The Best Charcoal BBQ For 2020 & Top 10 Barbecue Reviews

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The Best Charcoal BBQ For 2020 & Top 10 Barbecue Reviews

The Best Charcoal BBQ For 2020 & Top 10 Barbecue Reviews

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It’s time to get that BBQ out, we look at 10 of the best charcoal barbecues from lidded kettle model to open brazier BBQ’s for that chargrilled taste

It happens every barbeque season at many outdoor gatherings. At some point, someone will inevitably say that the only really tasty barbeque comes from a charcoal grill. Then the arguments start about charcoal vs gas barbeques. And a camping enthusiast usually throws in their thoughts about portable BBQs and grills.

If you’re in the charcoal BBQ camp or just want to explore it as an option, this review of the best charcoal BBQs is for you. You’ll learn about the desirable features in a charcoal BBQ as well as which models have them. We evaluate the best charcoal BBQs around, including some with smokers, and select our top few.

Our Best Pick overall is the Landmann Taurus 660 Charcoal BBQ. The Best Pick for Kettle Style BBQ is the Char-Broil Kettleman Charcoal Barbecue Grill. Best Smoker BBQ accolades go to the Callow Premium Charcoal Smoker BBQ Grill while our Best Pick for portable charcoal BBQ is the FENNEK portable picnic grill.

You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting a good charcoal BBQ. Read through this review and decide which one best suits your needs

Best Pick

Sale
Landmann Taurus 660 Charcoal BBQ
The Landmann Taurus 660 Large Charcoal BBQ is our 'Best Pick' overall. This model is suitable for cooking for up to 10 people owing to its large 66 x 36m cooking area, making it perfect for garden parties and family gatherings. It also boasts a generous 68 x 18cm warming rack for keeping foods warm without cooking further. This also helps save cooking space on the grilling surface.

Also integral into this model is a hood thermometer, a removable ashtray for easy cleaning, removable side shelf to give you a little extra space, wheels to making moving it around a breeze, and a storage area underneath the grill. it's also back by an amazing 5-year warranty and so the quality speaks for itself.

Charcoal BBQ Buyer’s Guide

Buyers have diverse needs with regards to purchasing a charcoal barbecue. Here are probably the most critical things to consider when looking for the best charcoal grill starting with what type of BBQ food you prefer, smoked being a big favourite for many:

Kettle BBQ, Smoker BBQ’s, how do you like your food

Sausages and beef burgers are relatively easy to cook on any type of BBQ grill. However, if you want to get more refined in how you cook your meat, then working with a charcoal grill might be the best idea for you. Barrel or kettle BBQ’s with lids are perfect for smoking meat and you can even buy smoker BBQ designed with this in mind, you can even hand your food in them for that authentic smoked flavour or for slow cooking.

Temperature control

Garden grillers that think about perfection will need to pick a BBQ that considers some temperature control, especially those who are trying to cook food more evenly using a bbq with a lid and taking advantage of the convection process when cooking food which is full of flavour. The cover or lid of your grill assumes a major part in temperature control and a tight-fitting top is essential regardless of the model you choose.

Some charcoal grills come with an adjustable height grill that allows you to alter the distance between the coals and the cooking surface, which makes it simple to increase or reduce the amount of heat your food is exposed to rapidly and effortlessly.

Other models come installed with temperature gauges which give precise readings for you to know when to make height adjustment.

Best Kettle Style BBQ

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Char-Broil Kettleman Charcoal Barbecue Grill
The Char-Broil Kettleman Charcoal Barbecue Grill is probably the best kettle-style model we have reviewed, Charbroil is the benchmark all BBQ try to reach, the cream of the crop, the real deal. Apart from its beautiful finish, the 2568cm2 kettle is more than enough to entertain a big family. This can be set up for various types of cooking due to its TRU-Infrared cooking system. For increased convenience when cooking, the BBQ features a hinged lid, lid-mounted thermometer, and super-sized damper. Its porcelain-coated cooking grates are easy to clean and the grill is easy to move on its wheels. It makes a great option for anyone who’s interested in looks without compromising on performance. It's a little expensive but worth every penny.

Convenience & cleaning

While charcoal BBQ’s give a superior flavour, one of the drawbacks of picking charcoal over gas BBQ’s is that it needs more work to get started and prepare your food how you want as well as clearing up afterwards. Look for BBQ’s with have good ashtrays and are easier to clean. The only real drawback with charcoal BBQ’s is perhaps having to wait for the coals to heat up ready for cooking, remember to allow a good 60-90 minutes before starting to cook your food, this means lighting it early.

Some models come with an extra door or pivoted cooking grates that make it less demanding to include more charcoal when needed without removing the food or grates on the barbecue, this is actually a useful feature if you plan on cooking all days as you will eventually need to add more coal which is much easier to do if you don’t need to remove the grate. You’ll also come across various models with a removable ash catcher that will make it easy to get rid of the collected ash. This makes a big difference than having to flip over the grill to empty the ash. If you BBQ a lot it may be worth investing in an ash vacuum as this can make cleaning the BBQ much easier, especially if you have a large bbq.

