We’ve reviewed dozens of Charcoal BBQs and listed our 10 best options
There’s nothing quite like a the smell & charm of a traditional charcoal BBQ and if you have landed on this page you will be looking for the best charcoal bbq for your garden or patio this summer season.
But what makes for some of the best charcoal BBQs on the market? What should you be looking for from the best charcoal grills for your garden? Should you be looking for stainless steel construction, ease of use and a smart temperature gauge? In many cases, all of the above should fit the bill. Whether fitted with a warming rack or an extra-large cooking area, the best charcoal barbecue for you should endure summer after summer of great garden parties and tasty food.
In this review will help you find your best charcoal BBQ. We hope you like our choices and take on one or two of our top tips, too, to ensure you find the best fit for you and your family.
We’ve gone to serious effort looking to the best charcoal barbecues available for you to buy online. We’ve considered all manner of features, factors and usability notes which we feel will impact your shopping experience. here are our top choices.
When shopping around for the best charcoal barbecue, you will likely find that there are plenty of neat little systems with a lid and easy wheels for you to trundle your cooking around. These are kettle barbecues, and they tend to be a great option for smaller groups, families and couples. This Weber system is likely to appeal to anyone looking for even cooking from a grill that is small and easy to manage.
This ‘gourmet’ 47cm charcoal barbecue grill is likely to be a great choice if you are looking for ceramic lining and a heat-protective lid. Easily lock in the heat and keep your fingers safe from the rising temperature.
It’s very easy to use on the whole, with a handy ash catcher to help keep your gardens – and lungs – free from the afterburn. What’s more, this charcoal BBQ’s lid also has a sturdy hinge, meaning it’s easy to lock down and put away when not in use. generally, it just looks the part.
Looking to save a bit of money on your charcoal BBQ? CosmoGrill likely has a good option for you to consider here, with a huge cooking area to help you serve up stacks of food at piping temperature. The built-in thermometer on board will help to keep food warm while cooking, and what’s more, you can use it with charcoal briquettes and wood alike.
What’s impressive about this charcoal grill isn’t just the fact that it comes with a handy warming plate, but the fact it boasts you can cook a whole chicken with ease.
What more could you possibly want from BBQ cooking in 2020? Set the perfect cooking temperature and serve food to multiple people without fear of missing anyone out. It’s one of several BBQ grills in our list to offer a large cooking area alongside great heat control.
Looking for a charcoal BBQ system with a bit of a different aesthetic? Sticking with Landmann, this great-looking charcoal grill is easy to work at with a cooking area big enough to heat up for six diners. The neat square is easy to use and clean, and the unit’s sheen and shine will look great as part of any modern outdoor kitchen or contemporary patio.
Looks aside, you may wish to invest in this grill for the wind shield, or for the ash catcher – meaning that, again, it’s a grill which will protect you from menacing ash flying around every which way.
You also have access to an adjustable unit, meaning that you can tweak and customise it to your needs as much as you wish. It’s definitely amongst the most flexible barbecues around, and it’s likely to be one of the most visually striking, too!
George Foreman is a name most people will probably either associate with indoor grills or boxing at the very least, however, his name has extended to the charcoal BBQ grill market, too.
This is likely to be one of the easiest BBQs in its line to move around and handle, meaning that if you are looking for a charcoal barbecue grill with more than just a generous cooking surface, you’ll do well to pick up this neat, handy little cooking system.
It’s one of the best BBQ grill systems in our list for withstanding high temperature, meaning that it’s likely to cook up some food to a seriously tender grill. Keep in the heat with a secure lid, and add a little bit of sleek, modern cooking to your patio. Yes – there are fancier-looking BBQ systems out there, but this one really does look the part in a series of neutral spaces.
It’s time to take a look at another smoker – and while the TecTake brand might not be familiar to everyone, this fantastic grill is certainly a solid pick from our list.
This is one of three models in the same line, and while it is the smallest of the trio, it should still offer you plenty of room to start cooking for one or two people. It benefits from a built-in temperature control for ease of even cooking, and what’s more, it is one of the easiest grills to heat up.
It’s likely to be a good choice for value, too. We would recommend looking at the larger or multifunction versions if you’d like a little more in the way of cooking finesse, but as things go, this grill is likely to serve you very well indeed.
Seeing double? Maybe not. We’ve already looked at one of the best charcoal grills from CosmoGrill, and this system just ups the ante in size. Just as functional and easy to manage as its XL cousin, this super-size outdoor grill system is likely to appeal to anyone looking to serve food to big parties and families. Regardless of the temperature you need, this system is sure to kick up the heat whenever you need it to.
Benefit from a huge cooking space and temperature control – meaning that you can always ensure that everything is cooking through as it should be. Crucially, it’s fairly similar to the XL variant – but with much more room for you to cook food on! Worth looking into for the price, too.
We’ve already looked at a compact kettle BBQ from Weber, and it’s time to consider an alternative option. This neat, small option likely give you more cooking power and flavour per bite than you might expect!
