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Article updated on May 29, 2024 at 10:53 AM PDT

Best Grills for 2024

Want to upgrade your home cookout? Here are the best gas, charcoal, electric and Kamado-style grills on the market so you can level-up your grilling game.

Our Experts

Written by 
James Bricknell
Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement
James Bricknell Senior Editor
James has been writing about technology for years but has loved it since the early 90s. While his main areas of expertise are maker tools -- 3D printers, vinyl cutters, paper printers, and laser cutters -- he also loves to play board games and tabletop RPGs.
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Our Picks

$1,020 at Monument Grills
A silver grill with sausages, burgers and chicken legs cooking on it
Best overall gas grill
Monument Denali 605 Pro 6-burner (Previously the 605)
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$96 at Walmart
Black grill with charcoal next it
Best budget grill for a large family
Expert Grill Heavy Duty 24-Inch Charcoal Grill
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$300 at Amazon
ninja woodfire grill
Best electric grill ever
Ninja Woodfire electric grill
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$900 at Traeger
Image of Traeger Flatrock
Best for tacos and smash burgers
Traeger Flatrock
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$199 at The Home Depot
Image of Nexgrill Daytona 2
Best budget grill/griddle
Nexgrill Daytona 2
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$399 at QVC
Image of Ninja Woodfire outdoor oven
Best grill for an outdoor kitchen
Ninja Woodfire outdoor oven
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$270 at Amazon
A tabletop griddle with chicken and pork cooking on it near a tent
Best camping griddle
Halo griddle
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$149 at Amazon
Image of Monument Grills Tabletop Propane Gas Grill
Best compact gas grill
Monument Grills Tabletop Propane Gas Grill
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$1,699 at Best Buy
egg-grills-5
Best kamado grill
Kamado Joe Classic III
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With summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to invest in a grill for backyard barbecues and low-key cooking. Whether you prefer a portable grill for impromptu picnics, traditional charcoal and pellet grills or high-heat kamado grills, I found the best grill for every grillmaster to achieve gorgeous grill marks and delicious feasts. Plus, with Memorial Day sales still going, you may even score a deal.

If you're considering what type of grill to get, check out our guide to pellet, charcoal, and gas grill variants. If you're looking to get hold of other appliances, don't miss out on the best Memorial Day appliance sales.

What's the best grill of 2024?

After spending countless hours grilling and smoking, including burning and eating hamburgers, chicken, corn and kebob skewers, we've managed to crown the best grill overall: the Denali 605Pro smart grill from Monument. It's a gas grill large enough to feed a huge family, or the entire block if you're having a cookout. It's equipped with smart technology, so you can keep an eye on the food even from the kitchen.

Steak, asparagus and mushrooms grilling on the rack
James Bricknell/CNET

While the perfect grill may not exist for everyone, many grills tick a lot of boxes. The right grill for you depends on what type of food you want to grill, so bear that in mind. Here is some guidance:

  • Charcoal grill: Good for high heat and getting that perfect char.
  • Gas grill: Great for large grills and spur-of-the-moment outdoor cooking.
  • Flat top grills (griddles): Perfect for smash burgers and tacos.
  • Pellet grill: Perfect for long, slow cooking and smoking your food.
  • Kamado grill: Great for extreme heat or heat retention.
  • Pizza oven: Wonderful for pizza, sure, but great for other breads, too.

No matter what type of outdoor grill you choose, you should brush up on how to clean it (keeping that grilling surface clean with a grill brush and grill cleaner is essential) and get the best accessories for grilling. Having the right techniques and tools of the trade will complement your perfect grill, turn you into a grill master extraordinaire and make your cookouts a breeze.

Best grills

$1,020 at Monument Grills

Best overall gas grill

Monument Denali 605 Pro 6-burner (Previously the 605)

Update: The latest update to the Denali 605 Pro has been tested by us and has now reached the top spot. All the notes about the Denali 605 still stand but the Pro has some extra features which elevate it beyond the standard. The burner on the left has been replaced with a ceramic "searing station" which still managed to cook a pot of beans while also allowing me to get a fantastic crisp on my steak. The Pro also comes with a rotisserie spit and motor, a grill cover and a replaceable section of the grilling rack that can become a pizza stone or griddle. All of these extras come at the same $900 price as the original and make the Denali 605 Pro the best deal in grilling today.

While a giant six-burner grill may not be for everyone, the Monument Denali is the perfect balance of modern thinking, price point and quality. Like any modern smart grill, the Denali has temperature probes to accurately watch your food and uses an app to connect those probes to your phone. You can set the app to alert you when your food reaches the correct temperature or after a certain time limit. 

The size of the Denali is impressive, giving you room to easily cook for multiple guests. I especially liked the little slots for hanging your drumsticks so that they cook evenly. All the food I tested was tender, and the probes did a good job pinpointing the right temperature. My medium-rare steaks were perfectly cooked, and burger patties were browned evenly across the entire range. The addition of the burner to the side meant I could cook some delicious barbecue beans at the same time as the meat, and I didn't need to bounce from inside to outside to keep everything cooking.

My only complaint with the Denali 605 is the time it took to build. It comes disassembled for easy shipping, but putting it together was tedious, with a lot of guesswork when the instructions weren't clear. Once it was built, it worked great, but it was a pain to get it together.

$96 at Walmart

Best budget grill for a large family

Expert Grill Heavy Duty 24-Inch Charcoal Grill

When I first moved out to the High Desert in California, I knew I wanted a grill that could handle enough food for a party. I also knew that moving was expensive, so it had to be affordable. I picked up this heavy-duty grill at Walmart and was instantly impressed with how well it was constructed. After putting it all together, there was a heft to all the materials that made me think it would stand the test of time, and it did.

