Written by Terry Smith

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Best charcoal bbq: the most complete review ever for Summer 2021

This article was last updated on August 7th, 2021 at 5:11 am

The best charcoal bbq will demolish any other standard social barbecue method for flavour intensity. Fact. The best charcoal bbq gives food a smoky flavour, slightly charred, moist, and tender. While I appreciate the ease of a gas barbecue, it’s not for me, or you, I hope.

Charcoal bbq

Like me, you know the best way to enjoy a barbecue is charcoal(with a decent beer or a glass of wine). It doesn’t matter if it’s a bbq food smoker or portable charcoal bbq, as long as it’s charcoal or smoker wood chips, the flavours are elevated beyond any gas alternative.

A charcoal bbq benefits from being considerably cheaper than gas alternatives and should be easy to assemble too. The best charcoal barbecue will help you produce beautiful charred and smokey meat, seafood, and vegetables.

The best charcoal bbq buyers guide table of contents

Comparison table: Best charcoal bbq: the most complete review ever for Summer 2021

ProductWhat We ThinkPrice

CosmoGrill Outdoor Smoker Barbecue Charcoal Portable BBQ Grill Garden

  • Note: Customers that are ordering from outside of the UK are required to pay custom charges/import fees upon delivery....

Fire Mountain Deluxe Charcoal Barbecue

  • Deluxe charcoal barbecue with two adjustable grills
  • Three levels for cooking or keeping food warm
  • Made from strong, black powder-coated steel
  • With two side shelves and storage behind the fabric front
  • Dimensions - 123cm (W) x 99cm (H) x 50cm (D)

Landmann 11507 New Tennessee Broiler Charcoal Barbecue

  • 2 x cast iron cooking grates; height adjustable charcoal perforated plate
  • Height adjustable charcoal grill
  • Fire box door; Ash drawer
  • Lid thermometer and lid smoker vent
  • Stainless steel lined lid

El Fuego® Ontario charcoal grill

  • Unique height-adjusting mechanism for charcoal tray.
  • Size of grilling surface: approx
  • Made of steel.
  • With temperature display.

Landmann Taurus 440 Charcoal Barbecue Black

  • Painted lid and fire bowl
  • Enamelled grill grate (2 sections)
  • Chromed grill grid

Landmann 31377 Piccolino Portable Charcoal Barbecue

  • Enamelled lid and fire bowl
  • Chrome plated cooking grill and warming rack
  • Stainless steel tongs included
  • Lid ventilation disc
  • Rubberised clips and carry handle

Weber 57cm Master-Touch Charcoal Kettle Barbecue BBQ

Weber 57cm Master-Touch Charcoal Kettle Barbecue BBQ - Black Porcelain Enamelled Steel Bowl

  • Fast and easy grilling
  • Movable grill with wheels
  • Easy to clean

Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Barbecue

Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Barbecue 57 cm Black

  • Dehumidify a closed Ash Box underneath of the barbecue will help you your clean considerably...
  • On Its wheels can be it comfy to wheels
  • Its dimensions: 58 cm x 71 cm x 107 cm (D x W x H) make it particularly compact...

Landmann Charcoal Grill Cart Dorado

  • Lacquered Lid and combustion
  • Lid with Thermometer
  • Double wall lid
  • riscaldo
  • Ash drawer

Best charcoal bbq

The best charcoal bbq can’t be beat, well, a wood chip bbq smoker is a different thing altogether and not a social charcoal bbq, as I say that, we go into depth on those too if you really appreciate a good bit of smoky flavoured meat. You will be utterly astonished by the flavour meat will take on… but to callout the best charcoal bbq. I would have to go with either the CosmoGrill™ Outdoor Smoker Barbecue Charcoal Portable BBQ Grill Garden or perhaps the Landmann Taurus 440 Charcoal Barbecue Black deserves a shout too.

CosmoGrill are doing some pretty impressive things, I only just voted them Best 4 burner gas bbq and Best gas bbq UK too. Their whole range is excellent value for money and if you’re on a budget then you can’t go wrong. These guys are doing brilliant work pound for pound.