It’s very quick at cooking up even the thickest of meats, meaning that if you are looking to serve food to more than one or two people, you will likely find this to be a reliable choice.
This grill system has a nice, neat lid, and even better, it’s really easy to clean. It’s one of the most convenient BBQ grills on our list for maintenance, and while it might not have the fancy temperature features of some of the other models on this list, we think it’s still worthy of a look.
Last but not least, this huge BBQ will likely appeal to anyone looking to start cooking for multiple people. It’s a top pick for 2020 in that it comes with two side tables which you can fold up and down as you wish. It’s easy to heat food up while you are actively cooking through the majority of meat and veg on the main plates, too.
It’s a great all-in-one unit. There is a bottle opener built-in, as well as an ash catcher, which, again, is a real asset if you want to keep your cooking area nice and clean! You’ll be able to check the temperature clearly in the lid, too, meaning that it should never be too hard for you to monitor the heat of your food.
As you can see, there are many great ways to get your cooking up to temperature with charcoal! This impressive grill system lets you serve up your meat and vegetables with a drum build, meaning that it has the feel of a genuine all-American BBQ system. Landmann is a solid brand, too, meaning that you really can’t go far wrong.
Offering a huge cooking surface, this drum barbecue will allow you to get cooking with charcoal for up to 12 people at once. Therefore, it’s likely to be a great pick for anyone hosting large parties or who may be inviting friends and family over regularly. It comes with a built-in thermometer, a warming rack, and an extendable side shelf to give you even more elbow room.
There are plenty of reasons why a charcoal BBQ might appeal to you. A charcoal BBQ is likely to give you an intensely smokey flavour to your cooking. It is arguably this which helps to sell charcoal grill systems more than any other feature. However, that said, some people prefer the flavour in gas cooking instead.
The food you cook through a charcoal grill is entirely your choice – but it’s food that will likely taste woody and smokey in equal measure. That’s a good thing! Many people see this as an authentic way of serving food in the summer, and in many ways, we have to agree.
Beyond this, a charcoal BBQ grill is likely to be very easy to move around and manage. When you are looking to store your grill or barbecue away for the winter, it should be easy enough for you to wheel your system into safe covering without much issue. Beyond this, you may also find that a charcoal barbecue grill simply looks the part – you can buy a kettle bbq grill, or a sizable grill with a big cooking area for four people or more. The choice is yours.
Ultimately, people seem to like cooking food on a charcoal barbecue grill for the flexibility, the unique flavour, and for the sheer ease of use. These are all great reasons to turn the heat up and tuck in.
Of course, as you can imagine, there are always going to be one or two things you should look for when buying charcoal BBQs online. If you’ve taken a good look through our list of products above, you may already have a good idea of what is likely to work best for you. If not, don’t worry – as we’re about to break it down even further for you. Here are a few essential things to look for when comparing and contrasting the best BBQs for your food – and when you choose charcoal.
It doesn’t always stand to reason that you should look for the brand of grill or charcoal BBQ grill first. However, with a solid and reliable manufacturer, you can at least be sure that you are getting a great quality cooking area and charcoal BBQ innovation. For this reason, keep an eye out for brands and makes you’ve heard of.
We took user reviews and aggregations into account when looking for the best charcoal barbecue on the market, and you should, too. Many people offering many ratings is a good thing – but we wanted to see if there were any products which were overwhelmingly supported. Luckily, there are lots of five-star charcoal BBQs out there!
Therefore, don’t just take our reviews of the following charcoal grill systems as red. These grill systems and BBQs are well-loved and very popular across the UK. What’s more, other experts agree with us – it’s well worth turning up the heat on these grill units.
What is it that makes a BBQ or grill a best charcoal BBQ? Look at what it has to offer – is it side shelves, air vents, great-looking grill inserts, an innovative cooking space or area or is it just easy to clean?
There isn’t much to tell between using wood or charcoal briquettes for BBQs, however, some systems will use one or the other. The best will allow you to use both – however, the choice you make may well revolve around price and availability. Take a look around and see what’s likely to appeal to you in the long run.
The best in charcoal BBQs will let you easily check and monitor the heat and temperature of your food. In many cases, there may be a gauge built into the lid. Or, you might be able to check this from below, or from the side. The choice is yours! Essentially, to get the best tasting food, you are going to make heat checks a priority.
Of course, the most reliable BBQ systems are those which will last longer than just 2022. That’s why you should look for two things – the durability of your lid and unit, and its protective coating. Some of the BBQ systems we list here have special anti-scratch coating and anti-corrosion measures put in place. Essentially, you should really be looking for grills that offer more than a cheap plastic shell. Stainless steel, for example, is always worth a closer look.
This isn’t a given, as some people will prefer to cook their food on a standalone unit. However, for big gardens and social gatherings, it might be worth you investing in a grill that you can easily wheel around from place to place without fuss. You should certainly look carefully at the weight and dimensions of your BBQ, too, as this will allow you to gauge how easy it’s going to be to move around on the sly.
