Whether you’re a beginner at barbecuing or an experienced grill user, one thing is for certain: there’s a wide range of grills to choose from. If you’re in the market for a new grill, finding something that’ll meet your barbecue needs and look nice out in the yard is important.
As with any big consumer decision, it pays to do your homework and know what you’re looking for when you go shopping. We’ve done some of that homework for you; below you can find the best stainless steel grills on the market.
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|Name||Fuel Source||Our Rating|
|Weber Spirit S-210 Gas Grill||Gas||9.4 / 10|
|Char-Broil Classic 4 Burner Gas Grill with Side Burner||Gas||9 / 10|
|Blackstone 36-inch Stainless Steel Griddle||Gas||9 / 10|
|Pit Boss Grills Stainless Steel 2-Burner Portable Grill||Gas||9 / 10|
|Fox Outfitters Quick Grill||Charcoal||9 / 10|
|Cuisinart Chef’s Style Stainless Tabletop Grill (CGG-306)||Gas||8.6 / 10|
|Smoke Hollow 205 Stainless Steel Gas Tabletop Grill||Gas||8.6 / 10|
|Dyna-Glo Black & Stainless 5-Burner Premium Grill||Gas||8.4 / 10|
|Camco 57305 Olympian 5500 Stainless Steel Portable Grill||Gas||8.2 / 10|
1. Weber Spirit S-210 Gas Grill
Weber is a name that evokes quality, and the Spirit S-210 is a stainless steel grill trying to live up to that name. This is a tall hooded grill, fuelled with propane gas, which offers 360 square inches of cooking surface and a further 90 square inch warming panel to keep food warm once it’s off the grill.
Boasting a one-click ignition system, Weber’s own patented Flavorizer bars, and a stylish appearance, the Spirit S-210 has also been designed with convenience in mind: the side shelves can be folded down when not in use to ensure it takes up as little space as possible, and the integrated wheels mean the grill can be stowed away out of the weather when not in use.
- Weber designed the Spirit S-210 with convenience in mind. The integrated wheels make it easy to roll the grill into storage, and the folding shelves mean it takes up even less space when not in use. The grill’s total width is only about 23” when the shelves are folded away.
- Weber’s own Flavorizer bar is essentially a heated metal strip that vaporizes some of the grease which is otherwise drained away, adding a succulent and smoky flavor to meat cooked on the grill.
- It doesn’t take long looking at the Spirit S-210 to figure out a lot of thought went into its design. The grease management system does its job well and is easy to open and clean, while the fuel gauge is accurate and easy to read, reducing the likelihood of that barbecue nightmare – running out of gas halfway through grilling some steaks.
- For such a hefty grill, this is quick and simple to assemble.
- A common problem with medium-to-large grills is a reduced ability to regulate temperature compared to smaller models. Weber have managed to avoid this with the Spirit S-210, and you should have little difficulty getting the results you want with this stainless steel grill.
- Unfortunately, the grates in the Spirit S-210 aren’t stainless steel but cast iron coated with porcelain. They look nice and do the job, but may chip and corrode much sooner than the stainless steel alternative.
2. Char-Broil Classic 4 Burner Gas Grill with Side Burner
Marketed towards large families and cookout hosts, Char-Broil’s Classic is just that: a classic grill, only with a clean modern design and an attractive appearance.
The stainless steel grill has 4 burners, ensuring even distribution of heat, and features a side burner for cooking whatever isn’t going on the main grill.
In total, Char-Broil are providing you with 660 square inches of cooking surface, so this is worth a look if you know you’re going to host some large gatherings.
The stainless steel on this grill extends to the lid, completing what amounts to a sleek and sophisticated look.
- 660 square inches of cooking surface is a huge amount of space to do your grilling on: even big cookouts will be a breeze to cater for.
- Importantly, the burners themselves are constructed from stainless steel, which greatly extends their lifespan.
- The wheels integrated into the design of the Char-Broil Classic make a big difference when it comes to rolling the grill into place or putting it away.
