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The Best Grills (and Recipes) For Summer Cookouts!

Two Bull outdoor kitchen grills

Summer is meant for grilling on the back porch with friends and family, but if you don’t have the best grill for your cookout needs, it can take the fun out of entertaining. The trick is to not just choose an outdoor kitchen appliance that has all the bells and whistles, but one that has the right bells and whistles for your preferred cooking style.

Dive into our top grill picks this summer to kick your backyard up a notch, plus check out our favorite baby back ribs recipe to break your new grill in!

Best All-In-One Grills

The Traeger line of wood pellet burning grills is by far the most versatile of its kind for grillmasters who love options and rich smoky flavor. Its digital interface allows you to easily set and maintain your desired heat while its impressive engineering makes Traegers capable of baking, grilling, smoking, roasting, barbecuing and braising just about any cut of meat.

Traeger grills are more on the pricey side, but their unbeatable cooking capabilities make them a bang for your buck. However, Traeger grills are better for short-smoke recipes, so if smoking long and slow is your game, you won’t get as strong of a smoke flavor as you would with an electric or charcoal smoker.

Our Traditional Pick: Traeger Pro 34 (Gen I) available for $749.95 at Doug Ashy

The Traeger Pro 34 offers 884 square inches and 2 grates of cooking space, but doesn’t have WiFire capabilities to control it from your phone.

Our Smart Tech Pick: Traeger Pro 780 available for $999.95 at Doug Ashy

The Pro 780 offers less cooking space than the Pro 34, but makes up for it with its WiFire technology and its D2 direct drive motor that ensures precise temperatures throughout.

Best Outdoor Kitchen Grills

Bull premium outdoors grills are the best appliances for those looking to build a custom outdoor kitchen space that’s built to last. Its ReliaBull even heat technology ensures perfect results and its fireboxes and cooking grates come with a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty.

Bull offers a large selection of gas grill carts, grill heads, side burners, kitchen sinks and more to completely customize your outdoor space. Their products are relatively more expensive compared to traditional gas grill appliances, but you won’t get the quality and designer look that you would with a custom Bull outdoor kitchen.

Our Grill Cart Pick: Bull Outlaw 4-Burner Grill Cart available for $1,979 at Doug Ashy

The Bull Outlaw Grill Cart offers 810 square inches of cooking space and 60,000 BTUs giving you plenty of room and cooking power to entertain large groups of people. Sitting on 4 wheels and equipped with 2 side shelves, the Outlaw Grill Cart makes it easy to pull out, prep, grill and put away in a snap.

Our Grill Head Pick: Bull Lonestar 4-Burner Grill Head available for $1,728.11 at Doug Ashy

The Bull Lonestar Grill Head offers the same amount of cooking space and BTUs as the Outlaw Grill Cart, but can easily be installed into your outdoor countertops for a luxe, custom kitchen space that sizzles with perfection. Complete the look with a Bull kitchen sink, storage cabinet, vent and refrigerator to get the fully functional backyard of your dreams.

Best Grills for Small Spaces

Old Smokey Charcoal Grills take the win for best grills suitable for small outdoor spaces. Its lightweight design makes it ideal for camping and portability, and its egg-like shape creates the perfect grilling vortex that maintains consistent heat for indirect and direct cooking. We also love that it’s budget-friendly and can be used as a smoker for ultimate versatility.

Our Camping Pick: 14” Old Smokey Charcoal Grill available at Doug Ashy

While size is the only differential feature between their charcoal grill models, the 14” Old Smokey Charcoal Grill is our top pick for personal use and camping. Its grilling surface is best suited for cooking for 1-3 people.

Our Pick for Small Groups: 22” Old Smokey Charcoal Grill available at Doug Ashy

The Jumbo Old Smokey Charcoal Grill packs a lot of punch for its size. Equipped with large side handles for ease of portability, this 22” inch grill offers enough cooking area to prepare for a large crowd of 6-10 people.

Let’s Eat!

Fire up your new grill with a cookout classic that’s sure to please a crowd. Our easy 4-ingredient baby back ribs recipe is finger lickin’, fall-off-the-bone good! It’s little prep and a lot of marinating with ingredients you’ll likely already have on hand for a set-it-and-forget-it hit.

4-Ingredient Smoked Baby Back Ribs


2 racks of pork baby back ribs (soaked overnight)

Fire & Smoke - The Usual All Purpose Seasoning (or your favorite all purpose dry rub blend)

1 quart of apple juice

Apple flavored wood chips or pellets (depending on your smoker or grill)


  1. Use a knife to remove the membrane from the rack of ribs, making sure to pull it up with one hand as you cut it away from the meat with the other.

  2. Place the ribs in a marinating container or deep oven pan. Pour the apple juice over the ribs, cover and place it in the fridge to soak overnight.

  3. Pour the juice in a separate bowl and set aside.

  4. Season both sides of the ribs generously with Fire & Smoke - The Usual All Purpose Seasoning (or your favorite dry rub blend). Place it back in the fridge for 2 hours to allow the meat to absorb the flavor.

  5. Pour the apple juice that you set aside into a grill safe container. Place the ribs directly on the top grill or smoker grate, meat side up, and the apple juice container on the grate below it. If you don’t have a double stacked grill, you can place the apple juice directly beside the ribs.

  6. Close the lid and cook at 225 degrees fahrenheit for 3 hours, or until the ribs are bendable and the bones are more visible. You will know when it’s ready when the meat easily falls off the bone.

  7. Enjoy!

Shop the Best Grills for the Summer at Doug Ashy

At Doug Ashy, we offer the best grill selections from top quality brands you can trust to deliver perfect results. From wood pellet grills to gas grills and charcoal grills, you’re sure to find the best model that meets your outdoor kitchen needs.

Visit us in-store to kick your grilling season off right!


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