what are the different types of grills? (2023 Guide)

In putting together an outdoor kitchen, most of the time, the grill is the centerpiece of the entire setup. After all, who doesn’t love a good outdoor barbecue?

As such, when putting together your outdoor setup, choosing the right grill is an important decision you need to make.

Given this, it’s best to know the many different grill types you can find in the market.

So, what are the different types of grills? Read on and learn more about them and their benefits!

How to Pick a Grill for Your Outdoor Setup

Before buying a grill for your outdoor setup, there are some things you need to consider.

Apart from researching what the different types of grills are and how they can benefit you, it would be best if you also looked at other factors.

  1. Fuel Source

    Grill types vary primarily based on the type of fuel they use. Gas quickly raises the temperature, while charcoal takes time to heat up but can go at higher temperatures.

    When choosing based on fuel source, consider what’s more convenient and cost-effective for you.

  2. Temperature Range

    Gas and charcoal grilling often means you use high temperatures to barbecue meat. However, there are types of grills that have lower temperatures at max.

    If your cooking style involves high heat, the best grills you should look for are those with a wide temperature range.

  3. Budget

    Some grills are more cost-effective than others. Set a budget and get a grill within that. There are many excellent grills at different price points.

  4. Size

    Before buying an outdoor grill, consider the area you’ll place your grill.

    You can get bigger grills if you have a large cooking area since space isn’t an issue. Plus, you won’t worry about your prep and grill area.

    However, mobile grills with a small footprint may work best if you’re dwelling in small spaces.

  5. Cooking Space/Capacity

    Do you plan on cooking for many people or only for your close family? Larger cooking spaces on your grill mean you can cook more meals simultaneously.

Gas Grills

Propane Grills

Many people choose propane grills as the highlight of their outdoor kitchen setup. These grills are convenient and extremely easy to use.

As its name suggests, it uses propane gas as its fuel source.

Compared to other types of grills, propane grills can heat up quickly while giving you more control over the temperature.

Apart from these, propane grills are a breeze to clean and maintain. It’s also easy to find parts that need replacement as they are widely available.

This grill is best for people who want an outdoor grill that’s a time-saver and easy to use

On the downside, the ability of propane grills, similar to other gas burner grills, to add a great smoky flavor to your food needs to be improved compared to charcoal grills.

Propane grills are widely available. You can choose from a range of sizes, and prices can range anywhere from $100 to over $3,500. 

Natural Gas Grills

Natural gas grills are pretty similar to propane grills when it comes to performance. It’s convenient and easy to use, and the heating-up process is a breeze.

This type of gas grill has excellent temperature control, so you can closely monitor what you’re cooking. Maintenance is also a breeze, and different models are widely available.

However, you may find this more convenient to have if you live in a place with a natural gas line. This means you’ll never run out of fuel, so that’s one less thing to think about.

​​You can choose from a wide range of sizes, but it might be pricier than other tanks, costing anywhere between $300 to over $3,500.

However, like propane grills, this won’t give your food the classic smoky barbecue flavor many grilling enthusiasts seek.

Nevertheless, this is a perfect choice for home cooks living in a location with a natural gas line. 

Built-in Gas Grills

As suggested by the name, built-in gas grills are installed in an already-built outdoor kitchen. They can be powered by either a natural gas line or propane tanks.

Since the grill is installed, you will need a large backyard with an outdoor kitchen setup for this type of gas grill. 

They are sleek and permanent and enjoy all the benefits a natural gas or propane grill offers.

However, getting one can be pricey. On top of needing an outdoor kitchen in a spacious backyard, buying it can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $30,000 for professional models. 

This type of gas grill is perfect for home chefs with a large backyard who want to invest in an elegant and convenient outdoor grill. 

Charcoal Grills

Charcoal Kettle Grills

Charcoal Kettle Grills are perfect for those looking for the most basic equipment that still does the job correctly. This type of grill uses charcoal briquettes as the heat source.

Many barbecue enthusiasts prefer having a smoke-rich flavor incorporated into their dishes, and this is one of the best types of grills for that.

Other than this, the charcoal kettle grill is also budget-friendly and versatile. The heat that you can achieve with this type of grill is higher compared to a gas grill.

However, charcoal grills take effort to set up with every grilling session as they take time to go up to temp. Additionally, you don’t have excellent control over the temperature. 

Nevertheless, charcoal kettle grills are best for those who want a basic grill that can provide intense smokiness and don’t mind the setup process.

These grills are available from as low as $40 to $2,000.

Kamado Grills

Kamado-style grills are considered by many as one of the most versatile outdoor grills that you can use.

Often called a big green egg, a Kamado grill is a dome- or egg-shaped charcoal grill that uses lump charcoal as the heat source.

