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Best Value Grills & Smokers of 2015

It's time replace that rusty old grill and smoker. To make your purchase less daunting, we have selected the Best Value Grills & Smokers of 2015 from our searchable database of ratings and reviews of more than 500 cookers from 180 manufacturers.

sear burner

This year's winners are equipped with more features than ever before. Many gas grills now have special high heat sear burners for crispier brown steaks, while charcoal grills are designed for easier ash removal. More manufacturers are integrating digital technology and some even feature remote systems that monitor and even control cooking from a smartphone or tablet.

Weber dominated the list as it usually does with eight of the 50 selections because their machines are so well engineered, built to last, and carry reliable warranties. Several newcomers have cracked the lineup, among them the new high-tech Saber Edge Grill, an infrared gas grill that communicates in real time with your smartphone, and the Karubecue C-60 Pit, a one of a kind wood fired smoker that turns the greenest backyard novice into a wizened Texas Pit Boss.

Of the 50 selections, prices range from $30 to $50,000, with 23 choices under $500. 27 were made primarily in the US, 11 come from China, 9 from Canada, one from Denmark, one from Germany, and one from Indonesia.

Some categories, like kamados and pellet smokers are growing rapidly. Kamados are usually egg shaped and well insulated, with many made from ceramics. Pellet smokers are another hot item. They burn wood pellets made from compressed hardwood sawdust from saw mills and most have thermostat controls, just like your kitchen oven.

Max Good, our Director of Equipment Reviews & Keeper of the Flame, explains "We rate and review as objectively as possible, measuring temperatures, slamming lids, turning dials, studying warranties, and kicking casters, but inevitably intangibles such as look and feel have to be considered. One of my favorites was the Pit Barrel Cooker, on the list for its second year. The US made barrel shaped smoker is only $299 delivery included."

By the way, Good is the only person in the world whose full time job is testing, researching, rating, and reviewing grills and smokers. He laments that most manufacturers continue to include cheap bimetal dial thermometers mounted in the top of the lid. They are frequently off by more than 50°F! He thinks it is time for them to start installing digital thermometers on the cooking surface and indeed a few manufacturers are leading the way. And while they're at it, he'd love to see gas grills add a feature that every indoor gas oven has: A thermostat. "We shudder to think how much food is ruined because backyard cooks can't control the temp of their cooker." He recommends that you budget for a good digital oven thermometer and a separate digital food thermometer. We also have a database of reviews or more than 100 of them. We also have a database of reviews or more than 100 of them.

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Please read this before posting a comment or question

grouchy?1) Please use the table of contents or the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help, then please post your question on the appropriate page.

2) Please tell us everything we need to know to answer your question such as the type of cooker and thermometer you are using. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can't help you. Please read this article about thermometers.

3) If you post a photo, wait a minute for a thumbnail to appear. It will happen even if you don't see it happen.

4) Click here to learn more about our comment system and our privacy promise. Remember, your login info for comments is probably different from your Pitmaster Club login info if you are a member.

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About this website. AmazingRibs.com is all about the science of barbecue, grilling, and outdoor cooking, with great BBQ recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, and unbiased equipment reviews. Learn how to set up your grills and smokers properly, the thermodynamics of what happens when heat hits meat, and how to cook great food outdoors. There are also buying guides to hundreds of barbeque smokers, grills, accessories, and thermometers, as well as hundreds of excellent tested recipes including all the classics: Baby back ribs, pulled pork, Texas brisket, burgers, chicken, smoked turkey, lamb, steaks, chili, barbecue sauces, spice rubs, and side dishes, with the world's best all edited by Meathead Goldwyn.

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