Durability & Quality

The best BBQ’s should last through many years of barbecuing and this means quality materials. The best thing to pay special attention to when looking for a strong BBQ is the construction materials. Most BBQ’s feature stainless steel construction and that’s probably the toughest material but the quality and thickness may differ. Customer reviews and the product warranty might also tell something about durability if you can’t physically see it built up. The price usually gives quality away. Cheap BBQ’s are cheap for a reason, it’s worth paying a little more to get better value for money.

Best Smoker BBQ

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Callow Premium Charcoal Smoker BBQ Grill
Hands down the Callow Premium Charcoal Smoker BBQ Grill is the best smoker BBQ. This impressive model can literally perform any method of cooking, whether BBQ grilling, meat smoking, and water smoking. To enable this, it comes with 2 cooking grates, 1 smoking rack, and 6 hooks. Other good features include adjustable air vents, a lid with heat-resistant handles, and access points to the charcoal and water pans. The 0.9mm carbon steel body is also built to last. This is the perfect package for starters and experts alike, great quality at a very affordable price.

BBQ Size

If you need a charcoal grill that you can take with you outdoors or over to a friend’s house, you’ll need one that is moderately light, versatile and somewhat portable like the Fennek Portable Charcoal Grill below. The size of the cooking surface also matters. If you won’t be regularly cooking for more than four people at any given moment, then any size of the cooking surface will do.

In case you want to have the capacity to toss enormous patio BBQ’s for a bigger gathering, then you’ll need something bigger. All things considered, you’ll need to find a charcoal BBQ with a moderately extensive cooking surface.

Most retailers give figures on the number of burgers you can fit on the cooking surface so you can get an unmistakable picture of what’s in store.

Portable Pick

FENNEK Portable Charcoal Grill
The FENNEK Portable Picnic Grill is our choice for Best Pick of portable charcoal BBQs. It’s lightweight and fits down into an aluminium case the size of a small laptop. With an assembly time of less than five minutes, the FENNEK picnic grill is the ideal BBQ to take on camping and fishing trips, on a trek through nature or just to the park, for the taste of charcoal-grilled food in the wild. When you’re home, your dishwasher takes care of all the cleaning this BBQ needs.

This is a great BBQ for two people or a family with a light appetite on the move.

Price, expensive is not always better

Most customers equate price to their various needs. If affordability may be your top priority, then a basic barbecue is going to be your best option. In the event that you need a large cooking surface yet aren’t ready to pay a hefty price, you can find charcoal BBQ’s that aren’t necessarily expensive. While you can still get a BBQ for under £100, most buyers will fancy going a bit higher for some reasons. In any case, spending more can get you a bigger cooking surface, a sturdier grill or one that gives exceptional flavour. We found that you could get a very good BBQ, very well made, a good size for around £150 to £200 with the most expensive costing in excess of £600.

Staying safe around BBQ’s, remember to keep children and pets away from bbq’s

Similarly, as with most types of cooking, security is to a great extent in the hands of the person who is having the BBQ. Ensure you check how the grill functions; read the instructions on some fundamental safety tips for charcoal barbecuing. Some things though only need common sense, like it’s not safe to dispose of the ashes until they’re completely doused. The primary thing to look for in a charcoal grill as far as safety is concerned is one that is solid. You got to feel sure it won’t tip over while you’re using it which means it must be on level ground. Don’t forget to keep children and pets away too, BBQ’s can get very very hot.

With this list of key features to have an eye out for, you should now have a greater understanding of what to look for when seeking the best charcoal BBQ. Below we get into our detailed reviews starting with our ‘Best Pick’


Top 9 best charcoal BBQ reviews

BEST PICK

1. Landmann Tarrus 660 Large Charcoal BBQ

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The Landmann 660 is built strong and looks fantastic when assembled. The cooking area is really spacious and allows heat adjustment to ensure efficient cooking. It has assembly issues and we recommend it for those who are good with DIY.

Pros

  • Affordable and perfect for large families.
  • Painted lid and fire bowl to protect it again the weather for heat.
  • Enamelled charcoal grid for easy cleaning
  • Enamelled cooking grill which is easy to clean.
  • Vast warming rack for keeping food warm while still cooking other food.
  • Removable ash catcher for easy removal of ash.
  • Comes with lid thermometer for precise cooking.
  • Removable and sturdy side shelf.
  • 5 Year guarantee for full peace of mind.

At first handling, you’ll get the impression that the Landmann 31421 is a solid charcoal BBQ because of the weight of the box – it’s incredibly heavy. As such, we recommend that it’s set up by two people. Of course, one person can build it but it would be a little more difficult due to the weight of it and the awkwardness of the parts. There are building instructions however in pictures only which are handy for a few things including the lower shelf. You might find it challenging if you are not good with DIY but if you take your time its no to difficult. It’s quite solid once put up so it’s not one that gets knocked over accidentally.

Perhaps what you’ll find more impressive on this charcoal BBQ is the vast cooking area of which can easily cater for more than 10 people. The surface is square-shaped and measures 60cm x 36cm with a huge depth of 53cm which is bigger by far than most models we reviewed. The fact that you can move the coal up and down to adjust the heat is also a huge bonus. Your food remains static during the alteration and that means you don’t have over-enthusiastic sausages rolling into the coals or on the ground.

