It’s hard to believe that summer is already drawing to a close — but we still have a few weeks (or months, depending on where you live) to enjoy a good old-fashioned barbecue. The problem is, after a summer of use, your go-to grill or smoker might be looking and feeling, well, a bit tired. That’s why we’ve chatted with our friends at AmazingRibs.com, asking them to help us find the top 10 grills and smokers from their more than 500 models.
Here’s what they came up with. Now these babies aren’t just the top of the line for price – the team rated and reviewed each as objectively as possible, measuring temperatures, slamming lids, turning dials, studying warranties, and kicking casters, but inevitably intangibles such as look and feel have to be considered. These ten are considered the best of the best given their price point, but note that the actual price may well vary, as many of these models are highly customizable — or you may be able to score a great end-of-season deal.
Fast Eddy’s by Cook Shack PG1000
This collaborative design from respected smoker manufacturer, Cookshack, and competition barbecue circuit pro, “Fast Eddy” Maurin, has been been popular with competitive teams for years. The real beauty of Fast Eddy’s design is it produces meat with a deep mahogany finish, much like a competition grade offset smoker.
Englebrecht Grills and Cookers 1000 Series Braten Grill
Made in the USA, this heavy duty versatile cooker is expertly welded and built to last: a fine example of American know how and quality. In fact President Obama gave British Prime Minister, David Cameron, one of these beauties made in Obama’s home state of Illinois.
Klose 20″ x 42″ Grill Chef
The 20 x 42″ Grill Chef is one of Klose Pit’s most popular residential cookers. Klose is among the most respected names in traditional, competition grade “stick burners”: offset smokers that burn logs in a side firebox, separate from the larger smoke box. Many options are available and if you have creative ideas for a customized cooker, Dave Klose is your man. He loves working on unique concepts.
Memphis Elite Pellet Smoker
Amazing Ribs 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. Simple to operate, it has an integrated meat probe and some useful programming options.
Komodo Kamado Big Bad 32″
Komodo Kamado makes some of the most striking, high quality cookers we’ve seen. 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. It comes almost fully assembled, (see above). At 32 inches wide, this is the biggest Kamado on the market. Plenty of options are available from teakwood carts to gas ignition.
Jambo Pits J-3 Model
Your neighbors will be smitten with envy when this stunning professional offset smoker rolls into your drive way. Jambo Pits is the brainchild of award winning pitmaster Jamie Geer. On the competition circuit, Geer is famous for superior design, performanc,e and beautiful fit and finish. With colorful enamel paint jobs, and characteristic streamlined trailers, Jambo’s large custom pits resemble race cars.
Fire Magic Echelon E1060 Gas Grill
Fire 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.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.
Kalamazoo K-750 Hybrid Fire Grill
Kalamazoo 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.
GrillWorks The Infierno
Grillworks offers several production models, but all grills, production or custom, are made to order. They don’t stock inventory. “People who are likely to be our customers have unique design ideas in their heads”, says owner, Ben Eisendrath, “They’re not interested in a big stainless steel box with a bunch of modular cabinets”. Case in point: The Infierno, which represents a collaboration between award winning chef, Dan Barber of Blue Hill at Stone Barns Restaurant in New York, and Grillworks.
The Barbecue Dining Boat
The Barbecue Dining Boat from Germany is a floating party that seats up to ten passengers around a charcoal kettle grill in the middle. An OUTDOORCHEF Easy 570 charcoal kettle is at the heart of this vessel. It may be switched for a gas model of the same size. OUTDOORCHEF is a Swiss company with some interesting designs. It’s constructed of stainless steel and ABS PMMA plastic with a UV resistant polyethylene hull.