The 8 Best Places to Buy Grilling and Barbecue Gear

Here's what to look for at Ace Hardware, BBQ Guys, Amazon, and more.

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Best Places to Buy Grilling and Barbecue Gear

Food and Wine / Brian Kopinski

You could browse retailer after retailer to buy your next piece of grilling or barbecue equipment. Whether you're hunting for a pre-assembled smoker, the best wood pellets, or essential grilling tools, we've created this guide to help simplify your search. While we hesitate to overlook the many outstanding independent, local, and regional retailers, we focused this list on more prominent national or international outlets to serve the most significant geographic area. For those who want to see, feel, and touch what they’re purchasing, we’ve included several brick-and-mortar outlets and online or predominantly online retailers for those who don’t require that piece.

With each, we’ve looked at how easy it is to purchase and receive your product from them as well as whether additional services, like assembly, are available. They all have their strengths and weakness, which we’ve noted below. We selected these retailers for their product offerings, ease of shipping and returns, pricing, and customer service options. Read on to see our top picks, both in-store and online.

Pros: There’s a wide variety of products, and returns are fairly painless.

Cons: Obtaining warranty information can be difficult, and with only an online presence, you can’t physically preview the item before purchasing.

A Product We Love: Weber SmokeFire EX4 Wood Fired Pellet Grill

There’s very little one cannot find on Amazon. It’s positioned itself to be the world’s largest online retailer. Putting custom or high-end, ultra-specific products aside, when it comes to grills, smokers, barbecue accessories, and tools – down to charcoal and pellets – it’s pretty much got you covered. It’s also great at letting you know about things you never knew you needed. Barbecue claws? Infrared thermometers? Amazon’s got you with its suggestive algorithm. Aside from selection, it has a delivery infrastructure that delivers your products quickly, sometimes on the same day. It also has an easy-to-navigate return policy in most cases, and assembly is available on-site for many products.

On the downside, products often ship from independent sellers, who may or may not offer the same price or shipping options across the board. Technical specifications on the website may not be accurate, so it’s best to check with the manufacturer before purchasing. While you’re doing that, you may also want to look into warranty information directly from the manufacturer, as that is often absent from Amazon’s website. For the non-detail-oriented people who don’t have the patience to read every spec and review, the online-only presence prevents you from seeing, touching, and otherwise examining a product before buying. 

  • Shipping Cost: Many are free with a Prime membership. Domestic Standard shipping is $4.49 plus $0.50 per pound.
  • Shipping Time: Same day to two weeks
  • Return Policy: Most products shipped from an Amazon warehouse are eligible for a return, unused and in the original packaging. The seller must provide a return policy similar to Amazon for third-party sales. 
  • Return Window: 30 days in most cases

Home Depot

ThermoPro TP20B Wireless Meat Thermometer

Home Depot

Pros: It carries a wide range of grilling and barbecue products at competitive prices.

Cons: Not all items are in stock, and shipping is more expensive.

A Product We Love: ThermoPro TP20B Wireless Meat Thermometer

Home Depot doesn’t have Amazon’s breadth of selection or fast delivery options. Still, it does bark at Amazon’s heels in the selection department, with the added convenience of a physical presence. Should you want to purchase a fully-assembled smoker to take home today, you’ll find at least some offerings at the store. While space limitations precluded having all items at every store, the online selection is vast. If a product is not in the store, shipping for customer pickup is often free, but without the near-immediate gratification of Amazon’s home shipping. Home Depot, too, uses a suggestive algorithm that provides alternatives and products “you didn’t know you needed.” It carries a wide spread of best-selling and highly-rated products in the grilling world at competitive prices. It also offers professional assembly on a range of products for an additional fee.

In finding flaws, shipping to your door is more expensive and slower than other online retail outlets. While it offers an array of products, specific items may be outside its purview, and you may find yourself shopping multiple sites to find everything you need. 

  • Shipping Cost: Many things over $45 come with free shipping. Free shipping for in-store pickup is also available. Other items vary by weight and destination. 
  • Shipping Time: Two days to two weeks
  • Return Policy: Unopened, unused items are eligible for return in-store with the receipt. Online orders are processed and returned via UPS.
  • Return Window: 90 days


Permasteel 2 PC Grill Lights RF-HW106


Pros: Competitive pricing and selection are its strongest points.

Cons: The availability of professional assembly is hit or miss, and it doesn’t seem to have the same physical market saturation as its competitors.

A Product We Love: Permasteel PA-12002 Grill Lights

Lowe’s is on par with its main competitor, Home Depot, but doesn’t maintain the same online market share as the latter. That doesn’t mean it’s a lesser outlet by any means. You’ll find overlap between all the major outlets, with differentiation on specific brands and store brands in each. You can find something as basic as heat-resistant gloves or treat yourself to a Nuke Gaucho Grill. Like its contemporaries, Lowe’s has many grills and smokers sold preassembled for take-home that day. Shipping is reasonably priced and efficient, and online returns are free.

In-store you’ll find a smaller amount and diversity of products compared to online, which is expected. In the online shopping realm, options for professional assembly are hit or miss, should this be a deal breaker for you. Depending on your area, store locations may be fewer than other large retailers.