The side-mounted shelf is a brilliant idea but you may find it’s a bit flimsy so can only cope well with medium-sized trays of meat on top. The ash removal tray helps in cleaning the BBQ by simply pulling it out and emptying the tray, the fat also ends up with the ash as well which is handy, on models we found it leaks out but this model doesn’t seem to have any such issues.

finally, there’s also a lid thermometer which helps you to monitor the cooking temperature, handy if your the type of person to cook with the lid closed for that evenly cooked food with a smokey flavour.

Landmann even gives a guide on how to BBQ and how to look after a BBQ which is handy.

Possible issues or concerns

  • The removable would be better if it was maybe a little more substantial, overall though does the job.

Our recommendation

The Landmann 660 Charcoal bbq is a substantial piece of kit and is clearly very well made and looks fantastic when assembled.

Assembling really needs two people but with such a large BBQ it’s not surprising, I would say it could easily cater for 12 people.

The reason we decided on this model for our ‘Best Pick’ is that is really is a well-made piece of kit, we really like the fact that you can move the coals closer to your food while cooking, this is a feature we don’t see often and is an excellent idea.

The tray may be a little flimsy but that not a reason not to buy as it does do its job, just would have been better if it was a little sturdier.

Overall this is an excellent BBQ and one well worth considering, it worth noting at under £200 it offers excellent value for money for such a well-made BBQ. For most people, this is definitely the model we would recommend.

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Landmann Tarrus 660 Large Charcoal BBQ
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BEST KETTLE STYLE BBQ

2. Char-Broil Kettleman Charcoal Barbecue Grill

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First things first, the Char-Broil Kettleman Charcoal Barbecue Grill is largely the best looking model on the market, I mean just look how sleek and amazing it looks. Its shiny black finish is absolutely stunning. The folks at Char-Broil put so much effort into the design and build of this BBQ, no doubt.

Pros

  • TRU-Infrared cooking system for more evenly cooked food.
  • Lid-mounted temperature gauge monitors the heat inside your grill for optimum control and air vents to help control the heat.
  • Hinged lid with latch which stays open on its own.
  • Porcelain-coated cooking grates for easy cleaning.
  • No-fall through grate.
  • Super-sized damper for letting air in and out as needed.
  • Heavy-duty steel legs provide maximum stability.
  • Large wheels for easy moving around the garden.
  • 2-year warranty on all parts for full peace of mind.

The Char-Broil Kettle??man Charcoal Barbecue Grill is an innovative kettle grill loaded with features to provide the next generation in BBQ grilling. First off, this grill uses TRU-Infrared cooking system which cooks more food with less charcoal, allowing longer grilling sessions with 50% juicier results.

Its porcelain-coated cooking grates retain and radiate heat evenly over the surface to help reduce cold spots. Consequently, food cooks evenly, retains moisture better and seals in the natural juices of meat. The flames also never come into contact with the food, but tiny holes in the grill allow the charcoal’s aroma and smokiness to reach the food for a traditional taste. The fact that there are no large gaps in the cooking grate allows cooking of slender foods such as shrimp and asparagus.

The hinged lid with latch allows you to tend to your food and charcoal and without worrying where to place it down safely. The dome-shaped lid is also perfect for roasting while a lid-mounted temperature gauge helps you keep an eye on the conditions inside the bowl without having to open the lid. And you can always open the damper to let out excess heat or leave it closed to retain heat. Finally, as you would expect there is an ash bowl beneath the large kettle to collect any mess plus it’s fully removable for easy cleaning.

This product requires home assembly but thankfully the instructions are very clear unlike a lot of other models we have seen which have terrible instructions. All bolts and nuts are clearly labelled so it should be quick to put together and fire up – half an hour and it’s ready to use! The build is high quality and robust with heavy-duty legs providing maximum stability. It also has good quality caster wheels so you can move it around your patio or back garden with ease.

Char-Broil offers a 2-year warranty and it covers all parts. So in case of any damage caused during shipping or any manufacturing default, Char-Broil will replace any part for free so you have full peace of mind.

Cons

  • No problems to report. It really is that good.

Our recommendation

First things first, the Char-??Broil Kettleman Charcoal Barbecue Grill is largely the best-looking model on the market, I mean just look how sleek and amazing it looks. Its shiny black finish is absolutely stunning. The folks at Char-Broil put so much effort into the design and build of this BBQ, no doubt.

We like the TRU-Infrared cooking system and although it slows down cooking a bit, the results are juicier food compared with the standard barbecuing style, there is a noticeable difference, much juicer.

The cooking area is impressively vast and we like that small food items can’t get lost through the grill which is a great idea.

Generally, the features of this charcoal BBQ are all convenient for outdoor grilling and worth the money as well. What we would say is that perhaps the quality of the shelf near the wheels could be a little sturdier.

This model is really as good as our ‘Best Pick’, however, we could only have one best pick and the Landmann model offers more cooking area so just about won, however for anyone looking for a kettle-style model, this wins hands down. Highly recommended and a good performer.

If your looking for a kettle BBQ which is a little more affordable our next pick by Weber could be a better choice.