1. CosmoGrill Outdoor Smoker Barbecue Charcoal Portable BBQ Grill Garden

The CosmoGrill Outdoor Charcoal Barbecue is very portable and has a built-in BBQ thermometer too that allows the user to keep a track of the temperature. There is a warming rack that has a stainless-steel handle which allows easy lifting up and down. There are two wheels attached so that moving the unit is easy.

The grill has a large cooking space that can easily accommodate a whole chicken. There are two side shelves provided for storing and keeping tools and accessories.The CosmoGrill outdoor charcoal barbecue has a great customer service too. Amazingly this is my pick for cheap charcoal bbq too.

According to the company, if you think there’s some fault in the BBQ or you aren’t satisfied with the purchase, you can easily contact the customer service personnel.

The CosmoGrill can easily cater up to 20 people in a day and it is easy to clean too, especially with our barbecue brushes, even after long or rough uses. The assembly is easy, and the instructions are clear so that there is no issue during the process.

The tray provided in the unit is perfect for controlling direct heat and there is a top rack too that is good for keeping the cooked food warm.

CosmoGrill™ Outdoor Smoker Barbecue Charcoal Portable BBQ Grill Garden Review

Best CosmoGrill™ Outdoor Smoker Barbecue Charcoal Portable BBQ Grill Garden Features

What needs work on the CosmoGrill™ Outdoor Smoker Barbecue Charcoal Portable BBQ Grill Garden

The tray is great for direct heat control. The odd production damaged unit needs ironing out
Sturdy and nicely built.
It is portable.
It is easy to assemble.
Caters for up to 20 people

CosmoGrill XXL Charcoal Outdoor Smoker BBQ Portable Garden Barbecue Grill With Premium Cover

Weber charcoal bbq grill

Weber has a huge variety of charcoal grills that are available in the category of kettle series, smoker series, and portable series. These charcoal grills are one of the best charcoal barbecues available on the market. These are the ones that will help you master the art of charcoal grilling and will make you a pro in only some days. Just to spoil things a bit. I found a Weber that could be classed as a cheap charcoal bbq and it’s also the best as well! Take a look at this beauty: Weber Bar-B-Kettle GBS Charcoal 🙂

The first Weber BBQ was designed around 50 years ago, and it allowed people to roast the whole chickens and joints of meat easily and added a delicious barbecue flavour to them. Weber Charcoal Grills have that quality that gives your food the taste and flavour that no other barbecues can give. Following are some of the best Weber charcoal barbecues:

Weber Original Kettle is one of the best Weber Charcoal Grills that can grill the vegetables and meat perfectly. I’m going right off the bat here and letting you know this is an expensive bit of kit at £400.00. What you pay for though is a cracking bit of equipment.

The good thing is that it is very affordable and is easy to use too. It is very lightweight and portable, and you can move it from one location to the other easily. This Weber charcoal grill comes under the Kettle series category and is very popular among grilling geeks.

The Weber Original Kettle is made up of porcelain enamelled bowl and lid and it features no-rust aluminium vents too. There are glass reinforced nylon handles and chrome-plated steel hinged cooking grill. The original kettle is equipped with 2 Char-Basket charcoal fuel holders and Rapidfire Charcoal ‘V’ grate.

It has a bezel lid thermometer, crack proof all weather wheels, and an aluminium drip pan too. The good thing is that it has a 10 year limited warranty and a Kettle cookbook is provided too.

Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Barbecue Review

Best Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Barbecue Features

What needs work on the Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Barbecue

It offers an easy ash removal and cleaning method. It is a bit unstable.
Features versatile grilling.
It is equipped with amazing cooking abilities.
10 year warranty

What a piece of equipment!?!

The Performer Deluxe Charcoal Grill is another top-notch Weber Charcoal Barbecue that offers easy grilling and barbecuing. It is very easy to use, and you can start cooking with the push of a single button. Once you’ve pushed the button, your coals will ignite and bring the whole grill to action. This is a flawless piece of bbq charcoal engineering.

The charcoal grill is equipped with lots of amazing and handy features such as the Electronic Touch-n-Go gas ignition system and the built-in lid thermometer.

