Spark Grill

Tech

Fire It Up

Though the latest grilling trend is for tech enthusiasts who want to cook plugged-in and digitally connected, traditionalists who prefer to smoke above smoldering coals, sear on scalding cast-iron, and roast over glowing wood embers can still find precision equipment that grills to perfection.
SHAUN TOLSON

TECH-SAVVY GRILLING

For the flavor of charcoal without any of the fuss, plug in the stylish Spark Grill. A push-button ignition lights the grill’s proprietary Briqs—compressed natural wood and charcoal blocks made from hickory and applewood—and an oven-like knob offers precise control of the temperature, which ranges from 200 to 900 degrees Fahrenheit. If you need to step away from cooking, be sure to keep your phone handy. A notification from the grill’s mobile app will alert you when your food is ready. $950; sparkgrills.com

Whether you ignite the wood pellets in a Traeger Pro, Timberline, or Ironwood grill, one thing is clear: You’ll discover that wood-fire cooking is a breeze thanks to the grill’s WiFIRE technology. Utilizing the Traeger app, grill masters can monitor (and change) the cooking temperature from anywhere. The app includes hundreds of recipes that can be downloaded directly to a grill’s control unit. Simply select a recipe, place food on the grill, and set the cook cycle. From $800; traegergrills.com

Coyote Outdoor Living relegates weakly powered electric grills to the past. Equipped with a 156-square-inch cooking surface made from Teflon-coated stainless steel, the company’s space-efficient electric grill (mounted to a pedestal stand with folding shelves) cooks with temperatures as hot as 550 degrees Fahrenheit. The appliance is outfitted with a 60-minute safety timer and surge protector, and its ceramic heat-control grid provides 5,000 hours of use. $750; coyoteoutdoor.com

When bigger is better—even in confined spaces—look to the Fire Magic Electric Grill. The grade 304 stainless steel appliance is available in a countertop model, or can be post-mounted or built-in as part of an island with a refrigerator and drawers. It boasts 252 square inches of grilling space and an 1,800-watt heating element that can blast temperatures as high as 800 degrees Fahrenheit. A digital thermometer with a meat probe is included, and a rotisserie kit is available. From $1,575; firemagicgrills.com

HARD-CORE BARBECUING

There’s something primal—and delicious—about cooking with a wood fire, and the Gozney Black Edition outdoor oven allows backyard chefs to stoke the flames with style and control. Hand cast from a proprietary ceramic material, the freestanding chamber maintains consistency at both high and low cooking temperatures with a floor made from thick refractory stone and an extra-wide, iron mouth. Produced in four sizes, it is currently available only in the UK, but North American distribution is coming soon. From $4,950; gozney.com

A Brazilian outdoor cooking apparatus called Noori efficiently conducts heat using a modular pipe system, and its refractory concrete body keeps that heat inside. Utilizing wood fires and half-moon-shaped, cast-iron grill plates, it functions as a traditional stove top. When fueled by a mix of wood and charcoal, the Noori transforms into a grill or smoker (depending on the heat’s depth). Cover the grates with a refractory concrete disk and you can bake pizzas in minutes. It even converts into a firepit for after-dinner relaxation. $2,650; noori.com

The Kalamazoo Shokunin is proof that not all kamado grills are created equally. With three different levels, the Shokunin can grill, roast, and smoke. Standing 4 feet tall with a deep body that produces a gentler and more even heat for smoking, the grill is equipped with four strategically placed shutters to aid in precise temperature control. Two inches of insulation keeps its outer surfaces cool to the touch even as 12 pounds of charcoal burns steadily at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for 65 hours. From $6,000; kalamazoogourmet.com

Don’t let the retro styling fool you. The Aemyrie wood-fired oven is regulated through a large control panel outfitted with an LED touch screen, which allows users to sear, smoke, roast, and use a rotisserie with confidence. Hand-built in England, it accommodates solid-wood logs, as well as briquettes and charcoal. Such versatility easily allows for low-and-slow cooking methods; however, fires can be stoked to burn hotter than 850 degrees Fahrenheit when necessary. From about $30,000; aemyrie.com

Inspired by South American parrillas, the massive Langelier Elite 42 is built-to-order. Along the back wall of the grill, logs burn hot and fast inside a central fire cage that acts like a charcoal chimney. In spectacular fashion, smoldering coals drop into the hearth, where the grill master can rake them underneath as many as four cooking surfaces, each one set on a lift frame that can be raised or lowered using crank wheels. This allows various foods to be simultaneously prepared at different temperatures. From $19,775; grillworks.com

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