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Char-Broil Kettleman Charcoal Barbecue Grill
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3. CosmoGrill Outdoor XL Smoker Barbecue

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CosmoGrill Outdoor XL Smoker Barbecue Charcoal Portable BBQ Grill Garden

The CosmoGrill Outdoor XL Smoker Barbecue is a solid outdoor barbeque with all the features you need for comfortable cooking and smoking for a family.

This BBQ looks impressive with a black metal finish, a rounded-off lid and a large stainless steel handle along the front. The slatted side tables/shelves and rack at the base of the grill visually break up otherwise solid surfaces. The coals compartment is at the front of the CosmoGrill XL BBQ with a handle underneath to access the ash tray. You can adjust the height of this BBQ with a turn of a simple crack handle. And it has two wheels so you can move it around your patio as needed.

You won’t have to worry about staying organized when you grill as the two side tables/shelves are there for storage or food preparation. In addition, one of the side shelves has four hanging hooks for your tongs, basting brush and other utensils. The side tables fold down out of the way when you don’t need them. The slatted rack at the base of the BBQ also provides storage space.

The CosmoGrill Outdoor XL Smoker Barbecue has a large grill at 57cm (22 inches) x 42cm (16 inches); the warming rack is half the size at 57cm x 20cm . The internal size of this BBQ is large enough to smoke a whole chicken or untold ribs and burgers. You can adjust the height of the coals space with the coals to direct the heat just where you want it. This is especially useful when the coals are dying down and need to be closer to the food. While cooking, you can add more coals through the flapped door at the front of the BBQ to prolong the BBQ session. You smoke your food in the grilling space as there is not a separate smoker compartment.

Cleaning the CosmoGrill XL is a snap. The enamel-coated larger grill is in two parts and fits easily into your dishwasher. Remove the ashes by pulling out the ash tray, wipe down the rest of the BBQ with a damp sponge and you’re done.

Pros 

  • Built-in thermometer to check that your food is cooking at the right temperature.
  • Coal capacity to a maximum of 2.7kg of charcoal briquettes and 1.35kg coal; this lasts for a lengthy cooking session.
  • Grill space of 57cm (22 inches) x 42cm (16 inches) for cooking for a family.
  • Easy to clean grill is in two parts and fits into the dishwasher for easy cleaning.
  • Warming rack of 57cm by 20cm for keeping the food warm while someone makes the salad.
  • Adjustable coal space lets you direct the heat just where you need it.
  • Stainless steel handle to lift and lower the hood easily.
  • Two foldable side shelves/tables for preparation or extra storage with four hooks on one side to hang utensils tidily.
  • Adjustable height by using a crank.
  • The air supply is adjustable for just the right degree of heat.
  • Two wheels for easy manoeuvrability.
  • Ash removal opening conveniently on the front of the BBQ.
  • Beer bottle opener on the front.

Cons

  • Difficult to clean inside the ash compartment.
  • It comes dismantled and in “hundreds of pieces”, like a huge puzzle.
  • Have to supply your own tools for assembly; takes a Phillips head screwdriver and a small adjustable spanner.
  • Instructions not very clear or thorough; adds to the difficulty of assembling the BBQ.
  • Grease traps are difficult and time-consuming to clean.

Our recommendation

The CosmoGrill Outdoor XL Smoker Barbecue will suit a family who wants to mainly BBQ and occasionally smoke their food. There is no separate smoker section so the grilling part provides both the heat and the space. The CosmoGrill XL is a fairly compact BBQ when the side tables/shelves are folded down. Its two wheels allow you to move it around your outdoor space, perhaps under shelter when it rains. 

Assembling the CosmoGrill XL is a bit of a challenge as it comes completely dismantled, with a questionable instruction book and no tools. Two people working well together can manage to do it in a couple of hours.

Cleaning this smoker BBQ is generally easy, by wiping it down and putting the lower grill in the dishwasher. The top grill is too large to fit, though. Users have said online that the grease trap is difficult to access and to clean. 

The CosmoGrill Outdoor XL Smoker Barbecue is a good family-sized BBQ.

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CosmoGrill Outdoor XL Smoker Barbecue
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4. Weber Compact 47cm Charcoal BBQ

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The Weber Compact 47cm Charcoal BBQ speaks for itself and we don’t think it needs any alteration when it comes to size. Its not expensive and is a lot cheaper than the previous kettle model we reviewed but its still far more expensive than the cheaper brands you see.

Pros

  • Suitable for around 4 people.
  • Porcelain-enamelled bowl and lid
  • Two weather-proof handles
  • Lid handle with protective heat shield
  • Rustproof aluminium lid vents allow proper airflow for perfect barbecuing
  • 47cm triple-coated cooking grate for cooking for 
  • Rust-proof aluminium ash collector
  • Cooking area: 1735cm2
  • Crack-proof all-weather wheels
  • Supplied with a charcoal measuring cup

The Weber Compact 47cm Charc??oal BBQ truly lives up to its name as it’s a perfect choice for anyone who is limited on space. It’s a good option for the small patio, balconies, and smaller outdoor living areas.

