Get your tongs, grills and steaks ready. The end of winter means a lot of awesome things, many of which involve you spending more time outside and not freezing your butt off. But at the top of the list of reasons we love spring/summer has to be the fact that we get to enjoy some freshly grilled meat with an ice-cold brew every damn day. After all, few things can make you feel quite as manly as grilling the prefect burger and chowing down with friends. According to chef, culinary badass, and TV personality who literally gets paid to travel the world, eat and say whatever the F he wants, Anthony Bourdain (aka our hero), grilling is an important part of being a normal dude. He argues that grilling in the backyard represents a sense of normalcy for men and that “sooner or later everybody throws some kind of meat over the grill…it’s a great American outdoor activity.” And what does Bourdain do while his meat is getting ready and his grill is heating up? “I’m drinking a beer while I’m grilling. It’s an important part of the process. I’m not drinking the expensive craft beer. I don’t want to have to think about, evaluate, or even particularly enjoy the beer. I’m drinking utility beer.” Sounds about right, and pretty darn appealing right about now.
So, as the weather starts to get a little more grill-friendly, what do you need to do to be prepared? Sure, you need some good recipes and grilling tips from the pros. But first and foremost you need a good model. It’s time to up your grilling game and get smart about your gear so that you can be ready for the upcoming season. Here are some of best models on the market. Peruse, print this out, take it with you as you shop, and consider yourself officially ready to get cooking.
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1. Broil-Mate 165154 LP Gas Grill
The guys at AmazingRibs.com know a thing or two about awesome grills that offer the best value and cook up the best meat, and they love this simple, no-fuss gas model from Broil-Mate. Its cast aluminum body is a throw back to the first generation of gas models back in the 60s, long before stainless steel became the norm. This solid grill gets the job done, it is heavy-duty, comes with an excellent warranty and the best part, the price tag isn’t outrageous. This is a great grill if you’re looking for a basic cooker that might not look fancy or impressive, but it works well every time.
2. Blaze Professional 34-Inch Propane Gas Grill With Rear Infrared Burner On Cart
A more impressive-looking grill for the serious griller and chef (or wanna-be chef), this gas grill is fully loaded and offers some major cooking power. It is durable, easy to clean, and will accommodate all your cooking needs. While it might be more expensive, it delivers on value, with tons of extras to help you cook perfectly no matter how skilled you are at the grill. According to Chef Tony Matassa in his product review, the grill’s “extra thick hexagonal cooking grids deliver picture perfect steak house sear marks every time.” Sign us up.
3. Broil King Baron 440
This highly rated gas grill is shockingly affordable considering how well made it is and how well it works when grilling meat. This grill has 4 main burners with cast-iron grates, which allow you to cook your food evenly because the heat remains consistent throughout the grill. It’s also easy to clean, and while the cooking surface might be somewhat more limited than other, larger grills, it’s a great investment for casual grillers who aren’t looking to host a massive party (it only fits about 15 burgers at a time).
4. Weber Q 1400 Electric Grill
While we usually picture a gas grill when we envision our next BBQ, don’t knock electric models until you try them. This awesome grill from Weber cooks your meat perfectly and evenly, and the results are so tasty you won’t even realize you used an electric grill. If you live in a condo, you don’t have outdoor space or you don’t need a heavy-duty gas grill this is for you. All you need to do is plug it in and get to the good stuff…plus it’s easy to clean up and really easy to store or take with you on your next tailgate, camping trip or travel adventure.
5. Napoleon TravelQ™ PRO285 Portable Propane Grill with Scissor Cart
If you like to grill on the go, (we’re looking at you, dude who always hosts the tailgate), or you simply want a grill that is flexible, portable and easy to move around your property, this grill is for you. First of all, it is super compact—just look at it. It folds up to take with you or store when you aren’t using it, it has side tables that fold out for prep work (or let’s be real–to hold your beer) and despite it’s size, it can still handle 16 burgers at once. Whoever said size doesn’t matter was clearly talking about this grill.