Best BBQ 2020: the top 14 charcoal, gas, hybrid BBQs and more

Turn your cooking sessions up a notch with one of the best BBQs around. Go charcoal, gas, electric, or even tempt yourself with a smoker...

best BBQ
(Image credit: Future)

It's always a good idea to have the best BBQ on hand. Because there is, in fact, always a fairly good reason to have a barbecue. The sun could come out, or you might have a covered outdoor cooking area for autumn and winter grilling sessions... But no matter how you like to barbecue, you need the best one for the job. 

So we've done our homework to bring you the best gas grills, charcoal numbers, hybrid BBQs, smokers and more that have really impressed us this year. Size is one thing, but there is much more to these models than that, especially when you're looking at top brands like Char-Broil, Weber and Big Green Egg. From state-of-the-art design features like warming plates and easy storage (to help out proper chefs) to their smoking capabilities, the likely outcome of your food and, of course, price – we have you covered.

Keep scrolling to see what you can get for your money and to help you spend a bit more wisely. Our top buys are divided into the different types of BBQ but, if you've already got your eye on one of the best gas BBQs, then you'll find more advice in our dedicated buying guide. 

Best BBQ 2020: Best charcoal BBQ

WEBER MASTER-TOUCH GBS PREMIUM E-5770 bbq

(Image credit: Weber )

1. Weber Master-Touch GBS Premium E-5770

Best charcoal BBQ: our favourite charcoal barbie. A classic kettle design, great features and lots of space to cook

Specifications
Fuel: Charcoal
Weight: 24kg
Colour: Black
Reasons to buy
+Large cooking area+Can smoke with it+Hinged removable lid
Reasons to avoid
-Not much storage

If it has to be charcoal for authentic taste in your opinion, the Weber Weber Master-Touch GBS Premium E-5770 BBQ will float your boat: it’s a classic kettle barbecue with space to cook for the whole family.

Feed a crowd

A 57cm cooking area means you can get a whole load of different options on to serve everyone up an alfresco plateful. There’s room for whole birds and joints as an alternative so you’ll be spoiled for choice.

Cooking options

This model can be transformed into a smoker easily – think delicious ribs or pork shoulder. You can also invest in the Gourmet BBQ System inserts to go with your BBQ. We’re talking pizza stone, poultry roaster and more.

BBQ convenience

An attached hinged lid makes checking on the progress of your food a hassle-free experience, while a hinged cooking grate means adding more fuel is easy, too. There’s a built-in lid thermometer as well, and this model’s tool hooks are also a handy feature. 

ARGOS HOME AMERICAN CHARCOAL BBQ

(Image credit: Argos Home)

2. Argos Home American Charcoal BBQ

Best barbecue for get-togethers: big families and big socialisers will find this charcoal design super convenient

Specifications
Fuel: Charcoal
Weight: 26.18kg
Colour: Black
Reasons to buy
+Cook for up to 15+Adjustable charcoal tray+Easy fuelling
Reasons to avoid
-Self assembly can take a while

If your barbecues are always for a big group, we can recommend the Argos Home American Charcoal BBQ to keep up with everyone’s fresh air appetite.

Crowd pleaser

A cooking area of 42 x 58cm lets you get meat, fish and veggies for all on the go on this nifty American-style BBQ. There’s a food preparation shelf and storage shelf, plus a bottle opener, so you can keep the whole party fed and, er, watered.

Adjust the heat

We like the way you can control the temperature when you’re cooking on this barbecue. You can lower the coals if the heat’s too fierce, then use the handle to bring them up again. You can also refuel through the front door. Simple!

Nifty features

When you’re catering for a big group, you don’t want food to go cold while you’re serving some of the other elements. This design solves your problem with a warming rack to avoid the disappointment. We also like the fact it’s a BBQ with wheels so you can move it away without fuss once the cooking’s over to make more space for socialising.

Racer Green Big Green Egg MiniMax Charcoal BBQ

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partmers)

3. Big Green Egg MiniMax Charcoal BBQ Bundle

Best small charcoal BBQ: get outdoors with a state-of-the-art name in the BBQ world

Specifications
Fuel: Charcoal
Weight: 40kg
Colour: Racing Green
Reasons to buy
+Iconic design +Heats in minutes+Patented air flow tech+Easy to clean
Reasons to avoid
-You’re catering for big parties

If you're an adventurer, who still likes the finer things in life, then try the Big Green Egg MiniMax charcoal BBQ out for size. Small, light(ish) and one of the more affordable Big Green Egg barbies out there, it's a bit of a win in our eyes.

