Grill Different – Choose What Barbecue Works Best for You

Grill Different – Choose What Barbecue Works Best for You

Barbecue grills come in all shapes and sizes. There are standalone grills, built-in grills, gas-powered grills, electric grills, luxury grills, economy grills, grills for campers, and grills for smokers.

With so many options, how do you decide what works best?

First, understand your needs and preferences. Are you looking for speed, efficiency, portability, flavor, or convenience? How often do you cook? Will you host parties? Do you prefer cooking indoors? Are you environmentally conscious?

Once you understand your needs, read on for our handy-dandy guide to the differences between the various types of grills.

Fuel You Can Count On

It’s best to start with what fuel source you’ll need to meet your lifestyle and pallet preference.


The most common grill on the market, charcoal grills are also the least expensive. Kettle grills have a removable lid while Komodo grills double as a smoker or outdoor oven. While charcoal grills reach the hottest temperatures, they do not have temperature control knobs. Instead, dampers control air flow to fuel the heat. This means it takes more time to reach desired temperatures. Charcoal also produces a lot of soot and ash, leading to much more maintenance. However, these disadvantages are offset by the smoky, rich, charred flavor profile it produces.


Natural and propane grills are the most popular, mostly because they burn cleaner than other types of grills. It’s not because of their lack of unique flavor profile. However, with a push-button start, multiple burners, and temperature control knobs, these grills have a more consistent cook. Burners, valves, vents, and heat shields may need to be replaced often, as do propane tanks. A natural gas hookup would be ideal, but the cost to install one may be out of reach.

Pellet (or Wood Fire)

An old idea made new again. Pellet grills are fueled by mesquite, pecan, apple, or hickory wood pellets that produce a nice, smoky flavor. They reach desired temperatures quickly and can be used to grill, bake, smoke, or roast. What’s the downside? They require an electrical outlet and are harder to clean due to constant ash buildup.


Speaking of electric, most electric grills are meant for indoor grilling (due to an absence of smoke). They come in portable and tabletop models and require no fuel to operate. A traditional electrical outlet is all that’s required, making them perfect for those who live in an apartment. Though they have a much smaller circumference, they heat quickly and are easy to clean. The only downside is they do not get as hot, nor do they offer any special flavor profile.

A Model for All Lifestyles

Now that you know what fuel you want, it’s time to decide on the model that fits your lifestyle.


The built-in grill is our favorite as they fit quite nicely in our island kits. They may not be portable or easily replaced, but as part of your outdoor kitchen, they are often larger and more appealing. The majority come in stainless steel and include more accessories and reliable heat distribution.


The most common model found at your local hardware stores, standalone grills are generally lightweight and come with shelves attached to either side. They are easy to store but do not come with as many bells and whistles as a built-in grill.


If you go camping, love to tailgate, or need to grill while on vacation, the portable grill is your best friend. Smaller and easy to pack, they have a reduced surface area, so are not great for large parties.


Much larger than a typical grill, smokers are designed to cook large amounts of meat and vegetables over long-periods of time. The flavor may be fantastic, but not so much the maintenance.

Price Matters

So, how much is a new grill going to cost?

Economy grills may fit your budget the best. They won’t last as long due to lower-quality material and limited features, but they’re a great starter grill.

Premium grills are a little more expensive. Higher grade materials help them last longer and they’re far more reliable.

Luxury grills look and feel more exotic than your standard grill. The highest quality material and high-end accessories (such as LED lighting and digital control panels) lead to higher costs.

Whatever choice you make, pick a brand you can trust. DIY BBQ has several trust-worthy brands for your next built-in or standalone grill, including American Made, Blaze, Fire Magic, Lynx, and SummerSet, among others. Choose wisely.

Jan 17, 2024 DIY BBQ

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