  • Shipping Cost: Free shipping on most orders over $45. Others vary by weight and distance. 
  • Shipping Time: Two days to two weeks
  • Return Policy: Free returns on online orders. Most unused items are returnable in-store with the sales receipt.
  • Return Window: 90 days; 30 days for outdoor equipment

Ace Hardware

Char-Broil Performance Series 4 Burner Liquid Propane Grill Stainless Steel

Ace Hardware

Pros: It has a comprehensive supply of many grills, smokers, and supplies at a competitive price.

Cons: Shipping charges apply for many items not shipped from the store.

A Product We Love: Char-Broil Performance Series 4-Burner Gas Grill

Ace is a smaller online presence than the previous three reviewed, but the smaller presence doesn’t mean a lack of options. Ace carries many top-rated or best-selling brands and items at comparable prices. If you’re starting from zero, you can find everything you need to get started grilling or barbecuing in one stop – from the grill to the fuel, including LP gas, to rubs and sauces. It even has meat processing equipment like knives, cleavers, bone saws, and meat pounders, should you want to go that route. Delivery is available, as is free shipping to a store for pickup. Professional assembly is also available; for some products, it even offers a haul-away of your old item with delivery.

Its website isn’t as robust as others, but it still offers suggestions for alternatives and add-ons while shopping. Ace has a large physical presence, but delivery areas are limited; you may be paying for delivery by default due to distance limitations.

  • Shipping Cost: Free shipping directly from a store for orders over $50 within a pre-determined delivery area. Freight costs apply for online orders not shipped from the store.
  • Shipping Time: Two days to two weeks
  • Return Policy: Unused products are available for return with the receipt. Online orders are subject to return shipping charges unless they ship the incorrect item or the product is damaged.
  • Return Window: 30 days

Pros: BBQ Guys stocks quality products and maintains a knowledgeable sales staff who only deal in outdoor equipment to assist you in decision-making.

Cons: There are only two physical locations, and standard shipping is on the slower end of the scale.

A Product We Love: Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal

BBQ Guys, as the name suggests, deals exclusively in all things outdoor cooking or fire-generating, from grills and smokers to full outdoor kitchens. It carries many of the biggest name brands for home use and commercial models for those who want to take their game up or go pro with their cooking. With only two physical locations, one in Atlanta and the other in Baton Rouge, La., most of the sales are online, which comes with the drawbacks of not physically seeing the product you’re purchasing. Still, sales and customer service people can assist you with the selection process via phone or chat. BBQ Guys also has a whole section of tested product reviews, buying guides, and recipes to help guide your decision-making process.

This isn’t a place to shop for immediate gratification, though. When free shipping is available, it will take five to seven business days after any warehouse processing time to reach you. However, BBQ Guys is an excellent option for those who want to take their time and take advantage of trained sales staff and knowledge base.

  • Shipping Cost: $6.95 or free shipping on orders over $49
  • Shipping Time: Shipping typically takes five to seven business days after the item leaves the warehouse. Some items leave the next day, and others may take 48 to 72 hours.
  • Return Policy: Unused, unassembled products in their original packaging are eligible for return; however, all return shipping costs are deducted from the refund. 
  • Return Window: 30 days


Pros: It’s a quick and convenient retailer with multiple forms of shopping.

Cons: No authoritative salespeople and a vast website mean that you should be prepared and know what you’re buying beforehand.

A Product We Love: Cuisinart Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill

If you take pieces of Amazon, Home Depot, and Lowe’s and put them all in a blender, you get Walmart. By that, I mean that you get a wide selection of products with multiple choices for purchases: in-store, ship-to-store, or fast shipping to home. Because of Walmart’s reach, you can buy everything you need to start grilling, including the food, at the same time, in person or online. 

With the one-stop convenience comes a few drawbacks. First, like the other big box stores, you need to know what you’re looking for when shopping in-store. Staff work in multiple store sections and aren’t authoritative on specific products. Walmart works with many brands online, and the item you’re seeking may not get prominent website placement. There’s nothing wrong with this model, but it may be confusing and time-consuming.

  • Shipping Cost: Free on most items 
  • Shipping Time: Two to three days for most items
  • Return Policy: Items purchased or picked up at a store are eligible for return at the store. Online orders shipped to you are eligible for a return via mail.
  • Return Window: 90 days

Bass Pro Shops

Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill

Bass Pro Shops

Pros: Bass Pro has trained sales staff on-site and is a good representation of the best-reviewed brands.

Cons: Its offerings are less vast than other retailers, and the selection of grill tools is adequate but not great.

A Product We Love: Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill

Bass Pro Shops are monuments to all things outdoor recreation. This includes grilling and barbecuing, and an in-store visit can be a sensory overload of outdoor gear. But for those not close to a physical location, online shopping is available with an easy-to-navigate website with reasonable shipping and return policies. As they specialize in outdoor gear, sales staff are more knowledgeable than at some other retailers, so it’s easy to find answers to your questions when shopping in-store. While not the deepest or broadest selection, Bass Pro Shops still carries many of the major and best-reviewed brands of grills and smokers on the market today. Its tool selection is adequate, and it stocks several brands of charcoal and smoker chips to get the fire going. It also stocks over 100 seasoning and rub options for all types of outdoor-cooked foods.

