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Fun and functional outdoor grills

Heather Barnett is a freelance writer and foodie whose work has been featured in blogs, websites, magazines, and TV and radio ads. She spends her free time relaxing with her soulmate, Keith; her dog, Mosby "The Fly Slayer;" and Felix th...

Functional grills for fashionistas

It's the time of year for cookouts with friends and family (a great reason to try that new rub you've been working on since last summer), which means you may be shopping around for a new grill that looks as good as it works. While your man may be satisfied with whatever he can find at a garage sale, we ladies want our outdoor cooking environments to be as personalized as the kitchen we have indoors.

These grills take utilitarian to a whole new level. From sleek to sassy, from elegant to cutesy, these grills will not only help put the finishing touches on the patio you've painstakingly worked to design, they'll let you cook for your friends with ease.

Check out these must-try patio trends for 2012 >>

Bodum Fyrkat Portable Charcoal Grill

Bodum Fyrkat Portable Charcoal Grill

This adorable and fully portable charcoal model comes in four colors and can move from your backyard this summer to your fall tailgate with ease. The 13.4-inch cooking surface has enough room for four steaks and is the perfect size for apartment-dwelling grill-masters with balcony access. The lid latches so you can easily carry it with one hand, even if you've still got charcoal inside. (Amazon, $60)

Char-Broil Quantum Infrared Urban Gas Grill with Folding Side Shelves

Char-Broil Quantum Infrared Urban Gas Grill with Folding Side Shelves

Looking for a sleek and sophisticated outdoor grilling experience? This award-winning model from Char-Broil features an infrared cooking system, letting you sear in the succulent flavors of all your favorite meats. In addition to the main grilling area, there's a 125-square-inch secondary cooking area so you can cook up those veggies or other sides without constant trips back into the kitchen. When you're finished cooking, it folds up into an elegant stainless-steel masterpiece. (Amazon, $300)

Kamado Ceramic Charcoal Grill

Kamado Ceramic Charcoal Grill

Grill, smoke and sear your way to gourmet glory with precision temperature controls and more efficient heat circulation. The Kamado holds up to 30 burgers or up to six whole chickens at the same time! In addition to several features that make the Kamado an efficient grill, it also has two foldable wooden shelves to hold your glazes, rubs and utensils. (Frontgate, $799)

Traeger Lil’ Pig

Traeger Lil' Pig

Built to the same high standards as all Traeger products, this fun grill may not be for everyone, but if your yard has a girlie Art Deco theme, it might be the grill for you. With a spacious 418 square inches of cooking surface, an internal hopper and multiposition digital thermostat control, your little piglets are sure to squeal for whatever's on the grill! (Find a local vendor, between $1,500 and $2,000).

Hot Pot BBQ Grill

As they say, variety is the spice of life! If you prefer multitasking products, check out the Hot Pot BBQ Grill, which does double duty as a grill… and an herb garden! Use the herbs you grow in the top half to make a delicious marinade, then pop the top and grill your well-seasoned meat to perfection. When you're done, it's back to herb garden duty for this ingenious creation. (Ebay, $124)

More summer barbecue tips

Throw a summer barbecue on a budget
7 Summer barbecue party must-haves
Diet-friendly summer party survival guide

Hot Pot BBQ Grill

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