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The best grills and grill accessories in 2024

Grills, gadgets and a very necessary sous vide.

Engadget

It’s grill season, y’all. Time to clean those outdoor cook stations, or invest in a new one and make sure you have all the tools you need for the ultimate backyard culinary setup. To help you with the selection process, I’ve compiled a list of the best grills and accessories for cooking on the porch, deck, patio or anywhere else outside when you’re at home. Our reviews lineup includes a wide range of grills and other smart-grilling devices, all of which can help you elevate your BBQ game. I have some recommendations on other items too, including the ways to keep your beverages cold and the best oven for backyard pizza parties.

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After testing both the Timberline and Ironwood smart pellet grills from Traeger, I’m once again convinced that the more-affordable Ironwood series is the best option for most people. You’ll miss out on the side-mounted induction burner and some enclosed storage, but the Ironwood is $1,500 or $1,700 cheaper than the current Timberline grills – depending on which size you opt for. The latest Ironwood and Ironwood XL both have Traeger’s fancy new color touchscreen display and a wrap-around rail system that accommodates a host of snap-on grilling accessories.

What’s more, the pellet sensor that used to require an additional purchase is now standard equipment and there’s a sturdy open shelf underneath the grill for pellet bins and unused grates. The Ironwood now has a much larger side shelf that better facilitates cooking steps like wrapping a pork butt or brisket. In fact, that shelf has a removable top and the grill has the power plug for a side burner, but the company hasn’t announced whether it plans to sell the induction cooktop from the Timberline as a standalone upgrade. As always, you get Traeger’s wealth of recipes inside of its app and the software allows you to monitor and adjust the grill from afar thanks to Wi-Fi connectivity.

$1,799+ at Traeger

In 2021, Weber introduced its first smart gas grills. After developing its Weber Connect platform for the SmokeFire pellet grills and the Smart Grilling Hub, the company brought its Wi-Fi-connected cooking to a more widely used fuel source. Last year, the company refined things a bit with PureBlu high-heat burners, sear zone, side table, expandable top cooking grate and "Nightvision" LED lighting. If the 2022 EPX-335 doesn’t suit your needs, there are other options that come in three- and four-burner configurations with porcelain enamel or stainless steel finishes. Plus, there are both propane and natural gas models, and some come with a side burner if you need it.

Of course, the main attraction here is the Weber Connect integration. Just like it does on the SmokeFire pellet grills and the Smart Grilling Hub, the technology can guide you through every step of the grilling process. A mix of instructions and videos inside the Weber Connect app offer assistance to grillers of all skill levels, right down to when to flip your steak. What’s more, the system offers real-time food temperatures and estimated readiness countdowns right on your phone so you can better time side dishes like veggie skewers (and keep the hangry crowd at bay). On its gas smart grills, Weber Connect can also keep tabs on fuel level so you’ll know when it’s time to swap tanks.

Weber has also introduced a host of grill tool sets and accessories that expand the capabilities of its gas grills. The company makes grilling gloves, searing grates, a grilling basket, rotisserie items and a pizza stone, as well as grill cleaning tools, like a scraper and brush. There’s also a griddle insert that allows you to make everything from breakfast to smash burgers. And if you want to transform the entire grilling area, Weber has a full-size griddle accessory that will do just that.

$1,399 at Weber

Flat-top griddles are incredibly popular in backyard cooking these days as people are smashing burgers, sizzling fajitas and cooking big breakfasts outdoors. Most griddles offer the same basic premise: a flat surface for cooking all the things that need a good sear or might otherwise fall through the grates of a regular grill. These gas-burning units usually have multiple burners that allow you to heat the cooking area to different temperatures, too. However, Weber’s latest model, the Slate, has a few noteworthy features that set it apart from the competition.

First, and perhaps most importantly, all three versions of the Slate have a pre-seasoned, rust-resistant cooktop which addresses one of the biggest headaches with griddles. If you don’t take great care of the cooking surface, including cleaning well soon after use, rust is going to be an issue. Weber also installed a digital thermometer on the front of the two pricer Slate models, which displays the temperature across the griddle so you’re not left guessing when it’s ready to cook. The company also developed the Weber Works system of modular accessories that allow you customize the Slate according to how you like to prep and cook, and there are storage options for all your grilling gear.

$649 at Weber

I love Ooni pizza ovens, especially the dual-fuel models, but Solo Stove’s ovens are capable high-heat backing machines too. The best option in the company’s lineup for most people is the $350 Pi Prime. This pizza oven combines the ease of a propane burner with Solo Stove’s circular dome design. The wide, curved opening makes it easier to rotate pies during the cooking process and also allows you to see inside the oven better than some of the competition. The temperature control is mounted on the front, so you have easy access to it at all times. Plus, you get the key benefit of using gas over wood: you can focus on making great pizza without having to worry about maintaining the flame. And since the Pi Prime can hit temperatures of 950 degrees Fahrenheit, it will easily crank out Neapolitan-style pizzas in as little as 90 seconds.