The design of this BBQ has been well thought out to ensure that it’s not only easy to live with but also durable. Despite its compact nature, it provides a large 1735cm2 cooking area that’s big enough to cook for four adults.

The porcelain-enamelled bowl with lid has two weather-proof handles for easier carrying. Protective heat shields on lid handles make it safer to lift the lid when checking the state of the food. The lid even features rust-proof vents which, together with the rust-proof vents at the base of the bowl, allow proper airflow for perfect barbecuing. Its triple-plated cooking grate is highly resistant to rust and acidity, thus maintain their original looks and remain easy to clean.

Right below the bowl is an ash catcher for collecting ash and embers that fall through the base air vents. This helps reduce burn or scorch marks on the ground below the BBQ. Further down the ash catcher is a handy triangular-shaped tray which offers a place to store food or utensils that need to be accessed quickly when barbecuing. This unit also has crack-proof wheels on one side to help move it to and from that sweet spot.

Last but certainly not least, this product is covered by Weber’s unbeatable 10-year warranty.

Cons

  • Weber offers a 10-year warranty on BBQ’s, however, we read a review where a customer who purchased from a well known online seller was sent a model that was pre-2013 build and as such, according to Weber entry guidelines, cannot be successfully registered for the 10year warranty. With this in mind, it’s best checking before purchasing.

Our recommendation

The Weber Compact 47cm ??Charcoal BBQ speaks for itself and we don’t think it needs any alteration when it comes to size. It’s not expensive and is a lot cheaper than the previous kettle model we reviewed but its still far more expensive than the cheaper brands you see.

That being said it should come with a 10-year warranty, however, remember to double-check the warranty before purchasing unless it specifically states 10 years warranty when purchasing.

Furthermore, the BBQ is very affordable all thing considered, very well made and reliable, with a solid warranty behind it.

Overall a great BBQ which is well worth considering if you’re looking for a kettle-style BBQ.

Weber Compact 47cm Charcoal BBQ
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5. Fennek Portable Picnic Grill

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FENNEK portable picnic grill I Charcoal grill for outdoor BBQ while camping, fishing and much more.

The FENNEK Portable Picnic Grill is the ideal portable grill to take on your fishing or camping trips or just out into the park for a BBQ. This portable grill is designed to work with the weather, whether it’s sunny, cloudy or rainy.

The FENNEK portable grill is a clever piece of engineering. Assembly is quick, taking no longer than five minutes as the pieces lock together easily. This BBQ weighs just under seven pounds, plus the bag of coals of course. The grill conveniently folds up into an aluminium box the size of a small laptop; everything folds in together so you can carry it by itself or in a rucksack.  

Once the portable picnic grill is assembled, you’ll notice a few handy features. The coals holder is raised above the ground so it won’t scorch what’s beneath it; the outside of the storage box works as a base for the BBQ; and the lid comes off and can be positioned as a windbreak for rain or wind and for reflecting the heat for more even cooking.

The grill itself is made out of heat-resistant stainless steel which makes for even cooking of the food. The grill is 27cm (10.6 inches) x 18cms (7.2in) in dimension. It’s large enough to hold all the food for two hungry people but also to cook, with some planning, enough for a family of four. Air circulates through ventilation holes and combustion chambers under the charcoal grid and distributes the heat evenly for the best-tasting charcoal barbequed food.

Clearing up is easy. Dispose of the coals safely and then fold everything down into the box. When you get home just run everything through the dishwasher.

Pros 

  • Light and portable charcoal BBQ that weighs 3.1kg (6.8 pounds).
  • Easy and quick to set up so suitable for spontaneous BBQ gatherings.
  • Grill is made of heat-resistant stainless steel for even cooking.
  • Grill surface is 27cm (10.6 inches) x 18cms (7.2in) and holds enough food for two hungry people or a not-so-hungry family of four (with some planning).
  • Lightweight at 6.8lb so you can carry it without straining and huffing.
  • Removable grill lid doubles as protection for the food from wind and rain; it also reflects the heat for more efficient and even cooking.
  • Elevated coals section doesn’t scorch the ground beneath the BBQ.
  • BBQ folds down into an aluminium box the size of a small laptop.
  • All parts are dishwasher safe for ease of clean up.

Cons

  • Difficult to clean the BBQ entirely, even in the dishwasher; residue builds up and spoils the shiny look.
  • Small enough to fit in a backpack but too heavy to carry on a long trek.

Our recommendation

If you want the flavour of charcoal-grilled food in the great outdoors, The FENNEK Portable Picnic Grill is the portable BBQ for you. All its parts fit beautifully together into a (supplied) case the size of a small laptop and only 2.4cm (1 inch) thick. The FENNEK portable grill is relatively light at just over 3kg (8 pounds) and users have reported that they can assemble it in less than five minutes. Its grill holds enough meat, fish, veggies and fruit for two people whose appetites have increased in the fresh air. You can also provide a meal for a family of four with some juggling of timing and space on this portable BBQ.

Cleaning the FENNEK portable grill is easy as all the parts fit into the dishwasher. However, users have reported that you can’t get off all the grime from burning the coals and debris from the fat in the food. The BBQ does end up looking a little messy and used, and lacking its initial shiny appearance.