Compact footprint

It may be mini in design, but you can still put on a proper feast. Grill sausages, smoke fish, cook a pizza – you could even cook a turkey –  because yes, this bad boy could actually rival your home oven.

Cooking features

It's the high (green and beautiful) lid that lets you cook larger cuts of meat using indirect heat. It won't get as hot as other metal barbecues – making it safer – but it's insulated and complete with patented airflow features so that you will enjoy good, even cooking.

Durable design

It's not going anywhere, but we wouldn't leave it unattended in a park because the – lifetime guaranteed – Racing Green glaze finish and enamel shell is irresistible to most. So while it is costly, it is an investment and you'll get compliments. Oh, and it's easy to clean.

JOHN LEWIS LANDMANN PEDESTAL SQUARE CHARCOAL BBQ

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

4. John Lewis Landmann Pedestal Square Charcoal BBQ

Best flexible BBQ: this model’s portable but won’t have you bending down when you use it at home

Specifications
Fuel: Charcoal
Weight: 1.5kg
Colours: Silver
Reasons to buy
+Portable but great for the garden, too+Smart design+Great price
Reasons to avoid
-You’ll need a garden trolley with it

A barbecue that will work chez vous and out and about with good looks, you say. The John Lewis Landmann Pedestal Square Charcoal BBQ has your name on it then.

European style

This upright BBQ is a popular European design that will bring style to your garden and your outings with its stainless-steel finish, chrome-plated grill, and wooden handles. It has a 39cm square grill for your burgers, sausages and more.

Fuel choice

You can use charcoal briquettes or lump wood charcoal to fuel this little number. The removable ash catcher makes cleaning less of a palaver, too, which scores highly with us.

Fab features

While this might be a great value and portable barbie, it’s not without thoughtful refinements. There’s a windshield on the grill that could make life simpler on a breezy day, plus a disc for controlling the airflow. At 1.5kg it won’t be hard to move (but don’t do that when it’s hot, of course!)

EVERDURE BY HESTON BLUMENTHAL CUBE

(Image credit: Everdure)

5. Everdure by Heston Blumenthal Cube

Best portable BBQ: a real looker for barbecuing in a tiny outdoor space or on days out

Specifications
Fuel: Charcoal
Weight: 7kg
Colour: Orange, khaki, stone and graphite
Reasons to buy
+Easy portability+Stylish design+Stay-cool handles
Reasons to avoid
-No stand

There’s no need to stick with a sandwich when you’re out if you get yourself the Everdure by Heston Blumenthal Cube BBQ to put in the car. 

Compact dimensions

Just H23 x W42.5 x D34.7cm, this is a BBQ for days away from home, but we’d recommend it for those with very little outdoor space as well. It won’t compromise the style of your tiny patio, and is sure to win admiring glances down at the beach.

Great extras

On top of the barbecue you’ll find a food grade storage tray and a bamboo preparation board. In other words, you won’t be in trouble when it comes to organising the ingredients of your meal before you pop them on the barbie. You’ll want to find yourself a picnic table to cook on, though, so everything is at the right height. 

Cool design

The Cube has a built-in heat protection shield and chrome handles that will stay cool even while you’re cooking for safety. There are two safety latches on the design as well. 

CHAR-BROIL KAMANDER CHARCOAL GRILL

(Image credit: Char-Broil)

6. Char-Broil Kamander Charcoal Grill

Best kamado grill: a style that’s proved a huge hit, this egg-shaped barbie grills, roasts and slow cooks

Specifications
Fuel: Charcoal
Weight: 51.5kg
Colour: Black
Reasons to buy
+Grills, smokes, roasts and bakes+Keeps cooked food warm+Foldable side shelf
Reasons to avoid
-Assembly required-Takes up space

Kamados have become a hugely trendy way to cook outdoors – but they’re no passing fad. Set yourself up with the Char-Broil Kamander Charcoal Grill and you’ll be making all you want in the garden.

Temperature range 

This little number operates from 50°C and 345°C, giving you the option to smoke, grill, roast or bake. A cooking surface of 20 inches diameter (that’s 51cm in new money) means you can fit a large brisket or a 9kg turkey.

Stay in control

A temperature gauge will make things accurate, and the air intake system with adjustable vents gives you easy control. Once food’s cooked you can keep it warm on the warming rack that comes with this model. There’s room to organise, too, with both a shelf with hooks for grilling tools and a storage rack underneath.

Clean and tidy

We like the inner ash pan that’s fully removable for cleaning, which is chore nobody loves. The design has big wheels as well so you can easily move it out the way when you’re done.  