  • Shipping Cost: Free shipping for orders over $50 and $5 for orders under that amount.
  • Shipping Time: Four to six business days on most orders
  • Return Policy: You can exchange or request a refund on online or in-store items. Return shipping is free for defective merchandise or incorrect orders.
  • Return Window: 60 days

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Traeger Apple Hardwood Pellets 20 lbs.

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Pros: Dick’s provides good in-store service with multiple online shopping and delivery options.

Cons: Compared to some, the number of brands carried is low, and there’s a limited selection of accessories available.

A Product We Love: Traeger Apple BBQ Wood Pellets

Dick’s is another good crossover between brick-and-mortar and online shopping. Like others in the non-big-box category, it specializes in sporting goods and outdoor equipment and has knowledgeable sales staff to assist you in person. It’s limited in the number of brands it carries but has a good selection within those brands. Online shopping is easy and intuitive, with available home delivery, store pickup, and ship-to-store options.

There are certainly places with a greater pool of options, but the tradeoff is personal service with many of those. The in-store availability and shipping options increase its rating, countering most downsides.

  • Shipping Cost: Free shipping on orders over $65 for regular sales, free shipping on orders over $49 for members, and $25 for other orders. Same-day delivery is available on some items when ordered within a certain time frame.
  • Shipping Time: Two to five business days
  • Return Policy: Items can be returned for exchange or refund with the receipt. Online returns are via mail or in-store.
  • Return Window: 90 days

Factors to Consider

Brand Selection 

Brand selection counts in a big way if you’re unsure about what brand you wish to buy. Stores and online retailers make agreements with manufacturers to carry certain brands, and you may wish to look at a wide variety of them before deciding. In this case, a retailer with a wide brand selection is to your benefit. If you’re certain about a brand and model, pricing varies between retailers largely based on that retailer’s sales volume and manufacturer’s agreements. So knowing what you want enables you to shop pricing, delivery options, and other considerations at retailers focusing on that brand.

Warranties, Shipping, and Returns

Ensure that you’re aware of the retailer’s warranty and return policies. Retailers may refer you to the manufacturer’s warranty for defective products, making the return process cumbersome. Some only offer returns for improperly shipped or damaged products. Some charge for return shipping for online orders, which can significantly decrease the amount returned to you. Still others charge a restocking fee or only offer store credit or exchanges on returns. Fully understanding the shipping terms will also potentially save you money and will certainly save you frustration. 


Many grills and smokers are impractical to store or ship in their assembled state, or the retailer wishes to maximize warehouse space with flat-pack boxes for them. If you’re not up for an afternoon assembling your BBQ gear, check with the retailer for assembly options at the store or online. In many cases, it will be a not-so-prominent box or button to check when selecting the item or during the checkout process. Ace takes assembly a step further and offers an option to haul away your old grill or smoker in addition to assembly. In any of these scenarios, be aware that assembly is not included in the price. Many brick-and-mortar retailers offer a selection of pre-assembled grills and smokers that you can take home and use immediately, sometimes at a slightly higher price.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • When is the best time to buy a grill?

    Steer clear of purchasing a grill during the summer, especially around any of the “barbecue holidays,” such as Memorial Day or the Fourth of July, as prices tend to be higher during that time, according to Amy Brandwein, chef and owner of  Centrolina Mercato e Osteria in Washington, D.C., and Brandon Boudet, chef and partner of Little Dom’s in Los Angeles and Little Dom’s Seafood in Carpinteria, Calif. Depending on where you live, grills may not be as present in brick-and-mortar stores from early fall to late spring. Online or in-store pricing may be better during those times, but availability may be less in-store.

  • Where can you buy a gas grill already assembled?

    Big box retailers like Home Depot or Lowe’s almost always have a selection of pre-assembled grills for sale. Other retailers may be hit or miss for these, so check with the store directly before making the trip.

  • Where can you buy a propane tank for a grill?

    Many home improvement stores offer filled propane tanks for sale, as does Ace Hardware. Several convenience store chains also offer tanks for purchase or exchange, and some truck rental companies offer this as a side initiative. Also, many areas have home delivery options where you simply call or place an order online, and they’ll bring you a new tank or exchange an empty one at prices similar to the other options.

  • Do you need to replace grill grates? Where can you buy replacements?

    There is a good chance that your grill grates will wear out before the rest of your grill. Bare cast iron rusts, as does enamel-coated cast iron after a few nicks to the coating. They’re easy to replace, and doing so prolongs the life of your grill. Check with the retailer where you bought the grill or with the manufacturer for replacement parts. Another option is a site like Grill Parts America, which carries aftermarket and OEM replacement parts for a wide variety of grills.

Our Expertise

Greg Baker is an award-winning chef, restaurateur, and food writer with four decades of experience in the food industry. His written work appears in Food & Wine, Food Republic, and other publications.

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