdoor enthusiast who doesn’t want to compromise on meal quality while away from home. These griddles are typically lightweight, with a focus on portability and easy setup. These enable campers to enjoy a wide range of meals, from hearty breakfasts to gourmet dinners, all cooked in the great outdoors. Some of the more popular brands that have models for camping griddles are Nexgrill, Halo, Weber, Camp Chef, Charbroil, and Blackstone.

In conclusion, exploring the wide array of outdoor grills and griddles enables you to match your cooking adventures to your lifestyle, available space, and cooking method. From the deep smoky flavors achievable with charcoal grills and the quick convenience of gas options to the advanced versatility of pellet and electric models, there is an ideal grill for every outdoor cooking enthusiast. Built-in grills integrate beautifully into custom outdoor kitchens, while portable grills guarantee that your grilling experience can travel with you. Hibachi grills create a unique communal dining experience, and hybrid grills provide flexible cooking options. Additionally, outdoor griddles, including tabletop and camping versions, expand your outdoor cooking possibilities well beyond traditional grilling. This guide has provided you all the information about outdoor grilling and I wish you luck in finding the perfect outdoor grill or griddle to enhance your outdoor cooking and entertainment.

Avatar photo

Sam Rivers

My goal is to build a community tailored to outdoor enthusiasts who share the love for cooking outdoors. If this speaks to you, then you came to an amazing place. I will share and guide you through the best tools and advice for your outdoor cooking equipment, tips, trick's and embark on the culinary adventure together.

More to Explore