With the touch-n-go feature, you can just set the grill and temperature and then forget it for some time until its cooked.There is a removable backlit LCD cook timer and painted metal work table that allows easy operation.

The lid holder is a tuck away type which is quite easy to use. There are tool hooks provided too so that you add various tools on it. To make cleaning easier, there is a removable high-capacity aluminium ash catcher provided too.

The charcoal grill offers a lot of space for cooking and you can easily cook lots of steaks at once.

Weber 15501998 Performer Deluxe GBS Charcoal Barbecue Review

Best Weber 15501998 Performer Deluxe GBS Charcoal Barbecue Features

What needs work on the Weber 15501998 Performer Deluxe GBS Charcoal Barbecue

The table and storage space is good. It is not very portable.
The gas starter system offers an easy start.
There is a seamless design that prevents rust.
The ash removal system eases the cleaning process.

The Weber Bar-B-Kettle GBS Charcoal offers a good amount of space for cooking considering it’s quite small. This charcoal barbecue is perfect if you want to entertain a small number of people at your place or a little family. The charcoal grill has a removable porcelain enamelled steel ash catcher which is very handy when it comes to cleaning. The handles are glass-reinforced nylon ones and the lid and bowl are also porcelain enamelled. The wheels are durable all-weather ones and they make the whole unit very portable.

There are aluminium vents provided too and is overall very well built. The best thing about this charcoal grill is its space and there are smart temperature controls too. The unit is easy to move, and it can lock while you’re cooking too. The top materials are very well designed and there is no worry of it getting rusted either.

Weber Bar-B-Kettle GBS Charcoal Review

Best Weber Bar-B-Kettle GBS Charcoal Features

What needs work on the Weber Bar-B-Kettle GBS Charcoal

Has versatile cooking capabilities. Expensive.
It is easy to move and clean. It is good for small number of people only.
It is very durable.
The ash removal system eases the cleaning process.

The Master Touch Charcoal Grill is a kettle style Weber BBQ and it looks beautiful because it has some modern touches too. There are specially designed charcoal baskets that are present on each side of the BBQ and are there for indirect cooking.

There is a grille that folds up and provides easy access to the user. The Master Touch Charcoal Grill has a removable ash catcher which is rust proof and there is an integrated tool holder too.The charcoal BBQ also features an aluminium vent that helps in controlling the temperature flow that leads to perfect barbecuing.

The bowl of the charcoal grill is also fitted with a lid holder and a weatherproof handle. There are wheels there too that improve the portability. There is a temperature gauge in the lid too and the weatherproof handle allows you to hold the hot lid without being burnt.

Lighting the BBQ is a bit difficult, but you can use a chimney starter for that.

Weber 57cm Master-Touch Charcoal Kettle Barbecue BBQ Review

Best Weber 57cm Master-Touch Charcoal Kettle Barbecue BBQ Features

What needs work on the Weber 57cm Master-Touch Charcoal Kettle Barbecue BBQ

It has a removable ash collector. It is difficult to light.
There is a built-in temperature gauge. The instructions aren’t the best.
Has air vents that control the temperature.
It has a large capacity.

Landmann charcoal bbq

Landmann is a well-known company and is one of the leading Barbecue brands in the Europe. It is popular around the world for its BBQ products diversity, accessories and equipment. Their vision is to provide quality BBQ and grilling equipment to people. They invest all their passion and knowledge to fulfil this mission. The company was founded in 1966 and since then it has developed by leaps and bounds. Following are some of the best Landmann Charcoal barbecues:

The Kepler 600 Kettle Barbecue is made up of heavy duty cast iron and has foldable sections for easy access. The charcoal barbecue has a 56 cm cooking grill which can easily cater the needs of around 10 people.

There are two charcoal baskets that allow the users to position the charcoal for direct and indirect cooking both. There is a vent and an integrated thermometer that controls the temperature and keeps it well-regulated throughout the cooking process.

Also, there are ergonomic handles too along with a tool holder to make operation easier.The Kepler 600 kettle charcoal barbecue is very portable too as there are sturdy wheels provided. The fire bowl, lid, and charcoal grid, all are enamelled along with the cooking grill that is cast with hinged opening.

