Best grill reviews 2018 – answers to all your questions on one page
Do you fancy BBQ and want to buy a grill from your local shop? Finding the best grill in 2018 is quite a complicated task because of a plethora of them available on the market. Besides, can you be 100% sure that you will select the best fit and won’t just waste your money?
If you are not an expert, then you might spend weeks before finding an optimal model. That is when we appeared on the stage, experts who want to guide you and give you unbiased, friendly reviews of the most popular and wanted grill models.
Also, we have prepared detailed overviews of various models and will detail all the pros and cons of buying each of them.
We’ve done significant research on different grills with various fueling sources including gas grills, charcoal BBQ, pellet grill smokers, electric grills, and tailgate grills.
We have kept in mind different purposes for which you may need them: for an outdoor kitchen, indoor use, camping or built in grills that might save you extra space.
There is no need for conducting your own examination, as our reviews and buyer’s guide of the most common types and their sub-types will answer all your questions.
Look no further and be ready to invest into your new cooking friend, as after reading our expert advice you will have no other way as to buy it.
Types of grills
Do you know what is the best grill, and whether it really exists? After reading our stainless steel grill reviews and other useful information for potential buyers, you’ll b able to figure this out.
Today you can find numerous models on the market with different characteristics and for any purpose, starting from the best outdoor grills for your backyard to a small budget grill, which you can carry with you. That is why even the choosiest person can find what he or she needs.
Another issue is, how not to purchase the wrong device, which will break down after several month of use?
The first thing to consider when choosing a new appliance for BBQ is the type of fuel that will fit your needs and the overall cooking space you will have including desired square inches of cooking area.
Do you want fast and even cooking or is food flavor what you value the most? Here we have compared the most common grill types including charcoal, gas, electric and pellet and created .
Thus, if you are a purist and prefer the rich aroma of smoked food, charcoal or pellet devices will be excellent for you, however, they have a significant fuel consumption level, therefore keeping it fueled might cost you a fortune.
Were you aware that famous chefs all over the world prefer using professional BBQ grills powered with gas, as they are more convenient and easy-to-operate?
If you want to buy a trustworthy BBQ grill, consider this type of grill, but what if you do not have neither money nor enough space for a BBQ grill? There is also an option in this case.
Buying an electric device; of course, the food cooked differs a lot from those made on a traditional device and you won’t get the same result, but it is better than nothing.
Each of the appliances has its own peculiarities that might influence your cooking process, thus, knowing them you can choose what outcome you want to get. They all have pros and cons, but knowing them, you may find a great deal for you. Before making such a great investment, take a look at our outdoor gas grill reviews and indoor grill reviews, to finally make up your mind.
Best gas grills 2018
Gas grills are probably the most popular type of BBQ tools that most people have at home, however, finding the best gas grills might be a task that perplex many people because of the wide range of products on the market.
Even famous chefs, having enough money for any kitchen appliance in the world, still prefer grilling on the best outdoor gas grills thanks to its convenience, versatility and even its cooking performance.
A gas grill is very easy-to-operate, just one press of the ignition button and you can cook a juicy meal or sear meat in about 10 minutes.
Choosing a new kitchen helper, you should also study its power level, which depends on the number of burners. In turn, the number of burners is closely connected with the size of the device: today you can find the best 2 burner gas grill, 3 burner gas grill, 4 burner gas grill, and even 5 burner gas grill.
The more burners your grill features, the more precise control over its temperature and cooking process you have.
Most gas grills can be fueled from both your home’s natural gas line or a portable propane tank that is placed near your device and must be replaced or refilled once it’s empty. Buying the best propane grill is a very cost-effective choice as you do not need to hook it up to a main gas line, or do some other modifications to fuel it.
There is a wide range of such type of devices, thus you can easily find a deal for any budget from such categories as the best small propane grill, a propane grill with a smoker or the best propane grill under 500.
Do not forget that the more features your grill has on board, the higher price tag it has.
If you haven’t decided yet which the best inexpensive propane grill will meet your needs, you can study our expert propane grill reviews to be able to choose your best fit.
As we have already mentioned, another method is to hook it up to your homes natural gas line.
However, if you do not have a gas line, then there is only a propane option for you, thus for some people it may be quite inconvenient.
