Smart grills are all the rage these days and for good reason. The best smart grills are not only easier to operate and clean, but they are also much more versatile than classic grills. In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about smart grills including our picks for the best models currently available and what to consider before making a purchase.
Backyard Boss Top 6 Smart Grills for 2021
|Ninja Foodi Smart XL Grill||Check The Price!|
|Breville BGR20XL Smart Grill||Check The Price!|
|Weber 3201 Connect smart Grilling Hub||Check The Price!|
|Lynx Smart Series||Check The Price!|
|BBday Smokeless Digital Grill||Check The Price!|
|George Foreman GRD6090B||Check The Price!|
Why You Can Trust Us
Grilling has been a favorite pastime of mine since the 1990s. Back then I was a kid, and there was no food I loved more than charcoal-grilled burgers.
Over the years, I have had the great pleasure of cooking on everything from tailgate grills, ultra-light camping grills, to large natural gas industrial grills for steakhouses and residential propane grills. In the same breath, I have also had the opportunity to research and write several guides on smart devices, and smart homes in general.
It is safe to say that I am now semi-obsessed with both grills and cutting-edge smart products. That is why I feel confident in my ability to research, reveal, and review the best smart grills for you to consider investing in.
Best for Family-Sized Grilling
What We Like: Not only does this unit do everything the best smart grills should, but it comes with extras like the crisper basket, cooking pot, and cookbook.
Enter the Ninja Foodi Smart XL Grill, a grill that is genuinely smart and helps you achieve excellent food every time. With the touch of a button, literally, this smart grill removes all the guesswork from your grilling and allows you to cook food at the same level as professional grill cooks and chefs. No, really. By all accounts, it seems that good.
It comes with grill, fry, bake, roast, dehydrate, and other modes/settings, and furthermore, the grill has an extra-large capacity cooking surface. That means that you can make enough grub for the entire family, or parties. And, even more, the grilling action you see with this bad boy is almost totally smoke-free.
The grill is made for indoor use, but you can just as easily use it outdoors on the porch or out in the garage. The grills Smart Cook System helps you do everything from creating picture-perfect char-grilled marks on meats and vegetables to air frying foods with 75 percent less fat than deep-fried versions. Even more impressive, the grill has a setting that is for frozen foods. So, if you happen to forget to thaw out dinner, you can turn your frozen food into char-grilled yumminess in less than 30 minutes. There is a 4-quart crisper basket and a 6-quart cooking pot, which are both ceramic-coated stainless steel, that comes with the unit. You’ll also get a 15-recipe grilling recipe book written by chefs and a high-quality cleaning brush.
Who Should Buy This: For folks considering a smart grill investment for their kitchen, the Ninja Foodi Smart XL Grill is one of the best options around, period.
Best for Sandwiches
What We Like: This grill easily fits on most kitchen counters and is quick and easy to clean up. You could probably even store it in a cupboard until you want to use it again.
Makers of the BGR820XL Smart Grill, Breville is a name that many grill-fans are familiar with. This smart grill comes with all the basic features dominating the market; several cooking and grilling modes, including low, sear, and panini, as well as adjustable height settings. The unit runs with Element IQ safe plates that are removable and dishwasher-friendly. It operates on 110-120V with 1,800 watts of embedded heating.
The grill opens to BBQ mode upon powering on. It features a range of temperatures from 310 °F to 450 °F. Operations are less smokey than with standard grills as well, thanks to an intuitive drip tray and removable hot plates. In comparison to other smart grills on the market, this one is a bit basic, but it is definitely worth considering if you are looking for a “simple” smart grill.
Who Should Buy This: If you are into grilled sandwiches, bacon, or paninis, few options will serve you up better results than this Breville unit. In addition, if you enjoy grilling up vegetables, this may be the one for you.
Best Smart Grill Conversion Kit
What We Like: This conversion kit works on pretty much any and all grills out there, which is great. It may not offer every little feature of smart grills, but it does significantly upgrade your current grill.
Weber, which has been in business since the late 1800s, and making grills for over half a century, is now making waves with its Connect Smart Grilling Hub. With this nifty contraption, you can turn any regular grill into a bonafide smart grill. If you want to take advantage of the smart craze without investing an arm and a leg for the latest and greatest grill, the 3201 Connect Smart Grilling Hub provides most of the same intelligent features.
Once connected to your grill, the smart grilling hub monitors temperatures, cook times, and more. The device keeps you updated during the grilling process with flip, serve, and other various notifications. All you need to do is put your food on, set the proper cooking temperature, and select how done you’d like your food. For example, if you are cooking steaks, and want them medium-rare, or well-done, simply select the doneness level and the hub will let you know when your steak is cooked to your preference.
