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Home / Features / Best outdoor grill in the US 2024: ultimate smokers and grills

Best outdoor grill in the US 2024: ultimate smokers and grills

From Kamado to Blackstone, these are best outdoor grills powered by charcoal or gas


Looking for the best outdoor grill in the US? You’re in the right place. Whether you’re a charcoal purist or a gas-loving convenience connoisseur, there are plenty of options to choose from. Too many, in fact.

That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the very best gas and charcoal outdoor grills to help make your buying decision that little bit easier.

If you’re in the UK, then you can check out our guide to the best BBQ.

What’s the best outdoor grill?

We reckon the Blackstone 4-Burner Griddle (buy now) is one of the outdoor grills in the US, thanks to the sheer convenience offered by its massive flat griddle surface area. Perfect for smash burgers, stir-fries, and much, much more, it’s as versatile to use as it is easy to clean.

Other best outdoor grill recommendations

If the Blackstone 4-Burner Griddle isn’t your cup of tea, no worries. There are plenty of other grills we know you’ll like.

Best pellet smoker in the US

The Traeger Timberline XL (buy now) has a gargantuan capacity, 24+ hour slow cooks, an induction side burner, and delicious, smokey results. What’s not to love?

Best compact outdoor grill in the US

The Nexgrill Deluxe 2-Burner Grill (buy now) is compact, smart, and with foldable shelves for an even tinier footprint, this no-nonsense gas-powered grill is ideal for smaller spaces.

Best gas grill in the US

The Napoleon Phantom Prestige 500 (buy now) is clad in black, with a generous capacity and handy infrared side burner for sharing steaks, this is one handsome (and capable) bit of grilling kit.

The best outdoor grills in the US you can buy today:


1. Blackstone 4-Burner Griddle

Stuff Verdict

If you can get past the lack of a flame-grilled finish, this is easily one of the best outdoor grills in the US that money can buy.


  • Quick cooking
  • Built-in air fryer!


  • No flame grilling
  • Build quality could be better
Blackstone 4-Burner Griddle specs
Weight265.2 lbs

Some people are put off by the lack of grill grates on a BBQ, which means they’re forever missing out on the joy that flat griddles can bring to your outdoor cooking game — and this gas-powered offering from Blackstone is one of the best ones around.

Its large flat surface makes it ideal for producing perfect smash burgers, thanks to the vast surface area on offer, making for complete contact with patties for a truly crispy finish. Anything from stirfries, and vegetables, to pancakes, steak, and more are all fair game, while built-in air-fryer drawers will come in incredibly handy for side dishes like fries.

If you can get past the lack of a flame-grilled finish, this is easily one of the best outdoor grills in the US that money can buy.


2. Kamado Joe Classic Joe 18in Charcoal Grill

Stuff Verdict

Kamado Joe’s most popular entry level grill imparts a rich, smoky flavor to meats, fish and vegetables.


  • Ash draw for easy cleanup
  • Perfect for smoking


  • Can take a while to heat
  • Not ideal for big cookouts
Kamado Joe Classic specs
Weight188 lbs

Instantly recognisable and undeniably eye-catching, Kamado Joe’s 18in charcoal grill features a thick-walled, heat-resistant shell that locks in delicious smoke and moisture for sumptuous slow-cooked perfection.

Its two-tier system lets you tackle multiple dishes at once, while a cast iron top vent lets you maintain consistent air settings for smoking at temps from 225F all the way up to a smouldering 750F.

With a whole host of compatible accessories to let you mix and match cooking styles, the results are bound to be as delicious, while cleanup is easily taken care of by a handy slide-out ash drawer.


3. Traeger Timberline XL

Stuff Verdict

From classic slow-smoked BBQ to gourmet multi-course meals, there’s nothing this impressive Timberline can’t do.


  • Consistent cooking temperatures
  • Ultimate wood-fired flavour


  • Very expensive
  • Is Wi-Fi really necessary in a grill?
Traeger Timberline XL specs
FuelWood pellet
Weight289 lbs

The Traeger Timberline XL is a premium bit of kit for those who love deliciously juicy, smokey, slow-cooked delicacies. Capable of slow-cooking and smoking its contents for more than 24+ hours, the fall-off-the-bone results will make you a legend in your circle of BBQ enthusiasts.

It’s all thanks to a built-in capacious wood pellet container (complete with automatic pellet feeder), which, combined with a handy app, lets you keep on top of cook times and temps too. This means you can spend more time with guests, and/or chilling inside while the Timerline XL works its magic.

With enough space for 12 chickens, 16 rib racks, or 12 pork butts (and a built-in induction cooktop for cooking and searing side dishes), this is an investment that will pay mouth-watering dividends for years to come.


4. Nexgrill Deluxe 2-Burner Grill

Stuff Verdict

This compact two-burner grill is ideal for smaller places where space is a premium.


  • Compact design
  • Flame tamers prevent flare-ups


  • Not for big parties
  • Tricky to assemble
Nexgrill Deluxe 2-Burner Grill specs
Weight‎81 lbs

This compact two-burner grill is ideal for smaller places where space is a premium, with folding side shelves reducing its total footprint to impressively minute levels.

While it might not be enough to feed an entire Superbowl party, it’s more than enough for small gatherings, and can be converted for use with natural gas quickly and easily, thanks to dual energy valves.

