Grill-Buying Guide: How to Choose the Perfect Outdoor Barbecue (PHOTOS)

Sunny Chanel | Jun 10, 2014 Food & Party

grillI cannot tell you how excited I am for summer to come. Not just for the additional hours of daylight, extra quality time with my daughter, or being able to bask in the warmth of the sun ... but because it will finally be BBQ season!

This is a culinary season that I have been waiting for. Delicious mesquite grilled burgers, spicy and tangy BBQ ribs, and beer can chicken are dishes I've been dreaming of all winter. But there's one little issue with making my backyard foodie dreams come true: Over the winter, one of the legs of our tiny backyard grill rusted right off. We need to get a new outdoor cooking solution stat, but what kind of grill to pick

In doing some research, I found there are tons of grill options. So to help me, and to help YOU if you happen to be in the market for a new barbecue, I've narrowed the search down to these top seven contenders -- and trust me, there's a perfect grill in here for everyone!

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Images via Amazon and ©iStock.com/shalamov

  • The Standing Gas Grill

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    The standing gas grill has become the standard for backyard barbecuing. It fits lots of food, has space to work, and is like a tiny kitchen for the outdoors. It is great for big meals and entertaining, but you have to have the space to house a piece of equipment like this.

  • The Portable Standing Gas Grill

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    The portable and collapsible gas grill is a perfect solution for those who don't want a big barbecue taking up real estate in their backyard. Plus, since it's portable, you can take it camping or to your friend's house ... two big pluses!

  • The Standing Charcoal Grill

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    Those who prefer the taste of briquettes may opt for the standing charcoal grill instead of the gas grill. While there are great flavors that come from charcoal, cooking and setup take longer than with a standard gas grill.

  • The Kettle Grill

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    The kettle grill is a classic and for good reason. It's easy to use, smaller than many, and uses plain old charcoal. The kettle grill has been a popular choice since it was invented for Weber back in 1951.

  • Pellet Grill

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    Instead of gas or charcoal, you can go with a grill that takes pellets. The pellets are made of compressed hardwood, which are automatically fed into a hopper and ignited by an electric rod. The cool thing about the pellet grill is that it can efficiently smoke meats and slow cook, or you can turn up the heat and do standard (albeit low temperature) grilling.

  • Ceramic Cooker

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    The ceramic cooker uses Kamado grilling techniques, which have been around for thousands of years. The basic design is like a kettle grill, but the ceramic chamber keeps heat in better and adds more moisture. It's good for basic grilling and also smoking. Plus, it looks really cool!

  • Infrared Grill

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    The infrared cooking grill uses gas to heat ceramic tile, which causes thermal radiation. What makes this kind of grill special is that it has a totally uniform heating surface and can really heat up, to about 500 degrees.

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