There is a bottom wire storage shelf too and a chimney controls the ventilation. The BBQ kettle comes with a 5 year warranty.

Landmann Kepler 600 – kettle barbecue Review

Best Landmann Kepler 600 – kettle barbecue Features

What needs work on the Landmann Kepler 600 – kettle barbecue

It is sturdy and stylish. It is expensive.
Very portable.
It offers good ventilation and temperature regulation.
It comes with a good warranty.

7. Landmann Taurus 440 Charcoal Barbecue Black

Taurus 440 Charcoal Barbecue from Landmann is a compact and stylish charcoal barbecue. This is unit is perfect for small spaces such as patios or small gardens. The grill can cater up to 6 people and has enough cooking space so that you can serve them all at once.

There is an integrated lid thermometer and the cooking grill and warming rack is enamelled. The removable ash collector is very handy as it allows you to clean the barbecue in just a few minutes only and that too without any hassle.

The charcoal barbecue is also provided with removable side shelves that allow you to store things such as barbecue accessories and tools in the space. One good feature of this charcoal barbecue is that it has an adjustable height which is very useful if there are different people cooking on it.

The warming rack is large enough and has dimensions of 40 cm X 18 cm and the cooking area is 44 cm X 36 cm. The hood and the fire bowl is powder coated and the unit comes with a warranty of 5 years.

Landmann Taurus 440 Charcoal Barbecue Black Review

Best Landmann Taurus 440 Charcoal Barbecue Black Features

What needs work on the Landmann Taurus 440 Charcoal Barbecue Black

It is sturdy and compact. It can’t serve a big crowd.
Offers adjustable height.
It has an integrated thermometer in the lid.
It comes with a 5 warranty.

Landmann Taurus 440 Charcoal Barbecue Black

The Doradol Charcoal Barbecue is stylish and beautiful as it has a gloss finish and it has a very unique design.

The unit features a height adjustable charcoal grate and it is also fitted with heavy duty, cast iron grills. There is a built-in warming rack too that allows the user to cater up to 10 people, it can also double up as a rib rack. There is a slide out ash catcher that allows easy cleaning.

The charcoal barbecue is very versatile as it allows you to cook directly and indirectly both. Direct cooking can be done when the charcoal tray is raised, and indirect cooking can be done when the tray is lowered down.

The Dorado charcoal barbecue has a glossy back, and an enamelled hood and fire bowl and heavy duty cast iron enamelled grills. The cooking area is 57 cm X 41 cm and the warming rack is 54.5 cm X 22 cm which is large enough.

The lid is double walled, and the ash catcher is easily removable, I’d recommend having a pair of barbecue gloves though. There are 2 foldable side shelves and a bottom wire shelf. This unit also comes with a warranty of 5 years.

Landmann Charcoal Grill Cart Dorado Review

Best Landmann Charcoal Grill Cart Dorado Features

What needs work on the Landmann Charcoal Grill Cart Dorado

It is sleek and stylish. The ventilation system isn’t good.
Can cater up to 10 people.
It allows direct and indirect cooking.
There is ash collector for easy cleaning.
There are 2 foldable side shelves.

If you’re looking for a portable option, this charcoal barbecue is perfect for you. The charcoal barbecue is designed for camping purposes and for barbecuing or grilling outdoors. It is ideal for a barbecue day out at a park or the beach because of its portability and easy transportation.

There are rubberised clips that surround the lid and keep it closed tightly while you carry the unit or cook something in it. The cooking grill is made up of stainless steel and is of 34 cm and there is a warming rack available too.The fire bowl and lid is enamelled, and the cooking grill and warming rack is chrome plated.

The overall frame construction is chrome-plated too. There is a ventilation disc in the lid so that the temperature inside the unit is controlled and airy. Along with the package, you also get stainless steel barbecue tongs so that you barbecue safely.

The portable charcoal barbecue is suitable for 4 people and if you want to entertain a big crowd, it will be a bit difficult for you.

