The 9 Best Grills For Summer Date Nights and Backyard Parties

When the weather gets warm, it's time to fire it up

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When it comes to backyard barbecues, gameday tailgates, and weekend camping trips, a good grill is your best friend. There’s nothing like burgers and dogs fresh off the grill when you're enjoying outdoor fun with your partner and friends. If you’re new to grilling, starting can seem intimidating. But starting with the right grill is key—it can make the process easy and fun.

If you really want to start small or live in a smaller space like an apartment, a portable or tabletop grill will do. But if you’re ready for your first big grill, or even looking to upgrade from your current one, there are plenty of options, from gas grills to charcoal grills and pellet grills. 

Gas grills are the most conventional choice. If you want the works, look for one that comes with a side table for condiments, a searing station for juicy steaks, a grease control system for easy cleanup, and a storage cabinet underneath to store all your grilling accessories. Pellet or charcoal grills, however, might be right up your alley if you want to impart a smokier flavor to your meat.

Whether you're adding to your registry or just getting all set up for summer parties and fall tailgates, there's the perfect grill out there for you. To help, we’ve rounded up some of the best grills on the market that can do everything from cooking ribeyes to sauteeing veggies. Are you hungry yet?

Read on for the best grills.

Best Overall: Weber Genesis II S-335 3-Burner Convertible Gas Grill

Weber Genesis II® S-335 3-Burner Convertible Gas Grill

Courtesy of The Home Depot

Weber is a standard in the grilling world, so it’s no surprise that we rank their Genesis II-335 as best overall. After all, it has all the basics and then some. This stainless steel beauty features three burners, a fuel gauge, and matching stainless steel rod cooking grates that help retain heat.

Grill 15 to 20 burgers on its cooking area or sear some sirloins in the hot zone of the sear station, all while using the side burner to saute some peppers and onions. The warming rack will help keep everything at the right temperature while you’re waiting to serve.

Best Budget: Weber 44010001 Spirit II E-210 2-Burner Liquid Propane Grill

Weber 44010001 Spirit II E-210 2-Burner Liquid Propane Grill

Courtesy of Amazon

For less than $400, you can get everything you need in a grill with the Weber Spirit II E-210. This two-burner grill is compact, with an open cart and folding side table complete with hooks to store all your grilling tools, making it perfect for smaller patios.

Cooking is just as easy as storing, thanks to a porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grate with a thin side for grilling seafood and a thicker side to sear a juicy steak. Flavorizer bars will bring out the best smoky flavors to food by catching sizzling drippings. What’s not caught will drip down to the disposable drip tray through the grease management system.

Best Splurge: Blaze Professional LUX 34-Inch 3-Burner Propane Gas Grill

Blaze Professional LUX 34-Inch 3-Burner Propane Gas Grill

Courtesy of Amazon

Make outdoor grilling a luxury with the Blaze Professional LUX. Sleek, sexy, and high-tech, it grills just as good as it looks. Three stainless steel H-burners, 12-millimeter hexagonal searing rod grids, and a grill hood meant to retain heat will cook food to perfection. Separate salmon from the ribeyes using the heat zone dividers, which allow you to cook a variety of foods at different temperatures. 

The grill has two shining aspects in particular. One is its infrared rear burner that you can use with the grill’s rotisserie kit for a slow roast. The other is the grease control system with a roll-out drip tray and lower heat baffles for easy, breezy cleanup. That’s not to mention the LED illuminated control system with red lights and halogens that will light up your grill all night.

Best for a Crowd: Royal Gourmet Corp 6-Burner Propane Gas Grill with Side Burner

Royal Gourmet Corp 6-Burner Propane Gas Grill with Side Burner

Courtesy of Amazon

This is the grill you’ll want to fire up for every barbecue party. Whether it’s Labor Day or the Fourth of July, the Royal Gourmet is sure to please any crowd with 603-square-inches of cooking space for patties, hot dogs, and more.

Five tube burners for the main course, a U-shaped burner for searing, and a lidded side burner for all the extras mean there’s room for everything. A metal side shelf offers extra space for prep work, and a stainless steel-doored cabinet provides ample storage for grill baskets, spatulas, and rib racks.

Best Charcoal: Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill

Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill

Courtesy of Amazon

Charcoal grills have one big advantage over gas grills: they impart a much smokier flavor. They’re made for a grilling master, who loves to grill as much as they love to eat. Look no further than Weber’s Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill for a flawless grilling experience.

There’s a built-in lid thermometer, a hinged charcoal grate that makes it easy to add charcoal while grilling, and precision heat control that enables you to adjust heat levels without lifting the lid. A high-capacity ash catcher will collect all ashes and debris for easy dumping at the end.

