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Grill on Grill Action

Blue Ember
Blue Ember 650 iQue, $899 -

The iQue’s glowing LCD screen provides live feedback on temperature and fuel use—welcome to the future of grilling! Propane flow to the four 14,000 BTU burners is controlled electronically, so you can set the temp just like you would an oven.

WHAT’S HOT: Cooking burgers and a thick porterhouse at the same time, thanks to a 650-square-inch cooking area split into two zones.

WHAT’S NOT: Consulting the manual every five minutes, even after weeks of use, to figure out what each button does.


Char-Broil CB940X, $430 -

Championed by “back to basics” grilling blowhards, this heavy-duty charcoal throwback is the stone-age yin to the iQue’s techy yang. At 188 pounds it’s as heavy as a truckload of hibachis, but its heft allows it to hold heat better than any other cooker we tested. Nonstick, preseasoned cast-iron grates make up the 540-square-inch cooking surface.

WHAT’S HOT: An oversize front access door makes it easy to add coals when slow-cooking—and allowed us to tend to the fire without sacrificing our arm hair.

WHAT’S NOT: It’s easy to move around when set up, but getting the beast assembled is a two-man job.