How To Choose Your Grill

BBQ 101

How To Choose Your Grill

Considering a Grill? Explore These Tips when Looking for a Grill

This video for BBQ 101 discusses what to look for to make sure you bring home the perfect grill for your backyard! Whether you're a barbecue enthusiast eager to master the art of grilling or someone simply seeking the joys of outdoor cooking, choosing the right grill is a pivotal decision. It's not just about finding a cooking appliance; it's about discovering a tool that will define your outdoor cooking experiences and become a part of your lifestyle. Gas and charcoal grills are the two most common that you'll see in most people's backyards. Gas gives you easy heat and can be convenient, and charcoal gives you that classic, smoky flavor, but they aren't the only two out there. You've got pellet smokers, ceramic cookers, electric smokers, and so much more.

With so many different grills to choose from, it can be hard to decide where to start when you're looking for a new grill. There are a few things to consider that are the same no matter what type of grill you want, and today we're going to talk about the five most important.

Backyard Space

The first thing you should consider is your backyard space and how many people you plan to cook for. A smaller grill may be perfect for a couple or small family, while a larger grill will be better if you enjoy entertaining and cooking for a crowd. Consider the grill's dimensions and whether it fits comfortably in your outdoor cooking area. Fitting comfortably includes ensuring there's enough space for ventilation, entertainment and seating and how easy it is to access the grill in your backyard. Additionally, consider the aesthetics - a grill can be a centerpiece and its placement will impact the overall look of your yard. By examining the size and layout of your backyard, you can be sure to choose a grill that not only fits the type of grilling you want to do but also integrates into your overall backyard experience.

Durability and Quality

The second thing you should consider is durability and quality. Your grill is an investment so making sure it is constructed with high-quality materials will ensure it can withstand the seasons. Look for a grill made from heavy-duty steel and cooking grates made from cast-iron or porcelain-coated cast iron. These materials are durable and heat resistant and will help you retain heat during the cooking process. Cast-iron cooking grates are also great for high temperature cooking and help your food develop great flavor. The Char-Griller Smokin' Champ offset smoker is made from heavy-duty steel with cast-iron grates, so this grill will stand up to the elements.

Temperature Control

The third to consider is temperature control. Being able to control the heat on your grill is one of the key indicators to how your food is going to turn out. You don't want to be cooking hot and fast when you're supposed to be cooking low and slow. One way to really control temperature is with the venting system on your grill. Side dampers and the smokestack allow you to control the airflow which will help you maintain the temperature. Some charcoal grills even have automated technology to help you control the temperature. The Smokin' Champ has an Adjustable Charcoal Tray that allows you to move the coals closer or farther away from your food. This makes it easy to quickly adjust temperature without having to add more fuel or wait for your grill to cool down.


The fourth thing to consider is ease of cleaning the grill. Grills can be messy, especially charcoal, so looking for a grill that makes clean-up easy will make your life easier. A clean grill looks better and enhances the overall appearance of your outdoor cooking area.

The Smokin' Champ offset smoker features the Easy Dump Ash Pan that makes clean-up a game changer. You simply let the ash cool, remove the Easy Dump Ash Pan by the handles, and then dump the ash into a metal bucket for disposal.

Grill Features to Look for in a First Grill

Finally, you should look at bonus features! Do you want a side shelf, temperature probes, or automated technology? Some grills even have a beer can opener on them. Consider which features are important to you and how they will be used. Below is a list of features that are often helpful when choosing your first grill:

  • Temperature Control - a grill with adjustable burners or vents for precise temperature control is helpful for new grill owners because this feature allows you to experiment with various cooking techniques, from searing to slow smoking
  • Built-in Thermometer - A built-in grill thermometer helps monitor cooking temperatures accurately, ensuring your food is cooked to perfection
  • Side Tables and Workspaces – Although you wouldn’t necessarily think of this as a necessity, having foldable side tables or workspaces provide extra prep space and make it easier to handle food and cooking utensils. Similarly, having tool hooks or storage options for grilling utensils keep your cooking tools within easy reach.
  • Warming Rack - A warming rack keeps cooked food warm while you finish grilling the rest of your meal, making it a valuable feature for multitasking
  • Drip Tray and Grease Management - Easy-to-clean drip trays or ash removal systems help prevent flare-ups and simplify cleanup
  • Reviews – check the reviews online of the grills you are considering and read the feedback from purchasers. Pay special attention to reviews marked with “verified purchaser” and check for how easy the grill is to assemble
  • Accessories and Compatibility - Consider grills with accessory compatibility, such as rotisserie attachments, smoker boxes, or griddle inserts, to expand your cooking options. As you progress in your grilling experience and practice, you will want a grill that grows with you.
  • Warranty - Choose a grill with a reasonable warranty, which can provide peace of mind and protection against manufacturing defects.

Bonus Tip for Grill Choice

The final consideration when choosing your grill is budget. Making sure you buy the right grill in your set budget will make sure you still have money to buy accessories, fuel, and groceries to cook! Looking for a new grill can be overwhelming at first, but hopefully with a little research and these tips, you'll be cooking in no time.

About the BBQ 101 Series

Susie Bulloch founded Hey Grill Hey in 2015 with one desire: to help people make better BBQ. Char-Griller and Kingsford partnered with Susie and Todd to bring you this series of content, BBQ 101, to help you become a better backyard bbq pro.

Great Grills for your Backyard BBQ

Quality grills at an affordable price - explore Char-Griller's lineup of charcoal grills, gas griddles, offset smokers and more.