Landmann 31377 Piccolino Portable Charcoal Barbecue Review

Best Landmann 31377 Piccolino Portable Charcoal Barbecue Features

What needs work on the Landmann 31377 Piccolino Portable Charcoal Barbecue

It is very portable. The cooking space is very less.
Compact and lightweight.
It has rubberised clips that give a secure grip to the lid.
You get tongs with the package.
It is sturdy and stylish.

The Tennessee Broiler Charcoal Barbecue allows you to cook and smoke food for longer periods and is ideal for keeping in gardens or patios. It features height adjustable charcoal grate which has an oven style charcoal door too that allows you to put charcoal whenever you need it. There is an easy removing ash catcher tray that slides easily from the bottom of the fire bowl and offers easy cleaning. It has heavy-duty cast iron grills and the warming rack is chrome plated.The cooking area provided by this Tennessee broiler charcoal barbecue is 42 cm X 57 cm and the warming rack is of 62 cm X 22 cm which is large enough to cater 12 people. There are two folding side tables and a bottom wire shelf too. The folding side tables are very handy as they help you keep the dishes and cooked food when it’s ready. There is an integrated hood thermometer too that allows you to keep a check on the temperature of the food that is being cooked.

Landmann 11507 New Tennessee Broiler Charcoal Barbecue Review

Best Landmann 11507 New Tennessee Broiler Charcoal Barbecue Features

What needs work on the Landmann 11507 New Tennessee Broiler Charcoal Barbecue

It can cater a large number of people. It is expensive.
It has a height adjustable charcoal grate.
The ash catcher tray allows easy cleaning.
There is an integrated hood thermometer.
It is well built and stylish.

Cheap charcoal bbq

If you want a very affordable option to buy a charcoal barbecue, you must look at our list of cheapest charcoal barbecues.

These charcoal grills are not only affordable, but they have very good cooking capabilities too.

So, if you don’t want to spend much on a fancy design or a top-notch brand, you can consider these charcoal barbecues. Though these units lack the qualities and features of the large and fully equipped ones, but they are good enough for you to test your barbecuing or grilling skills.

Following are some of the cheapest charcoal barbecues available on the market.

The Fire Mountain Deluxe Charcoal Barbecue is a very well performing and beautifully designed unit. It has two adjustable grills that help in keeping the barbecue at a comfortable cooking position. The grill features three levels to keep the food warm or to cook it.

The whole unit is made up of a sturdy black-powder coated steel which looks elegant and stylish. The dimensions of this unit are 123 cm X 99 cm X 50 cm. There are two side shelves and there is storage behind the fabric front too.

The storage and the shelves make it easier for the user to store the tools or BBQ accessories. The assembly takes time, but the instructions are really helpful and easy, so the process goes smoothly. You will just need a screw driver and you can easily assemble the whole unit in some minutes.

There is a handy tray provided too that collects ash, when it’s full you can easily slide it out and then clean it. The size is convenient and overall the whole unit is very well built.

Fire Mountain Deluxe Charcoal Barbecue Review

Best Fire Mountain Deluxe Charcoal Barbecue Features

What needs work on the Fire Mountain Deluxe Charcoal Barbecue

Very well designed. The coal grid covers only half area.
Easy to assemble.
Offers a good cooking area.
Hood thermometer.
It has adjustable chrome steel grills.

The El Fuego Ontario is also one of the cheapest charcoal grills available. It has a unique height adjusting mechanism for the charcoal tray which allows easy access and simple cleaning of the unit. The size of the grilling surface is around 42 X 55 cm which is sufficient for 4 to 6 people.

The unit is made up of steel and there is a temperature display too. It arrives well packed and looks sturdy and stylish. The charcoal grill has a small door opening into the charcoal grate that allows the user to add coals to the unit while cooking.

The El Fuego charcoal grill is very compact and lightweight. You can place it in your garden or patio and it won’t take much space. It has two sturdy wheels that increase the portability of the whole unit and looks stylish and has a very functional design.

It will take around half an hour to 45 minutes to assemble it.

El Fuego® Ontario charcoal grill Review

Best El Fuego® Ontario charcoal grill Features

What needs work on the El Fuego® Ontario charcoal grill

Very portable and compact. The odd production safety issue.
45 minutes to assemble.
It has an ash collecting tray.
It offers a height adjusting mechanism.
Cheap charcoal bbq.