- Considering the size of the grill, it is surprisingly easy to assemble. The ease of use extends to the grill’s features too: the grease tray does a good job of catching runoff and is covenient to remove, clean and replace.
- This is a good-looking grill: it’s not flashy, but it looks smart and sophisticated.
- Be advised that although the body, lid and burners are all stainless steel, the grates in this grill are in fact porcelain-coated cast iron. The porcelain coating means the grates will last longer than uncoated iron, but when it comes to durability and maintenance there’s no replacement for stainless steel.
- The combined five burners in the Char-Broil Classic put out a lot of heat; too much if you want to do some cooking at lower temperatures, like using the hood to broil a chicken. The temperature controls are functional on high heat, but you’ve got limited control over how low the temperature will go.
3. Blackstone 36-inch Stainless Steel Griddle
This entry by Blackstone into the stainless steel grill market is a heavyweight offering with an appearance to match.
It’s a gas grill, but doesn’t make use of the grates you see in most home grills, instead featuring a cold-rolled steel griddle surface that gives you a whopping 720 square inches to cook on.
With four stainless steel burners, heat controls, an integrated grease catcher, castor wheels and adjustable shelves, Blackstone have definitely not settled for a basic offering in their Stainless Steel Griddle.
- The 720 square inches of cooking surface provided by Blackwood on their Stainless Steel Griddle is truly impressive, elevating this grill to the borderline with commercial-grade equipment. The fact that you’re cooking on a griddle instead of on grates makes all the difference when it comes to heat distribution and versatility, too. You can’t fry an egg on a grate – or at least, you’d be advised not to try.
- Given the size of this beast of a grill, it’s relatively easy to assemble, and the castor wheels which are well-made and durable unlike the wheels on many grills mean it won’t take half the party to get it into position.
- Price: this isn’t what you could call an inexpensive grill, but compared to similar griddles, this is a budget alternative. If you want a big, well-made stainless steel griddle, this may be the right option for you.
- There are four burners in the Blackstone 36-inch Stainless Steel Griddle, ensuring even distribution of heat, and the intuitive heat controls mean you can adjust the griddle, depending on what you’re cooking and how you want to cook it.
- The griddle is not hooded, so you’ll need to invest in a good waterproof cover if you plan on keeping it outside when not in use.
4. Pit Boss Grills Stainless Steel 2-Burner Portable Grill
The first portable grill featured here, it is built for ease of maneuverability and set-up. Featuring high-grade stainless steel for the body, lid and grates, this is a hooded tabletop grill that still manages to pack in two burners with heat controls.
275 square inches of cooking surface might not be enough to feed the neighborhood, but will be more than enough in most situations. The grill can be easily stowed away when not in use, with fold-able legs and a latching hood.
- Pit Boss Grills show real attention to detail and an eye for quality when it comes to the construction of this grill. It’s made with high-quality steel throughout, meaning the design has no weak links and making their Portable Grill a breeze to clean after use.
- It isn’t only the component parts that are of the highest quality, but the workmanship itself. This is a well-made product that’s both sturdy and durable, from the body and the burners right down to the grease tray.
- Having two burners is as good as it gets in a portable grill, maximizing energy efficiency and heat distribution across the grates. The Stainless Steel 2-Burner Portable Grill heats quickly and can be simply adjusted to match your grilling needs.
- Like any portable grill, this model from Pit Boss Grills can be easily stowed away when not in use. It’s got foldable legs and a securely-latching hood too, so you won’t have any upsets packing away at the end of the party.
- As a result of this being a portable grill, it’s an unavoidable fact that it’s not got enough cooking surface area to cater for large gatherings. If you don’t anticipate you’ll be hosting many massive cookouts, this will be less of a problem. In any case, it’s the biggest criticism that can be made of an excellent grill that’s available at a midrange price point.
5. Fox Outfitters Quick Grill
Fox Outfitters are campers first and foremost, and this is a stainless steel portable grill designed with campers in mind. That means this is a charcoal grill, not gas-fuelled, which has its benefits and drawbacks but certainly makes life easier for those who want to get back to nature.
