With summer rapidly approaching and some states lifting stay-at-home orders, many folks are looking to put together warm-weather plans. Cookouts are a staple of the summer season, and even if you can't host a big gathering right now, you can still get plenty of use out of a grill.
Whether you prefer charcoal or gas models — or even smokers — we have all the info you need on the best time to buy a grill in the infographic below. Check it out, then read on for more details!
How to Shop Grill Deals
Should You Buy a Gas or Charcoal Grill?
Grilling enthusiasts often fall into one of two camps: they either prefer gas or charcoal power. And while they can extol the benefits of one or the other, it really just comes down to personal preference. You should consider size, price, portability, and capability before you decide on which grill model to buy.
Charcoal rigs can be lighter, but plenty of tabletop and portable gas grills are on the market, as well. Even portable smokers exist! So whatever kind of cooker you prefer, there's an option to fit your needs.
When Do Grills Go on Sale?
Historically, we've recommended shopping in September and October to get the best grill deals. However, summer can bring its own deals, too — and lots of them.
For instance, last May we listed 27 total grill deals, which was the most for any month in 2019. June came in second with 24 grill offers. Plus, six of them earned our Staff Pick designation, meaning 25% of the grill deals we saw in June were "best of the best" offers. For reference, October, November, and December 2019 all had a higher percentage of Staff Pick deals — but they also had fewer grill deals overall.
As for grill sales, we tend to see them scattered throughout the year. Look for modest discounts, like $50 off select grills at Home Depot in March, and up to 30% off select brands on Amazon in May. However, June and July tend to bring the best discounts, with retailers offering up to 50% or 60% off. The next-best sale after that will likely fall in September, when retailers offer savings of up to 50% for tailgating season.
When Do Gas Grills Go on Sale?
If you're looking for gas grills on sale, the good news is that they make up most of the grill deals we list. But a couple of months are still better for shopping than the others. In May 2019, 11 of the 27 grill offers we listed were specifically for gas models. And we posted 10 gas-grill deals in June — the second-highest number for the year.
So what do prices look like when gas grills go on sale? Tabletop models dropped as low as $68 last May, while portable iterations were as cheap as $109. In June, we saw 2- and 3-burner gas grills for as little as $99.
When Is the Best Time to Buy a Charcoal Grill?
We tend to list fewer charcoal grill deals, but definitely still see them. Be sure to keep an eye out in May and July if you're shopping for a charcoal grill. Last May, for instance, five of the 27 grill deals we listed were charcoal models. In July, we listed 22 total grill deals, but five of those were charcoal grills.
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If you're ready to buy a new charcoal grill, you should know they usually run cheaper than their gas counterparts. Last May, we saw basic charcoal models for as low as $31, and in June we saw them anywhere from $30 to $79. However, if you're shopping bigger ceramic models, expect those to cost much more — from $600 upward, depending on brand and size.
When Do Smokers Go on Sale?
Smokers can come in gas, charcoal, pellet, and even electric varieties. It's best to keep an eye out in May and July for the best smoker deals. While October and November could have a few, they likely won't feature as many as the summer months.
Last summer, we saw gas smokers for as little as $50, electric models for $70, and charcoal iterations for $88. In the fall, a Cuisinart propane smoker dropped to $119 and earned our Staff Pick designation. And a Masterbuilt electric smoker fell to $126 during that season, too.
Readers, what kind of grill do you prefer? Will you buy one this summer or wait until later in the year? Let us know in the comments below.