Best gas BBQs for 2020

Prefer the precision of gas for your outdoor cooking? Discover our pick of the gas BBQs that’ll give you control of your cooking and no ash to deal with. 

Weber Genesis Weber_Genesis II E-310 GBS, Smoke Grey new image

(Image credit: Weber)

1. Weber Genesis II E-310

Best gas BBQ: easy barbecuing, flavoursome food, space to conjure up a feast. What more could you ask for

Specifications
Fuel: Gas
Weight: 57kg
Colour: Black
Reasons to buy
+Gas precision+Three burners+Electronic ignition
Reasons to avoid
-Assembling takes two

Like the idea of barbecuing that’s so easy you won’t miss out on the chat? Check out the Weber Genesis II E-310 BBQ for laid-back outdoor living.

Taste sensation

This is a brilliant buy if you’re looking for great barbecue taste with the ease of cooking on gas. The stainless-steel Flavourise Bars of this model promise the flavour barbecued food should have, but with the adjustability of gas and the simplicity of electronic ignition.

Family pleaser

With three burners and a generous cooking area of 68 x 48cm, you can serve up for a large party with this model and the warming rack means you can get all the timings right. We’re fans of its open storage because it makes accessing what you need quick, and there are side shelves for condiments, and hooks for tools.

Smart option

Smart appliance fans, you could add the Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub to this model for notifications, doneness indicators, food-readiness countdown and more. 

EVERDURE BY HESTON BLUMENTHAL FORCE 2 BURNER

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

2. Everdure by Heston Blumenthal Force 2 Burner

Best barbecue for style: a gas model with modern lines, this BBQ looks as sleek as your garden furniture

Specifications
Fuel: Gas
Weight: 33kg
Colour: Mint or graphite
Reasons to buy
+Looks and functionality+Three gas burners+Hood can be up or down for cooking
Reasons to avoid
-Invest buy-No warming rack

For the precision control of gas, plus fine and rather lovely lines, we reckon the Everdure by Heston Blumenthal Force 2 Burner is your perfect match. 

Fast heat-up

You can spend more time talking to your guests rather than tending the barbecue on this model, which is ready to cook in just five minutes. It has an aluminium lid that’s part of the reason the BBQ can get up to the high temperatures Heston demanded for a design with his name on it, and it’s rustproof to boot. The three gas burners are independently controlled with slender ergonomic taps that have rotary ignition. 

Flexible cooking

Hood up or down, it’s your call on this model. With the hood down there’s 360° circulation around the food to infuse delicious flavour.

Sleek style

This model stands out from the crowd. It’s not as bulky as other gas barbecues and there’s a choice of appealing colours so you can co-ordinate with planting or furniture. You won’t miss out on a storage shelf, however, so practicality isn’t sacrificed for sleekness.

Argos Home Deluxe 3 burner outdoor kitchen new image

(Image credit: Argos )

3. Argos Home Deluxe 3 Burner Outdoor Kitchen

Best budget gas barbecue: cooking and work space, plus storage, for a low price tag

Specifications
Fuel: Gas
Weight: 45kg
Colours: Silver, black and wood finish
Reasons to buy
+Three burners and one side burner+Gas barbecuing for less+Easy to move around
Reasons to avoid
-Functional appearance

Looking for a gas barbecue but keeping an eye on your outlay? The Argos Home Deluxe 3 Burner Outdoor Kitchen Gas BBQ will deliver you the ease of this fuel for less.

Cooking features

You get three burners with this model, and a grilling area that’s 60 x 41cm so you can pile up everyone’s plate. It comes with a warming rack and there’s a side burner for frying or making sauces. The reversible cast-iron grill and hot plate lets you adapt the surface to what you’re cooking. There’s a built-in thermometer so you can get everything just right, too.

On wheels

Putting the barbie where you need it and wheeling away to store is no problem. Storage space could be an issue, though. You’ll need to accommodate dimensions of H107.5 x W130 x D59.7cm.

Catering room

You won’t be short of places to stack plates for what you’re cooking below the cooking area with this model, plus there’s space to the side for condiments and herbs for your barbecue feast. 

Char-Broil 4 Burner Gas Barbecue Grill with TRU-Infrared technology and Side-Burner with Stainless Steel Finish

(Image credit: Amazon UK)

4. Char-Broil Performance Series T47G

Best infrared gas barbecue grill: a top pick for gourmets, this model promises even cooking and juicier results

Specifications
Fuel: Gas
Weight: 56kg
Colour: Silver (stainless steel)
Reasons to buy
+Made for great cooking results+Easy to clean grates+Warming rack+Four separate burners+Fuel efficient
Reasons to avoid
-Bit pricey-Bit bulky

If you want to take your outdoor kitchen to the next level, then the Char-Broil Performance Series T47G - 4 Burner Gas Grill – complete with TRU-Infrared – is perfect for big family entertainment at home.