The Quick Grill is essentially a stainless steel brazier with a fold-out stand, and a stainless steel grate to lay over the top once the charcoal’s ready to cook over. There’s not much more to it than that: this is a simple product with a clear goal, and available at a very attractive price point.
- The Quick Grill is as simple as it gets when it comes to grills: it can be set up and taken down again very quickly.
- The all-stainless-steel design means it’s easy to clean. This becomes even more important when you’re using charcoal, and doubly so if you’re in the middle of camping trip.
- Weighing in at less than 5 lbs, the Quick Grill can be easily folded up and carried when not in use. Fox Outfitters are even selling it with a travel bag, making this a natural fit for hikers and campers who want to grill.
- Price: you shouldn’t expect to pay a lot for a small charcoal grill, and Fox Outfitters don’t disappoint when it’s time to look at the price tag. At a very comfortable price point, you’re getting a top-class grilling device for the money.
- The Quick Grill is small: considering what Fox Outfitters want this model to do, its miniature size is more often a strength than a weakness, but there’s no escaping the fact that you’ve only got a small grate to grill on. Don’t expect to be able to cook more than roughly four burgers at a time.
- It’s worth repeating that this is a charcoal, not a gas grill. This does have its own advantages; in particular, the unique smoky flavor that cooking over charcoal supplies. The cost of this however is the big increase in time and mess: unlike gas grills, you won’t be able to start cooking at the touch of a button.
6. Cuisinart Chef’s Style Stainless Tabletop Grill (CGG-306)
Cuisinart are a high-quality brand when it comes to kitchen and cooking appliances, and this stainless steel tabletop grill is an innovative take on the portable barbecue.
This is effectively a small hooded grill, with short but sturdy legs that let it be set up on top of a table or other surface. Despite its diminutive size, it still features two stainless steel burners and has enough head space inside the hood to cook turkeys and briskets.
Even better, the simplicity of this small grill allows it to be set up and taken down again in roughly 10 minutes. Bear in mind that as a gas grill, the Chef’s Style Tabletop Grill will need to be hooked up with a gas supply, which does limit its portability.
- Like most tabletop grills, the Cuisinart Chef’s Style Stainless Tabletop Grill is quick and easy to set up: just hook up your propane canister and you’re ready to go.
- This is a stainless steel grill through and through – body, hood, legs, burners and grates are all stainless steel, which makes a big difference when it comes to maintenance.
- Considering the weight of the brand name, this tabletop stainless steel grill is available at a good price point.
- The grill comes with two burners and enough head space to use as a broiler.
- Partly due to its relatively small size, this stainless steel grill has good temperature control, reducing the worry about food that’s cooked outside but remains pink inside.
- The stainless steel used throughout this grill is noticeably thin, which may have a real impact in terms of longevity. It also increases the likelihood of damaging the grill in transit.
7. Smoke Hollow 205 Stainless Steel Gas Tabletop Grill
Smoke Hollow may not be the most well-known brand in the world of barbecue, but their name should give you a pretty good indication that that’s a situation they’d like to change.
This tabletop offering is a small, portable stainless steel hooded grill that still provides you with a surprising amount of space to do your grilling on.
It might not be the right choice for you if you’re planning a big summer blowout, but if you want something to grill for the family, Smoke Hollow might have what you need in the form of their Stainless Steel Gas Tabletop Grill.
It looks nice, with the entire exterior in stainless steel, and the short legs can even be folded away for ease of storage.
- As with any other tabletop grill, this one is portable. Smoke Hollow have gone that little bit further to help with transit and storage, however: this grill’s legs can be folded up into the body of the grill itself to take up as little space as possible.
- There’s no denying that Smoke Hollow have done some serious thinking about what makes a good portable grill: besides the features to assist transport and storage, the grill’s hood can be latched and locked securely, meaning there’s no chance it’ll swing open or anything will spill out while you’re carrying it with you.
- For a tabletop grill, it boasts an impressive cooking surface area: 305 square inches will be more than enough to cater for a family gathering.
- This is an affordable stainless steel gas grill: there are cheaper grills out there, but if you want something that’s stainless steel, gas-fuelled and portable, you’ll struggle to find an equivalent.
