The Best Thing You'll Buy This Summer: How to Choose a Grill

What you should look for when shopping for a grill -- plus expert picks for the best models. (8 Photos)

Josey Miller on May 29, 2013 at 5:13PM

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The Best Thing You'll Buy This Summer: How to Choose a Grill


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Gas vs. Charcoal

"Choosing between gas and charcoal grills is a lifestyle choice," says Elizabeth Karmel, author of Soaked, Slathered and Seasoned: A Complete Guide to Flavoring Food for the Grill. "But my informal poll of women tells me that 9 out of 10 of us grilling gals prefer easy-to-light, easy-to-clean gas over charcoal. I know I do!"

While Steven Raichlen, author of Planet Barbecue and The Barbecue! Bible, says neither one will do ("the absolute best is actually wood because it gives you both heat and smoke," he claims), when forced to choose between gas and charcoal, it's charcoal all the way. "Charcoal burns hotter than gas and it's easier to smoke on a charcoal grill," he says.

And Julie Reinhardt, author of She-Smoke: A Backyard Barbecue Book, may be Karmel's tenth out of 10 because she agrees with Raichlen. "I like charcoal best both for its flavor and flexibility," she says. "With charcoal, I can make great slow-and-low barbecue, and also grill directly over the flames."

To buy: Char-Griller Smokin' Pro Grill & Smoker, $219 at

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