What is more, due to its construction and fuel consumption there are medium sized gas grills and the best large gas grills, as well as compact models, and there isn’t a need to be placed near a building or other objects for safety reasons.
Because gas is flammable and it takes up much space, it might not be your option. Another issue that might stop you is its cost, as they are quite expensive when comparing with other types of grills.
If you want to get a really good gas grill, you should be ready to invest more than $500 into it.
Today you can find gas appliances with various extra features like an infrared grill system, as well as gas grills with or without a side burner, gas grills with a built in smoker, stainless steel grates and burners and many more.
Some modern devices can even be operated remotely with your cell phone. All these will help you to make the cooking process easier and give you more comfort and freedom in preparing food.
Overall, if you fancy hosting BBQ parties in your backyard all year round and can spare about $500 or more in your budget, then this might be an ideal match for you.
If you still do not know what is the best gas grill, you can get more info on this topic after reading our natural gas grill reviews: there we have given our unbiased expert opinion on the top rated Weber gas grills and Char Broil grills, which are today the most affordable and functional options if compared with not so popular Grillpro gas grill reviews, which you can find online.
- Versatile and convenient models
- Even cooking
- Most models have a large cooking area
- Can be fueled with a main gas line or propane tank
- Gas is flammable, can’t be placed near other objects
- High price
Best charcoal grills and smokers
If you have a taste for gourmet and likes a smoked scent of food, then a nice charcoal grill might become your best friend in cooking.
Many experts suggest that charcoal grills give better flavor and scent to your food than any other type of grills.
Yes, we definitely agree with this statement, but is there anything else that differentiates having a barbecue on a luxury charcoal grill?
First, as stated in its name, its main fuel is charcoal. This means that you need to have charcoal, either in briquettes or lump one each time you want to heat up your backyard smoker grill.
Good news, it’s sold everywhere, thus you can easily buy it from your local shop. On the other hand, charcoal takes time to heat up: it takes about 20-30 minutes to get your backyard smoker grill started, thus, you have to make time each time you want to have a BBQ.
Once your food is ready, you can’t just turn it off, but have to wait until embers die out, as putting them out with water can damage your best grill for smoking meat.
What is more, this is not a good option for those who BBQ regularly, as you will spend a great amount of charcoal each time, much more fuel than a gas grill consumes.
Thus, the smaller price you have spent on this model won’t make a difference because of the money regularly spent on its fuel.
Another disadvantage we have found is that like gas models, large charcoal grill smokers should also be placed separately from other structures (be sure to check your local fire code) to avoid fire.
On the contrary, there are various models on the market that come in different sizes, thus you can even find compact devices that do not take much space and can be carried easily.
Overall, this budget friendly charcoal grill with smoker has its pros and cons that might not suit everyone, thus it’s up to you whether to choose it.
- Charcoal is sold everywhere
- Great smoked scent and flavor of your food
- Sold in various sizes
- Takes time to light it
- Consumes much fuel
The Best charcoal kettle grills
Have you seen round-shaped grills with a defined bowl for holding embers? They are called kettle grills and they are very affordable and a safe option for those who are tight on their budget but wish to enjoy juicy grilled food; besides, this is a charcoal grill, which means it is powered with the charcoal.
If you need a portable charcoal grill, it is a great choice as it comes in various forms and doesn’t cost a fortune. Frankly, you can find variants that are less than $200, and some can even cost about $60-80. Its price depends on the cooking space, BTU’s and other extra features.
Speaking about this this specific model, this bowl-shape device can retain the heat inside for a long time due to its construction. This guarantees fast cooking of small things like hot dogs, burgers or steaks. Usually, kettle models have a small cooking surface, which means they are not suitable for big BBQ parties, as your cooking area is limited.
However, they will be enough for having a small family gathering, boat or RV grilling. Besides, due to its compact size you can easily carry it in the trunk of your car and enjoy grilled food whenever you want.
To conclude, we want to say that kettle grills are inexpensive grills that do their job quite well although don’t suit those who need to prepare large portions of food at once.
- Compact size; you can carry it in your car
- Can hold heat for a long time
- Very affordable
- Has a small cooking area
- Like other charcoal models, needs time to heat up
The Best barrel style charcoal grills
Barrel grills are similar to kettle ones, however they are much bigger and more versatile. As suggested by the name, these devices have a barrel form and are ideal for smoking your steaks.