Even heat

Garden chefs, this barbecue’s TRU-Infrared cooking technology promises you even heat distribution and flare-up prevention for the best cooking results, as well as 50% juicier food and 30% less gas use. There’s a grate-level temperature gauge, four independent cooking zones, a side-burner to warm up complementary food (very cheffy) and then an actual warming rack to keep your buns and whatnot warm, before serving.

Stay cool 

Having everything you need at your disposal is a must when you're cooking like a pro. The Char-Broil comes with side shelves for you to do just that. Letting you stash all your essential grilling tools, and maybe a beer too.

Design

It's big but it looks pro. This a seriously durable model that's built from stainless steel, and complete with cast iron – rust-resistant and dreamy to clean – cooking grates too. At this cost and from this reputable brand, we think this could be a BBQ for life. Enjoy your T-bones.


Best hybrid BBQ for 2020

Charcoal and gas? It can be yours in one barbecuing package. These are our favourite dual fuel BBQs.

CHAR-BROIL ALL-STAR GAS/CHARCOAL BBQ

(Image credit: Char-Broil)

1. Char-Broil All-Star Gas/Charcoal BBQ

Best hybrid barbecue: swap from gas to charcoal and convert from full size to tabletop version

Specifications
Fuel: Gas with charcoal tray accessory
Weight: 30kg
Colour: Black
Reasons to buy
+Charcoal tray accessory keeps cooking options open+Three burners and one side burner+Easy to move around
Reasons to avoid
-You want two fuels available at the same time

The Char-Broil All-Star BBQ will earn its keep with the option to use charcoal as well as gas, and portability as well.

Gas to charcoal

OK, you’ll need to invest in the charcoal tray as well, but at less than £50, we think it’s well worth a little more spend to get the choice of cooking outdoors with convenient gas, or authentic charcoal flavour. You can also get a rotisserie set if you want, and while it won’t boost cooking options, we like the fact you could also treat yourself to an All-Star cover for protection in all weathers, and a removable cutting board, waste bag and kitchen roll holder.

Portable and space efficient

You can separate the grill from the trolley with this model, which means you’re ready to barbecue away from home. Staying in (but out in the garden), we think this is a top choice for small outdoor spaces as it’s not a space hog. The side shelves provide room for prep but they’re foldable keeping it slim when you’re not cooking.

Simple life

This model has cast-iron grill grates that are durable, rust resistant and easy to clean. The electronic igniter means you don’t need matches to get cooking and this model promises to cook evenly and with less flare-ups, using TRU-infrared technology. 

B&Q ROCKWELL GAS AND CHARCOAL BLACK HYBRID BBQ

(Image credit: B&Q)

2. B&Q Rockwell Gas and Charcoal Black Hybrid BBQ

Best barbecue for all tastes: use gas and charcoal simultaneously and cook for up to 14

Specifications
Fuel: Gas and charcoal
Weight: 84kg
Colour: Black
Reasons to buy
+Cooks for 14 people+Use gas and charcoal together+Dishwasher safe grills
Reasons to avoid
-You have a small patio

You can get the best of both worlds and feed plenty of people with the Rockwell Gas and Charcoal Black Hybrid BBQ. 

Two at once

We love the fact that you can use gas and charcoal at the same time with this dual fuel barbie. Use gas for foods that require easy to adjust heat, and charcoal for those that just must have true barbecue flavour. it has an integrated warming rack to make catering to a crowd simpler.

Storage-tastic

You won’t be short of space to keep everything you need for a family feast with this model. There’s room underneath for essentials and a side table, plus there are three hooks and a bottle opener – handy, don’t you think?

Bonus features

What else will you like? Well, we reckon it’ll be a thumbs-up for grills that can go into the dishwasher. You can easily wheel this BBQ out of the way or into the right position at a particular time of day, too.


Best electric grills for 2020

Want the simple way to cook outside – no charcoal or gas needed? This answer is an electric grill, and this is our favourite. 