With angled stainless steel flame tamers to prevent dripping and flare-ups, wheels for easy transportation, and slick electronic ignition, it’s a masterclass in compact flame-grilled convenience.

5. Napoleon Phantom Prestige 500

Stuff Verdict

Grill in style with the premium Phantom matte black grill, complete with RGB LEDs. Oh, the grilling performance is flawless, too.


  • Matt black design with RGB LEDs
  • Reliable ignition system and built-in thermometer


  • On the expensive side
Napoleon Phantom Prestige 500 specs
Weight203 lbs

Black never goes out of fashion. It’s stealthy. It’s mysterious. It absorbs light like no one’s business. And if you yourself embrace the shadows, then you can’t get a more suitable grill than the Phantom Prestige from Napoleon.

Clad in black from lid to wheel, its imposing presence is matched only by its barbequing prowess. Standout features include a large 500-square-inch cooking area, a warming rack, an infrared side burner (perfect for searing steaks), and even a rotisserie kit.

Throw in a reliable ignition system, built-in thermometer, and LEDs for comfortable low-light use, and you’ve got yourself a grill that Bruce Wayne himself would be proud to have lurking in the nooks of the Batcave.

6. Pit Boss Platinum Laredo 1000

Stuff Verdict

This affordable grill is packed with impressive features, including app connectivity, included meat probes, built-in lighting and an ash cleanout system.


  • Affordable alternative to Traeger
  • Two meat probes included


  • Not great as a smoker
  • Takes a while to reach temperature
Pit Boss Platinum Laredo 1000 specs
FuelWood pellet
Weight181 lb

Pit Boss’ more compact pellet grill and smoker is a more affordable alternative to Traeger’s Timberline XL, making it more suitable for those tight on space and/or budget.

With a smart black/chrome finish, it looks the business, with app connectivity for letting you manage your cook remotely and two stainless steel meat probes included for extra accuracy.

Built-in grill lighting will come in handy for nighttime cooks, while an ash cleanout system makes for a tidier post-meat coma cleanup.

How to buy the best outdoor grill

In the market for an outdoor grill or barbecue? There are several important factors to keep in mind to ensure you make the right choice for your outdoor cooking needs.

The first thing you’ll need to decide on is the type of grill you want. You can choose from three main options: charcoal, gas, or electric grills (more on that in the next section).

Size matters definitely matters when it comes to grills – think about how many people you typically cook for. Do you regularly host larger gatherings and special events, or do you cook a few burgers at the weekend for yourself and your partner? A grill that’s the correct size will make your life much easier.

If you don’t need a large grill, then you could consider a portable grill, which allows you to grill in multiple locations.

Grill material is another crucial aspect to consider. Stainless steel or cast iron grates are highly recommended due to their durability and their ability to retain heat effectively.

This also has an impact on the ease of cleaning and maintenance (this is essential for the long-term care of your grill). You’ll want a grill with removable grates and a drip pan for efficient grease collection.

If you’re serious about outdoor cooking, heat output is paramount for achieving that perfect sear and cooking various types of food effectively. You’ll want to check the grill’s BTU (British Thermal Units) rating to gauge its heating power and suitability for your needs.

On top of this, you’ll want precise temperature control for achieving consistent cooking results. Opt for a grill with adjustable controls to fine-tune the heat to your liking.

For really serious grillers, some models come with extra features such as side burners, warming racks, rotisserie kits, and integrated thermometers.

Charcoal vs. Gas vs. Electric

Are you having trouble deciding between a charcoal, gas or electric grill? Here’s a rundown of the pros and cons of each model.

Charcoal grills offer a unique, almost primal, grilling experience, characterized by their ability to impart a smoky flavour to food. They excel in achieving high temperatures, making them ideal for searing steaks and achieving a crispy exterior on meats.

However, charcoal grills come with a learning curve, as lighting and temperature control can be more challenging. Cleanup can also be messy due to charcoal ash, and they typically take longer to preheat.

They are, however, affordable and portable, making them a popular choice for many.

Gas grills provide unparalleled convenience, starting quickly with the push of a button and offering precise temperature control. They are known for consistent and even heating, making them versatile for various cooking techniques. They also produce minimal mess and are relatively easy to clean.

Gass grills do, however, lack the smoky flavour of charcoal, you can enhance it by adding wood chips or chunks. Gas grills can be more expensive upfront, but they come with features like side burners and rotisserie attachments. They also require a steady supply of propane tanks or a natural gas connection.

Finally, electric grills are incredibly user-friendly, ideal for beginners and versatile for both indoor and outdoor use. They don’t require any fuel; you simply plug them in, and they’re ready to cook within minutes.

While they lack the smoky flavour of charcoal or gas, they offer even heating and consistent results. Electric grills are compact and may lack the cooking area of larger gas or charcoal models.

They are, of course, dependent on access to electrical outlets, which may not be practical in all outdoor settings.

Now check out the best camping accessories.

Profile image of Esat Dedezade Esat Dedezade Contributor


Esat has been a gadget fan ever since his tiny four-year-old brain was captivated by a sound-activated dancing sunflower. From there it was a natural progression to a Sega Mega Drive, a brief obsession with hedgehogs, and a love for all things tech. After 7 years as a writer and deputy editor for Stuff, Esat ventured out into the corporate world, spending three years as Editor of Microsoft's European News Centre. Now a freelance writer, his appetite for shiny gadgets has no bounds. Oh, and like all good human beings, he's very fond of cats.

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