- The grill only has a single burner providing heat, which can lead to poor heat distribution and uneven grilling. On a large grill, having some cool spots is less of a problem; however on a small portable model like this, poor heat distribution really limits the grill’s efficiency.
- Smoke Hollow have opted for thin stainless steel in the grill’s construction, which has benefits in terms of reduced weight, but dramatically reduces the grill’s solidity.
8. Dyna-Glo Black & Stainless 5-Burner Premium Grill
Dyna-Glo boast that the 5-Burner offering from their Premium Grill range is big enough to “feed an army” – while this might be a minor exaggeration, you should have no problem feeding all of your friends.
An amazing five burners are present, along with a side burner and rotisserie burner in case five weren’t enough. The Black & Stainless Premium Grill is a hooded gas grill, and comes with one-touch ignition and temperature control, as well as castor wheels to simplify the task of getting it where it needs to be.
It looks good too, with the stainless steel workings housed in a solid black body, giving the Premium Grill a serious but stylish air.
- The one-touch ignition system works as smoothly as advertised, while the temperature controls are there to ensure that the Black & Stainless Premium Grill is a grill that does what you want it to do.
- With a total of seven burners and 550 square inches of cooking surface, there’s little doubt that this grill will serve your catering needs. One of the seven burners is even a rotisserie burner, helping you cook the perfect chicken or turkey and giving the Black & Stainless Premium Grill another string to its bow.
- Unusually for gas grills, Dyna-Glo offer their Premium Grill outfitted for either propane or natural gas canisters. Many manufacturers only offer one or the other, and some actively discourage consumers who are looking to convert from propane to natural gas. By offering the choice up front, Dyna-Glo score major points for customer consideration.
- This is a cabinet-style stainless steel grill, which means you can store all your grilling utensils in one easy-to-access place.
- The Black & Stainless Premium Grill is not easy to assemble, so don’t pick it up on Saturday afternoon and expect to have it ready for the evening cookout. It’s not so complex that a handy person with the right tools is going to struggle, but be prepared to put in the time to put this together properly.
9. Camco 57305 Olympian 5500 Stainless Steel Portable Grill
Camco’s stainless steel portable grill, the Olympian 5500, is a beautiful bit of kit that manages to look both retro, with its sharp angles, and stylish, with its all-over stainless steel construction.
What’s more, it’s been designed with RV use in mind, so it can be hooked up to the low pressure propane supply on your RV or trailer, making it about as portable as a grill can get.
It also comes with a mounting bracket, again with the RV driver in mind, so you can simply hang the grill on the RV or trailer when it’s time to cook.
Camco have made some other strong design choices, including folding legs and a slide-out grease tray, to really push the convenience aspect of this model. The Olympian 5500 Stainless Steel Portable Grill features one burner and offers 180 square inches of cooking surface.
- This is a very portable grill, especially if you own or use an RV. With the ability to be hooked up to the RV’s propane supply and a mounting bracket to hang it on the side of the trailer, you can be set up at your rest stop and get cooking in no time.
- The Olympian 5500 isn’t the sole preserve of RV drivers, however: it’s got fold-able legs, so you can set it up as a tabletop grill if you’d prefer.
- This is a stainless steel grill through and through: everything from the legs to the burners and the grease tray is stainless steel, giving the Olympian 5500 a boost in terms of both durability and ease of use.
- The quick connect valves featured on this model cut down on preparation time; perfect if you’re hungry from the road and want to eat as soon as possible.
- There’s one feature on the grill that isn’t stainless steel, and for good reason: the cast iron smoke plate helps to vaporize grease and fat, giving food cooked under the hood a rich, smoky flavor.
- The grill has a unique look, with a lot more hard edges than most modern grills, but the result is an attractive retro appearance that stands out from comparable models.
- Despite featuring temperature controls, they’re of limited use on this offering from Camco. It’s hard to adjust the temperature to be low enough for many cooking tasks, including broiling. If you fancy yourself a versatile grill-cook, there are better options out there for you.