Best for Small Spaces: Cuisinart CGG-240 Roll-Away Gas Grill

Cuisinart CGG-240 Roll-Away Gas Grill

Courtesy of Amazon

Whether you have a tiny yard or a cramped balcony apartment, the Cuisinart CGG-240 grill is your best bet. Measuring at 41-by-23-by-36 inches when fully open and with wheels for easy maneuvering, this collapsible 40-pound grill is made for small spaces.

Two foldable stainless steel shelves open up nicely for condiments and tuck away easily for storage. With a panel for even heat distribution, a 15,000 BTU burner, and 240-square-inches of porcelain-enameled cast-iron grilling surface, it’s ready to cook everything from chicken to pizza.

Best Pellet: Pit Boss 71700FB Wood Pellet Grill with Flame Broiler

Pit Boss 71700FB Wood Pellet Grill with Flame Broiler

Courtesy of Bed Bath & Beyond

Pellet grills combine the best of all grilling worlds—smokers, charcoal grills, and ovens. It sounds confusing, but they’re great for impatient grillers because they’re easy to start and use. They’re known for adding a smoky flavor, which you can manipulate based on the type of pellets you use.

The Pit Boss pellet grill lets you do it all—barbecue, sear, roast, and more. There’s ample room with over 700-square-feet of cooking surface across its porcelain-coated cast iron grids, divided into 507-square-inches on the lower rack and 193-square-inches on the upper rack. And technology is made easy thanks to electronic ignition, a digital control board, and a built-in lid thermometer.

Best Style: BergHOFF Tabletop Grill

BergHOFF Tabletop Grill

Courtesy of The Home Depot

Have you ever seen such a chic and modern grill? Part of its charm lies in its tabletop size. It’s just 13.75 inches in diameter and 8.75 inches in height, weighing in at 16.5 pounds. That makes it easy to store in small apartments or, if you use the strap it comes with, to bring along to a friend’s picnic.

You won’t have to shell out for additional grilling accessories, because it already has you covered: It includes a fire basket, charcoal grate, grilling lifting tool, and heat shield. The cork lid looks like a stylish touch, but it does double duty as both a cover and a hot pad. Get ready to sizzle some kebabs!

Best Portable: Weber Q1200 Gas Grill

Weber Q1200 Gas Grill

Courtesy of Weber

Campers, this one is for you. The WeberQ1200 is small enough to tag along for a weekend getaway but big enough to serve up a full meal. With a cooking area of 189-square-inches, it’s just right for cooking for a party of one to a family of four.

Two folding side tables will support condiments and plates while you sizzle up some burgers over the cast-iron cooking grates. This portable grill features all the basics and benefits of its full-sized counterpart, from a removable catch pan that keeps grease tidy to a built-in lid thermometer. Bonus: it comes in six different fun colors.

Final Verdict

You basically can’t go wrong with many Weber options. The brand features an extensive line in terms of both budget and style, from the Genesis II® S-335 for beyond the basics to the Q1200 for its portability. If you want something that imparts a smokier flavor, we’d suggest the Pit Boss 71700FB or the Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill.

Should I get a gas or charcoal grill?

Because it uses charcoal as fuel, heating up and cleaning up charcoal grills is a longer process. But the trade-off is that it imparts a delectable smoky flavor that you can’t get from gas grills. Gas grills, on the other hand, are quicker to start up. However, they can be harder to clean because they have more parts, and those parts may need replacing over time.

Should I cover my grill?

It partly depends on where you live. If you live in a seasonal area, a cover will help protect your grill from inclement weather like snow. A cover in a more humid area, though, can trap moisture inside, corroding the grill. There’s also the matter of what you’re cooking. You can cook light foods like seafood with an open lid, but you might want a cover when grilling thicker food, like steak, or when adding wooden planks or chips for the flavor to contain the smoke. We’d recommend getting a cover and using it when applicable.

How do I clean a grill?

Wait until the grill has cooled, but is still warm. Remove the grates and brush them with a stiff-wire cleaning brush and soap and water. Afterward, apply vegetable oil to the grates to prevent future rusting. Clean interior surfaces with a steel brush and dish soap, wiping dry after with a cloth.

Why Trust Brides?

Brides contributor Hillary Hoffower has over six years of experience writing for the wedding industry, covering everything from bridal fashion trends to wedding decor. She believes the best way to cook any meat is to throw it on the grill. Living in New York City, she lacks the outdoor space for a full-sized grill, so she prefers tabletop grills for now.

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