For most UK families, grilling is a crucial part of the summer. Whether you love eating slightly burned burgers with the kids, or you have a unique grilling technique that you adore showing off – there’s nothing like a barbecue on a sunny afternoon. However, to get the most amazing summer experience, you need one crucial piece of cooking equipment, the best charcoal BBQ.
Although electric and gas barbecues are excellent tools for some garden chefs, there are few things that can deliver the same smoky flavour as a charcoal grill. With the option to add flavoured woodchips into the mix, you can create a taste like nothing else with a charcoal BBQ and a little bit of time.
Of course, since charcoal grilling is so popular, there’s also plenty of different barbecues out there to choose from, all from varied brands claiming to be the best that the UK has to offer. The good news is that we’ve done all the hard work for you. By grilling up some tasty treats, and scouring through scores of charcoal BBQ reviews, we’ve found some of the hottest models on the market. Here are best charcoal BBQ UK picks.
The 10 best charcoal BBQ UK 2021
1. Azuma Rhino BBQ
The Azuma Rhino took the longest to assemble of all the barbecues we tested – a total of two hours. However, once you’re past that, there is a lot to recommend about this pocket-friendly barbie. The ample 57cm grill can take food for four people and many more beyond.
With the lid down, the heat circulates very well, resulting in well-cooked food. What we really liked about it is the clever front handle and door that allows you to add extra charcoal without having to move food or scorchingly hot grill plates.
2. Master Touch GBS 57cm
Webers are the original kettle barbecue and they remain great workhorses. They’re weatherproof too – I’ve got one that’s been outside uncovered for four years and it’s got just a touch of rust around the vent.
This larger model has a built-in thermometer (really useful for lid-down barbecuing) and a clever system for clearing out the ash. There’s a myriad of accessories available including a pizza oven.
3. Landmann Stainless Steel Pedestal Charcoal Barbecue
Not only does this Landmann BBQ take up very little space in your garden, but the pedestal design is also attractive and puts the grill at a comfortable height for cooking. The chromed steel finish should ensure long life and it includes an ash catcher and ventilation control at the base of the pedestal so you can keep the temperature just where you want it.
4. Kettle barbecue bbq grill outdoor
Adjustable aluminum air vent damper allows to control the heat easily. Two handles of the cooking grate makes it easy to lift or adjust the charcoal. Thick grilling bowl and lid with porcelain-enameled coating provides precise heat retention for grilling.
5. Cast Iron BBQ
Cast iron is one of the better cooking implements, because it soaks up the flavor of whatever is cooked in it. A cast iron barbeque grill is no different. Put on a steak, a shish kabob, or barbeque up some chicken, and those flavors will seep in and last for the life of the grill. Just remember, never wash it with soap. Only water, and a good barbeque brush.
6. Round smoker BBQ
With a rich history dating back to 1981, the Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM) still holds the crown for best all around charcoal smoker. While the 18″ model is a good size for most people, everything in this review applies to the 14″ and 22″ models as well.
Over the years Weber has continued to tweak and improve the smoker, making it a hit with both pro and amateur pitmasters. While we named it our best charcoal smoker for beginners, the WSM can even hold it’s own at barbecue competitions where other competitors are cooking on $2000+ setups.
The success of the Smokey Mountain comes down to superior construction quality and ease of use at a price point almost anyone can afford. Bullet or water smokers like the WSM are easily the most popular type of charcoal smokers, due to their small footprint and ability to hold a steady temperature for hours.
7. Kingfisher OUTBBQ Half Drum
OUTBBQ Half drum BBQ , Bonnington Plastics Ltd is one of the largest manufacturers and importers of Gardening, Catering, Home-wares and Leisure products in the United Kingdom. With over 40 years of experience they have created a one stop shop for customers across several key market sectors with a vast range of products either manufactured by ourselves or sourced directly from the factory.
8. Char-Broil X200 Grill2Go
As the ‘Grill2Go’ moniker might imply, this is a barbecue designed to accompany you when you’re out and about. Even if cookouts on the go isn’t your thing, its small size makes it a good choice for balcony barbecuers, too.
The X200 Grill2Go is powered by portable gas canisters and benefits from what Char-Broil calls TRU-Infrared Cooking. This is meant to retain moisture in the food you cook, reduce flare-ups and also use less gas. Other handy features include a temperature gauge built into the lid.
The only thing to really let the X200 Grill2Go down is just how difficult it is to clean after the fact. And when it comes to barbecues, that’s a big deal.
9. ACTIVA Airbroil 2020 Table Grill
Porta Chef Barbecue/BBQ with a GeForce Black is a mobile compact, for Picnic or Camping is the most efficient. It has a removable media Windbreak with Grill Grate height, allowing flexibility within the grill-form of meat or fish to be created. Processed Barbecue Chef porta/go with a chrome cooking grate and an enamel fire bowl. It’s assembled with none tool and is due to this fact easily and quickly in a position to grill.
Chrome plated cooking grill, windshield with grill height adjustment, enamelled cooking bowl designed to take the Landmann 0600 Disposable Barbecue.
10. Deuba BBQ Grill Portable Folding Stainless Steel
Made from stainless steel, with a large griddle (14×9′ each). lid opens fully and turns into second grill for larger cooking area. Especially light and easy to store away when not in use. Portable and compact barbecue grill for camping, picnic, garden or beach. Equipped with a lock to transport charcoal safely inside of the grill.
What to look for in the best charcoal BBQ
- Materials Matter: Whether you’re shopping online or in-person, seek out construction information. Does the listing have two dozen bullets touting all the heavy-gauge stainless steel, cast aluminum and enameled iron (or steel)? That’s a good sign. If it’s not flexing its construction, it’s more likely to have rust spots, fail at retaining heat and generally come apart earlier than you’d want.
- Beefy Warranties: Buying a grill that’s a few hundred dollars and it has a one-year parts warranty? Don’t buy it. Something that costs that much should be guaranteed, in part at least, for three to five years. Some of the grills on this guide come with lifetime part warranties.
- Adjustable (and Customizable) Grates: Look for a wheel or lever that lets you move the grates or the coal bed up and down — preferably both. This allows for more cooking methods. As an added bonus, some companies offer upgraded grates (or there are aftermarket grates you can buy).
- Vents! Vents! Vents!: In the making of a single meal, airflow determines quality more than great grates, coal quality and construction. It allows for you to feed a fire to sear like you want, keep a medium heat to roast a chicken or smoke ribs nice and slow. The more vents to play with, the better.
- Delivery and Setup: This is a simple one. Some grills come fully assembled, others take a full day to set up. Look at this before shipping a 500-pound piece of metal to your house.
When we rounded up our charcoal grill recommendations, we considered different sizes and shapes to suit a variety of needs. We also included charcoal grills with unique features that stood apart from the pack. Our top pick is a classic, but our favorites offer more versatility for other cooking methods, like smoking.