Great summer BBQ and grilling tech

Great summer BBQ and grilling tech

Summary: Jason Perlow gives you his picks for the best BBQ and grilling tech/accessories for the July 4th weekend and the summer ahead.


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  • Weber Genesis Gas and LP Grills

    ($699 and up, Amazon)

    If Gas grills are more your speed, Weber is still your best choice. There are much more expensive grills on the market than the Genesis series, but you're not going to find one as well built and higher performing for the money.

    The gas version of the Genesis was the first grill I ever bought, and after 10 years of enduring the rain and the cold of New Jersey, the only reason why I stopped using it was that I moved to Florida, where I immediately bought a Liquid Propane version of the same model.

    The current model's electric ignition three-burner Genesis has a total surface cooking area of 637 square inches and a burner input of over 38,000 BTU per hour.

    The Genesis comes in a variety of models for Liquid Propane (LP) and for natural gas, in different configurations, which also include side burners for boiling water, and cooking chilis and BBQ sauces.

  • Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 18-1/2-Inch Charcoal Smoker, Black

    ($299, Amazon)

    If you talk to any serious amateur or even professional pitmaster, the Weber Smokey Mountain is one of the best affordable and durable charcoal smokers money can buy. I agree with that sentiment, because like the other smokers and grills on this list, I actually have owned one.

    I nominated the WSM Bullet as my dead finger tech of 2009. Once you start using this smoker, you'll never have to eat sub-standard BBQ smoked chicken, sausages, ribs, or pulled pork ever again.

    See the ZDNet review of the Weber Smokey Mountain.

  • Big Green Egg

    ($700+, Big Green Egg)

    For those of you who want the ultimate, most versatile outdoor cooker on the market, and for which nothing other than hardwood charcoal cooking will do, the best product on the market in my opinion is the Big Green Egg. As a new Egg owner, I've quickly become a convert.

    Hand made out of heavy, durable glazed Mexican Ceramic, the Big Green Egg is a "vessel" similar to an Indian tandoor oven.

    Capable of withstanding extreme heat in excess of 700 degrees for firing home-baked pizzas or doing outdoor wok cooking, or sustaining very low temperatures of 200 to 250 for BBQ smoking, the Egg is an extremely efficient cooking system. Because of its insulated 100 percent ceramic design, it only consumes a fraction of the hardwood charcoal fuel that other BBQ smokers and grills use.

    As a Big Green Egg owner, you may find yourself slow cooking ribs for 6 hours, only to realize that you have several hours more of cooking you can do, and then having to increase the airflow to grill up some steaks and burgers afterwards!

    Unlike the other products on this list, the Big Green Egg is not available for purchase on the internet. You'll need to hit the company's website and search for a local distributor to buy it from.

Topics: After Hours, Amazon, Hardware, Software


Jason Perlow, Sr. Technology Editor at ZDNet, is a technologist with over two decades of experience integrating large heterogeneous multi-vendor computing environments in Fortune 500 companies. Jason is currently a Partner Technology Strategist with Microsoft Corp. His expressed views do not necessarily represent those of his employer.

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  • Good Grill'n to you Jason

    I like the products you show but you forgot something:

    You gotta have good wood and charcoal to do it right ;)
    • Thanks

      for the charcoal link.
      • You are welcome

        They know what they are doing when it comes to grilling fuels.
  • Well hopefully...

    Jason, you might not get "grilled" for being a Microsoft tool for this post! Hehe...
    Happy Independence Day! "Pitmasters, start your fires!"
  • "Nothing beats the classic Weber"

    My classic Weber fell apart after a few years. That is, the steel burned through where the legs joined the kettle.

    I now have a stainless steel Barbecook Collosea Grill. It is easier and quicker to use, and uses less charcoal. So far, it "beats the classic Weber" .....
    • They Don't Make Webers Like They Used To

      I agree - Weber grills just don't last anymore. There are definitely better brands to buy. Thanks for your suggestion.
  • overpriced bling

    It's not technology, nor is it a technician. Humans have cooked for thousands of years without needing a computer to do the namby pamby too-difficult work-that-Americans-don't-want-to-do stuff...
  • Imagine of the usual tech companies were in on this

    What would you call the stuff? Easy to guess in some cases... Apple iGrill. Samsung Galaxy Grill? The GGrill? Microsoft Expression Grill Professional Home Ultimate? Oracle Grill Consulting Services? DropGrill?