Preparing Amazing Meals: Best Outdoor Grills for the Money 2018

having barbecues in your backyardOutdoor grills make a great addition to your house if you enjoy having barbecues in your backyard or on the roof of your apartment building. Food cooked on an outdoor grill has a unique flavor, and the high temperature that it can achieve helps in making those authentic steaks that one would find only in a steakhouse.

However, there are so many different kinds of grills out there that it is extremely difficult to choose one and be happy with it. You have to take many things into consideration – for example, what is it that you will most likely use your grill for? Ribs and steaks require two very different processes to cook well, and hence you will probably want to buy a grill suited for the one you will probably cook the most.

In this article, we will try to give you some insight into the different kinds of grills on the market, what you should think about while shopping for a grill and how you should go about buying a grill for your backyard barbecues. Read on to find out about the best grills you can buy if you are on a tight budget.

Quick Navigation

After reviewing all the top outdoor grills available, we’ve selected our top 6 picks in the comparison table below. We’re confident you’ll find the perfect model for your needs.

Comparison Table

Mobile Users: Please turn-off ad block and tilt your phone to landscape for a better view.

PRICE: $$ PRICE: $$$$ PRICE: $$$$$ PRICE: $$$$ PRICE: $$$ PRICE: $$
OUR SCORE: 98 OUR SCORE: 96 OUR SCORE: 92 OUR SCORE: 89 OUR SCORE: 84 OUR SCORE: 82

How to Choose an Outdoor Grill

Size

The first thing you will probably want to think about is the size of the grill. This refers mostly to the primary cooking surface. Many grills come with a warming rack that is situated above the primary cooking area, and many manufacturers will list their product’s total cooking area, which includes both the primary cooking area and the warming rack. Make sure you know the primary cooking area before making a purchase. As far as what is a good size to choose, keep in mind that you will want to keep things fairly spaced out on the grill while cooking. A good rule of thumb is to keep about half an inch of space between any two pieces of food being cooked. You will also have to take into account the number of people you will most likely be cooking for on most of these occasions.

Money

Since you are on a budget, you may be worried about sacrificing on quality. Rest assured that this is not an issue with outdoor grills because many of the cheapest ones are also the most reliable, the most capable and also the most versatile, like the indestructible Weber Kettle. It is often the case with outdoor grills that an increase in price does not produce a corresponding increase in quality. There are many high tech grills that do not outperform a good old-fashioned (and cheap) charcoal grill. It is also helpful to add a couple of meat thermometers to your shopping list if you want impeccable results at your barbecues.

Fuel

Fuel is another important thing you will have to take into account. There are six types of fuel that can be used in outdoor grills – charcoal, gas, logs, wood pellets and electricity. Charcoal is probably the popular fuel in barbecues because it burns very hot and emits smoke that adds a very nice flavor to the food. The downside with charcoal is that it takes longer to get up to cooking temperature, and you will be left with a lot of ash to dispose of.

Cleaning

Gas grills are very easy to use and also produce a nice flavor. They have the advantage of firing up immediately and not requiring any cleanup. Harwood logs are a little tricky to use for grilling. They need to be burnt down to glowing embers outside the grill, and then the embers have to be transferred to the grill when they are hot enough to cook with. It requires experience grill food on hardwood logs, and there are not that many grills that support this method. Wood pellets are much easier to use than logs. They are fed into a burn box and ignited, but the downside is that they give everything a smoky flavor, which is not always desirable. Electric grills use a heating element to cook the food. This means that there is no cellulose, lignin, char, or even oxygen combusted. There is also no way to get a smoky flavor using an electric grill.

Benefits of Owning an Outdoor Grill

As we have already said, an outdoor grill is great for hosting barbecue parties at home. But there are also several health benefits to eating grilled food. The first, and probably the most important to many, is the fact that grilled meat has less fat. This is because the fat melts and drips off of the grates, something that does not happen when you cook meat in a pan or in an oven. When food is cooked on a grill, it retains more of its nutrients than when it is cooked in one of the more traditional methods. This is true of both meat and vegetables, meat retaining a higher proportion of riboflavin and thiamine, and vegetables retaining more of their vitamins and minerals. Grills tend to lock in moisture while cooking food, so you will not need to use that much butter to compensate for the loss of moisture that occurs when cooking traditionally. This means less empty calories and more tasty food.

Finally, there is the fact that you are outdoors. Being outdoors means that you can do other activities while waiting for your food to cook. Many people like to toss around a ball or a Frisbee during barbecues, adding an element of exercise to the occasion.

Let’s take a look at some of our favorite grills that of high quality and great value for the money.

7 Great Outdoor Grills for the Money in the Market

1. Weber 741001 Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill

This kettle grill comes with 363 square inches of total cooking space. It comes with plated steel cooking grate that is 22 inches in diameter. It comes with a porcelain-enameled bowl and lid with glass-reinforced nylon handles. It comes with an aluminum ash bin and Aluminum steel with one-touch cleaning system. It is 22 inches long and 25 inches wide and comes with a ten-year limited warranty.

This grill is very popular among buyers in terms of performance, versatility, efficiency, and taste. It is easy to adjust and to control heat levels with the upper and lower vents. When both vents are closed, it is completely airtight, making it very useful as an indirect heat smoker. The airtight feature also enables you to use your charcoal more than once, by closing the vents after cooking. And as expected, this charcoal grill provides an excellent smoky flavor to your food.

Detractors of this product complain that the lid is bent and doesn’t fit the grill when closed. It appears a problem faced by many who order this grill online. The problem with getting it delivered is that there is a good chance of the product getting damaged en route. It is probably a good idea to go to a shop and buy it so that you can make sure that your piece is in mint condition.