$350 at Solo Stove

Over the years, a Thermapen has become my most-used barbecue tool. I rely on it like a sous chef to make sure I’m cooking things to the correct internal temperature, especially chicken. It’s a versatile and sturdy tool at the grill and in the kitchen. ThermoWorks' Thermapen One is the follow up to its best-selling Thermapen Mk4. This new model shows temps lightning quick, giving you a reading in one second. ThermoWorks also improved accuracy and used a brighter display than the previous model. An automatically rotating screen makes the numbers easy to see no matter how you hold it, plus an auto-wake and sleep feature preserves battery life and IP67 rating protects it from accidental spills.

$99 at ThermoWorks

Meater’s wireless food probes give you the ability to keep tabs on the cooking process from your phone. And when it comes time to flip, wrap or do anything else to your meat and other proteins, you don’t have to worry about cables getting in the way. The Meater 2 Plus is more accurate than the Traeger-owned company’s previous model thanks to its multiple temperature sensors tracking the true lowest internal measurement. The device is also more durable and can withstand direct-heat grilling up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. What’s more, upgraded Bluetooth tech leads to increased range when you need to head inside.

There’s a new waterproof design that allows you to deep fry and sous vide, but also toss the Meater 2 Plus in the dishwasher when you’re done. The best features of the Meater Plus return on this model as well, including estimated completion times, recommending resting duration and ambient temperature monitoring via the additional sensor on the opposite end of the probe. Guided doneness and cooking info is available inside the app for tons of proteins, so you don’t have to worry about researching the best temperature for that rack of lamb.

$130 at Amazon

This version of Anova’s Precision Cooker Nano offers sous vide in a compact form factor. It’s an updated version of the best seller I’ve been using for a long time thanks most to its accuracy and reliability. The company has swapped Bluetooth connectivity for dual-band WiFi so you can venture further away from the Nano 3.0. This model also has a two-line touchscreen display, so time and temperature can be viewed simultaneously. Manual controls are ever present here too, if you want to bypass the iOS or Android apps. That software will provide you with recipes and step-by-step guidance, so it’s good to consult it even if you’re experienced with this cooking method.

In order to make the most of your sous vide setup, you’ll want to also invest in a vacuum sealer. I have the FoodSaver FM2000. It doesn’t have some of the flashy features of more expensive units, but it covers the basics just fine. If you prefer something more robust with options like automatic bag detection, retractable handheld sealer and a dry/moist setting, I’d recommend the FoodSaver V4400. With both, you can use them to seal leftovers for the freezer or store other goods you don’t want air to get to in addition to sous vide cooking. I’ve also found vacuum-sealed packs handy for reheating things like pulled pork. When you reheat with a sous vide, the meat doesn’t dry out like it would in the microwave. Sure, you could just use Ziploc bags, but I’ve done that, and a FoodSaver is worth the investment.

$149 at Anova
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$197 at Amazon

I’d argue one of the most important grilling tools is a cold beverage. And as the days get hotter, you’ll need to plan your drinkware carefully so your monster cocktail or water supply remains at a frigid temperature. I’ve tried a number of insulated aluminum cups over the years, but Stanley has been the best. The company is known for its classic thermos, but its lineup of cups, bottles and more are affordable and do a great job of keeping drinks cold for hours at a time.

Stanley has a ton of options that serve as alternatives to popular brands like Yeti, but the IceFlow Tumblers have been my go-to this spring. The larger 30-ounce cup can keep drinks cold for up to 12 hours while the 20-ounce version can do so for up to seven hours. There’s a solid handle and the built-in flip-down straw means the drinking area isn’t exposed to the elements quite as much. At $25 and $30 each, these are a fraction of the cost of the most expensive options, and they have better ice retention than some of those too.

$30 at Amazon

Brumate’s Hopsulator products are warm weather essentials for me. I originally got one for the beach, but it has become a staple in my grilling tool kit. The company’s Hopsulator Trio is a 3-in-1 option that holds 16-ounce cans or 12-ounce cans with a cold insert you keep in your freezer. It also comes with a lid so you can use it as a travel mug. The Hopsulator Duo also doubles as an insulated cup, but it’s designed for 12-ounce cans and doesn’t come with any cooling accessories. What’s more, Brumate has a third model for slim cans. So if hard seltzers are more your thing, there’s an option for you too.

$21 at Amazon