Serious home cooks can use kamado grills in numerous ways. Aside from grilling, kamado grills work to smoke your food, make a roast, or bake dishes. 

Kamado grills are designed based on Chinese clay ovens from 3,000 years ago, but modern versions of this grill are made of ceramic or other materials that hold heat and moisture well.

While they are excellent in retaining heat and moisture, getting Kamado grills up to temperature and maintaining that temperature might be a hassle. 

Although, if you value versatility, the Kamado grill is a good type of charcoal grill to get. Expect models to carry a price tag between $300 to over $3,000.

Hibachi-Style Grills

For those looking for portable charcoal grills, Hibachi grills use cooking grill grates placed on top of a pan where charcoal is placed.

This tabletop grill’s design is very simple and easy to use, too, as you can control the temperature by raising or lowering the grill grates. 

Despite the basic design, hibachi grills can sear the meat quickly, compared to other grill types.

However, this is not a covered grill and is only suited for cooking on direct heat. If you are looking for equipment that you can use for indirect grilling, this might not be the one for you.

However, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly, no-frills, portable grill, this might be the one for you. It typically costs between $15 to $75.

Other Types of Grills

Pellet Grills

Pellet grills are a new kind of grill that is steadily gaining a following in recent years. This type of grill uses food-grade wood pellets as its source of heat.

The pellets used in this type of grill are put into a pellet hopper. Usually, an electric starter fires up the grill, and the pellets move along an auger to heat the cooking area.

Wood pellet grills also often have a control panel to manage the temperature. The smoke and heat in the cooking chamber are distributed by a built-in fan.

A pellet grill can also heat up faster than a charcoal grill. However, it’s still slower than gas grills. Given their versatility, you can use pellet grills for grilling, smoking, or even baking. 

This type of grill best suits those who want versatility. Pellet grills have a price range of $250 to over $2,000. 

Electric Grills

A lot of people are now choosing an electric grill for their outdoor setup, and with good reason. This type of grill uses electricity to heat up the cooking space.

Electric grills are exceptionally convenient. They can quickly heat up, and you have fantastic control over the heat that you’re using.

On top of this, they are easy to clean and maintain, mobile, and don’t take up too much space.

Electric grills are also versatile, as you can use them both indoors and outdoors. 

Electric grills are best suited for home chefs who want to be able to cook easily anywhere and anytime, as long as there’s electricity. They cost anywhere between $100 to over $1,000.

Portable Grills

Also often used for camping, picnics, or in small homes, portable grills are small, usually table-top grills that run on either electricity or small propane tanks. 

These grills are convenient and straightforward to use. Often, they have temperature control knobs that let you manage how high or low the cooking heat is. 

Portable grills are widely available for people who want to carry the grill with them on outdoor adventures, and they cost between $50 to over $400.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Which Is Better, a Charcoal Grill, Gas Grill, or Electric Grill?

Finding what’s a better grill type depends on a person’s preferences.

Gas grills perform exceptionally well regarding convenience, temperature control, and management.

Most gas grills are best suited for those who prefer searing steaks at temperatures they can control.

However, natural gas and propane grills often don’t provide an intense, smoky flavor. This is where charcoal grills excel.

Charcoal grills are more budget-friendly compared to gas grills. They can often reach higher temperatures than other grills, and they provide the barbecue smoke flavor many people love.

However, charcoal grills do not offer the same convenience and temperature management as gas or electric grills. They are also harder to clean since charcoal can be a hassle to dispose of.

Electric grills are both convenient and portable. They can perform well and are comparable to gas and charcoal grills.

But electric grills also have their limits. For one, if the power’s out, you can’t cook on them, unlike on gas or charcoal grills.

Also, it won’t be able to add a smoky flavor like how a charcoal grill or pellet grill can.

Which Type of Grill Has the Fewest Parts?

In general, charcoal grills have less parts compared to gas and propane grills. The grill with the least number of parts, it’s the basic yet well-performing charcoal kettle grill.

What Is the Safest Type of Outdoor Grills?

Electric grills are considered the safest type that a person can use.

For one, using these grills doesn’t run the risk of any gas leaks that can be dangerous to breathe in or that could cause a house fire.

Their temperature when cooking is also easy to control. You won’t run the risk of overcooking or burning your food when using outdoor grills.

What Is the Most Versatile Grill?

Kamado grills are considered the most versatile grills that you can buy.

This type of grilling equipment is well known for its good heat and moisture retention. As such, you can use it for several different cooking styles.

Apart from grilling, you can use a Kamado-style cooker for smoking your meat. You can also use it to bake certain dishes.


Asking “what are the different types of grills” is a good starting point for finding the right one for you. An outdoor grill can be a big investment, after all.

Hopefully, we’ve helped you narrow your choices down. Check out these types of grills and determine what suits your needs best!

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