2018 Amazingribs.com Pitmaster Awards for Best Luxury Grills & 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. This list of luxury grills starts at around $2,000 with Weber's Summit 470 Gas Grill, and from there, it goes up, up, up. Pop some champagne and read on!

The list includes a mix of cookers that run on a variety of fuels from gas to charcoal to wood pellets and logs. Styles range from Fire Magic's stunning stainless steel Echelon E1060 to Jambo Pits' heavy metal traditional Texas J-3 offset smoker.

Luxe cookers tend to be extremely well built, loaded with options, and stunning in appearance. 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?

Some gas grill manufacturers are using ceramic briquettes mounted in stainless steel frames to be placed over burners instead of solid stainless steel heat tents (see below). Although none of the models below have this feature, we note it trending in the luxury gas grill market.

Shiny rectangular steel enclosure with rows of white briquetts mounted in a shiny steek frame.

Regardless of the price you pay, the dial thermometers attached to the hoods of most cookers are of poor quality. It is not unusual for them to be off by 50°F. We strongly recommend that you include in your budget a good digital thermometer with a probe that can be placed on the cooking surface

Weber Summit S-470 4-Burner Gas Grill

Weber Summit E-470 and S-470 4-Burner Gas Grills $2,149 - 5th Year On Our List!

AmazingRibs.com Pitmaster Award for Luxury Grills and SmokersFor many backyard grill jockeys, 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, and 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. This grill even has 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.

Read our complete review of the Weber Summit E-470 and S-470 4-Burner

Engelbrecht Grills and Smokers 1000 Series Original Braten Grill

Engelbrecht Grills and Cookers 1000 Series Original Braten Grill $2,826 - 4th Year On Our List!

AmazingRibs.com Pitmaster Award for Luxury Grills and SmokersThe Braten 1000 is a heavy duty, highly 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.

Read our complete review of the Engelbrecht Grills and Cookers 1000 Series Original Braten Grill

Fast Eddy's by Cook Shack PG1000 grill

Grillworks 36 $4,575 – 2nd Year Our List!


AmazingRibs.com Pitmaster Award for Luxury Grills and SmokersThe 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 a 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, as the company does not 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.

Read our complete review of the Grillworks 36

Memphis Elite Pellet Smoker

Memphis Elite Pellet Smoker $4,999 – 4th Year On Our List!

AmazingRibs.com Pitmaster Award for Luxury Grills and SmokersThe 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.

Read our complete review of the Memphis Elite Pellet Smoker

Komodo Kamado Big Bad 32-inch cooker

Komodo Kamado Big Bad 32" $5,910 – 4th Year On Our List!

AmazingRibs.com Pitmaster Award for Luxury Grills and SmokersIt'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.

Read our complete review of the Komodo Kamado Big Bad 32"

Jambo Pits J-3 Model smoker

Jambo Pits J-3 Model $9,100 – 4th Year On Our List!

AmazingRibs.com Pitmaster Award for Luxury Grills and SmokersYour 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.

Read our complete review of the Jambo Pits J-3 Model

Rockwell by Caliber

Rockwell by Caliber $9,500 – 3rd Year On Our List!

AmazingRibs.com Pitmaster Award for Luxury Grills and SmokersBeautifully 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.

Read our complete review of the Rockwell by Caliber

Kalamazoo Charcoal Smoker Cabinet

Kalamazoo Charcoal Smoker Cabinet $14,795 – 2nd Year On Our List!

AmazingRibs.com Pitmaster Award for Luxury Grills and SmokersIn 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 because 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.

Read our complete review of the Kalamazoo Charcoal Smoker Cabinet

Fire Magic Echelon E1060 Gas Grill

Fire Magic Echelon Diamond E1060 Gas Grill $14,000 – 4th Year On Our List!

AmazingRibs.com Pitmaster Award for Luxury Grills and SmokersFire 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 115,000 BTU 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.

Read our complete review of the Fire Magic Echelon E1060 Gas Grill

Kalamazoo K-750 Hybrid Fire Grill

Kalamazoo K-750 Hybrid Fire Grill $23,995 – 4th Year On Our List!

AmazingRibs.com Pitmaster Award for Luxury Grills and SmokersKalamazoo occupies a rarefied space in the BBQ cosmos. Part Rolls Royce, part tank, with fire power and versatility to spare, Kalamazoo grills are imposing in appearance, performance, and price.

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.

Read our complete review of the Kalamazoo K750 Hybrid Fire Grill


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*Based on 4" raw burger with 1/2" space on all sides

 AmazingRibs.com Pitmaster Award for Luxury Grills and Smokers

More Winners and Useful Info

Interested in less expensive options? Click these links to see our Pitmaster Award winners for Best Value Grills & Smokers

Best Value Gas Grills

Best Value Charcoal Grills

Best Value Backyard Smokers

Best Value Portable Grills

Best Value Combo Cookers

Overview of Best Value Grills & Smokers

AmazingRibs.com reviewer Max Good dressed like a millionaire

How we review and rate grills and smokers

By Max Good, Director of Equipment Reviews

I am the only person in the world whose full time job is researching, testing, reviewing, and rating grills and smokers. I measure temperatures, slam lids, turn dials, study warranties, kick casters, cook a lot of food, and consider look, feel, functionality, durability, and price. I select devices in a wide range of prices, offering winners at many levels of affordability.

Price is a big part of the decision making process for most buyers. High priced, luxury lines are generally impressive as they should be for the money, but I'm often more excited by decent low to mid cost products that are realistically within the budget of most AmazingRibs.com readers. A good deal of this low cost equipment is manufactured off shore and often in China. Despite grumbling from some, these products are very popular.

Our highest rated selections are the best in their price category and all have already achieved our prestigious Gold Medal Best Value Award. Reviews are listed in order of the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) from low to high, but market prices can differ significantly, especially since many of these items can be highly customized.

We purchase many of the products we review, although occasionally suppliers send us samples. We adhere to Federal Trade Commission regulations. We have a written policy about samples making it clear to suppliers that we will call 'em as we see 'em. Suppliers are never charged to have products reviewed or be included in our listings. After we are done with samples, we often give them away. We never sell them. Due to this policy, many nearby fire departments have nice new grills and smokers.

Our reviews are unbiased as humanly possible. We do not make or sell any competitive products, and our advertising is sold by third party ad networks. We don’t do sponsored articles, paid articles, or accept junkets. Rest assured that when we recommend a product, it is because we like it, not because someone has paid us to say so or because the company is an advertiser or sponsor. We disclose all of our material relationships, policies, and business practices. Readers will always know the difference between editorial and advertising. We always present our honest opinions to the best of our ability.

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