Of course, if you want to start cooking for more than two people, you should look for a system with multiple cooking grates, or with a surface area which really opens up the food preparation potential. Whether you buy a BBQ in stainless steel or resistant plastic, there is nothing quite like having a bit more elbow room to work with.
There are also plenty of BBQs and grills out there which help to enhance the precision of your cooking. If keeping your cooking temperature in check is proving to be a struggle, then you should probably invest in something as simple as air vents – which let you control the heat. Or, if you prefer, a warming rack is just as likely to help keep things ticking over.
Once again, brand appeal – does it matter? Whether you are looking at a portable George Foreman or a Heston Blumenthal stainless steel BBQ, there are pros and cons to all the best units out there.
Look for BBQs and grills which offer you the features and flexibility you demand, not just the pricing and the brand. If there’s a Heston Blumenthal grill out there that really does it for you – then perfect!
That’s the million-pound question. Rather boringly, we are going to suggest that you can get great-tasting food out of both options!
Charcoal is likely to appeal to those BBQ lovers who really want to experience that classic, smokey flavour. There’s nothing to say that gas barbecues won’t produce great-tasting food, but do make sure to take a look at the pros and cons of both options.
Charcoal, as we’ve established, produces great-tasting meat and veg. Beyond that, charcoal BBQs tend to be a bit more varied in style and shape. As you can see from this list alone, there are some which are built in a kettle style, while others offer a full broiler or drum. Some are built in stainless steel, while others benefit from simpler manufacture.
Beyond this, charcoal might work out cheaper, in many ways. Rather than having to fork out for big gas bottles every five minutes, a big bag of briquettes or wood might actually be cheaper to come by in the long haul. There’s also the matter of safety, too. Not everyone feels safe cooking with gas, meaning that charcoal will likely be an obvious alternative.
However, there are a few drawbacks to using a charcoal grill, too. For example, it’s not likely to offer you the same precision cooking you might expect from two or more gas burners. Therefore, while your food might taste lovely and smokey, there is always going to be that risk that your cooking is going to be a little harder to manage. While plenty of charcoal grills have temperature gauges and controls to help you manage this, it doesn’t always follow that these grills are as easy to use as gas burners.
Beyond this, be prepared to start cleaning, too. Charcoal BBQ systems demand a fair amount of cleaning from time to time, and unless your system has an ash collector or tray, you’re at risk of nasty black stuff clogging things up. That’s why we have gone to the effort of finding the best BBQs which offer you plenty of ease in cleaning and maintenance along the way.
You have to take the rough with the smooth, ultimately!
We’re not here to put you off charcoal BBQ systems at all! There are plenty of charcoal grate systems which are well worth the money. As you can see from our list, charcoal barbecuing is perfectly easy to get started with, and there are more than a few cooking grill options which will appeal to the average BBQ fan. family gatherings or otherwise, however, you might prefer to look for a gas BBQ over a charcoal model for a handful of reasons.
Gas BBQs tend to be good options if you really want to get precision cooking down to a fine art. One of the big selling point areas of a gas barbecue lies in the fact that they are pretty easy to set up and clean, too. However, that’s not to say there aren’t charcoal systems with clear assembly instructions.
A gas barbecue is likely to be a good spot for someone who really values precision cooking, and who doesn’t mind putting a bit more money into the pot. That said, gas barbecues tend to be heavier and harder to fit in, and what’s more, you’re going to need to clean up all the useless fat that grills away afterwards. A charcoal pan, therefore, might be a more efficient choice in the long run.
It’s a balance you have to consider carefully! What’s right for you – a big, feature-heavy BBQ that’s hard to clean, or an efficient, cost-effective system which might be a little tricky to put together? There are pros and cons on either side, and it’s worth checking these ins and outs before you put any money down. Trust us – this is an investment which should last you many summers to come.
As you can see, there really is a lot to think about when it comes to buying a charcoal grid or two. The fact is, a charcoal barbecue is going to produce some great-tasting food. Cooking in this way can take a bit of time to get used to, but there’s lots of benefits to setting up this style of barbecue in the long run. A gas option or burner might do the business for you if you are really hot on your precision, but for that eclectic, smokey flavour, you really aren’t going to do better than burning up some wood or coal.
Our buyer’s guide takes into account some of the best charcoal systems money can buy this year. We’ve made sure to line up some choices which will appeal to casual cookers as well as those who have spent years grilling up a storm. You might already know what you are looking for from the best in charcoal tech. However, if not, we hope this guide has given you a bit of an insight into what you can expect.
Do use our guide as a launchpad for your own online shopping. We want to make sure you go away with a clear idea of what makes for a truly great charcoal-cooked meal. Whether you prefer burgers, hot dogs or chicken legs, or want to grill up corn, tomatoes or veggie burgers, sometimes cooking with wood is likely to be the best route towards flavoursome food. However, if you are still wondering if you should buy a gas bbq you can read our review on the Best Gas Barbecues 2022.
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