We’re so impressed with the FENNEK Portable Picnic Grill that we’ve made it the Best Pick of the portable BBQs in our charcoal BBQ review.

FENNEK Portable Picnic Grill
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6. Landmann Piccolino Portable Charcoal Barbecue

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We love the portability of this barbecue grill, its solid construction, and a relatively large cooking area. Assembly is easy and cleaning is also a breeze due to the chrome-plated surface. If you are looking for a way to enjoy grilled foods when camping or going for picnics during the summer months, the Landmann 31377 Piccolino Portable Charcoal BBQ is the best bet. You have to be patient with it, though.

Pros

  • Enamelled lid and fire bowl for weather protection and heat resistance to improve the life of the BBQ
  • Chrome-plated cooking grill and a warming rack for easier cleaning and rust resistance.
  • 34cm cooking grill enough for 4 people
  • Chrome-plated frame construction.
  • Ventilation disc in the lid to help control the cooking temperature.
  • Stainless steel BBQ tongs included which provide extra value for money.
  • Rubberised lid clips for safe transport.
  • Perfect on the go; for the park, beach, and small parks.

The Landmann Piccolino Port??able Charcoal BBQ is perfect for a day out at the park, sunbathing by the beach, camping, or wherever your outdoor adventures may lead you. With its 34cm cooking grill, this can cook a variety of foods including meat, fish, and veggies for around four people. The grill is chrome-plated cooking grill is easy to clean and it’s highly resistant to corrosion for long-lasting performance. A warming rack is handy for warming up cooked foods without overcooking them or keeping them warm while you cook more food.

The enamelled lid and fire bowl are functional as they are good-looking and seen well made. The lid features a ventilation disc that allows airflow when things get too hot inside the bowl, this is handy for controlling the temperature. It also features a rubberised handle that makes it safe to lift the hot lid when cooking. Rubberised lid clips additionally allow the lid to be secured to the fire bowl for safe transportation.

Assembly instructions are supplied so it should be quick to put together given its compact size. A pair of stainless steel tongs are included which is handy to help grasp and lift food such as sausages, burgers, and steak, and there’s a holder to keep it in place. This model is also available in a range of colours including black, green, azure blue, lavender, anthracite grey, green/yellow, and matt black. The charcoal grill weighs just 3.2kg so is fairly lightweight and only measures 37 x 37 x 41cm, so it easily goes into a sizeable bag and is easy to carry around.


Our recommendation

We love the portability of this barbecue grill, its solid construction, and a relatively large cooking area for such as small BBQ. Assembly is easy and cleaning is also a breeze due to the chrome-plated surface.

If you are looking for a way to enjoy grilled foods when camping or going for picnics during the summer months, the Landmann 31377 Piccolino Portable Charcoal BBQ is the best a great choice.

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Landmann Piccolino Portable Charcoal Barbecue
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7. Azuma Smoker Barbecue Black Barrel BBQ

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Azuma Smoker Barbecue Black Barrel BBQ Outdoor Charcoal Grill

The Azuma Smoker Barbecue Black Barrel BBQ is a BBQ that gives your meat, poultry and fish a genuine smoked flavour. No liquid smoke flavouring needed here.

This Azuma Smoker Barbeque is an impressive 125cm (49 inches) wide black machine with two barrels. The smaller fire barrel is offset to one size and the larger grilling barrel has a chimney reaching up from it. The chambers are made from 1.0mm thick steel and have a black powder coating. Two wheels enable you to move this fairly heavy, 33.4kg (5st 3lb), BBQ around your patio. You’ll need to find a friend to assemble this BBQ with you as it’s quite cumbersome to do.

The shelf across the front of the BBQ holds your utensils and condiments, while the lower rack at the base is good for storing plates and serving trays.

The enamelled grilling rack in the larger barrel is big enough to cook 18 beef burgers at the same time while keeping another 12 warm on the warming rack. This is a BBQ intended for a large party.

To smoke your ribs, brisket or pork roast, place the food in the grilling barrel and light a fire of woodchips in the fire chamber. The smoke and heat from the fire circulate around the slow-cooking food. Smoked meat comes out succulent and, well, smoky.

It’s important to regulate the cooking temperature, especially in the long period of smoking. The vent in the offset firebox is adjustable and lets you increase the heat of the fire by bringing in more oxygen. The damper on the chimney of the larger barrel controls the level of smoke and temperature inside it. Finally, the temperature gauge on the lid of the large barrel takes the guesswork out of the temperature that your food is cooking at. 

Pros 

  • Steel smoker barrel barbeque takes charcoal or wood as fuel.
  • Temperature gauge for accurate cooking.
  • Chimney with a vent (on the lid) controls the smoke.
  • Grill and smoke food separately to the fire with the offset smoker box.
  • Main chamber size is 68 cm (26 inches) long with one rack for grilling and another for warming.
  • Shelf across the front of the BBQ to hold utensils or supplies.
  • The lower slatted rack can hold china and food trays.
  • Wooden handles to protect you from being burned.
  • The firebox for smoking is offset to the side and is 39 cm (15 inches) long.
  • Height of the charcoal or wood platform is adjustable to three levels.
  • Two wheels for easy lift-and-roll moving.
  • One-year warranty.

