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About Barbecue & Grilling Product Evaluations

For more than two decades, I have tested, evaluated, and gathered information on all types of outdoor cooking equipment, accessories, recipes, and anything else related to barbecue and grilling.
When I test a product, I look for how well it performs and attribute value based on that performance. For grills and smokers, this means examining the production quality, including the longevity of the product and potential issues that may arise. I also research manufacturers and deep-dive into their histories.
I receive a fair amount of feedback from users, consult with retailers and repair techs, tour factories, and spend a large amount of time grilling on various units. I remain objective by tearing away the hype and getting into the nitty-gritty details.

The icons I use in my reviews are here to help you quickly identify the best from the least desirable. I provide full reviews of these products with detailed evaluations and breakdowns of the most important aspects of each item. For these symbols, I have chosen a variation of the USDA grading system for meat. Explanations of each symbol are found below in the About Barbecue & Grilling Product Evaluations section.

If you are a manufacturer, retailer, or distributor and would like to use these symbols on your website or in your marketing, please contact me. There is no charge for their use. Please link back to the pertinent page for additional information.

About Barbecue & Grilling Product Evaluations



These are the best of the best and, as such, tend to be the most expensive products in their category. Be aware that not all expensive items are the best, nor are the best the most expensive. Prime means luxury, and the products listed in this grade are luxury products. Only a few items deserve this designation, and if you find it, you have discovered one of the top barbecue and grilling products available.



Although they are not the most expensive items on the market, products with the choice designation are exceptional. These products might cost more than others, but they are definitely worth it. Choice represents the upper end, not the top-of-the-line, in quality and price.


SELECT LOGO About Barbecue & Grilling Product Evaluations

Products with this label are good and certainly better value (and when I talk about value, I mean the combination of a good price and functionality). These units are widely available to consumers and perform well.



‘Standard’ applies to a number of well-functioning and affordable store brands. While they may not possess the durability and overall quality of products in the higher grades, they are competent. These products are best for consumers who occasionally cook outdoors.


CANNER LOGO About Barbecue & Grilling Product Evaluations

In meat terms, canner-grade refers to meat that is used in canned products such as chili, soup, and potted meats. These products are ideal for individuals on a limited budget who need a product that can last them for a season or two. They are some of the least expensive products available that are still worth purchasing.


CUTTER LOGO-About Barbecue & Grilling Product Evaluations

This grade indicates that you should consider exploring other options. These products either cannot deliver on their promises or do not have a long enough lifespan to justify their cost. When it comes to grills, these items will likely to cause frustration. It’s best to steer clear of these products.


REJECTED LOGO About Barbecue & Grilling Product Evaluations

Products with the rejected logo are not safe. They have been fully recalled, are currently in the process of being recalled, or I have been provided with verifiable information that they are unsafe. If you have a rejected product, I recommend that you stop using it and return it to the place of purchase. I will update these reviews with recall information as it becomes available.

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