If you do not want to just grill your food but also try to do a little magic and enjoy slow-cooking your food or smoking your meat, then you have to give barrel grills a try. This device comes in a wide range of sizes; starting from massive ones to compact and easy-to-carry models.
Buying it, you will have quite a large cooking area, thus you can cook many portions of your favorite food for a large group of people fast and evenly.
This factor influences its price as this model is much pricier than a kettle one, thus you can buy a good big barrel model starting from $100. However, there are modern devices as well, which prices can exeed $1000 .
Overall, if kettle grills are too small for you, then barrel ones will come in handy for you as you can find an option for any budget and taste.
- Can not only a grill but also smoke your meat
- Large cooking area
- Different price ranges
- It’s charcoal fueled, thus you have all the cons of this type fuel
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The Best kamado grills 2018 (ceramic)
Kamado devices are egg-shaped grills that are designed and constructed according to ancient Japanese traditions. In the other words, Kamado smokers in its technology and design has mimicked the old clay ovens that were able to hold heat for a very long time and prepare excellent dishes.
Using these ceramic grills, you will get all the power to control the temperature more efficiently than in any other charcoal model.
This makes your device extremely versatile, thus you can not only grill your steaks on it, but also prepare yummy pizza, bread, paella and even various desserts. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
Thanks to its shape and thick walls, kamado models heat up very fast. The manufacturer of the Big Green Egg brand claims that thanks to the fact that smoke and heat are retained inside the appliance, you will get a richer flavor of food.
Besides, its ceramic coating makes it very durable, therefore you can even leave it outside all year round without worrying about it rusting or being damaged.
The only con we have found is its expensive price. The price range starts from $200 and goes higher as features are included, for example, a grill with a smoker and a rotisserie.
If you are searching for a great durable kitchen helper that will have a long service life do not hesitate investing in it. They have a really excellent reputation and are considered to be the best charcoal grills on the market, which are very user-friendly and of the highest quality.
- Durability thanks to the ceramic coating
- Fast heating and has an even cooking process
- Better and richer flavor of food
- Constructed according to ancient Japanese traditions
- Might be too expensive
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The Best electric grills
Some people claim that electric grills do not have so-loved smoked scent and flavor at all. Well, we can’t disagree with that, but what if you do not have a yard or a terrace and only have a balcony?
Should you give up having a barbecue? Of course not.
This model is powered with an electrical outlet and heats up very fast, thus this could be a great option for a balcony or small patio as you do not need any additional fuel.
This, however, can’t compensate the reduction in flavor. The other disadvantage we have found in such type of BBQ appliances are their inability to have high heat, thus it is not for searing food.
However, if you do not have much space, and are limited to a very small area, and have no other options, but you want to enjoy a BBQ, you can give this inexpensive option a try.
- Compact in size
- Doesn’t need any fuel, just an electrical outlet
- Can be placed wherever you want
- Food doesn’t taste the same a traditional grilling
The Best pellet grills
Amongst the other types of grills, but less popular are pellet grills. This model is powered by hardwood pellets which are compressed wood scraps.
It is a well-known fact that genuine hardwood pallets give your food a flavor and scent, which is much superior than any other high end smoker might offer.
There do arise some cons: pallets must be stored in a special place and they are also quite expensive: some pellets can even cost you the price of buying a new gas grill.
There is also a special procedure for burning them: you have to place the pellets in the burning area, then with the help of an electric auger controlled by a thermostat, set a fire, then the machine will control the inside temperature and add more pellets if needed.
Because this wood grills outdoor cooking is performed with the help of wood, the smoke is much richer and stronger than those in the charcoal lineup.
Despite its expensive maintenance, there is also one more thing you should be aware of if you decide to buy it: it can’t heat up to very high temperatures, the maximum heat is about 500 degrees F.
Stand up BBQ smokers fueled on pellets are really great for smoking meat, however they are not cheap to maintain.
So, if you do not want to pay regularly, the best outdoor smoker is not your fit.
- Unbelievable smoked scent and flavor
- Can’t reach high temperatures
The Best built in grills for an outdoor kitchen
Do you want to buy the best smoker for outdoor kitchen but do not have enough place for it? Then we have a great option for you – built in grills.
