To be suitable for making barbecue, a grill or smoker must be able to maintain an even temperature over an extended period and allow the cook to control the heat and smoke levels. Here are a few of our favorites:
1. The Hasty-Bake Suburban Model 414 ($800) is a combination charcoal grill-smoker that offers maximum control. An adjustable firebox places the heat up to 15 inches from the meat; a ventless hood sustains a constant temperature; and a side-loading firebox means easy access to the fuel. Brenda Weaver
2. The Primo Oval ($700), a Japanese-style ceramic grill, offers superb insulation and heat retention, which translates to even cooking with minimum fuel. A heat deflector can be placed over the coals to transition from direct to indirect heat.
3. Another great option is the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker ($349), with a built-in thermometer for optimum temperature control and a water pan that helps maintain a moist environment. The large charcoal area can accommodate enough fuel to keep the Cooker lit for five hours at time. Brenda Weaver
4. The design of Weber’s One Touch Silver Kettle Grill ($99), a backyard icon, allows heat to circulate evenly around the meat. Vents located on the top and the underside enable management of both temperature and smoke circulation. Brenda Weaver
5. For those with no outdoor space, the Camerons Stovetop Smoker ($55) is a compact, affordable item that can be used on a stove top, over a campfire, or even on a hot plate. It’s a simple stainless steel box fitted with a grill rack and a slide-on lid that seals in the smoke. Brenda Weaver
6. The Bradley 4-Rack Digital Smoker ($499) is a user-friendly electric smoker in which smoke and heat are regulated by turning dials. When it comes to barbecue, it doesn’t get easier than that. Brenda Weaver