13. Char Griller 1515 Patio Pro Charcoal Grill

You’d be hard pressed to find a charcoal barbecue as strong and sturdy as this one for around a hundred and twenty pounds. Constructed of heavy, powder coated steel, you don’t have to fear giving this little hardy number the odd knock or two, but that solidity also means a little more weight at 22 kilograms, which is higher than average for a charcoal BBQ of this size.

The extra weight is actually a good thing here though as it keeps the barbecue steady, and if you want to move it around, there’s no need to carry it. Just tilt it back onto the wheels and it becomes easy to push around. The wheels aren’t the best in the world, but they’re fine for the price range.

Down by the wheels is a large, grated metal shelf that is ideal for storing plates, utensils, sauces, and anything else a master and commander of the grill is likely to need.
You’ll also find a second wooden shelf located on the side of the main grill which comes in handy for playing up your chargrilled delights. This side shelf is a good size and you’ll easily be able to fit a couple of full-sized plates on there.

On the opposite side of the BBQ there’s a removable drawer that makes filling and replacing the charcoal, and cleaning out the ash, a very simple and easy affair. This drawer has adjustable dampers on the side that only need a light twist to modify the amount of air flowing into the coal pit, and they actually work really well, so no more blaming the BBQ for overcooking or burning the meat!

With 250 square inches of cast iron grilling area to cook on, this fairly compact charcoal barbecue actually delivers you a surprising amount of space for you to ‘get your cook on’, and you won’t have trouble finding space for all the burgers, sausages, and kebabs you need to keep friends and family happy.

The cast iron grates, like heavy steel casing, ensure that this is a product that will last you for a while, especially if you give it a coating of heat proof paint somewhere along the lines if you start to see signs of the black powder coating wearing.

The Char-griller 1515 patio pro charcoal barbecue is a more compact model than some of its siblings. But standing 111.8 cm tall, 78.7cm wide, and 53.3cm deep, it is not exactly tiny or undersized and is a perfect size for people with smaller families, or smaller gardens where a larger model would just take up too much space and look unsightly.

I’m not the most skilled engineer, nor am I completely useless, and this charcoal barbecue took me about 45 minutes or so to assemble, going at a steady pace with the odd cup of tea break. There weren’t any misaligned holes, and the fittings that came with the product are just fine.

This is a well-made charcoal BBQ, as you would expect from Char-griller, and it is a very good choice for customers who are a little short on space in their gardens but still want a grill that can handle a decent amount of food at once.

It won’t break the bank, and should last you a while too.

14. Tepro XXL Toronto Trolley Grill Barbecue

Planning a big barbecue party for a lot of people? Well, you’re going to need a really big grill to keep up with the demand from all those hungry guests, and we have just the thing here with the XXL Toronto grill barbecue from Tepro.

This bad boy is so big that even the warming rack measures 67cm x 24cm! When you couple that with the 71.5cm wide enamelled cooking rack, you’ve got a heck of a lot of cooking space to play with.

But it’s not just size that makes this charcoal barbecue a great buy. The Tepro XXL Toronto gives you the ability to raise or lower the coals through six different height settings, and it’s all done with a simple lever found on the front.

Adjusting the height of the coals really has an effect on the cooking temperature, as does closing the specially vented lid, and playing around with these two in conjunction with the flue will result in some perfectly juicy and tender steaks, chicken, and ribs, all with that beautiful, charcoal fed, smoky flavour.

The lid features a built in thermometer for you to keep an eye on the internal temperature and I found it to be quite accurate. I think this is due to the lid doing a great job of sealing the heat inside without much leakage.

There is plenty of space for sauces, plates, etc. on the two wooden side shelves and the extra-large bottom shelf, plus hooks for your utensils and even a bottle opener which I thought was a nice little touch.

At nearly 40 kilograms, she’s not the lightest charcoal BBQ in the world, but not the heaviest I’ve ever come across, and the wheels on one side do a decent enough job of moving such a large unit around once it has been tipped onto them, so no complaints there.