Who Should Buy This: For those who are thinking about upgrading to a smart grill, but aren’t ready to shell out hundreds of dollars just yet, this is a great option for converting your current gas or charcoal grill into a full-fledged smart grill.
Best for Outside Grilling
Why We Like It: This grill is pretty much one of the most advanced full-sized smart grills out there, with auto shut down safety feature, various modes and settings, and the MyChef smart app, it is way cool in our book. It may cost more than others, reasonably, but for all the bells and whistles, we find the price well worth the package.
The Lynx Smart Series is not one grill, but three; 30-inch, 36-inch, and 42-inch versions are available, with an option for a stand-alone, or add-on, smoker as well. If it’s a genuinely “smart” grill that you’re after, the lynx offers up far more than an LED display and a touchscreen.
When you install the Lynx exclusive smart grill app, MyChef, your cell-phone or tablet will become a personalized dashboard that’s connected to your grill. The app accesses temperature sensors and gas control valves to make adjustments to the Trident Infrared Burners on the grill to keep food grilling at just the right temperatures no matter how far away from the food you are. It will also send you a notification when it’s time to flip whatever you’re grilling.
These grills really do go beyond many products being marketed and sold as “smart” grills. The unit has five modes that allow you to choose from automated cooking to totally manual operations. It also has a built-in auto-shutdown mode that kicks in when it has been left on but out of use for half an hour. If you’ve always wanted to cook meals you’d find at a steakhouse, this smart grill can help make it a reality for you. The app also includes some masterpiece recipes and helps you make sure that they are prepared correctly, including smoking meats for up to six hours.
Who Should Buy This: Anyone who is ready to make a major investment in the next and best outdoor smart grill should give this one a closer look. Not only is it big and intelligent, but it is absolutely heavy-duty, made with high-end parts, and comes with a nice warranty.
Best for Air Frying and Indoor Grilling
Why We Like It: Digital display, anti-smoke features, dishwasher-friendly plates, ten fryer and grill settings, and seven cooking functions… what is not to like about this smart grill from BBday?
An underdog among the main contenders on our list, the BBday Smokeless Indoor Grill is a multifunction indoor grill worth your consideration. Beyond just grilling, this product also works as an “Air Grill” with air fry, bake, roast, and dehydrate settings. The grill has ten presets for easier cooking on your part including beef, bean/chili, meat, pork, porridge, saute, vegetables, and more. Whether you are in the mood for fish and chips, pizza, steak, chicken, or something vegan, there is a one-touch setting that will help you get it right.
Never burn, or undercook, your meal again with this smart grills 515F Cyclonic Grilling Technology and Smart Cook System. The machine’s digital display allows you to easily monitor the progress of your food including temperature, cooking function, cook time, and more. The grill is also virtually smoke-free, thanks to extremely hot cyclonic air that provides “surround searing.” Finally, the unit is also nonstick and is dishwasher-friendly. That means the cleaning of it is nice and easy.
Who Should Buy This: Perhaps this unit is not made by the most well-known manufacturer, but that little factor aside, anyone looking for a versatile indoor grill that’s smart would do well to consider this one.
Best for Grilling Burgers
What list of the best grills could ever be complete without a George Foreman product? Ever since 1994 when the first George Foreman grills rolled out onto the market they have been a smash hit with households around the world. Today, amidst the smart-appliance revolution, these convenient grills are just as popular as ever. The GRD6090B Smokeless-Digital Smart Select is one of the most advanced George Foreman grills made to date. It has a unique open plate design that allows for more cooking/grilling with as much as 85-percent less smoke. The grill is operated via touch-sensitive controls with visual and audio cues that help you get the most out of every grilling session.
Not only does this grill let you cook with less smoke, and less culinary knowledge needed, but it also allows you to cook up to 3 times faster than with other grills. Burgers take as little as six minutes, for example. Even more, the size of the grill is proportionate to a family-sized serving(for 4 to 6 people). The cooking surface measures right at 90 square inches. Further, cleaning this smart grill is also easier than competitor products. All you need to do is remove the grill plate and drip tray, and put them through the dishwasher, aside from a little wipe-down of the grill itself.
What We Like: When it comes to making tasty burgers, George Foreman grills are legendary. This fact alone makes this option worth considering. That it has a 90-inch cooking surface and cleans up easy, makes it even sweeter.
Who Should Buy This: For families and those who love burgers on the grill, even when it’s raining or snowing, few do it better than this smokeless digital grill from George Foreman.
The Difference Between Smart Grills and Traditional Grills
The differences between the best traditional grills (charcoal and gas) and the newest smart grills are quite significant. Not only are they easier to operate, and most of the guesswork is removed from grilling, but they are obviously higher-tech and much more reliable. Unlike charcoal grills, the cooking surface is always evenly heated. And, unlike gas grills, which can be expensive to fuel, smart grills take less time and energy to cook things.
