The 2021 GrillGirl Holiday Gift Guide
As someone who has been grilling since 2008, I have tested a LOT of different Grills, Smokers and Grilling Gadgets. I also did a ton of research and consulted with other grilling experts on the best grills in their category for the first inaugural edition of GrillGirl Magazine and am sharing that info below.
So, below I’m sharing with you my tried and true recommendations – many people ask me, what grill should I buy? This question opens up a series of questions that really dig into your lifestyle and what is important to you. If you bought my magazine I published this summer (you can still purchase here by the way) then you would know I did a whole feature on the best grills by type.
For example, if you value a quick start and push button start, then a charcoal grill may not be for you. But, if smoke flavor is your number one goal, then Charcoal should be your go to. So, before jumping into getting a new grill, perhaps you should figure out what type of grill fits your lifestyle, and then go from there.
And then, once you’ve figured out what kind of grill fits your style, I went ahead and shared my favorite of each type and consulted with other grill experts to ensure I gave the best recommendation.
It only makes sense to first make sure you are getting the right type of grill based on your lifestyle, and then I make recommendations on best type of grill (all grills are in the affordable category, not the luxury category, though I give my recommendations on a my (Luxury) Gas Grill of choice below too.
Some of these gadgets have affiliate links and if you make a purchase the site will make a small commission. I appreciate your support!
What Grill is Right for You?
Based on this chart, you should know what Grill Type best fits your lifestyle and what’s most important to you.
Now that you know what grill type is best for your lifestyle, lets dig into my recommendations!
THE PELLET GRILL
A cool feature of the Green Mountain Grill is that you can easily add a Pizza Oven Attachment to it and instantly transform your backyard into a pizzeria. Check out my how-to videos here! I’ve also recently smoked an Alligator on my Green Mountain Grill, and have developed a ton of recipes for cooking on a Pellet Smoker here.
THE KAMADO STYLE GRILL
I’ve been cooking on the Big Green Egg since 2010 and it is, and continues to be, one of my favorite grills. If you take care of your BGE, you could pass it on to your kid one day.
If you are looking to get get a BGE or just purchase one, I recommend you check out my Big Green Egg Series where we teach you everything you need to know about getting started on an EGG. I have also developed many recipes specifically for an EGG and you can check them out here.
Many People ask what’s the difference in the Big Green Egg versus Kamado Joe?
I have used a Kamado Joe, the competitor to BGE, before and it cooked great as well. The price difference in Negligible in the two grills, however, you can’t cook at an Eggfest with a Kamado Joe. I believe having an Egg is very much a food culture that is part of the eggsperience as people who cook on Eggs are very passionate cooks and the knowledge and comraderie developed by being part of this group is something that can’t be replicated. This might sound a bit “cultish” as many people joke about “Eggheads” but the Egg does market itself as a cookin “Eggsperience” and that is 100% accurate!
THE GAS GRILL
I did a lot of research to recommend the best Gas Grill under $1200 for my Magazine, including an indepth discussion with Derrick Riches in this video here, to identify which Gas Grill I should recommend as best in category.
If you are looking for higher end, Luxury Category Grill, I installed an Aspire By Hestan Grill (check out the instagram video I made) into my new home @therobotranch and have been very pleased. I love that you can custome the color of this grill and it definitely looks like Patio Bling in my outdoor kitchen!
THE CHARCOAL GRILL
There is nothing you can’t do on a Weber Kettle! The Weber Kettle is a go-to grill for me- don’t leave home without it!
I should mention that I think that PK Grills Makes a great grill with amazing heat retention based on their cast aluminum construction if Charcoal is truly your thing. PK Grills are really big on the Steak Competition Circuit because of this! You can read my review of the PK grill here.
THE FLAT TOP GRIDDLE
While I don’t cook on a Blackstone as I usually add a cast iron pan or griddle on my other grills for the same effect, I picked the braine of my good friend Paul Sidoriak, who wrote a cookbook on Griddle Cooking which you can check out here. He says the Blackstone remains the leader in Flat Top Grills based on their ability ot innovate their technology.