Where some might complain, including myself, is that this does take a fair old bit of time to assemble. Even with friend helping me it took well over two hours, and when it was fully set up, I spent a bit more time going around and retightening all the crews to get rid of any unwanted play or movement.

After that, this super-sized charcoal barbecue stood nice and firm on the patio. There was still a little bit of movement, but after yet another round of screw checking and tightening, I got it how I wanted it.

Before you decide to buy this monster, you need to make sure you’ve got the space for it in your garden without it being a pain to move around. This model stands 137cm high, 137cm wide, and 152cm deep and looks even bigger than it sounds.

Priced at around two hundred and fifty pounds, you are getting a lot of barbecue for your money with this Tepro model, and I doubt you would find one of equal size for anywhere near this price. Sure, it’s a bit of a pain to put together, but the extra features like the height adjustable coals, and flue for smoking your meat, make it all worth it in the end.

Charcoal bbq verdict:

There is a wide variety of charcoal barbecues available on the market and many of them are used by BBQ junkies for years. When you use a charcoal barbecue, you can use any type of charcoal such as lump charcoal, briquettes, flavoured briquettes, and more. You have to consider your grilling style and your personal taste before you choose the type of charcoal. Some prefer to get the axe out and make their own kindling so they can have a different smoke flavour to their meat, you can take it as far as you like.

The charcoal barbecues reviewed in this post are all from the top-notch brands and are very popular among the grilling and barbecuing geeks. Weber and Landmann are one of the best barbecuing and grilling equipment manufacturers and their products are trusted because of their good quality. There’s nothing like a food cooked on a charcoal barbecue because the taste and the smoky flavour can’t be compared to other barbecues.

Buyers guide to the best charcoal bbq for sale

We’ve put together a buyers guide to help you buy a charcoal bbq for your home or garden. there’s a few important factors to consider and we have them covered for you in this article.

Important things to consider before buying charcoal BBQ?

A charcoal grill is an equipment or device that cooks food by applying heat produced by charcoal. Charcoals cook meat and veggies in the best way as they fill the food with a perfect smoky flavour. Any kind of charcoal grill will cook meat by heating it, but that doesn’t mean you can pick any model. If you have decided to buy a charcoal BBQ grill, you must first determine your needs before buying so that you get the right product. If you’re just starting barbecuing and grilling, then you must carefully assess all those factors that are needed to buy the best charcoal BBQ.

So, before you buy a charcoal BBQ, you must know that there are lots of things that make it a good choice for all barbecuing and grilling enthusiasts. Here are some of the important features of the charcoal BBQs:

Charcoal bbq’s are available in different sizes

The good thing about charcoal BBQs is that they are available in a variety of sizes. If you want something portable, you can also get a grill for camping purposes because there are super small units available too. There are professional grade giant models too, which you can keep in your garden or yard to prepare delicious and mouthwatering BBQ for your guests. Before you buy a charcoal BBQ, you must first think about the size you’re going to buy.

Charcoal bbq’s are very affordable

Charcoal BBQs are not very expensive, and they won’t break the bank. However, there are professional and super fancy models of charcoal BBQ grills available on the market. You can get some of the most affordable ones too. You can buy the cheapest charcoal BBQ for only £20 but if you want bigger models you’ll have to invest more. However, you can easily get a bigger model of charcoal BBQ grill in around £100 to £150 range and that is affordable too. If you go for the fancy models though, they can go as high as £1000. You could literally make your own like this for pennies:

Charcoal bbq’s come in three different styles

Charcoal BBQ are available in three different styles and that are kettle charcoal, ceramic grills, and barrel grills. Following are each of these types discussed in detail:

Kettle Grills

Kettle grills are very small, simple, and versatile. They are mostly of 363 square inches or 22 inches. This size is small, but you can still cook many burgers on it at a time. There are larger kettle grills available too, such as those of 26 and even 36 inches. The kettle grills have a near-spherical shape that allows them to reflect the heat inside them and cook the food thoroughly and evenly through this technique. Some of them have removable ash receptacles and they are very easy to maintain. The kettle grills are usually very affordable and versatile. You can buy a good model for around £100.

