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.
- 2015 Top 10 Best Value Charcoal Grills
- 2015 Top 10 Best Value Gas Grills
- 2015 Top 10 Best Value Backyard Smokers
- 2015 Top 10 Best Value Tailgate & Portable Grills
- 2015 Top 10 Luxury Grills & Smokers
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.