MUST HAVE GRILLING GADGETS
In cooking, TEMPERATURE, NOT TIME, should be your guide for cooking any meat. If you are not using a Thermapen yet, run, don’t walk to get one. They just came out with the THERMAPEN one that gives ONE SECOND READINGS, versus previously the three second readings. Why is it important to have a quick reading? If you have one of those old school thermometers then while you are waiting for it to come up to temp, you are spilling heat from your grill, smoker or oven! If you don’t want to spend the money on a Thermapen One, then get the Thermopop for $35 and you will still get 3 second readings! THERE IS NO REASON TO NOT BE USING AN INSTANT READ THERMOMETER!
IN the kitchen, a good set of knives is invaluable. I’m a big fan of Dalstrong Knives because they offer really amazing Japanese Knives at an amazing price. For true knife connoisseurs, they offer Japanese, German, US, Sino and even Scandanavian Steel with various handle styles. Curtting with a Dalstrong is a true joy! They continue to come out with new innovative styles and types of knives with sets made just for grilling and specific types of meat including the Brisket knife. The Shogun Series Chef’s Knife in Glacial White is shown in this photo.
END GRAIN CUTTING BOARDS
Yall know I’m a big fan of Veteran Owned Pitbarrel Cooker so I was excited to see that they have launched End Grain cutting boards. But these are not your average cutting board. These are cutting boards for the discerning foodie, where you’ll find attention to detail everywhere you look as they come with a gorgeous mix of wood grains/colors that make it pretty enough to keep on your countertop and also for those instagram beauty shots. The super deep drip tray makes clean up a breeze. This cutting board should be treated just like you treat your good knives- care should be taken to clean, dry and wax – you can buy a kit to keep it looking as gorgeous as the day you bought it. Use this link for 10% off until 12/31/2021!
Grillgrates are “grate” for many reasons. 1) if you have an old grill with rusted out grates and can’t afford to get a new grill, you can get grill grates and get more life out of that old grill. 2) Grillgrates use hard anodized aluminum that gives even heat distribution and eliminates hot spots on your grill. Let’s face it, ALL grills have hot spots! Also, they give amazing grill marks!
If you recall, I have dabbled in the Steak Cookoffs Association and I am also a certified judge and if you are on the steak circuit, EVERYONE and I mean EVERYONE uses GrillGrates to get perfect char marks. Watch my video below where I interview Malcolm Reed about grilling steaks for SCA Cookoffs and GrillGrates are mentions, along with the Thermapen!
Lastly, what I think is really cool about GrillGrates is that you can flip them over and use them as a griddle. While everyone is going crazy over griddle style grills these days, you can easily convert the grill you have into a griddle with Grill Grates.
JJ GEORGE GRILL TORCH
Let’s face it, using a chimney starter is efficient but not always fast. I love the JJ George Grill Torch so I can just add Charcoal to my grill and light it and go. They also make a version with a longer pole so you can organically kill weeds! We use that all the time and my husband loves to use it. There is something therepeutic about using it, similar to the joy you get from pressure washing!
THE FLAME BOSS
I’ve gone to church with a pork butt on the smoker, all enabled by my Flame Boss! What it does: 1) Monitors the temp of your smoker at the grate level, 2) Monitors the internal temp of your meat (you can do multiple proteins at once) 3) it maintains the temp of your smoker with a fan so it stays consistent.
Even if you don’t need to multi-task while smoking meat, the beauty of the Flame Boss is that it will ensure your smoker maintains consistent temperatures to ensure that you don’t get those peaks of valleys of heat which can potentially mess up a cook. If you want to monitor the entire cook via a temperature graph on your phone, well then the Flameboss is the smokerporn you have been looking for as you can monitor everything about your cook from your phone via the app on the go. It’s pretty awesome. You can see me use the Flameboss earlier generation in this Brisket Video from a few years ago.
KICK ASH BASKET
The Kick Ash Basket makes charcoal cleanup and maintenance in your grill a much better experience – this basket was designed by an engineer and by keeping your charcoal in the basket, it helps aerate the charcoal and also separates the ash making cleanup much easier in your charcoal grill. This is an invaluable tool in any charcoal grill but especially the Big Green Egg or any Kamado style grill. If you are an Egg owner, this is on my list of “must have Accessories”.
