This is just one installment of 37 Things a Man's Gotta Do This Summer, our annual compendium of everything worth seeing, doing, eating, drinking and generally making time for in your neck of the woods between now and September.
Despite what the calendar year says, polite society knows summer truly begins when the grills roll out. Which makes Memorial Day weekend the official unofficial kick-off to the season.
With that in mind— and to make sure you’re adequately prepared for feeding the people — we’ve rounded up some of the year’s best outdoor cooking setups, from a portable field pizza oven to a classic Weber Kettle grill on steroids.
Just remember: grilling isn't just about the food. It's about the company you keep. But y'know, delicious food never hurt. Here are the grills that'll help you achieve just that.
The Grill: The GoSun Grill
The Price: $800
Why It’s a Winner: As a grill that relies 100% on solar power, the GoSun clocks in as the most eco-friendly of the bunch. Capable of baking, boiling or frying a meal for up to eight people as long as there’s a little bit of sun, this fuel-free cooker can heat up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit in minutes.
The Grill: The Snow Peak Field Oven
The Price: $300
Why It’s a Winner: A pizza oven with the power to put Papa John outta business. Made from lightweight stainless steel, this collapsible charcoal grill can turn any campsite into a pizza parlor, as well as bake bread or heat up pie. Just don’t feed the animals.
The Grill: The Cinder
The Price: $400
Why it’s a Winner: Designed by an ex-Lockheed Martin engineer, the Cinder is a countertop precision grill that uses fine-tuned thermal controls and special plates to cook restaurant-quality food.
The Grill: The Briefcase Barbecue
The Price: $375
Why It’s a Winner: The grill most likely to be mistaken for ... well, a briefcase, this portable cooker features perforated holes that let it heat up quick and cool off fast. When covered, the grill looks like a handsome piece of luggage. Once the top’s off, the tabletop cooker is good to go.
The Grill: The Front Access Vertical Smoker
The Price: $3,675
Why It’s a Winner: With a 3.5-foot-tall smoking chamber holding five racks, this chimney-topped smoker has a separate main chamber that can also be topped off with a removable steel grill.
The Grill: The Char-Broil SmartChef 3 Burner Gas Grill
The Price: $800
Why It’s a Winner: If you're a hopeless amateur cook who must own a fancy doodad grill (we have our opinions), make it this one. Capable of being paired with a smartphone and controlled with an app, this wifi-connected grill uses thermometers to monitor your food and then alerts you when it’s done.
The Grill: The Weber Summit Charcoal Grill 24
The Price: $1,700
Why It’s a Winner: A charcoal cooker and smoker with a gas ignition, the Summit comes with handy inserts like a pizza stone, wok and griddle so it can be used to prepare almost anything.
The Grill: The Everdure Cube
The Price: $200
Why It’s a Winner: A compact charcoal cooker that’s topped with a storage area and bamboo prep tray, the Cube is lightweight, portable and about as easy to use as you could ever ask for.