Best Grill to Buy for Beginners – A Buyer’s Guide

The issue of choosing a new grill is not as easy and straightforward, mostly due to the diversity of types of grills available on the market as well as the client’s preferences.

The best grill for a beginner is one that fits your cooking style and meets your additional expectations. That’s why I perfectly understand your considerable confusion when thinking about all those grills at the store.

In this guide, I will try to dispel all the doubts by presenting upsides and downsides of each type of grill. If you wish to be sure about your choice then please read my tips, and it will help you avoid disappointment with your new grill.

Certain grills make grilling incredibly easy, fast and convenient, which might be a better solution for beginners. That’s why I definitely suggest learning all the upsides and downsides of each type of grills below, it will let you understand which type suits you the best.

Best Grills of 2019 - Comparison Table

MODEL

COOKING SURFACE

FUEL

PRICE

Weber Original Kettle Premium

Best Overall

Weber Original Kettle Premium

363 sq. in.

Charcoal

weber spirit II e 310

529 sq. in.

Gas

Camp Chef PG24DLX Deluxe

Camp Chef PG24 DLX

570 sq. in.

Pellet

kamado joe classic II

Kamado Joe Classic II

406 sq. in.

Charcoal

weber Q 2400 electric grill

Weber Q2400

280 sq. in.

Electric

How did I pick the best ones ?

If it’s not your first time here, you are perfectly aware that I have already tested all types of grills. That way I have gained knowledge and experience that I used to create this guide and a list of several best grills for beginners.

I picked one model for each type that was the best during my tests in the past. Of course I paid attention to all the things everyone pays attention to when shopping. Most of all, the quality of workmanship, price, features, size, efficiency and price to everything else ratio.

Why did I only pick one model each? As I already mentioned before, I had an opportunity to test each of those types of grills and in order not to make the search any harder for you, I simply picked one best model for each type.

If you want more suggestions for a particular category then go to a guide that is devoted exclusively to one type of grill. You will find models here where the source of power is charcoal, gas, pellets and electric.

All the information, tips and references to dedicated reviews for each type of grill can be found at the bottom of this guide.

How did I test ?

Since I had an opportunity to carefully check out each grill in my previous tests, I decided that this time I would make a confrontation between few models.

I only picked the best models for each type of grills and threw a mini “party” where I compared not only the quality of workmanship and efficiency, but also the final results of cooking.

I looked for a grill that is well made and most of all easy to use. It is a guide largely targeted towards beginners which is why my tests were based on the expectations of those interacting with a grill for their first time.

I focused mostly on grilling steaks, hamburgers or wings, but I also tried smoking a whole chicken.

That way I picked few great grills that are good both for beginners and for advanced pitmasters.

Depending on whether you want to participate in the entire process of grilling or maybe you prefer a much easier to use and less demanding type of grill, you will easily find something for yourself.

1. Best Overall Weber Original Kettle Premium

Without a doubt the most popular grill in the world that has become a BBQ icon. It is not possible to be disappointed when buying Weber Kettle Original Premium.

It is the best available charcoal grill to ever be created, it comes with everything necessary and what is more important, it is available at an adequately low price.

It is famous not only for its efficiency and versatility, but also durability.

Weber has covered this model with whole 10 years of warranty, which only confirms how well this model was made.

I use it for grilling and smoking, it is brilliant in both. Properly placed air vents make temperature control an easy task. I recommend buying at least the 22 inch model if you also think about smoking, more space under the lid gives more opportunities to configure the charcoal.

I picked this model because it comes with an ash removal system that is really worth paying those few dozen dollars extra. I can easily say that this solution is a a revolution thanks to which cleaning the grill after finished cooking has never been this easy.

PROS

  • Ash Catcher & One-Touch cleaning system
  • High Quality, 10 Years Warranty
  • Versatility ( Plenty of available accessories )

CONS

  • N/A

When it comes to the food’s flavor then I’ll just remind that everyone you ask about that will tell you that food from a charcoal grill tastes the best.

Weber Original Premium Kettle is a great choice for everyone regardless of whether it’s your first or tenth grill. It is also a grill that requires a lot of your attention so take that into account if you mostly want convenience and speed.

2. Runner-Up Weber Spirit II E-310

Another suggestion is a very fast and convenient gas grill from Weber where the source of heat is gas.

You don’t have to worry about getting charcoal burning, just turn the burner knob and about 10-15 minutes later you can start cooking.

Spirit II E-310 comes with all the necessary features as well as universal size which is what earned it so much popularity.

On top of convenience and ease of use, it is also necessary to mention the efficiency and durability.

When you have at least two burners, you can create different heat zones which allows to even smoke meat when using the right accessories. Speaking from experience, I can say that the entire surface heats up impressively fast and most of all, evenly.

Weber Spirit II E-310 can reach high temperatures that are perfect for searing steaks or hamburgers. When you’re done cooking, all you have to do is clean the grill grates, empty the dripping tray and that’s it.

When it comes to durability, on the other hand, there is no better answer to that question than providing information on the warranty. Weber has covered this model with whole 10 years of full warranty, which definitely dispels any doubts regarding quality.

PROS

  • Technology
  • 10 Years Warranty
  • Quick Preheat

CONS

  • Thin lid

It is a very good competition to charcoal grills due to the simplicity of use, convenience and time saving. When it comes to the flavor then sure, it is definitely different from the charcoal type but that doesn’t mean that it’s inferior ( that pretty much boils down to individual preferences ).

3. Versatile Camp Chef PG24

A great alternative to grills where the source of heat is charcoal or gas. The Pellet Grill combines two very crucial characteristics, convenience and the food’s flavor.

The flavor comes from wood pellets, which generate smoke while burning, and it has a positive impact on the food’s flavor.

The convenience, on the other hand, lies in the temperature control, as maintaining a fixed temperature in a pellet grill is not taken care of by you but by a digital controller.

An intelligent system calculates on its own when and how many pellets to add to the furnace in order to maintain the temperature.

Your task is only to make sure that the pellets hopper is full and to throw out the ash once in a while ( most models are equipped with an ash removal system that makes this task much easier ).

Sadly, you need to know that it is not a typical grill, as it offers indirect heat ( some models also offer direct heat ). It is not a downside, but if you expect perfect sear marks on your food then you’re going to be disappointed ( it is also caused by the temperature being too low ).

Of course you can get sear marks in this grill but they won’t be as impressive as with a typical grill that offers direct heat and very high temperatures.

PROS

  • Set & Forget Style
  • Quality & Features
  • Cleaning Ash System

CONS

  • Expensive

Despite the pellet grill being much better at smoking, it can’t be denied that it achieves great results at grilling. The Set & Forget style grill and the smoky flavor of food are the two characteristics that allowed this type of grill to earn so much popularity.

4. Kamado Joe Classic II

The ceramic kamado is a suggestion for those who are experienced and demanding and wish to experience something brand new.

The Kamado Joe Classic II that I presented is a high-quality ceramic grill that comes with all the essentials.

Why did I say experienced? That’s because the price of a decent ceramic grill is so high that only true BBQ enthusiasts will choose such investment.

An inviting fact might be that such grill is very durable ( prone to cracks ) but with the right care it can easily last for as long as few dozen years.

The source of heat is charcoal so when it comes to the food’s flavor, I don’t need to delve into details here.

Kamado requires a bit of experience and most of all patience. You need to remember about few basic rules, but more on that in this guide.

It’s a versatile grill that works best for grilling but with the right accessories it can also turn into a great smoker. It can reach very high temperatures, all of this thanks to great insulation in the ceramics as well as the airtightness of the entire construction.

PROS

  • Lifetime warranty
  • High Quality ( 100% Ceramic )
  • Air Lift Hinge

CONS

  • Price

A downside of the kamado is certainly the usually very huge weight, which makes something like mobility non-existent. All the other additional features, however, make it a convenient grill. You’re worried about the ash? There’s a special drawer on the bottom that makes it possible to easily remove the ash after each cooking.

5. Weber Q2400

One could say that an electric grill will never come close to a food from a real grill. It’s true, but that doesn’t mean that such food tastes bad because the truth is that it tastes very good. On top of that, an electric grill is a great solution in many situations where it is not possible to use any other type of grill.

Weber Q2400 is a phenomenal representative of this category that is characterized by very high quality of workmanship, durability, efficiency and mobility.

The basic version doesn’t come with a stand which is why I recommend buying a Q Portable Cart separately, as it will change your mobile Q2400 into a functional stationary grill.

For a mobile version, you can find a whole lot of space under the lid here, 280 square inches of the grilling area. The heating of the entire area is provided by a strong and very efficient heating element that works brilliant in practice.

The entire construction is built solidly, the body was made of rust-resistant cast aluminum. Another huge upside is the high quality porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates.

A possible downside is the limited length of the cord, which means you can only grill around sources of power.

PROS

  • Top Quality & Efficiency
  • Cast-aluminum lid and body
  • Big Cooking Space + porcelain-enameled cast-iron grates

CONS

  • Lack of the stand ( sold separately )

The majority of available electric grills are simple devices, but this model was designed only with people who grill in mind ( for those not knowing, Weber is one of the top brands in the world of BBQ ).

The Q2400 model is also covered with a very good warranty, which is worth checking out.

Buyer's Guide

A good grill is the key if you’re thinking about real grilling. Another key is to know each type of grill so that you can make a conscious choose of which type best suits your style of cooking. There are many different types of grills which is why if you’re seriously thinking about buying your first grill then I invite you to read my tips below.

When looking for the first grill, one can get in quite a mess upon seeing how much stores have to offer. If you want to lower the risk of disappointment to the minimum then you should definitely read all of my tips. First and foremost, learn each type of grill so that you know what to expect of it, then pick one of them that matches your style of cooking.

What to pay attention to when buying a new grill ?

A whole lot depends on whether you’re a beginner or already have some experience. If you’re planning to buy the first grill in your life then you should definitely have the Weber Kettle Original Premium in your backyard. If you wish to try something new, on the other hand, then each of the above grills will meet your expectations more or less. Regardless of what you’re looking for, the tips below will be useful for each type of grill.

  • Budget – The price range is very diversified which is why you should start by deciding what amount of money you’re willing to spend on a new grill. This will actually affect what type of grill you’ll be able to afford.
  • What you’re planning to cook – Are you happy with steaks, hamburgers or chicken wings? In that case, there is no point looking for something more than a regular charcoal grill. If you expect something more, on the other hand, check out the versatile models.
  • Power Source & Type of Grill – That’s a key matter that you have to look into. Each source of heat has its upsides and downsides that can’t be described in one sentence. On top of that, each type of grill is also different in many regards, which is why I encourage to learn about all the upsides and downsides of each of them below.
  • Size – It is one of the factors that impacts the price the most so by choosing the right size you might save not only some space but also money. Think about how many people you cook for and if you’re still not sure then it is the best to pick a medium size grill.
  • Convenience or Fun – To many people, BBQ is an art form that requires participation in the entire process of cooking. From getting the charcoal burning to temperature control to cleaning up afterwards. Some grills were designed with those in mind who don’t like it and definitely care more about convenience and speed. Think about what is better for you, a set& forget style grill or a simple charcoal grill that requires a lot of your attention when cooking.

Main Types of grills– upsides and downsides

Different sources of heat give different results when cooking and require different approach and maintenance. Some of them make a great option for beginners or those looking for a convenient grill, others might be a versatile grill at hands of someone experienced.

Regardless of what type of grill you pick, you need to know that each of them allows to prepare great food. Of course the most popular type is charcoal for many reason, whereas other types are great as well.

I cannot say which source of heat is the best because the truth is that each of them is good at something. You need to learn the upsides and downsides of each of them in order to make the final decision of what will be the best for you.

Personally I’d like to add that the best solution is to own few types of grills in your backyard that you can use depending on what you wish to grill at the time.

Charcoal Grill

No other type of grill can give such characteristic smoky flavor of food like the charcoal grill does. What is an upside to many might also be a downside to others. I’m talking about the necessity of controlling the entire grilling process ( getting the charcoal burning, stabilizing the temperature, controlling the amount of charcoal, regulating the air vents, removing the ash or fight with flare-ups ).

PROS:

  • The charcoal grill food has a very characteristic, phenomenal flavor that can be easily achieved even by a beginner. On top of that, charcoal can reach very high temperatures that are great for grilling steaks or hamburgers.
  • The necessity to devote a large amount of time throughout the entire grilling process. From the moment of getting the charcoal burning you have to worry not only about the food itself but also about proper control of temperature, fuel or avoiding flare-ups. Contrary to a popular belief, temperature control in charcoal grills is incredibly easy and effective.
  • Value – No other grill can offer so much for so little. If you take a look at the price of a basic kettle premium with an ash catcher and compare it with middle-tier gas or pellets grills then you’ll reach the same conclusion I did.
  • Non-malfunctioning and durability are another very strong argument in favor of this type of grill, the construction of which is very simple. First and foremost, check the warranty offered by the manufacturers, even cheaper models have a great warranty.

CONS:


  • It requires a lot of attention throughout the entire cooking process ( especially for beginners ). Adjusting the temperature with air vents isn’t something ultra simple to everyone. The right temperature is crucial when grilling, you have to take care of it by yourself while paying attention to many other factors.
  • Charcoal has plenty of upsides but the main downside is the amount of ash that is left as a result of the charcoal burning. After each cooking you have to make sure to remove the ash. Although most models these days are equipped with ash removal systems, it is still something you need to remember about.

The greatest upside of the charcoal grill is undoubtedly the durability and non-malfunctioning. On top of that, when it comes to the food’s flavor, no other source of heat can give the same results as charcoal. All of its upsides have made it the most popular type of grill in the world.

I invite you to check my guide where you will learn more about the best charcoal grills.

Gas Grill

It has earned people’s respect mostly thanks to its simplicity of use and the convenience it offers. You’re thinking about a quick meal from a grill ? No other type of grill can reach high temperatures as fast as the gas grill. The speed, functionality, convenience, efficiency, versatility and simplicity are the main pros.

PROS:

  • The convenience and speed, all you have to do is turn the knob and 10-15 minutes later you can start grilling. You don’t need to get your hands dirty while getting the charcoal burning or worry about air vents. It makes it possible to prepare delicious food in a very short time.
  • Versatility is another upside, the burners generate direct heat but you can also use them to create indirect heat. With the right accessories ( smoker box ) and wood chips you can easily convert a gas grill into a decent smoker.
  • Cleanness is another advantage of gas grills, all you have to do is clean the grill grates and the dripping tray after each cooking which literally takes a moment. Once in a while you just need to clean the burner and other key elements and that’s it. You don’t have to put up with annoying ash.

CONS:

  • The price is the first downside that I have to start with. The gas grill is a pretty technologically advanced device so it has to be expensive. If you’re thinking about good quality grill then you have to get prepared for large expenses but in return you get at least a decent warranty.
  • Lack of the smoky flavor is the most popular argument against the gas grills. Avid enthusiasts of the traditional charcoal BBQ pretty much yell about how the gas grill is pure evil. Sure, it lacks the smoky flavor but it doesn’t mean that the food from a gas grill tastes bad, quite the opposite, it tastes great. When using the right accessories, you can enhance it even further ( wood chips + smoker box ). The best solution to the charcoal vs gas discussion is to simply buy both grills as they’re both great.

Plenty of times, small amount of time or not feeling like it are the reasons why you give up on grilling. It all will change once you get a gas grill that in just 10-15 minutes from starting reaches the right temperature for cooking. The convenience and speed offered by this type of grill change a lot, which is why it’s no wonder why this type has earned so much popularity in recent years.

More information on this type of grill, tips, reviews and advice can be found in my guide to the best gas grills, you should definitely check it out if you want to discover this type of grill better.

Pellet Grill

As fast and convenient as the gas grill with several very important differences. First and foremost, the pellet grill offers indirect heat that makes it much more difficult to get sear marks on your steak or hamburger. Another important difference is the fuel, the source of heat is wood pellets that generate smoke while burning.

PROS:

  • Convenience and Speed are undoubtedly the strongest advantages of this type of grill, which can reach the right temperature for cooking in just a dozen minutes or so. From the moment of starting it and setting the temperature, you don’t have to do anything else. The system will on its own take care of a fixed temperature and calculate when and how many pellets to add to the furnace in order to maintain it. When you’re done cooking, you just have to remove the ash which is also easy thanks to the cleaning system ( most models come with such solution ).
  • Temperature Control is so simple that it’s actually difficult to believe. Your only task is to set your preferred temperature using a digital controller, then the system will take care of the rest. Depending on the model you have, the digital controller will be maintaining a fixed temperature with a tolerance of down to few degrees.
  • The convenience is not everything, it’s also about the flavor of food, which thanks to the wood pellets is very good. The pellets generate smoke that has a very good impact on the food’s flavor. Remember that pellets generate a different kind of smoke than charcoal or regular wood which is why the flavor is also different and not everyone will like it.
  • Another very important advantage is versatility. The pellet grill makes it possible to grill fast and easily but did you know that the end consumers of this type of grill are people who love smoking meat ? Yes, you read that right – the pellet grill works great as a smoker and that’s the main reason behind its huge popularity.

CONS:

  • The price might be what scares away many potential customers. That’s just the life that convenience and time cost a lot. I advise against buying cheap models, if you do decide to get this type of grill then choose something from at least the medium price range ( a price of about $500 ).
  • To get perfect sear marks you need two things, high temperature and direct heat. Sadly, most models only offer indirect heat whereas the maximum temperature they can reach is usually about 500-550 degrees F which is not enough to get real sear marks ( unless your model offers direct heat ).

The pellet grill is definitely something you should have in your backyard if you dream of very convenient and easy grilling, or even smoking.

Interested ? You wish to avoid disappointment when choosing a new model ? Take  a look at my guide and tips for the best pellet grills.

Kamado Grill

The ceramic egg also surprises with its versatility but it’s mostly famous for grilling ( the source of heat is charcoal ). The main advantage of this type of grill is its not so much interesting as very well thought-out construction that is great at isolating heat and smoke. That way you use much less fuel and achieve much better results of cooking.

PROS:

  • The insulation allows to achieve very high temperatures, no other grill can get them as high. During normal cooking, a bag of charcoal can last for much longer than is the case with a regular grill. The airtight construction allows to precisely control the air and smoke flow which also impacts the results of cooking.
  • Are you perfectly familiar with the characteristic smoky flavor from a plain charcoal grill ? The source of heat in a kamado is charcoal ( recommended lump charcoal ) so I won’t get further into details as probably everyone is familiar with this flavor.
  • The versatility is probably the most surprising, with the right accessories you can truly achieve a lot of different things. Grilling, smoking, searing, baking is all possible with this one grill. On top of that you can cook using direct or indirect heat at low or very high temperatures.

CONS:

  • The price is sadly what keeps potential buyers away. Ceramic grills are very expensive compared to other types. There is no such thing as a model for those with a limited budget. If you grill very rarely then there’s not really much reason to buy something this expensive, it is a suggestion more for conscious BBQ enthusiasts.
  • The weight makes free and easy transport impossible, especially for ceramic models. They come with wheels that make transport easier but the problem arises when they have to be carried up stairs.
  • A ceramic grill takes very long to cool down which in many situations might pose a problem. For example, removing a hot heat deflector when cooking won’t be an easy task, just like lowering temperature fast.

The kamado is undoubtedly a very interesting type of grill but it’s not for everyone due to its price and construction. Its versatility, durability and efficiency will certainly impress many experienced BBQ enthusiasts.

If, however, you decided to go for this type and don’t know where to start then you should definitely check my guide to the best kamado grills.

Electric Grill

Electric grills are also very often a good solution in places where regulations forbid cooking on a grill that generates flames ( pellets, charcoal, gas etc ). Which means they will work great in urban environments, like on a balcony for example.

The temperature control consists of turning a knob and setting your desired temperature – that’s it.

PROS:

  • The convenience and speed are significant advantages, after starting it and setting the temperature you don’t need to worry about anything throughout the entire cooking process. Especially convenient are indoor grills that make it possible to prepare something like a steak or hamburger very fast and conveniently in household conditions.

CONS:

  • It relies on electricity which means that in case of a sudden power outage you will have a problem finishing cooking your food. Also for that reason I advise against using that grill away from home, like when camping out.
  • It is pretty clear that the flavor won’t be phenomenal and it can’t be really compared to food from other types of grills. The electric grill is actually a device that makes it possible to prepare food in household conditions when it’s cold outside for example ( in winter ).

I won’t hide that the electric grill is the least interesting type of grill to me. It doesn’t have much to do with real grilling and it will never give results that are even close to the food from a grill where the source of heat is something like charcoal.

Still, I do accept this type as it can be helpful when the weather conditions are not in favor of grilling outside or you live in a place where regulations only make it possible to use an electric grill.

I have also prepared a guide to the best electric grills where I selected several truly noteworthy models.

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