2017 Top 8 Best Value Multifunction Grills And Smokers
While it's not unusual for backyard chefs to stretch the capabilities of their cookers to both smoke and grill, often with ingenious tactics, we used the following criteria to define what belongs on our Multifunction Grills And Smokers list: It must perform with ease and produce excellent results as both a dedicated smoker and a dedicated grill with a design that integrates both functions effectively right out of the box without the need for optional accessories.
You may question the validity of tagging some of these "Best Value", but keep in mind, they do the job of two devices.
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.
Meadow Creek PR36 $755 - 4th Year On Our List!
This is one versatile cooker. Smoke, roast and grill burgers, ribs, turkeys, and it can even handle a small whole pig! There is a deep trough and a tall lid with a solid strong hinge. A tray for charcoal hangs inside the trough 6" below the grate. Load it up and you can bring coal very close to the food for a quick hot sear. Or, if you wish, coals can be placed right on the bottom of the trough. You can then place the empty coal tray above coals for indirect cooking, or even fill the tray with water for steaming. Push the coals to one side and you have a fine 2-zone setup and put wood on the coals and you can smoke as well as any offset smoker. The coal tray lifts out easily so ash disposal is a snap. Made in the USA. Click here to read our complete review of the Meadow Creek PR36.
Primo Oval Junior $832 – 5th Year On Our List!
Smokers based on an ancient Japanese "kamado" design are all the rage. Most are made from ceramics that are very efficient, holding heat and using very little charcoal. They can also be used as grills, but the cone shape of most of them doesn't make them ideal for 2-zone cooking, a technique we consider vital for grilling. The two Primo models, which are oval shaped and can be easily set up with two zones, are great for 2-zone grilling. They come with two position split cooking grates that can be set up high for indirect cooking, or flipped over to position foods down low to the fire for searing. The split half-moon shaped grates allow you to accentuate the difference between a direct and indirect zone by piling charcoal on one side and positioning one grate over it down low for a direct zone, with the other grate up high away from the fire for an indirect zone. There is even a larger model, the XL. We like them better than the Big Green Egg, the model that has been around the longest. Made in the USA. Click here to read our complete review of the Primo Oval Junior.
The Good-One Open Range $1,099 – 4th Year On Our List!
The Good-One Open Range is a charcoal grill with a smoke chamber attached. It is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. The grill sits low in front and doubles as a firebox for the smoke chamber which is spliced on above and behind so it can work like a horizontal offset smoker only better. By placing the heat source behind and under the smokebox instead of off to the side, Open Range produces even temperature from left to right, something almost impossible to achieve with a standard barrel shaped offset. The Open Range has 360 square inches of primary cooking surface in the lower chamber and another 360 square inches in the rear chamber. Made in the USA. Click here to read our complete review of The Good-One Open Range.
Hasty-Bake Gourmet 256 Dual Finish Charcoal Grill $1,399 – 4th Year On Our List!
Since 1948 Hasty Bake has made charcoal cookers with a unique design that specifically enables owners to easily and effectively smoke, grill and super-sear with one unmodified cooker and no optional add-on devices. The adjustable coal tray moves up and down with a crank on the left side. A large door on the right side gives complete access to the charcoal tray to easily add coal and move it around for 2-zone cooking. There is a removable heat deflector above the coal grate to improve indirect cooking. In addition to the 522 square inches of main cooking surface, it has an upper rack and a glass window to keep an eye on the food inside. Hasty-Bake is made to last and many families hold onto them for generations. The company even offers restoration on old models. Our president, Meathead, says it is his favorite grill. Period. Made in the USA. Click here to read our complete review of the Hasty-Bake Gourmet 256 Dual Finish Charcoal Grill.
Lang 36" Hybrid Patio Model $1,595 – New To Our List!
Lang's 36" Hybrid Patio Smoker combines their popular 36" residential smoker with a 30" charcoal grill. Most hybrids you see in big box stores are a cheap gas grill bolted to a cheap charcoal grill; neither side performs well and you can get better equipment by purchasing two separate cookers. Not so with Lang's Hybrid. You get a full version of Lang's competition quality, reverse flow residential offset smoker with a 17" x 17" firebox on the right and a double rack charcoal grill extension on the left. Another thing that burns our bacon about those cheapo dual cookers: What do you do when one side inevitably dies? Now you have a crumby cooker with a useless piece of junk stuck to it. No worries with Lang. This baby will last for generations. Made in the USA. Click here to read our complete review of the Lang 36" Hybrid Patio Model.
Weber Summit Charcoal Grill $1,699 – 2nd Year On Our List!
Introduced in 2016, the Weber Summit Charcoal Grill is a radical departure from George Stephen's original Weber Kettle and Weber's first major upgrade to the kettle in decades. Although prices are in line with Summit gassers and premium quality kamados on carts, they're a big leap up from the kettles we know and love. Many who already smoke and grill on their kettles will shrug and wonder why spend more. At the end of the day, it's true that a regular classic Weber kettle can grill and smoke, but the new Summits are just plain bigger and better in every way. You get more capacity, ease of use and more versatility. It actually is a dedicated charcoal smoker by design reminiscent of a kamado, and we love the adjustable coal grate that burns directly under the cook surface for better searing. So is it a kamettle? Kettlelado? No doubt these new Charcoal Summits will shake up the backyard cooker market and you can bet kamado makers are winding up their counter punches. Made in the USA. Click here to read our complete review of the Weber Summit Charcoal Grill.
M Grill M1 Charcoal Grill and Smoker $1,995 – 2nd Year On Our List!
M Grill is a newcomer, putting a fresh face on a classic residential charcoal grill design that predates the Weber Kettle. We're referring to the Hasty-Bake listed above. M Grill's M1 has a similar charcoal grate that can be raised or lowered with a crank just like Hasty-Bake. Crank the fire up high for searing or down low for temp control. But there are notable differences between the two. For $600 more than the HB Gourmet 256, you get a dedicated firebox with a heavy 1/4" steel door and slide out basket that burns either charcoal or logs and inside there is a reverse flow ducting for gentle even smoking. Stainless steel rod grates are a step up from Hasty-Bake's nickel plated grates and overall construction is beefed up with thick 10 gauge welded steel, gaskets on the lid, and big locking casters. The heavy steel M1 holds and retains heat better; giving it an edge for low and slow smoking and we love the firebox that makes it a bona fide stick burner. Made in the USA. Click here to read our complete review of the M Grill M1 Charcoal Grill and Smoker.
Engelbrecht Grills and Cookers 1000 Series Original Braten Grill $2,826 – 3rd Year On Our List!
The Braten 1000 is a heavy duty, over engineered cooker with very unique features. It has Argentine V-shaped grates that capture drippings and direct them toward a front drip pan for sauces and basting. These grates are typically used on vertical lift or Santa Maria style, open fire cookers. By design, these cookers cannot have a lid. But Englebrecht uses a large frame for the lift mechanism that extends above and to the left and right of the lid, allowing it to swing open and shut. The 1000 Series Braten also has an offset firebox making it a traditional grill, a Santa Maria grill and a dedicated smoker all-in-one. Made in the USA. Click here to read our complete review of the Engelbrechet Grills and Cookers 1000 Series Original Braten Grill.