Preparing meat with fire dates back to caveman times, yet with every summer comes a host of advances in the quest for grilling perfection. Check out our top recommendations for high-tech grills (warning: prices may induce vertigo), then keep reading for a roundup of more affordable accessories and add-ons you didn’t realize you needed—until now!
The Bob Grillson Premium ($4,999) is a combination grill, pizza oven, and smoker that operates using wood pellets instead of the usual chunks of hardwood. Made in Germany, it also features two meat thermometers and a cutlery holder. Most notable of all, however, is that it is the world’s first grill with app remote control (iOS and Android), so turning the heat up or down or enacting the self-cleaning mode from virtually anywhere is just a Wi-Fi connection away.
Lynx Smart Grill ($5,999 to $9,499) was the one to beat last summer, and this summer doesn’t look a whole lot different. The propane grill’s control panel features a speaker, which enables the user to tell this Wi-Fi-enabled, voice-controlled grill what kind of meat he or she is looking to prepare and how it ought to be prepared. Grillers can also connect their iOS or Android to browse hundreds of recipes via the Smart Grill app, so if you’re looking for a special steak recipe, the Smart Grill can not only call that up, it can tell you exactly when to flip that steak.
Greenwood, Miss.-based Viking has turned heads in recent years with its Professional 5 Series of gas grills (Starts at $3,999). The latest edition lists an impressive array of capabilities, including four stainless steel burners, a 55-pound rotisserie, and a removable smoker box, so whether you want to lightly sear a tuna fillet or smoke a Thanksgiving turkey, Viking has got you covered. Also, interior halogen lights allow for checking on your progress without allowing heat to escape.
Keep in mind, when it comes to the perfect backyard BBQ experience, it’s not just about the grill. Accessories are important, and none is as important as a reliable fire source to get things fired up. The Looftlightr ($64) is a handheld wand that can light charcoal, wood, and briquettes within 60 seconds. Looftlightr operates on a nine-foot-long electrical cord and includes a bottle opener—just because.
Propane is a great way to go for those of us who want a clean, reliable flame without a lot of fuss. But is there any worse feeling than running out of fuel midway through your grill? Quirky ($24) is looking to curtail that experience with its Refuel, a connected propane gauge that can send updates on the status of your propane tank directly to your phone.
Is it done? It can be hard to tell sometimes, even for the true grilling master. Fortunately, there’s the new iGrill Mini from Weber ($39), a smart thermometer that uses a wired probe to measure the meat’s temperature while it’s cooking. It also connects with an app on your device (iOS and Android) to let you know when it’s time to flip or pull off the heat.
While grilling can be an extremely pleasurable means of whiling away the later afternoon hours of deep summer, cleanup is a pain in the neck. The Grillbot ($99) aims to alleviate this. Featuring three electric motors that power its brushes while inching across your grill, it’s like a Roomba for your grill. Makes a great Father’s Day gift for the messy dad.