2. Coleman Road Trip Propane Portable Grill LXE

This gas-powered grill has a Swaptop feature, which allows you to change the griddle for different kinds of meals. The other griddles are sold separately, however. The ignition is instant and does not require matches, just a push of a button. It comes with PerfectFlow technology, which enables consistent performance even in extreme conditions. It has a collapsible stand with wheels that folds into a compact unit for easy storage. It also has two foldable trays where you can keep your utensils handy. The cooking surface is 285 sq. inches or 1838.7 sq. cm with two cast-iron, porcelain coated grill grates included. Each burner provides 10,000 BTU’s of cooking power, provided by 16.4-oz. propane cylinders.

Reviewers found this grid to have ample area to cook, enabling one to cook lunch for the family, or even host a small dinner party. It is very compact when packed, and is light enough to lift and carry around like a suitcase. Many buyers found it to be reliable and rugged, mentioning that they take it everywhere – on a boat, to the beach and even on a road trip. It is easy to clean, especially if the cleaning pad is lined with aluminum foil. The grill also has a metal heat shield between the lid and the handle.

Some buyers complained of chipped or dented lids, but this seems to be due to online shopping, similar to the problem with the above product.

3. Blackstone 28 inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station

The grill on this outdoor griddle is 28.5 inches long and 16.5 inches wide, making the primary cooking area 470 square inches. This station can handle anything from fried eggs and pancakes to steak and potatoes. It is fueled by propane and has an electronic ignition, eliminating the need for kerosene, charcoal, and matches. It has wheels, allowing you to move it around your yard with ease, and it has a removable griddle top and foldable legs for transporting to your campsite. It is extremely durable and two independently controlled 15,000 BTU stainless steel burners for a wide range of cooking options.

People who bought this griddle top grill love the versatility that it offers in terms of variety.  Being a flat top, food will cook in its own juices, nothing will drip off like on charcoal grills. However, this product comes with detailed instructions on how to season it, how to clean it and how to store it.

Some reviewers complain that the grill gets rusty very quickly. This could be due to a poor understanding of the instructions. As we have already mentioned, this grill comes with a detailed guide on how to store it.

4. Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker

This product is a combination offset smoker, BBQ, and charcoal grill. The cooking surface in the main chamber is 290 square inches, and the one in the firebox chamber is 140 square inches. The fire grate is made of steel and its height is adjustable. It has a clean-out door, making it easy to remove ash with an adjustable built-in damper.

People who bought this product found that the smoker holds smoke very well and does not allow heat or smoke to escape. It is even sturdier than several high-end grills. It’s just about big enough to make food for around four or five people.All in all, it is the best of both worlds at a very reasonable price.

Some people had issues with the assembly of this product, saying that the bolts don’t align with the holes on each of the pieces. However, this is because they ordered it online instead of going to a store to make sure that they got the best product for their money.

5. George Foreman GGR50B Indoor/Outdoor Grill

This grill works both indoors and outdoors. It has a cooking surface area of 240 square inches and one removable grill plate. It has a channel in the center, which drains out excess fat into a large grease tray. It comes with double nonstick coated plates and has a dome round lid that has an adjustable steam vent. It has an adjustable temperature control and generates 1600W of power.

Reviewers of this product found it very easy to assemble. The dome lid locks in moisture very well. The stand is detachable, meaning that you can use it on your kitchen counter if you decide to have an indoor barbecue. Being an electric grill, it heats up very quickly, which beats waiting for a coal fire or wood fire to get hot.

Some critics of this product complained of damage done to the product during shipping. Again, this is a common problem when ordering things like this online.We always recommend going to the store and picking out a grill for yourself.

6. Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Patio Bistro Gas Grill

This gas powered grill has a cooking surface area of 320 square inches. It has an electronic ignition that comes with a gas control knob, allowing you to set the temperature that you need for your meal. It comes with a patented TRU-Infrared technology, which simultaneously eliminates hot and cold spots, and uses less gas.

Buyers of this product found that it locks in moisture very well, and sears steaks and burgers faster and better than many other traditional grills. It is easy to assemble and looks good too. It heats up very quickly and fairly evenly across the surface.

Some people had a problem with the starter – that it didn’t work at first and nearly blew up in their faces when they finally did get it to light. This could be due to improper assembly but can be easily remedied by using a manual igniter, or a matchbox or lighter.

7. George Foreman GFO240S Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill

This circular grill offers a cooking area of 240 square inches, allowing you to cook for up to 15 people at any given time. It is completely powered by electricity, making it a good choice for apartment dwellers. It has an adjustable temperature control with five settings, making your cooking experience even easier. It comes with a nonstick coating that is durable, easy to clean, and eliminates the need for butter and oil. It also has a slope, which is designed to remove fat, making your meals leaner and healthier.

This grill cooks food very well and very quickly. It is portable and easy to move around. It is also very easy to wipe the cooking grid clean with a wet soapy towel. The lack of flame means that there are no flare-ups to make the food unexpectedly burnt.

Again, many critics of this product complain that it arrives broken or damaged. This is bound to happen to products like this with many mechanical parts that are ordered online to be delivered home. The best solution to this problem is to go to the store and personally pick out a grill that will serve you the best.

Conclusion

An outdoor grill is very liberating to those who enjoy cooking. It allows you to enjoy the fresh air while cooking up a storm, and you can avoid filling the house up with the heat and smoke that comes from grilling food. Just remember to think about your needs, take into account all the options available to you, and make an informed choice. Also, remember to go to the store to avoid being saddled with damaged goods.

If you are unsure of where to start your search, you might want to try the Weber 741001 Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill. It is a high-performance, highly versatile and efficient grilling machine that is perfect for your outdoor barbecue party!

Select Content Template