The easily removable ashtray made keeping the grill clean a breeze, and the thermometer on the top is helpful for smoking meats, especially if you don't want to keep lifting the lid and losing the smoke. Little touches like the bottle opener and the hooks under the shelf were also helpful. I used this grill for nearly six years before I moved again. Even when I left, the new owners took it to use with their families.

I have used a lot of really expensive grills, but this budget-friendly, sturdy workhorse is still one of my favorites.

$300 at Amazon

Best electric grill ever

Ninja Woodfire electric grill

The Ninja Woodfire has all the convenience of an indoor electric grill and air fryer with the addition of a small smoking hopper that lets you burn pellets. These pellets add a distinctive smoky taste to anything you are cooking without the need for an entire smoker to do it.

I've cooked chicken, salmon and beef on the grill setting using just a cup of pellets, saving a lot of time and money compared with a full-size smoker. It even works with the air fryer, so making crispy wings with an Applewood smoke taste is easy. 

$900 at Traeger

Best for tacos and smash burgers

Traeger Flatrock

While the Flatrock is pricey for a flat-top griddle, its quality and usefulness can't be overstated. Some foods just can't be cooked on a standard grill, including tacos and smash burgers, but a flat-top griddle makes them a breeze. (By the way, if you've never had a smash burger, you need one in your life. They're amazing.)

The Flatrock uses Traeger's Pop and Lock system for accessories, so if you already have one of the brand's grills, you can mix and match what you need. You will need to cure the Flatrock's surface, but I enjoyed creating just the right surface for my needs. I use the Flatrock more than any other grill right now, and it is my go-to for burgers and tacos.

$199 at The Home Depot

Best budget grill/griddle

Nexgrill Daytona 2

While the Traeger is a fantastic flat-top grill, it is big and heavy, and sometimes you don't need to cook tacos for 10 people. The Nexgrill griddle is much smaller, perfect for a small family of four, and is collapsable so it can be easily stored under your deck, or even thrown in the back of your truck to take camping. 

I did find the instructions a little hard to follow, so make sure you have some time to put it together right.  

$399 at QVC

Best grill for an outdoor kitchen

Ninja Woodfire outdoor oven

Like the Ninja Woodsmoke grill above, this outdoor oven uses a small pellet smoker on the side to infuse the food with a smoky flavor. The difference with this oven is that it can cook at very high temperatures to turn out pizzas or make burnt ends, or you can drop the temp and slow-cook meat to perfection. If you have a built-in outdoor kitchen, this will look fantastic in that setting.

$270 at Amazon

Best camping griddle

Halo griddle

Halo has made some excellent products over the last few years, including a pizza oven that I liked when testing, but this griddle is a stand-out product. On top of all the standard testing I do with grills, I got to take it for the first camping trip of the season and it held up like an absolute champ. The cooking surface heated evenly, and because of the inspired idea to include a spirit level and adjustable feet, I could set it up on a rickety picnic table and not have my eggs run to one corner. That spirit level is such a good idea.

I love having a giant griddle to cook for my huge family, but the Halo tabletop griddle is perfect for making a few smash burgers, or some breakfast burritos without using a ton of gas to do it.

$149 at Amazon

Best compact gas grill

Monument Grills Tabletop Propane Gas Grill

When space is limited, finding the right grill to give you the taste you want can be hard. This gas grill from Monument is compact on the outside but surprisingly large on the inside. It's big enough to cook a spatchcocked turkey or several large steaks and, because it's a gas grill, it's ready as soon as you want to use it. 
If you only have a small outdoor space or a little balcony, this would be a great addition to make your grilling dreams come true.

$1,699 at Best Buy

Best kamado grill

Kamado Joe Classic III

Kamado grilling cookers are distinctively egg-shaped wood-burning grills. They impart a delicious smoky flavor to everything, and this is the best grill in the bunch. They can run low and slow for hours at smoker temperatures and sear at high heat levels that go well beyond the capabilities of gas grills. That's hot enough to create true steakhouse steaks and real wood-fired pizza like a pro griller.

The Kamado Joe Classic III may have a steep price tag, but this high-end grill delivers plenty of cooking power for the money. That means lots of grilling accessories that don't come standard with other grills, including the Big Green Egg. It performs well, too. On our slow-and-low barbecue grill test, we adjust grills to 225 degrees Fahrenheit (107 degrees Celsius) and let go of the controls to see what happens. In this trial, the Joe Classic III demonstrated excellent temperature stability. 

How we test grills

We test the main types of grills differently, but for most, we include a high-heat test like searing steak or grilling burgers; a medium, indirect heat test like grilling a whole chicken for more than an hour; and a low-and-slow test with racks of ribs.

To determine what should be the best outdoor barbecue grill, we collect data including total cooking time, temperatures inside the grill and temperature inside separate pieces of meat. All that information helps us find where grills might have hot spots or thermometer inconsistencies.

A thermal image of a grill
James Bricknell / CNET

I use the InfiRay P2 Pro to test how fast the grills heat up and if the heat is even. It only works as the grills heat up because the top temperature is too high, but it gives me a good idea of how well each grill spreads the needed heat.

There's also a fair amount of (read: so much) blind taste testing, lively debate and voting among our editors and families, in addition to the data we gather about grilling temperatures and cooking times. You might think it would be more fun than work to eat delicious food while discussing the merits of a grill, and you'd be right.

If you're interested in any particular method of testing, we've got that, plus our recommendations for cooking with kamado grills, portable grills and charcoal grills ready for your perusal. Happy grilling.

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