Built in gas grills are extremely popular today and can be placed either in your kitchen or in a commercial place.
They come in different shapes and designs and thus, they will be a great addition to your kitchen decor.
However, you are not limited to this, you can place you drop in smoker for an outdoor kitchen in your patio or yard.
You just need to decide which type of fuel will suit you: a charcoal BBQ or a gas one. If you prefer fast, even, and need to cook for many people at once, then try a gas model.
This might be a great variant for those who like organizing parties on a regular basis. However, charcoal give your food a tasty smoked scent, but, on the other hand, this will take much time and money for fuel from you.
Thus, if you do not rush and have enough time for cooking your food, you should give it a try.
A Built in smoker grill is great for those who do not have enough space for an ordinary one and can become a great addition to your kitchen or patio.
- Does not take much place
- Comes in various designs
- Can be either charcoal or gas
- Each of charcoal/gas models has its own cons described above
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The Best tailgate grill
Tailgate grills are an ideal choice for those who like traveling and especially camping. This best patio grill can run either on propane or charcoal, which means you can decide on your own one to choose.
Also, they are lightweight, and thus easily transported in your car trunk or RV. You can set it up each time you want to go for an outdoor picnic or camping and enjoy fresh and crispy hot dogs or burgers.
Today you can find numerous models of different styles and shapes, amongst which are portable grills and kettle grills. Most of them are made of durable material, thus will serve you for a long time.
You can also choose between propane or charcoal as well, which make them even more convenient. Being compact doesn’t mean having a small cooking area, there are models which have enough space for cooking for four people at once.
The most important thing to consider is that the price range for such type of grills varies, thus you can find great deals between $30-$200.
Buying an appliance for tailgating or camping is not a bad idea since there is such an abundance of various models in the market, you will be able to find the best small outdoor grill that will suit you the most.
- Wide price range
- Different sizes, styles, and shapes
- Compact size
- If you want to cook for many people at once, it’s not the best option
The Best grill and smoker combo
What is the best smoker grill combo? This is a very popular question among buyers who have never owned a grill and smoker: 2 in 1 combo. The ability to both grill your food at a high temperature and slow smoke it is a great combo that many BBQ tools feature today.
Can you make a rational decision and choose the best wood burning grills and smokers yourself, which can cook both mouth-watering and tender steaks? The big plus of a grill with a smoker is that it perfectly keeps the smoke inside, which guarantees a rich flavor of your food.
Better texture and taste of food are the main criteria why most purists prefer buying propane smoker combo grills, or a gas charcoal smoker combo instead of a traditional model.
If you fancy barbecue, and want to try something new and get acquaintance with smoking food, then you should look through our best grill and smoker guide for which we have dedicated a whole page.
There you can find Omaha grill reviews made by our experts after testing these devices for a while and many more interesting facts and checks.
Our list of key features you should pay attention to when choosing the best grill
How does an ideal grill look like and what features should it have? We have spent much time creating this list of must have features and qualities your grill should have in order to be worth buying.
Choosing a grill is not easy, but keeping in mind our expert advice, it is manageable. So here they are:
What type of grill should you buy
Have you ever imagined that today you are able to buy a grill for a boat and cook your favorite hot dogs on a river or lake!
Today you can find different models with special design and construction for various purposes.
It is essential to keep this factor in mind when selecting your own grill as it determines the full functionality of your device.
Thus, buying a gas grill, which can cook at a very high temperature is a crucial factor for the best gas grill for steaks should have if you buy it for searing meat; charcoal and pellet grills will better suited for smoking and can give you the unbelievable smoked aroma of your food.
If you are limited in space, then have a look at built-in models, which are ideal for an outdoor kitchen, balcony or small patio. They are usually compact in size, but some are still very powerful. If you are an adventurist and fancy traveling, then choose a tailgate model.
It is the best choice for campers or RV lovers thanks to their small size and easy of setting up.
However, if you need a device for a backyard BBQ, then you have unlimited options, as all the above mentioned devices will cope with this task easily.
Thus, when selecting your ideal BBQ helper, first think on what purpose it serves. This will help you avoid any regrets after buying.
What size grill should you buy
Another important issue to consider is the size of your future grill. Do you have a large backyard, small patio, or a tiny balcony? If you have a lot of space, then it won’t be a big problem for you, but what if every square inch matters?