Barrel grills

Barrel grills are bigger in size and they can be larger than 36 inches. Barrel grills are designed particularly for barbecuing, grilling, and smoking. These grills are like big steel drums where the charcoal is placed in the bottom half and there is a lid on the top half part. There is a chimney and air vents as well as wheels that make the whole unit portable. Barrel grills have an additional warming rack too. With these barbecue grills, you can cook larger amounts of meat as compared to kettle grills. If you’re learning to smoke, you must start with kettle grills because they are simple to use. Even if you aren’t able to smoke properly you can make do with grilling only. Barrel grills are larger and more expensive as compared to the kettle grills. You can get a good unit for around £200 but you’ll also get a generous space for cooking large amounts of food.

Ceramic grills

The ceramic grills are the most expensive charcoal BBQ grills available. Even the mid-range models of ceramic grills start at around £700 and the high-end ones are more expensive. These BBQ units feature a solid ceramic construction and offer amazing heat control too. The heat control feature is amazing because it allows you to grill even when the weather is extreme. The ceramic grills can cook at 200F which is a low-end temperature, and it can go as high as 500F and even hotter.The ceramic grills are available in various sizes and you can get small or big ones according to your requirement. Some ceramic grills are very large, that is, they can weigh as much as 200 pounds.

They are not very easy to clean

Charcoal grills are not that easy to clean as compared to others. However, with all types of BBQs and grills, you’ll have a face buildup of ash. Small charcoal BBQs can be flipped over to empty out the buildup of ash, but the larger ones are more difficult to clean. Fortunately, there are many accessories available that can help you make the task easier.

They go well with the BBQ accessories

Lighting charcoal grills is a tricky thing and most people spend a lot of time lighting them. However, these days charcoal grills are equipped with a lot of features that can help you light them up. Some of the charcoal grills have small propane panels at the bottom that help you speed up the lighting process. Charcoal chimneys are very helpful in this regard and they offer a fast and effective way to light up a charcoal BBQ. They are not expensive, and they offer a fluid-free method for lighting up the charcoal grill. You just have to fill the cylinder with charcoals, light them up and transfer them to your grill to start cooking.

How to use a charcoal BBQ?

A charcoal BBQ offers an amazing way to add taste to your meat and make it sizzle. However, before you start with grilling or barbecuing, you must first know how to use it. Here are some tips to use a charcoal BBQ the right way:

  • Spread the lumps (briquettes) in a single layer just near to the food you want to cook.
  • Now light the charcoal grill. You can light up the charcoal BBQ using any method such as by arranging them in pyramid in the kettle. You can also use a chimney starter to light them up.
  • Next step is to check whether the coals are hot enough for your food to cook it thoroughly and evenly. Hold your hands some inches above the hot coals and feel the heat. If you can feel the heat for less than 4 seconds at least 4 inches above the coals, it means the coals are around 350 degrees hot.
  • If you want to cook directly over the flames, you need to be a pro for that. The exterior of the meat you are cooking directly will char quickly and thus you have to act quickly, a meat tenderiser can help to flatten the meat and reduce the risk of the outside burning. The direct heat method is good for cooking steaks, fish fillets, and chicken breasts.
  • If you want to cook through the indirect heat method, you’ll have to put the food in a cooking grate and put it in between the grates.
  • After you’re done barbecuing or grilling, you should clean it using a stiff wire brush. A good quality brush with bristles will help remove the residue and buildup easily.
  • Optionally you want to brew your own beer too so that you can complete the experience of a barbecue and beer, all from the garden.

There you have it, our complete review of the best charcoal bbq range and I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! I you feel we’ve not covered you, please head to our main barbecue page for a larger selection.

About Terry Smith

I’m Terry Smith from gardentoolbox.co.uk, a professional landscape designer, hobbyist gardener, and barbecue fanatic with 20 years experience building and restoring. So as you go through my site you'll watch me document some of the professional garden installs I make as well as the major projects I take on at home. While sharing those experiences and guiding you, I'll be recommending some great tools I use to enable this along the way so you can really buy in confidence. Always feel free to pop me a message: info@gardentoolbox.co.uk

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