THE GIFT OF GOOD MEAT
MOINKBOX: ETHICAL MEAT SUBSCRIPTION BOX
I’m a meat eater, but I do care about how animals are treated and what They ate. Ie, you are what you eat has eaten. I’ve often thought to myself, if only I had a local contact to get Ethically sourced meat that I can feel good about. Sadly, there isn’t a ton to choose from at my local grocery store and even the best butchers I’ve been to don’t seem to have any clue about HOW the meat was raised and what it was fed. That is why I’m SUPER excited to have discovered MOINK box, a monthly subscription box that sources meat from local farmers where all the meat is verifed ethically treated AND no junk weird ingredients. This means the bacon is always nitrate free and the chicken will never have those weird saline preservative solutions injected. Plus, I love supporting small female owned businesses! Use my promo code for to get FREE GROUND BEEF for a year!! moinkbox.com/grillgirl
SNAKE RIVER FARMS: AMERICAN WAGYU
If you are looking for American Wagyu for those special occasions when you want the best in Prime, then Snake River Farms is a great choice. American Wagyu is the result of breeding Fullblood Wagyu with Angus beef to get a great mix of American Wagyu. You can also find Korobuta Pork at Snaker River Farms which is the Wagyu Version of Pork. I love to order from Snake River farms for Birthday Dinners or special occasions like during the holidays!
JJ GEORGE CEDAR BGE/KAMADO TABLES
Being a GRILLING enthusiast is a LIFESTYLE. Below I share some of my favorite Outdoor lifestyle products.
If you have decided to finally get a Big Green Egg, you may also want to consider getting a nice table for it. You will also see that BGE has been out of stock of their tables for a long time so you will need to look elsewhere to get a table.
I am a BIG fan of the JJ George Cedar table who also makes the torch I referenced above. I use this table often for Press Cooking Demos because I can move this table where the light is good- it is like. aninstant outdoor kitchen area.
If you are thinking of building your own Big Green Egg or Kamado table, check out this article I shared on the Top 5 DIY BIG Green Egg Table Plans you can make yourself.
BASK COSTARONDACK CHAIRS
When we moved to the new house on Robot Ranch, I was looking for something really durable YET also stunning for the pool deck. The Bask Costarondack is a great statement piece for your patio – it is like buying the Yeti of Patio furniture. After having a heckuva a time trying to keep my patio furniture clean from mold and muddy pawprints in my old house, I am big fan of how the Costarondack can be kept outside in the elements while also being comfortable. I love that I don’t have to worry about constant maintenence and upkeep like you might with traditional sunbrella which can still get mold and mildew in a humid climate like Florida.
OLUKAI FLIP FLOPS
As someone who has lived in the Florida since 2007 and wears flip flops 24/7 – 365 days a year, trust me when I tell you that I have tried EVERY type of flip flop on the market. The problem is that most flip flops offer no actual arch support. That’s why when I discovered Olukai it was a game changer! Believe it or not I bought my first pair the day I had grilled pizza on the Today Show with Carson Daly and needed to find a comfortable pair of shoes to walk around the city. Since that day in 2015 I have owned MANY pairs of Olukais as I just haven’t found another flip flop that has the same support. As an outdoor lifestyle enthusiast and expert, I 100% give Olukai my seal of approval – if you are looking for a great gift for the griller in your life, then these will not disappoint! I’ve included a link to my favorite Olukai style which is the Kalupa but I’m also a fan of the Ohana. Here is a pic I took of me grilling in my Olukais for my magazine photo shoot earlier this year.
BBQ GIFT BASKET:
You can easily build a BBQ Gift Basket for the Grilling and BBQ Enthusiasts in your life by first getting a chimney starter and then filling it with your favorite rubs, grilling accessories and even butcher paper. You can read the original blog post on this here.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
I want to say thank you for your support of my site by using affiliate links- if you decide to purchase anything some of these posts do include affiliate links that help this site generate commission. I only recommend products I personally use and recommend. Thank You!