Cons

  • Poor instructions for assembling the BBQ.
  • Heavy; needs two people for assembly.
  • Smoker barrel is difficult to empty out.

Our recommendation

The Azuma Smoker Barbecue Black Barrel BBQ is a serious smoker BBQ with enough cooking space to feed a large group. The Azuma Smoker BBQ takes either charcoal or woodchips as its fuel, giving you a choice of cooking techniques and taste. Smoking meat, poultry or fish gives you a unique flavour along with juicy and tender food from the indirect heat and the smoke.

While it’s easy to use, this smoker BBQ takes some effort to put together. It’s heavy enough that two people need to assemble it and the instructions are difficult to follow. 

Cleaning this BBQ is straightforward as most of its components go into the dishwasher. However, users online have mentioned that it’s difficult to clean the smoker barrel and it’s tricky to assemble the grease holder (a soda can) and replace it when it’s full.

If you have a large family or frequently barbeque for friends, then seriously consider this Azuma Smoker Barbecue Black Barrel BBQ.

Azuma Smoker Barbecue Black Barrel BBQ
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8. Callow Premium Charcoal Smoker BBQ Grill

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On features versus price graph, the Callow Premium Charcoal Smoker BBQ Grill is a great buy. It even includes a cover, something that’s sold differently with many other models. This BBQ grill does the job and is especially ideal for smoking stuff. The build quality is good and it’s easy to use. If you can get your own thermometer, then you’ll be sure to get the best of this unit.

Pros

  • Premium quality 0.9 carbon steel construction with powder coating for improved performance and longer life span.
  • Four stainless steel locks connect all part together can be easily open as needed,
  • The built-in thermometer in the lid and 2 meat thermometer probe access points.
  • Adjustable air vents for better ventilation and temperature control.
  • Heat-resistant lid handles.
  • Hinged front door for easy access to charcoal and water pans.
  • Ventilated charcoal pan provides proper airflow.
  • 2 cooking grates, smoking rack, and 6 hooks for hanging food.
  • Comes with weatherproof cover to provide extra protection when not in use.

The Callow Premium Charcoal Smoker BBQ?? Grill is another decent option for anyone on a budget. The body is made of high-density 0.9mm carbon steel metal with a powder-coated finish which looks well. This model includes a hood, barrel body, bottom bowl, and supporting feet, which are all connected together by four stainless steel locks.

With two food racks of 14-inch diameter, this allows you to cook plenty of food at once. There’s also a smoking rack that can be hung from the top of the BBQ’s mouth for smoking or grilling fish for anyone who a fan of smoking food. 

You also get 6 hooks for smoking fish, sausages, ribs, and other foods. Unfortunately, there is no side door to access the lower rack so the only way is through the top. On the good side, the top rack is designed to get out of the way when you want to access the bottom rack.

A lid-mounted thermometer with temperature gauge also allows you to monitor the cooking/smoking conditions, whilst adjustable air vents at the base and in the lid allow decent airflow and improved temperature control. The charcoal pan is accessible via a hinged front door, allowing you to top up without losing most of the heat. The fully ventilated charcoal pan also provides a good distribution of heat to ensure your food cooks more evenly. And when your food is ready, the lid clips out of the way on its heat-resistant handles for safe serving.

Assembling this model is pretty straightforward. All the nuts and screws are clearly labelled and the instructions are easy to follow. A weatherproof cover completes the package to protect your investment during the predictable British weather.

Cons

  • Nothing to report here, putting together is not really easy, some may find it a little challenging. If you take your time its fairly straight forward but does take a while.

Our recommendation

On features versus price, the Callow Prem??ium Charcoal Smoker BBQ Grill is a great buy and offers great value for money and comes at an unbelievable price.

It even includes a cover, something that’s sold differently with many other models. This BBQ grill does the job and is especially ideal for smoking stuff which is what its really designed for rather than being a typical BBQ.

The build quality is good for the price and it’s easy to use. Overall an excellent smoker BBQ that is very affordable.

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Callow Premium Charcoal Smoker BBQ Grill
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9. Tepro Toronto Trolley Grill Barbecue

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Apart from assembling taking a while to put together, the Toronto Trolley Grill is easy to work with and very well made, nice and sturdy, very solid piece of kit.   The bottle opener and utensil hooks are also bonus features that will make for a great BBQ party. Overall is a simple but well made BBQ and should last for many years. At a little over £100 when we reviewed this model, it also offers excellent value for money.

Pros

  • Charcoal black BBQ.
  • Built-in thermometer.
  • Height Adjustable grid with a crank mechanism.
  • Chrome-plated warming rack.
  • Powder-coated design.
  • Comes with assembly instructions.
  • 1 “Toronto” Trolley Grill included.
  • Two-tier BBQ rack.

The Tepro Toronto Trolley Grill is the ideal affordable BBQ for genuine barbecuing fun whether on warm summer evenings. Working with this charcoal BBQ starts from assembling and the process is relatively easy with the help of the assembly manual. Some steps are a bit tricky which we have noticed is becoming a trend with BBQ’s and ideally, you need two people to build.

