Best barbecue 2021: get grilling with our roundup of the best charcoal, gas and hybrid BBQs

Turn up the heat with the best barbecue ahead of summer 2021, featuring BBQs from Weber, Char-Broil, Everdure and more

best bbq
(Image credit: Weber)

Reclaim your garden with the best barbecue of 2021. We've featured some of the best gas, charcoal and hybrid barbecues ahead of this year's BBQ season, so you can have your new grill delivered and assembled in time for a summer of alfresco entertaining. 

Our guide to the best barbecue features some seriously premium grills from the likes of Weber, Everdure, Char-Broil, and Kamado Joe, but we've also featured some surprise budget winners that you can find at your local Argos, B&Q or John Lewis. Whether you need a portable barbecue for travelling or something more stationary to equip your outdoor kitchen, we've got something for everyone right here.

We've divided the best BBQs by type, including charcoal, gas and hybrid options. Some prefer the classic smokey charcoal kettle grill, whereas others opt for the ease of ignition and large grilling area you'll find with the best gas barbecues. Size is also a factor, because if it's just you and your partner you're cooking for, that four-burner BBQ may be a bit excessive. Likewise, a little kettle grill won't do the job if you want to throw sensational summer barbecues for your family and friends. Keep reading for our top picks of gas, electric, hybrid and charcoal barbecues for every home. 

What type of barbecue is best? 

The best barbecues of 2021 by type

Charcoal barbecues

Charcoal barbecues give that traditional smokey flavour, and they're also some of the more affordable options. You don't need to hook these barbecues up to any supply of fuel, so they're great for taking with you on your travels. 

Gas barbecues 

Gas barbecues offer the convenience of easy and instant ignition, and allow you to control the temperature of your grill for that perfectly juicy steak and no burnt kebabs.

Hybrid barbecues

A hybrid combines both, which can offer a great versatility for those who like to switch it up. Some have different burners for gas and charcoal, while others allow you to pick a fuel type and utilise the entirety of the barbecue. 

Best charcoal barbecues 2021

Perhaps it’s the rugged and almost primitive nature that makes cooking on a charcoal BBQ such a treat. Gas options have risen dramatically in popularity over the past few years but if you are after that authentic smokey taste then you cannot beat a charcoal BBQ. From the pocket-friendly open grills to the outright extravagant American-style smokers, we round up the best charcoal BBQ’s to suit every budget

1. Rösle 25001 Number 1 F50 AIR Kettle Grill

Best barbecue for beginners: this charcoal barbecue couldn't be easier to use

Specifications
Type: Charcoal
Dimensions: L86 x W62 x H48cm
Colours: Black
Reasons to buy
+Practical hinge lid+Rubber wheels to provide a sturdy base and for ease of movement+High quality performance+Durable kettle grill+Comfortable working height and large grill surface 
Reasons to avoid
-It's not the cheapest -The kettle design lacks larger grilling areas

Everyone has to start somewhere when it comes to barbecuing and the Rösle 25001 Number 1 F50 AIR Kettle Grill is a good place to start. With its easy to use ventilation system and built in ash removal container, the Rösle will have you flipping burgers in no time. Unlike other kettle grills, the Rösle comes with a practical hinged lid which means there is never the need to remove it, just flip it back and feast.

It comes partly pre-assembled to make it easy and fast to set up and once it's going you're not on your own. The simple AIR control system can be used at the turn of a knob.

2. Weber One Touch E4710

Best charcoal barbecue: the classic charcoal barbecue

Specifications
Type: Charcoal
Dimensions: L118.1 x W71.1 x H121.9cm
Colours: Blaze red
Reasons to buy
+Reasonably priced+Ash catcher included+Lightweight+All-weather wheels+Tool hooks in-built
Reasons to avoid
-A smaller option-Only one burner

The traditional kettle charcoal barbecue is a classic for a reason. Take this one from Weber on the go with its tripod design and two rear wheels. 

For smaller families or small spaces, you'll find this barbecue more than capable of catering to your every need this summer. It's not the largest you can buy, but it maxes out on cooking space for the overall size with a 47cm diameter kettle. 

Available for around £200, we recommend the Weber One Touch E4710 for those who want a tried and trusted brand barbecue without the high price tag. 

3. Kamado Joe KJ23RH Classic Charcoal Grill

Best kamado charcoal barbecue: ideal for serious outdoor cooking enthusiasts

Specifications
Type: Charcoal
Dimensions: L118.1 x W71.1 x H121.9cm
Colours: Blaze red
Reasons to buy
+Perfect for smoking from 225F all the way to searing at 750F.+Patented Ash Drawer – with a slide-out drawer, cleanup is easy. +Locking wheels for ease of movement.
Reasons to avoid
-It's an expensive option-At 85kg it's a hefty barbecue that's not designed for travelling

The Kamado Joe KJ23RH Classic Charcoal Grill really is for BBQ enthusiasts that mean business. It may come with a hefty price tag but the Kamado Joe provides the ultimate barbecuing experience - from low and slow to rapid roast, it does it all. 

