Battle of the Grills

Whether you want to smoke a whole turkey or just cook some side dishes without running back inside, we’ve rounded up some of the best grills out there.

The symbol of summer cuisine and purveyor of flamed-to-perfection meat now has a few more tricks under its hood. Whether you want to smoke a whole turkey or just cook some side dishes without running back inside, we’ve rounded up some of the best grills out there.

THE CONTROL FREAK Viking C4 Outdoor Cooker, $2,600-$6,300, by special order at Yale Appliance + Lighting, Boston

Not only can you control the temperature down to single digits to get that steak perfectly tender, you also can throw hickory chunks in with the charcoal and close the damper for slow, old-style smoking. The ceramic interior maximizes heat retention, which minimizes cooking time, and the porcelain-coated cooking grids render it nonstick. With a maximum temperature of 750 degrees, this grill has enough power to roast a whole turkey or bake a fruit pie—all under a space-age-looking capsule.

THE STEPFORD Thermador Drop-In Char-Glo Barbecue, $2,699-$4,399, Boston Appliance, Boston

This sleek, stainless-steel gas unit installs easily into any masonry enclosure, concealing the outdoorsy thrill of 40,000-80,000 BTUs under an elegant hood. The high-heat infrared rotisserie burner and its heavy-duty motor can deftly handle a 25-pound leg of lamb, and larger models come with a smoker tray. A baffled radiant-heating system distributes heat equally along the cook top, and an optional double side burner keeps sides warm or boils the perfect lobster.

THE NIGHT OWL Dacor Epicure EOG52, $4,229, Jarvis Appliance, Wellesley

Fire things up when the sun goes down—the Epicure comes with built-in halogen lighting so you can grill at any hour of the day or night. The 52-inch model, available built-in or on a freestanding cart, gives you plenty of room to work and all the tools you need, including a 13,000-BTU infrared ceramic rotisserie burner. Side burners and a smoker tray are available, and you can soup up your cart with a warming oven to keep finished dishes hot.

THE CLASSIC Weber Performer, $299, Charles Street Supply Co., Boston

If you appreciate the nostalgic look and charcoal-cooked flavor of a classic Weber grill but would rather make lighter fluid a distant memory, this is the grill for you, SHOWN RIGHT. You’ll get the same porcelain-enameled UFO shape (available in black, dark blue and green) that reminds you of Dad’s grill, but in a convenient cart with extra work space, a weatherproof bin for charcoal, tool and lid holders, and an aluminum ash catcher. The best part? The Touch-N-Go ignition—a propane-assisted starting system that gets those coals lit in a hurry.

THE ENTERTAINER Round Rock Fire Pit, Grill and Rotisserie, $599, SpitJack, Worcester

If sipping drinks by the fire sounds like the perfect summer evening, this rustic charcoal- or wood-burning fire pit may be the way to go. Guests getting hungry? Go as simple as marshmallows on sticks or, with its bounty of attachable features, do everything from roasting a whole chicken with the stainless-steel rotisserie to boiling corn on the cob with the swing-away pot hook.