Grill buying guide
From simple charcoal kettle grills to huge gas giants decked out in stainless steel, there are grills on the market to match most tastes and wallets. That’s why the first and most important thing to have in mind when looking for a grill is how you plan on using it. How many people will you typically be grilling for? How regularly will it be in use? What are you going to be cooking on it?
These are the most basic questions, but it’s worth thinking about your grilling needs in as much detail as you can: if you have any particular flavors or effects you want to achieve with the grill (smoking meat, for example), you’ll need to keep an eye out for grills designed with that feature.
There’s a lot of choice out there, and thinking about what you want out of a grill will help you start narrowing your options down. What size of grill you opt for will depend largely on how many people you’ll be grilling for: a small portable model will do fine if it’s just for your family, but if you plan on inviting the neighborhood over then a larger grill will be better suited to your needs. Size will also affect price, so if your budget’s tight you might be best starting your search at the lower end of the spectrum.
The second big decision when shopping for grills is fuel type. There are two main choices for grill-users – gas or charcoal – and both have their strengths and weaknesses.
Gas’ big appeal is speed and convenience: with a gas burner, it’s as simple as turning the gas on and igniting, and you’re ready to grill. Conversely, charcoal grills require you to wait for the charcoal to catch fire and then burn hot enough for you to start cooking.
The main advantage charcoal grills have over gas barbecues is flavor, which should be a major consideration when shopping for any kind of cooking device. Charcoal grills provide a uniquely smoky barbecue flavor which gas grills simply can’t match. Of course, this has its own downside: scrubbing carbon off the grill after use is an experience gas grill-owners are quite happy to miss out on.
After size and fuel type, there’s the question of style: what type of grill would be the best fit for you and your needs? There are a few different styles out there with a lot of variation in terms of shape and size, so take the time to find something that fits.
Kettle grills are typically smaller and charcoal-powered, with a bowl-shaped charcoal receptacle and a bowl-shaped lid which aids smoking when closed.
Kettle grills are really the smaller relative of hooded grills, which tend to be larger and can be either gas- or charcoal-powered, and are fitted with hoods which can be closed and sealed. The hood helps with smoking meat and locking in flavor, as well as with temperature control.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for something a little closer to the old-school fire pit – or if you just aren’t big on that smoky flavor – an open grill offers easy access while cooking at the expense of a hood. Be warned that you’ll need to invest in a good-quality cover if you want to keep an open grill outside in all weather.
Besides size, fuel type and style, there’s one big decision that hasn’t been covered, and it’s arguably the most important issue when it comes to grills. The material your grill is made out of will make a big difference in terms of cooking, maintenance and storage; not to mention cost.
Although some grills are made out of more exotic materials – including porcelain – most of us will be faced with a choice between two metals; cast iron or stainless steel.
Why buy a stainless steel grill?
If you’re reading this, you probably don’t need to be convinced of the value of a good grill. Cookouts are great social events, a chance to eat good food and connect with people. As you can’t very well host a cookout without one, the grill is a summertime social necessity. They aren’t just for cookouts, of course: they’re a useful backup oven in the event of accidents or breakages.
So you know you want a grill, and you know why you want a grill. Hopefully you’ve thought about your grilling needs, the size and style of grill you’d like, and even which fuel would be best for powering it. That leaves you with one big question: cast iron or stainless steel? Both metals have reasons to pick them, so again it will at least partly depend on your needs and budget. But what reasons are there for choosing stainless steel over cast iron – or vice versa?
- Resistance to corrosion. Not just corrosion, but rusting and staining as well. Stainless steel is strongly resistant to all three, especially high-grade stainless steel, which will have been coated with one or more finishes to preserve its protective qualities. Cast iron will corrode over time, and rust if not maintained properly.
- Heat conduction and retention. Cast iron heats up quicker and can reach higher temperatures than stainless steel, so if your trademark is a perfectly-seared steak, cast iron may start to seem more attractive. Once heated, however, stainless steel holds heat longer, making it the clear better choice for those who want to put the hood down and broil.