This charcoal barbecue has a multi-level half-moon cooking system to revolutionise your BBQ experience by allowing you the space to cook different foods in different styles at different temperatures—all at the same time.

It comes in a striking blaze red colour and the ash drawer makes it easy to remove ash when cleaning. 

4. Berghoff Tabletop Bbq

Best travel charcoal barbecue: designed for outdoor adventures

Specifications
Type: Charcoal
Dimensions: L35 x W35 x H22 centimetres
Colours: Black and white
Reasons to buy
+Sleek lightweight portable design with removable silicone carry handle+Grill on the go+Cork lid that doubles up as a heatproof mat+Sturdy drum design made from carbon steel+Clip on handle+Choice of two chic colours
Reasons to avoid
-Limited use in the garden-Expensive for its size

Take camp cooking to a whole new level with the BergHOFF portable barbeque. This miniature charcoal grilling machine may not pack as much of a punch in terms of grill space as its big brothers and sisters but it can really hold its own when it comes to portable outdoor cooking - in fact it is at the top of its class. 

Complete with a removable soft silicone carry strap and cork lid that doubles up as a heatproof mat, this perfectly portable BBQ is ready to go on any adventure. 

Whether you’re heading off for a relaxing day on the beach or a picnic in the park, the BergHOFF portable BBQ will become your favourite cooking companion.

5. Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker

Best slow barbecue: ideal for fans of American low and slow barbecuing

Specifications
Type: Charcoal
Dimensions: H79.8 X W37.4 X D37.4cm
Colours: Black
Reasons to buy
+Available in 3 sizes+Integrated water pan and charring+Sleek bullet design+Tiered cooking area large enough to smoke-cook ribs and brisket at the same time+Built to last and comes with a 10 year warranty
Reasons to avoid
-Small grill size for the overall frame 

Fans of classic American barbeque know that it is all about the smoke when it comes to adding flavour to your food. The Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker is perfect for rustling up stacks of smoked goodness - whether it’s succulent salmon, tender pulled pork or delicious smoked cheese, the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker is your new best friend. 

Not only does this stylish piece of kit add that classic smokey American flavour, it also comes in 3 sizes to suit your space and four rust-resistant aluminium dampers to help control airflow within the cooking chamber. This tried and true BBQ includes a built in water pan to help you regulate the temperature as well as two stacking grates giving you plenty of room to create a real Southern feast. 

Adding coal or maple wood to the charcoal chamber is made easy with a sturdy aluminium fuel door and the bars are close enough together to stop the crumbling coals or wood from falling through.

Cooking with gas

Gas barbecues are some of the best barbecues you can buy. They have easy ignition and all you need to do is hook them up to a bottle of gas to get the party started. No fiddly firelighting required! Typically these BBQs can be found in the states, where people love their convenience and have large enough gardens to accommodate the often generous size. If that sounds like you, opt for gas! 

1. Everdure by Heston Blumenthal Force 2 Burner Gas BBQ

Best gas barbecue: an iconic gas BBQ that's perfect for families

Specifications
Type: Gas
Dimensions: H106.7 x W117.5 x D74.3cm
Colour: Mint, Orange, Charcoal
Reasons to buy
+Looks great+Family-sized design+Lockable castors+Lightweight frame+Variable flame control
Reasons to avoid
-Self-assembly required

Last year's standout gas BBQ; the Everdure By Heston Blumenthal FORCE 2 impressed across the board for its slick design and powerful cooking. Available in three colours - mint, orange and charcoal, and including accessories and a BBQ cover when you buy, there's everything you need to get the party started.

When off duty, this barbecue looks a treat, but it's a brilliant burner too. The ignition is ergonomic and it claims to fire up to temperature in five minutes, meaning you can cook in a hurry and not waste your gas supply as it heats up. 

The convection hood is extra high, designed to fit a 6kg turkey, so you can also use this gas BBQ for bulkier tasks than just a burger. The hood and grill plates are enamel coated, designed for easy cleaning. 

2. Char-Broil All-Star 120 B-GAS

Best small gas BBQ: convenient and portable

Specifications
Type: Gas
Size: H110xW101xL64.6cm
Colours: Black
Reasons to buy
+Detachable from its base for tabletop use+Lighter than most+Side shelves fold away+Designed for balconies 
Reasons to avoid
-Not the largest cooking area-The frame is on the flimsy side

Electric ignition makes the Char-Broil All-Star 120 B-GAS easy to use, and it comes on a portable frame on four casters. This barbecue can also be taken out of the stand and placed on a tabletop, making it even more portable.

According to Char-Broil this BBQ was designed for balconies and small gardens. Its cooking area is 46cm in diameter which isn't huge, but it's certainly big enough for a few steaks.

Other thoughtful touches include the lid, which has an in-built thermometer, and the TRU-Infrared cooking system which claims to cut back on flare-ups and wasted gas. 