GEORGE FOREMAN 22460 INDOOR & OUTDOOR BBQ

(Image credit: Currys)

1. George Foreman 22460 Indoor & Outdoor BBQ

Best fuss-free barbecue: get the ease of electricity and the flexibility of a grill or table top set-up

Specifications
Fuel: Electric
Weight: 6.57kg
Colour: Graphite Grey
Reasons to buy
+Use outdoors as a grill or inside on a table top+Long cable+Grill designed to reduce fat
Reasons to avoid
-Having to plug in-No charcoal flavour

Want an easy life, speedy grilling and table top cooking as well as barbecuing? Then the George Foreman Indoor and Outdoor BBQ is the perfect choice.

Plug in

Never mind charcoal or gas cylinders, with this electric grill you just plug in. Worried you’ll be a lonely chef far from your guests? It has a 2.35m cable so you won’t miss out on the chat. 

Cooking options

This model is a freestanding barbecue outside, then – ta da – you can make it a table-top grill indoors. That’s right, no need to buy twice with this adaptable model. If you’re watching your weight, or concerned about cutting back on fat, you’ll also be happy that the grill promises a 42% reduction in fat. You can feed a good sized party with it, too: there’s room for up to 15 portions of meat, fish or vegetables at a time.

Temperature control

Worried about the accuracy of cooking on an electric grill? The BBQ is designed to allow heat adjustment for meat that’s browned just right. 


Best smoker BBQ for 2020

If you love meat and fish with a wonderful smoky taste, you can do your smoking right there at home.

WEBER SMOKEFIRE EX4 WOOD FIRED PELLET GRILL

(Image credit: Weber)

1. Weber Smokefire EX4 Wood Fired Pellet Grill

Best BBQ smoker: this wood-pellet fuelled design will sear as well as smoke to give you all the tastes you’re looking for, and it’s a smart barbie

Specifications
Fuel: Wood pellets
Weight: 84.4kg
Colour: Black
Reasons to buy
+Smokes – and a lot more+Lots of cooking space+Smart design
Reasons to avoid
-High budget buy

The Weber Smokefire EX4 Wood Fired Pellet Grill smokes a treat plus it will sear, and it’ll even help with the cooking. Find out how.

Cooking options

This model will deliver the distinctive smoky taste many of us adore. But we like the fact that it’s not just a smoker. With a temperature range of 95 to 315°C, it’ll cook all sorts of BBQ food. There’s plenty of room for what you’re serving up, too.

Low maintenance

This model comes with an easy-clean ash and grease drawer to make everyone’s least favourite part of barbecuing – the clean-up – less of a chore. It’s made with a porcelain-enamel finish to prevent cracking and rusting as well.

Get connected

Use the Weber Connect smart technology built into the BBQ and you’ll turn out great food every time. The grilling assistant will send alerts to your smartphone, telling you when to flip and when to serve.You can customise alerts, too, so the barbecue knows you want a medium steak, for example, and tell you when it’s there.

How to buy the best BBQ for 2020

How many people you want to cook for, and which fuel or even fuels do you prefer to use. Also important? The price is crucial plus you’ll want a barbecue whose style fits in with your outdoor space.

Price

There’s a huge range of barbecue prices from the very modest, through those costing a few hundred to the investment buy of around £1,000 and upwards. The size of the barbecue has an influence of course, and so does the sophistication of the features, so think carefully about whether you’re looking to replicate the precision of indoor cooking outdoors, or you simply want grilled food with outdoor flavour.

Size

How many people a particular grill size will feed can only ever be a guide. The overall dimensions of the barbecue will count, too, of course, particularly when outdoor space is limited, and if this is the case, you may need to compromise to give yourself room to cook and leave enough space for table and chairs.

Fuel

For some, it has to be charcoal for an authentic barbecue flavour. Remember that you’ll need to factor in the time for the fuel to heat up if you cook this way, and it can be tricky to get an even temperature. A gas barbecue, on the other hand, is easy to start and quick to heat up. Heating should be even and the temperature can be easily controlled. You will have to deal with the gas canisters. If you can’t decide between the two, dual fuel hybrid models mean you don’t have to. There are also electric grills for creating your alfresco meals. They’re convenient but there’s no smoke, of course. Smokers can use different fuels for their low temperature slow cooking.

Cleaning up

A gas barbecue means less cleaning up than a charcoal design, and you won’t need to dispose of the ash either. Other than that, take a look at whether you can use the dishwasher to help you clean up after cooking.

Storage

If your outdoor space has some room to spare, you might like to opt for a model which offers storage as well as cooking, or at least a little room for sauce bottles and herbs to add to your food. Foldable shelves are a boon when the cooking’s over and you want to take back some space.

Don’t forget that the barbecue itself will need storage in winter – or a good cover. Wheels to help you move it into storage are also handy if it’s a weighty model.

Check out these outdoor cooking ideas: