At a Glance
- BBQ Grill Buying Considerations
- BBQ Grill Fuel Types
- The Best BBQ Grill Brands: Weber and Broil King
Grilling season is heating up, and if you’re looking to upgrade your bbq grill for summer, there are plenty of great options. Whether you’re stuck on the age-old battle of charcoal vs gas grills or thinking of venturing out and investing in a pellet grill, any one of these outdoor cookers will do the trick.
Choosing a new grill depends greatly on the right size, fuel type, price, and features. With all these considerations, it can be overwhelming, and that's why your resident grill masters here at Albert Lee have formulated this buying guide to help you find the best bbq grill. We’ve included tips, features, and recommended products.
BBQ Grill Buying Considerations
Grill Size: A grill with two or more burners will offer greater flexibility and temperature control. When it comes to bbq grills, surface area (measured in square inches) is the most important measurement. For reference, a 450 to 500 square inch grill is large enough to cook up to 24 burger patties at a time.
BTUs: Or British Thermal Units for you bbq purists out there, BTUs indicate gas output and how much heat each burner can generate. But be aware, BTUs are a great measurement of heat and power, but not efficiency. If you want an energy-efficient grill, look for a product with a wide temperature range or specialty features like ultra-hot infrared burners.
Convenient Features: Speaking of features, if you invest in a gas grill, removable upper racks are ideal for buns, veggies, and large cuts of meat that need to cook low and slow, and an automatic starter makes powering on your grill a breeze. But also, be on the lookout for side burners, LED lighting, and wireless temperature monitors.
BBQ Grill Fuel Types
The right fuel type depends on your cooking style, expertise behind the grill, and personal preference. There are pros and cons to each type of grill, and knowing what separates each model will allow you to quickly become a backyard pitmaster.
Gas Grills: One of the most common and preferred fuel types, gas grills are typically built in a cart style and use a liquid propane tank or a natural gas conversion kit that’s connected to your home's natural gas supply line. Liquid propane is the most popular choice because it isn’t connected to a gas line, so you can move your grill around the yard. It can be pricier and needs refilling, but luckily, many grills accommodate both kinds of gas.
Gas provides excellent control over the flame and distributes heat evenly across the entire cooking surface so you can truly taste the meat and not the heat. However, if you like to slow-cook ribs, chicken, or brisket to achieve a rich smoky flavor, then you’ll experience better results with a charcoal or pellet grill.
Charcoal Grills: The traditional campfire smokiness associated with grilling comes from a charcoal bbq. Charcoal grills burn using charcoal briquettes or lumps of charcoal, which provide that smoky heat. Lighting the briquettes and preheating the grill takes quite a bit longer than that of a gas grill and they aren’t as precise when it comes to cooking, but you can’t outmatch that distinct flavor and those toasty sear marks.
Charcoal grills are portable and can easily be transported on camping trips, tailgates before Seahawks games, birthday parties at the park, and anywhere else you like to grill. However, after cooking, there is a lengthier cleanup process as you'll need to wait for the briquettes to cool and dispose of the ash after grilling.
Pellet Grills: Pellet grills have skyrocketed in popularity over recent years. Many models burn a variety of wood pellets and have an electric component to set your desired temperature. Pellets yield tasty results with plenty of smoky, wood-fired flavor, but they are more expensive to replenish than charcoal briquettes and propane tanks.
Pellet grills come with a hopper on the side to house the wood pellets. Once you start the grill and set the temperature, those pellets are moved around by a rotating auger that’s connected to the hopper, and finally dropped under the grill grates to smoke your food.
Electric Grills: If you want to improve your grilling skills but aren’t interested in the time or hassle of cooking on the major grill types, then you might need an electric grill. No, we're not talking about the George Foreman Grills collecting dust on the display at JCPenny, this grilling alternative is ideal for both indoor and outdoor cooking, and they are portable and easy to clean. They come in a multitude of different sizes with removable lids and convertible hoods.
The Best BBQ Grill Brands
Now that you know a little more about the various grill types and what to look for, let’s highlight two of our favorite grill brands: Broil King and Weber.
Webber has been manufacturing the charcoal grill that is synonymous with American cooking and outdoor entertainment since the 1950s. To this day, their acclaimed kettle grill continues to be a best-seller across the country. Weber now makes modern electric, gas, and wood pellet grills, but don’t worry, they haven’t ditched their claim to fame. They still make plenty of charcoal grills that deliver a whirlwind of smoky flavor that we know and love.
Product Suggestion: Weber Original Kettle Series Black Charcoal Grill (441001)
Known as the Original Kettle — a grill that was made for every backyard — this Weber charcoal grill is made for engaging conversation, delicious meals, and lasting memories. Features include:
- Plated steel cooking grate
- Heavy-gauge steel charcoal grate
- Porcelain-enameled bowl and lid
- Bottom wire rack
- Lid handle with heat shield
- Angled lid hook inside grill lid
- Removable, aluminum ash catcher
- Aluminized steel One-Touch cleaning system
- Spring clip/push pin leg assembly
Broil King Grills
Broil King is an increasingly popular grill brand that specializes in every grill variety, including gas, charcoal, electric, pellet, built-in, and portable. Broil King grills and the steel used to make each product are proudly sourced and built in North America. Every manufacturer is committed to providing the utmost performance and highest quality materials for years of durability.
Product Suggestion: Broil King Regal S 690 PRO Infrared Freestanding Gas Grill (957947)
The Regal S 690 Pro series grill features two independent ovens with a total of 750 square inches of cooking space. Included on this grill are two stainless steel warming racks, four stainless steel cooking grids, two reversible cast iron cooking grids, stainless steel Flav-R-Wave cooking system, six stainless steel Dual-Tube burners, and an enclosed cabinet base with built-in control knob lights.
The stainless steel Flav-R-Wave cooking system provides superior heat distribution, protects the burner, and vaporizes drippings for great barbecue flavor. The stainless-steel grids are among the heaviest in the industry, designed to maintain an ideal combination of food surface contact for searing that allows heat to radiate from the burner and Flav-R-Wave.
Additional features include
- 60,000 BTU stainless steel Dual-Tube burner system
- 10,000 BTU Infrared side burner
- 15,000 BTU stainless steel rear rotisserie burner (with rotisserie kit include)
- Infrared side burner
- Linear-Flow valves with 180-degree Sensi-Touch control
- Sure-lite electronic ignition system
- Two Deluxe Accu-Temp thermometers
- Heavy-duty locking, swivel casters with level setting
- Level Q Leg Levelers
- Built-in control panel lights
Shop BBQ Grills at Albert Lee
Every grill type comes with a learning curve in the beginning, but once you get comfortable, a bbq grill will become an integral part of your cooking repertoire. As we mentioned, choosing between the right freestanding, built-in, or portable grill can come down to your level of experience and your lifestyle.
So, if you need a little more encouragement, don’t forget to refer to our blog on charcoal vs gas grills for a more in-depth comparison of the two fuel types, as well as product attributes, our top picks, frequently asked questions, and pros and cons.
If you’re feeling confident and ready to take on grilling season like a pro, now’s the time ready to grab your spatula, visit any one of our six Albert Lee locations, and shop for the best bbq grills in the Pacific Northwest. For any questions or additional information, feel free to browse our digital catalog online or give us a call at your store of choice.