- Maintenance and cleaning. Stainless steel is a low-maintenance metal, especially if it’s been treated with one or more protective coatings. It can be wiped clean, and you can leave the grill to cool down before cleaning. Cast iron grills are a trickier proposition: they need to be cleaned while warm to avoid carbon and detritus sticking to the grill, and even then require more elbow grease than their stainless steel counterparts.
Things to consider when buying a grill
If you’ve decided a stainless steel grill is the grill for you, there are a number of things to keep in mind when you’re researching different models.
- Size. This refers to the size of both the cooking surface of the grill itself, and the “head space” provided by the hood if there is one. If you plan on using your grill to broil chicken or turkey, for example, you’ll be disappointed if you finish assembly and find out there’s not enough room to get an adult bird under the hood. The cooking surface of the grill should be large enough for your grilling needs, so think about how many people you’ll typically be grilling for.
- Price. For some people, this will be more of a restraint than others, but either way you will generally have at least a rough idea of how much you want to spend on a grill. The price range on grills is impressive, from budget options that cost less than a meal at a barbecue restaurant to sleek, high-tech machines that cost about as much as a second-hand car.
- Fuel. Gas or charcoal? Both have their advocates: charcoal is a must-have if you want to smoke your food, while gas is a godsend for those of us who are too busy or impatient to fuss around waiting for the charcoal to hit the right temperature. It tends to make the grill easier to clean too and is the more popular option these days.
- Materials. If you already know stainless steel is the way you want to go, you’ve already answered the most important part of this question, but bear in mind that the grill won’t be entirely made out of stainless steel, and that things are often only as strong as their weakest link. If the grill itself is high-grade stainless steel, but the legs and the hinge on the hood are cheap plastic, those cut corners will let the whole grill down.
- Your grilling needs. What are you going to be grilling at a typical barbecue? Steaks? Burgers and sausages? Corn? Potatoes? Tofu and halloumi? Different foods will cook better on different surfaces and at different temperatures. If you’re going to be cooking a lot of fatty food, having a well-designed runoff for grease and fat becomes even more important.
- Quality of construction. This doesn’t just refer to the quality of the materials used, although that’s obviously important. It’s also worth thinking about all the design choices or added extras that will make your grilling, easier. Are there side shelves to keep ingredients and utensils close to hand? Do the grill legs have wheels, for ease of movement? Are there any lights to help with evening cookouts? If it’s a gas grill, is there a fuel gauge so you can determine when it’s time to change the canister? Little extras can make a big difference.
- Safety. It should go without saying that a grill can only ever be made so safe: any cooking device is fundamentally unsafe if not handled by a responsible adult. That said, there are a few things to look for that indicate you’ll be buying a safe model. A good hooded grill will always be safer than the open alternative. Flame-taming features and a grease runoff can go a long way to avoiding flare-ups, one of the big risks of grilling with fat. If it’s a gas grill you’re looking at, be wary of any exposed wiring or tubing, even if it’s an alleged design feature.
- Ease of use. In particular, ease of assembly and ease of cleaning are worth paying attention to. Will you be able to assemble the grill on your own, and if you do go that route, how long will it take? This is one area where kettle grills, simple as they are, come into their own. When it comes to cleaning, the biggest single thing to consider is grill material: stainless steel is markedly simpler to clean after use than the cast iron alternatives.
Risks and warnings
- Barbecue grills are fueled cooking devices and should always be treated responsibly and with respect.
- Wherever you do your grilling, be aware of what’s around you, keeping a particular eye out for children and pets. If possible, pets should be trained to stay away from the grill, and children taught about dangers.
- If you have a gas grill, there may be the smell of gas when you first ignite the grill, but if you continue smelling gas over an extended period, turn off the grill and work out the source of the smell before continuing.
- If you have a charcoal grill, be aware that charcoal remains blisteringly hot for a long time after the flames die down, and take care when emptying it after use.
- There is a long-running debate over the extent to which smoke in food contributes to carcinogens in the human body. There’s little consensus and no incontrovertible evidence on either side, but if you’re concerned about carcinogens, limit how often you use your grill to smoke.