In this case the size is crucial as you do not want your device to take up all the free space you have. Do not worry, this doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find a deal for you!
There are numerous models available today starting from huge gas devices that are capable of grilling for lots to compact and easy-to-carry ones, which are ideal if you just need cooking for yourself or for a small family.
It doesn’t mean that if you buy a small grill, it won’t be powerful, as today you can find various devices compact in size but with a huge cooking area and multiple burners.
Another issue is selecting the necessary cooking area of your device. Just think how much food you need on a daily basis and choose the appropriate model.
Many grills not only have a main cooking area, but also side shelves, additional cooking space, rotisserie etc. This means you are not limited to the main cooking area, but have extra space for preparing your food.
Which grill grates are best
Cooking grates are one of the main elements of any grill. That is why it is important to buy ones made of high-quality material. The most popular materials of cooking grates today are cast iron and stainless steel. These two coatings are the best for cleaning and won’t rust after time, however, each of them have some peculiarities. Thus, stainless steel grates are much easier to clean than the cast iron ones, but they are worse in holding heat. On the contrary, cast iron grates are perfect in keeping heat but they are harder to clean after use. Keeping in mind these peculiarities, you will be able to choose which one to choose.
How to start a grill
Let us talk about the ignition system of a grill and which one to choose. The most common ignition technology of gas models are a gas grill electric switch, in the other words a button that lights your device.
It is a very secure way to start your device without using matches and it won’t break after time if it is well-made. The same technology is used to start a pellet grill.
Another situation is starting a charcoal grill, as this process is time-consuming. Of course, you can buy some lighter liquid to make this process faster, but most of them are dangerous and can cause a fire.
That is why you should search for alternatives. Today, the most efficient and quickest way on how to light a charcoal appliance is buying a charcoal chimney.
This device uses your old newspapers and other useless paper as fuel, without any chemical liquids that can change the flavor and aroma of your food. You just need to place the paper inside your chimney, add charcoal on top and light it.
In about 10 minutes your BBQ helper is ready for cooking your dish. Another great option is buying an electric charcoal fire starter, which you should place in your grill along with charcoal. It gives your charcoal heat for lighting and later on can be removed.
These two options ensure your charcoal is burnt together without all the dangerous substances in it and you can start cooking without any worries.
How to control grill temperature
Temperature control is not the least to be mentioned when choosing a grill as it determines how even and fast your meal cooks.
Different grills have various temperature control systems and today we will talk of the most common ones.
Gas grills temperature control depends on the number and quality of burners. Burners are in charge of controlling the heat of your device and time for it to heat up.
Thus, the more burners your device has, the faster it heats up and more control over the cooking process you have.
You can even create so-called heat zones – zones of high and low temperatures on your device, which allow you to cook various things at once.
Thus you can sear your meat on direct high temperature and simultaneously toast burger buns on low, indirect heat.
Speaking of a charcoal grill, here a charcoal grill lid matters for controlling the temperature.
It is very important to choose a high-quality lid that fits your device tightly.
Dampers are other elements that are crucial: it is better to have at least two dampers, one for letting oxygen in and a second for releasing exhaust.
The more dampers your device features, the more control you have, especially with huge models.
Of course, the most precise temperature control you get is buying a kamado grill.
This egg-shaped grill with a thick ceramic wall coating can maintain perfect temperature.
If you want to buy a pellet grill, have a look at its temperature controller installed. The most common pellet grill controller types are:
- Three stage controller, which is not very effective and quite outdated. It features only three modes and can’t maintain temperature well. Thus it is not the best choice for you.
- Multi-position/digital controllers – this is a better option but with its drawbacks as well. Here you can set the temperature at intervals of about +/- 25 degrees F.
- PID Controller, which today is the best option. It helps maintain temperature very accurately. It is great when dealing with smoking at low temperatures and you can let your pellet device work for an entire day without any worries.
As you see, various grills have their own peculiarities regarding temperature control, but after reading our guide you will have a general view on what to look for when choosing your ideal grill.
Grill cleaning methods
Who doesn’t dream their devices clean themselves automatically after each use and you do not need to spend much time like cinderella on cleaning it?
Unfortunately, it is not possible, but some grills today offer special technology for an easy cleaning process. Let’s look at the most popular ones.