It comes with a coal tray with a variable height adjustment which gives you a few options when setting up the coal height from the cooking tray which is useful

Temperature control is crucial when cooking so Tepro has installed a thermometer in this grill cart to help you monitor the temperature. Once you have the figures on the thermometer, you can alter the distance between the coals and cooking surface to adjust the cooking temperature of your food.

Another advantage of the built-in thermometer is it allows you to know precisely when to add charcoal so your BBQ keeps going long into the night. Even so, the two-tier design of this grill allows you to enclose the grill region to keep heat from escaping out of the grill.

There are air vents that guarantee uniform air circulation during the cooking process while preventing the coals from extinguishing when the top is shut. The two-tier design combined with the smooth-action lid makes indirect grilling easy – a cooking technique where the food rests in an enclosed space and not directly over the fire.

Whether you want to entertain your children on your garden or guests on the patio, this charcoal grill cart is perfect for flexible barbecue fun. The availability of a bottle opener along with utensil hooks sum up to the best grilling companion you can have.


Our recommendation

Apart from assembling taking a while to put together, the Toronto Trolley Grill is easy to work with and very well made, nice and sturdy, very solid piece of kit.

The bottle opener and utensil hooks are also bonus features that will make for a great BBQ party. Overall is a simple but well-made BBQ and should last for many years. At a little over £100 when we reviewed this model, it also offers excellent value for money.

Tepro Toronto Trolley Grill Barbecue
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10. Fire Mountain Deluxe Trolley Charcoal Barbecue

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The Fire Mountain Deluxe Charcoal BBQ overall is an excellent BBQ, it's very well made and the price at under £100 makes it one of the most affordable models in our review.  With three levels of cooking and warming food, it’s one of the most versatile charcoal grills in our reviews. The only thing it does lack is some king of lid, we can't help wonder if this would become an issue if it started to rain.

Pros

  • Comes with two adjustable grills which can be set over 3 heights.
  • Three levels of cooking or keeping food warm.
  • Constructed from tough, powder-coated steel.
  • Two side shelves.
  • Cooking area: 63 cm width, 38.5cm depth.
  • Size: 123x99x50cm.

The Fire Mountain Deluxe Trolley Charcoal BBQ is one of the cheapest BBQs in this review and for the price you get a fantastic BBQ. We have reviewed Fire Mountain BBQ’s before and they also impress and this model is no different, the only thing you may notice is this model does not have a lid.

It takes about an hour to assemble following the instructions manual. Nonetheless, putting the parts together takes about an hour and it’s fairly straight forward.

It has a relatively large cooking area split into two levels and both have chrome steel grills which can be adjusted to over three heights. This kind of flexibility offers a great way of grilling various types of food simultaneously. When on the highest level, the back grill can likewise serve as a warming rack while the other food cooks.

Most good charcoal BBQ’s are built tough and this Deluxe model is no exception, thanks to the solid steel construction with a black powder coating which prevents wear. To make the cooking more fun, there are two black side racks for holding plates and condiments or for arrangement while the food is cooking.

Underneath the grill, you’ll find a substantial space to hold extra charcoal or dishes, holed up at the back of the fabric front.

Another noteworthy feature is the two wheels on either side which allows for movement and repositioning or rolling into a storage area when not being used.

What to be aware of!

  • The assembly instructions are a bit lacking and the space for the coal is relatively small compared to other charcoal Barbecues of about the same price.

Our recommendation

The Amazon we noticed this model has over 50 reviews overall is an excellent BBQ, it’s very well made and the price at under £100 makes it one of the most affordable models in our review.

With three levels of cooking and warming food, it’s one of the most versatile charcoal grills in our reviews. The only thing it does lack is some kind of lid, we can’t help wonder if this would become an issue if it started to rain.

On Amazon, we noticed this model has ov??er 50 reviews, most of which are very positive so maybe the lack of a lid won’t prove to be a problem.

Fire Mountain Deluxe Trolley Charcoal Barbecue
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Our Final Conclusion

Smoky flavours are awesome, yet the entire experience of BBQ’ing outside with family and buddies is an essential part of the equation.

Many people say that real (and the best) barbequed food comes only from a charcoal BBQ. Whether you agree with this or not, our four Best Picks will each produce a barbequing experience that you’ll remember.

The overall Best Pick – the Landmann Taurus 660 Charcoal BBQ – can handle the appetites of up to 10 people as well as keeping more food warm.

The Best Pick for a kettle-style BBQ is the Char-Broil Kettleman Charcoal Barbecue Grill which can also feed a large family. It has a TRU-infrared cooking system for an alternative cooking method.

Our Best Smoker BBQ can grill, smoke and water-smoke your food. The Callow Premium Charcoal Smoker BBQ Grill has two cooking racks and one smoking rack to handle this.

Use this review to take our recommendations into consideration and narrow down which charcoal BBQ is best for you.

Smoky flavours are awesome, yet the entire experience of BBQ’ing outside with family and buddies is an essential part of the equation.

We hope you’ve learned from the best charcoal grills from our product reviews and next time you want to buy one remember to go back to our guide.


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Last update on 2020-02-21 at 17:19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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