3. Outback Excel Onyx 2-Burner Gas Trolley BBQ

Best budget gas barbecue: gas cooking at a relatively low price

Specifications
Type: Gas
Dimensions: H103 x W119.5 x D56.5cm
Colours: Black
Reasons to buy
+Portable+Side burner+Bottom storage shelf+Hooks for tool storage
Reasons to avoid
-On the small side

Gas cooking is very convenient, so the Outback Excel Onyx 2-Burner is a great budget-friendly way of getting in on the action. It's got a 50 x 36cm cooking area that can handle up to 15 burgers at once, and the lid has an in-built thermometer for easy use.

The grill is porcelain-coated wire, which is hardy and easy to clean. It's also got a side burner which is great for knocking up side dishes while you barbecue the main meal. 

With a warming rack and attachments for all your cooking tools, this barbecue really packs in a lot for the price. 

4. Kuhn Rikon Table Top BBQ

Best travel gas barbecue: this table top options is perfect for trips

Specifications
Type: Gas
Dimensions: H39, W44, D97cm
Colours: Wood arms, black frame
Reasons to buy
+Take it on the go+Foldable arms and legs+Can be placed on a table (or buy a frame) +Affordable
Reasons to avoid
-Camping gas can be tricky to source

Portability is key if you want to enjoy barbecues at the beach, in a campsite or even in a park (rules permitting, of course). The Kuhn Rikon Table Top BBQ offers portability and much more. Its fold-out arms are great for prepping a feast when far away from the kitchen and it has legs for security when placing it on a table. 

The cooking area is a reasonable 47 x 35cm and it weighs only 19kg, which isn't too weighty for taking on the go. 

You will need to buy a specific camping gas barbecue cartridge for this, but an Amazon search ought to bring one up! 

Best hybrid barbecues 2021

Can't choose between the best charcoal barbecue or a gas alternative? Why not pick both. The best hybrid barbecues are surprisingly affordable given their versatility, and some even come with two cooking zones so you can operate different fuel types simultaneously. 

1. Char-Broil Gas2Coal Hybrid Grill

Best premium hybrid barbecue: our tried and tested top hybrid grill

Specifications
Type: Hybrid
Dimensions: 62.5 x 134.4 x 120.7cm
Colour: Black
Reasons to buy
+Side burner+Charocal tray is designed to prevent flare-ups+Warming rack
Reasons to avoid
-Arms can't be taken down for storage

Designed to run entirely on either gas or coal, you can switch out the Char-Broil Gas2Coal Hybrid Grill based on the dish you're cooking or simply your mood. 

The warming rack keeps food warm and can toast burner buns while you work on the main event, and there are two side arms (one with a side burner) to support you as you go. 

Ignition is convenient and electronic, and the charcoal tray makes it easy to clean and switch out the type of fuel you use. 

2. Rockwell Gas & Charcoal Hybrid Barbecue

Best hybrid barbecue: for those who want a versatile option

Specifications
Type: Gas and charcoal
Dimensions: L58.5 x W135.5 x H109.8cm
Colours: Black
Reasons to buy
+Large cooking area+Dual fuel - charcoal & gas option.+Integrated storage and warming rack.+All grills are dishwasher safe
Reasons to avoid
-Bulky-Not the prettiest

For devout charcoal barbequers the idea of incorporating gas may be sacrilege but if you sit on the fence when it comes to gas or charcoal cooking then this is the BBQ for you. 

It has a large cooking surface on both sides which makes it perfect for entertaining and has an attached bottle opener to crack open a cold one whilst cooking up a storm.

This unique hybrid offers the best of both worlds - charcoal for an authentic smokey taste and gas for easy-to-adjust heat. The best part? Both methods can be used at the same time; so whilst your cajun spice chicken is cooking on the coals, your veggie sausages can be sizzling on the gas. Win-win.

3. Argos Premium Dual Fuel Charcoal & Gas Combi BBQ

Best large hybrid barbecue: for entertaining or extravagant meals

Specifications
Type: Hybrid
Dimensions: H116, W139, D59cm
Colours: Black
Reasons to buy
+Cook with charcoal and gas+Different cooking areas can run simultaneously+Large and great for entertaining
Reasons to avoid
-Looks are lacking-Assembly takes time

Given its immense size, the Argos Premium Dual Fuel Charcoal & Gas Combi BBQ is very affordable. It's a bit lacking in the looks department, with a minimal frame and a side arm jutting out, but there's loads of room for storage and a range of convenient features. 

You can use the left burner for gas and right for charcoal, or run them simultaneously for the added convenience of cooking two types of meat at the same time. The front shelf is designed to hold condiments and oil for added ease of use. 

How to choose the best barbecue

Portability

Some barbecues are designed to be taken on the go. Whether you want to take it camping or simply make storage easier, opting for a lightweight barbecue with wheels or a removable base will make this easier.

Price

The best barbecue could cost as much as £1,000. Sometimes you'll pay even more for a professional-level option from a top brand like Weber or Kamado Joe. They can come in for under £100 though, so there really is a barbecue out there for every budget. 

Size

Cooking for a crowd? The more burners the merrier when it comes to entertaining. This will allow you to cook various dishes at once and cater to large groups all at the same time. Some come with warming shelves so you can still serve everything simultaneously, and others have side burners to prepare sauces and dips while you cook.