2017 Top 10 Luxury Grills And Smokers
We understand these picks are not for everyone. Once grill and smoker prices go past a certain level the market shrinks dramatically and continues to drop off as price tags rise.
Luxury means something to those who can afford it. Luxe cookers are usually extremely well built, loaded with options, and very good looking. That said, we remain baffled by how many still use cheap temperature indicators rather than high quality thermometers. Forgive us if we once again wonder out loud: Why can't an outdoor oven be as easy to operate as an indoor oven? Where are the thermostatic controls?
The list includes a mix that run on a variety of fuels from gas to charcoal to wood pellets and logs. Styles range from the stunning beauty of Fire Magic's stainless steel Echelon E1060 to the heavy metal traditional Texas J-3 wood burner by Jambo Pits.
The terms luxury and charcoal smoker rarely appear together but at more than $13,000 the new Kalamazoo Charcoal Smoker Cabinet definitely belongs here. This is the only under the counter charcoal smoker we know of that fits in seamlessly with a shiny stainless steel outdoor kitchen ensemble.
Nine of our Luxury Top 10s are Made in the USA and one in Indonesia.
How we review and rate grills and smokers
I am the only person in the world whose full time job is testing, researching, reviewing, and rating grills and smokers. Not a bad gig! I measure temperatures, slam lids, turn dials, study warranties, kick casters, and cook a lot of food, and consider look, feel, and price. I try to select devices that cover a range of prices, endeavoring to offer you a winner at whatever you can afford. We think these selections are Best Values in their price category. The thumbnail reviews in our Top 10 Lists are in order of manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), but actual prices can differ significantly, especially since many of these items can be highly customized. Please click the red links to read our complete detailed reviews and find links to suppliers, many of whom sell well below MSRP. In addition to our Top 10 Lists, we have a huge searchable Ratings & Reviews database with hundreds of smokers and grills.
It is a disappointment that so many manufacturers continue to include cheap bimetal dial heat indicators (we can't bring ourselves to call them thermometers). They are usually in the lid, far from where the cooking actually takes place and are frequently off by more than 50°F! Good cooking is all about temperature control. Without accurate thermometers you're asking for wasted money, overdone embarrassment, and food borne illness from underdone food. Please budget for a good digital oven thermometer and a separate rapid read digital food thermometer. For more info, we also have a database of reviews for more than 100 thermometers.
Weber Summit E-470 and S-470 4-Burner Gas Grills $2,149 - 4th Year On Our List!
For many Weber grills are the Gold Standard, and Summits are the best gas grills they make. The 470 is a good size grill that's got it all. Heavy stainless steel cooking grates, powerful burners that reach searing temps of 750°F then blast up to 900°F degrees when you crank the sear burner, a fun and functional rotisserie motor that pops up from the left side shelf then snaps back out of the way when not in use. They even have an LED fuel level indicator on the control panel that shows approximately how much propane is left in your tank. Summits are packaged almost fully assembled and you can get them anywhere from Amazon to Home Depot to fancy hearth and patio stores. Made in the USA. Click here to read our complete review of the Weber Summit E-470 and S-470 4-Burner.
Fast Eddy's by Cookshack PG1000 $2,795 – 3rd Year On Our List!
The Fast Eddy's by Cookshack (FEC) PG1000 Pellet Smoker is a collaborative design from respected smoker manufacturer, Cookshack, and competition barbecue circuit pro, "Fast Eddy" Maurin. The FEC line,has been popular with competitive teams for years. While most FEC models have a utilitarian appearance, the beautifully crafted stainless steel PG1000 fits right in with your shiny outdoor kitchen.
Most pellet smokers are wood burning ovens, great for ribs, turkey, brisket and butts, not so great for grilling steaks and burgers. The PG1000 was one of the first pellet burners to offer a sear station, a cast iron cooking grate right over the firepot where the wood pellets burn. It isn't the best setup for searing, but it does OK in a pinch and you can definitely finish your smoked chicken to crisp and brown. The real beauty of Fast Eddy's design is it produces meat with a deep mahogany finish, much like a competition grade offset smoker. It also has two upper level heat zones for a total of four distinct temperature zones.
Thermostatically controlled pellet smokers are a joy to work with, just set the desired temp like you do on your kitchen oven then walk away. No muss, no fuss, no babysitting, and excellent results every time. Made in the USA. Click here to read our complete review of the Fast Eddy's by Cookshack PG1000.
Grillworks 36 $4,575 – New To Our List!
The Grillworks 36 is one of their most popular residential models. Beautifully crafted from high quality 304 stainless steel, these artisanal grills cook over an open fire using a crank to raise or lower the two 18" x 19" grates for heat control. Widely used in Spain, Italy and South America, this design was popularized in the United States in Southern California and commonly referred to as Santa Maria grill after the namesake town northwest of Los Angeles where grills like it are popular for cooking the local specialty, Beef Tri-Tip. Grillworks produces a wide variety of vertical lift grills from residential models like this 36 incher to enormous commercial kitchen creations that are all the rage in restaurants. All are made to order: they don't stock inventory. "People who are likely to be our customers have unique design ideas in their heads", says Grillworks, "They're not interested in a big stainless steel box with a bunch of modular cabinets". Made in the USA. Click here to read our complete review of the Grillworks 36.
Memphis Elite Pellet Smoker $4,899 – 3rd Year On Our List!
The Memphis Elite, launched in March 2012, is the largest cooker in their impressive line of luxury pellet smokers. Memphis Pellet Smokers are extremely well built and designed. The top grade 304 stainless is thick and extraordinarily well machined. Fit and finish are impeccable. We tested the Memphis Pro and Meathead proclaimed it, "one of the best cookers I've ever had the pleasure to use". They may be ordered as drop-ins for installation or on a cart. Our posted price includes the cart.