A few of the most significant benefits of smart grills in comparison to other grills include:
- Easier to operate
- More energy efficient
- Faster cooking times
- Evenly distributed heat
- Very little flare-ups
- Top-notch searing abilities
- Better tasting food
- Time and temperature monitoring
- Flip and serve notifications
Depending on the models of grills that you are comparing, these are just the tip of the iceberg.
What to Look for in a Smart Grill
Now that we’ve looked at some of the best smart grills, as well as some of the biggest differences between traditional grills and smart ones, let’s have a closer look at what you should look for in the best smart grill for you.
Cooking Surface and Area
What materials were used in constructing the cooking surface? Stainless steel and cast iron are widely-considered the best. That said, models with non-stick coatings are also popular, but keep in mind that those materials are toxic when the surface gets damaged and the coating comes off. Next, consider the size. Smart grills cooking surface areas range from as small as 30 square inches to as large as 90 square inches or more.
When it comes to smart grilling, infrared heating is the best. It’s the quickest and easiest to use, and it cooks food thoroughly and evenly. It’s also the most proficient type of heating and is found in smart grills, including the units on our list.
Basic Benefits and Features
The basic benefits you can expect from a smart grill include infrared heating, a high-quality cooking surface of the most suitable size for your needs, cooking speed, and ease of cleaning. Only you can decide which ones you really need.
Advanced Benefits and Features
These are the standout features that will catch your interest. From built-in time and temperature monitoring, flip and serve notifications, and smart applications that link your phone or tablet to your grill, the advanced features and benefits of smart grills just keep on getting better.
Cost and Warranties Options
As with any significant purchase, the price and warranty options that come with it are crucial. While you may have to limit your budget, don’t neglect the warranty. The best products include money-back guarantees and/or multi-year or lifetime warranties. If you are going to make an investment in a grill, it should last for years. Make sure you cover your purchase by selecting one with a good warranty.
Smart Grill FAQs
To help you pick the right grill, we’ve been as thorough as possible with our grill reviews and follow-up information. But, just in case you still have a question or two, here are a few of the most frequently asked questions that people have about smart grills.
What Is a smart grill?
A smart grill is a grill that is actually “intelligent.” There are various technologies and features that make this possible. From communication between grills and applications to multiple functions and settings, as well as built-in safety features, these grills are genuinely smart. Some smart grills even work via voice commands or remote control.
How Do You Use a Smart Grill?
What makes a smart grill smart are its sensors, programs, and remote control options. All smart grills let you set a specific temperature, sometimes for different zones on the grill. This gives you more control over how fast or slowly your food cooks. Once you’ve found the perfect cooking time for a specific food item, it’ll be easier to replicate that result the next time. Most smart grills offer multiple preset programs for cooking different types of food and some include grilling recipes and instructions, meaning you don’t have to figure it all out by yourself. Finally, some products offer apps that let you control your smart grill from a distance.
As you see, smart grills are quite different from traditional grills. But in the end, they do the same thing; cooking your food, just smarter, making your job quite a bit easier.
What Is the Difference Between an Infrared Grill and a Smart Grill?
Most smart grills are equipped with infrared cooking technology, but not all infrared grills are equipped with smart features. So, the major difference is that while both types of grills cook more evenly and quicker than other grills, infrared grills lack the connectivity and best benefits found in smart grills. Also, not all smart grills have infrared cooking abilities.
Are Smart Grills Hard to Clean?
The best smart grills are always easier to clean and maintain than traditional gas and charcoal grills. But, depending on how often you use it, and how well you maintain it after each use, as well as what model you own, affects the ease with which you can clean it. Many of them come with removable hot plates that can be rinsed off and wiped down, then put in the dishwasher. Compared to most grills, it is true that they are among the easiest to clean.
How We Picked
For beginners, we looked at smart grills online, including at some of the world’s leading retailers like HomeDepot, Walmart, and Amazon as well as manufacturer websites. Taking into consideration all of the important factors mentioned above, and countless reviews from consumers, we weeded out everything but the very best.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t fit every one of these models on our list (Weber makes genuinely great grills). So, we broke them down into categories and chose the ones we thought would benefit our readers the most.
Choosing the Right Smart Grill for You
Picking the best smart grill for your kitchen or back porch is a personal choice. Keep in mind what sort of features, abilities, and other benefits you want or need, and don’t forget to check warranty options as you slim down your selections.
Our favorite pick by far is the Ninja Foodi XL Smart Grill. It does just about anything you can think of from grilling and frying to smoking (if you get the add-on), and it does it with relative ease thanks to its intelligent features. It is produced by a world-famous manufacturer of kitchen appliances, comes with grilling recipes, an app, and is both easy to learn and long-lasting. In our book, it just doesn’t get much better than that.