You do not need to spend a lot of time on cleaning your gas grills, as there is no ash or coal left after its use.
Everything depends only on the material the grates are made of; thus stainless steel grates are much easier to clean than cast iron ones.
The opposite situation is with charcoal grills, as charcoal turns to ash that is not easy to clean.
Manufacturers have found a solution – a removable ash catcher inserted in your grill will help to remove the ash after each use very fast.
Speaking of pellet grills, some models have a patented ash clean-out system, which drastically helps reduce the time for cleaning your device.
The last but not least is a warranty of your device. This is a very important factor you should ask your seller for not only speaking of grills but any device you are going to buy.
It is better to get a solid warranty with a long coverage time, which ensures you will get a replacement or your money back if your device breaks down.
However, here you can find some pitfalls as well, as not all the elements of your device may have the same warranty coverage.
For exterior elements, the most common guarantee coverage is about 5 years, for some interior components, it could be only about 1-3 years.
You should not underestimate this factor and think that nothing will happen with your grill. This way you will stay secured.
Answers to the most common grill questions
Improper cleaning of your device might influence the taste of your food, that is why it is necessary to clean it after each use.
You should clean cooking grates thoroughly with a wire brush to avoid food sticking.
You can also buy various cleaning liquids to make cleaning more efficient, but be careful of the coating of your grates, as cast iron grates might rust if you use too much water and don’t dry them immediately after cleaning.
The same situation is with charcoal models, dumping ashe out is not enough, always make sure your grates are clean.
If you own a gas grill, clean the burners and cooking area under grates as well.
Did you know that you can easily convert your gas grill to charcoal one or natural gas?
The situation with natural gas is quite obvious, you just need to connect your device to a main gas line, but what about converting it into a charcoal-fueled one?
If you are tired of using a gas grill, you can remove all the gas components from your device and transform it into charcoal one.
Manufacturers today use such technology for their devices so that they are not afraid of any temperature changes.
But if your grill doesn’t have a special coating, you should follow some simple steps to avoid having it damaged.
To winterize it properly, you should first clean everything: grates, burners and other components.
Fix every issue your device might have when and then buy a cover for it. A good cover can prevent any grill damage caused by wet weather.
Also, you can cover your device if it stands in an open area each time it’s raining to prevent rusting.
Many people do not know how much charcoal to use for your device for its proper functioning and to avoid overloading. This depends on the diameter of your device.
We can say that 7-10lb packs of charcoal sold in various shops will be quite enough for two BBQs if the diameter of your grill is about 12”-15”.
The first thing is buying a good grill with a temperature gauge to control the cooking process.
Secondly, realize that smoking a slice of meat does take time, thus you should be ready for the fact that preparing meat at low temperatures could possibly take a day.
Also, if you are using a pellet or charcoal grill, you should choose the appropriate wood. Pine will destroy the smell and flavor of your food, its better to choose cherry, apple, mesquite,or oak.
The other rule is keep lit coals at your disposal to maintain your grill at a constant temperature and add more every 30-40 minutes.
The necessary temperature should be about 220F and the last tip we want to share with you is not to touch your meat, as it is cooking under indirect heat and does not need flipping.
Conclusion about choosing the best grill for your needs
Choosing the best grill today is a very hard task, especially if you are a newbie and do not know exactly what you need.
In this case, our buyer’s guide created by BBQ experts will come in handy for you.
As we have already clarified, before buying a grill in 2018, you should realize how much space is available and what purpose you need it for.
If you are a party host who enjoys organizing BBQ gatherings every weekend, then a gas grill will suit you the best.
Most models have a large cooking area and multiple burners; thus you can cook hot dogs and burgers for a large group at once.
If you want to buy a durable device that will serve you for years and is able to cook your food fast and evenly and you have enough money for the investment, have a look at kamado egg-shaped grills constructed according to ancient Japanese traditions. They are really worth buying.
If you are a traveler and want to carry a grill with you in your car or RV, have a look at some compact models of barrel, kettle, or tailgate grils. Do not judge them by their size, there are many powerful models on the market today.
If you don’t have enough space for a grill, then a built-in or electric device is for you. Choosing them, you can save a lot of space but still enjoy a BBQ. However, electric grills do not have the same outcome as the rest of the above-mentioned.