Memphis Elite is a good-looking, versatile, easy to use machine. The "Intelligent Temperature Control" digital control panel is a sophisticated, touchpad PID controller that holds set temps with more accuracy than most kitchen ovens. Simple to operate, it has an integrated meat probe and some useful programming options. For example you can set it to cook your brisket up to 200°F and then drop to a lower cooking temp to stay warm without overcooking. Made in the USA. Click here to read our complete review of the Memphis Elite Pellet Smoker.
Komodo Kamado Big Bad 32" $5,910 – 3rd Year On Our List!
It's Big. It's Bad. It's Beautiful! Komodo Kamado makes some of the most striking, high quality cookers we've seen. Stunning assortments of inlaid tile finishes are available from colorful to subdued, but KKs are not just another pretty face. Quality and attention to detail are evident in everything you see and touch from the 304 stainless steel grates and hinges to the heavy duty casters. And the casters have to be powerful to support this Bad Boy weighing in at almost half a ton. It comes almost fully assembled. At 32 inches wide, this is the biggest Kamado on the market. Plenty of options are available from teakwood carts to gas ignition. Click here to read our complete review of the Komodo Kamado Big Bad 32".
Jambo Pits J-3 Model $7,500 – 3rd Year On Our List!
Your neighbors will be smitten with envy when this stunning professional offset smoker rolls into your driveway. Jambo Pits is the brainchild of award winning pitmaster Jamie Geer. On the competition circuit, Geer is famous for superior design, performance and beautiful fit and finish. With colorful enamel paint jobs, and characteristic streamlined trailers, Jambo's large custom pits resemble race cars.
Geer's insightful designs, based on experience from his championship days, have led numerous teams to victory across the country. It takes dedication to make an offset sing, but with a little effort, you'll be running with the Big Dogs of BBQ. Made in the USA. Click here to read our complete review of the Jambo Pits J-3 Model.
Rockwell by Caliber $9,500 – 2nd Year On Our List!
Beautifully crafted from aviation grade aluminum, stainless steel and Brazilian Cherry Wood, Rockwell is powered by Caliber's signature 20,000 BTU Crossflame burners. There's a social element to all BBQ, but Rockwell goes a step further with a roll top lid that can disappear completely, allowing grillers and guests 360 degree access to the cook surface and generous surrounding table space. Flip open a conventional grill and the lid will direct heat and smoke outward, while the wide open Rockwell lets heat rise up and away from bystanders. It blends the attributes of a luxury gas grill and kitchen island creating an enticing environment for everyone to gather around and enjoy food, drink and conversation. Made in the USA. Click here to read our complete review of the Rockwell by Caliber.
Kalamazoo Charcoal Smoker Cabinet $13,495 – New To Our List!
In 2017 Kalamazoo introduced their luxurious gravity-feed charcoal smoker cabinet in built-in and freestanding models. To the best of our knowledge, Kalamazoo offers the only under counter, stainless steel outdoor kitchen cabinet smoker on the market, designed to fit seamlessly with their entire collection of beautiful high performance outdoor cabinetry. That's a big deal and a timely idea we expect other outdoor kitchen manufacturers to emulate. Gravity-feed smokers have been around a long time. This means you don't have to keep adding charcoal, the vertical chute feeds it to the fire as needed and keeps the temp stable. While many high quality brands can produce similar results, they lack the sleek aesthetic qualities characteristic of all Kalamazoo products. In fact, Kalamazoo's major challenges in executing this mature design were repackaging a live fire smoker to work under a counter, not exceed 36" width and 30" depth, and provide optimal air flow while restricting the heat to the smoke box and nowhere else. Made in the USA. Click here to read our complete review of the Kalamazoo Charcoal Smoker Cabinet.
Fire Magic Echelon E1060 Gas Grill $14,000 – 3rd Year On Our List!
Fire Magic grills exude elegance and quality. Excellent in design and construction, beautiful to behold and priced accordingly. These are among the finest grills made. Echelon Diamond Series is Fire Magic's top of the line. All are made with high quality 304 stainless steel burners, cooking grates and housings that carry a lifetime warranty.
The E1060 is the largest Echelon. Four heavy cast stainless steel main burners with a total output of 115,000BTU provide ample fire power. It has a built-in digital thermometer and meat probe, 12" deep firebox (mighty nice for rotisserie) and double wall spring assisted hoods.
For outdoor kitchen installations, anything in the vast Fire Magic catalog may be incorporated. Some options are a motorized hood, solar panels and a remote receiver to monitor cooking temp and internal meat temp. Made in the USA. Click here to read our complete review of the Fire Magic Echelon E1060 Gas Grill.
Kalamazoo K-750 Hybrid Fire Grill $20,695 – 3rd Year On Our List!
In addition to being handmade with impeccable fit and finish, and over-built from head to toe with high quality 304 stainless steel, Kalamazoo is known for superb features like their 25,000 BTU cast brass burners, waterproof cabinets and internal chain-driven rotisseries. But, as award winning Chef Rick Bayless observes, the feature that really puts Kalamazoo over the top is their Hybrid Fire Grilling Drawer: A bed of slotted heat tents that slides between the main burners and grates. Empty, the tents radiate and disperse gas heat evenly to the grates. Loaded with charcoal or wood, they provide the best of both worlds with an extended temperature range of 150 to 1,200°F. Made in the USA. Click here to read our complete review of the Kalamazoo K750 Hybrid Fire Grill.