The Char-Griller Duo Combo Grill gives you the benefit of simple charcoal and gas cooking in one unit

Great for outdoor cooking, this grill can crown you king of the tailgate

Char-Griller Duo Combo Grill
(Image credit: Char-Griller)
Livingetc Verdict

The Char-Griller Dual Combo grill is highly adaptable to the cook's needs and has great heat flow and retention for its price. With multiple burners and two barrels, it can do a lot, making it a great choice for outdoor cooking. However, those who don't need as much flexibility might prefer a simpler grill option.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Gas and charcoal grilling in one place

  • +

    Separate temperature controls

  • +

    Barrel shape makes charcoal heating faster

  • +

    438 sqin cooking space

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Difficult to construct with unfinished screw holes

  • -

    Painted finish burnt on first use

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If you want the best of both worlds, the Char-Griller Duo Combo Grill can cook on charcoal and gas at the same time. And with a small side burner for pots, you can cook steamed veggies without stepping indoors - an excellent bonus for summer days when you want to be outside. In fact, the grill comes with plenty of similar surprises to make outdoor cooking a cinch. Given all that the grill offers, the Char-Griller Duo Combo Grill is affordable at $399.

This model is a mix of the brand’s Char-Griller Grillin Pro Gas Grill and their many popular charcoal grills. The right barrel is the charcoal grill with an adjustable charcoal grate, while the left barrel offers two gas burners and the bonus third burner on the side. So, why not steam up some veggies on the side burner, cook fish on the gas burner grill, and then grill up some burgers on the charcoal? If you’re a DIYer who likes to cook a wide variety of food at once, this grill is a steal.

And yet, to have all this and keep the grill affordable, some corners were cut, or so it seems. Assembly came with some challenges, and there were other minor issues. For this review, I used the grill to cook beef burger patties, salmon, and steamed rice, trying every aspect of the grill to get a clear read of what it does and does well. To see how the grill compares with others, check out our guide to the best gas grills.

Char-Griller Duo Combo Grill: Key info

  • Cooking capacity: 438 inches squared
  • Number of burners: 2
  • With a hood? Yes
  • Power: Gas and Charcoal (not included)
  • Ready to cook on in: 10 minutes
  • Color: Black

Char-Griller Duo Combo Grill being tested in writer's home

(Image credit: Future)

Char-Griller Duo Combo Grill: Design

Design wise, the barrel shape and steel body of the Duo Combo on both sides hold in heat well—though perhaps too well on first cooking. Some of the painted finish on these lids seemed to burn off when I closed them, so I recommend keeping them open at the beginning of your use.

The attached side burner to the right is placed out of the way. However, while it felt out of the way, it also felt within reach simultaneously, giving a friend enough elbow room to tend to steaming vegetables or rice. Meanwhile, the side shelf affords hooks for utensils, a nice touch for helping you juggle the various cooking jobs you can perform on this grill.

The leg caps tend to pop off easily, so watch out when moving the grill around the yard. But otherwise, the lightweight construction of the grill didn’t make shifting the grill difficult despite the design’s assembly challenges. I was grilling between days of storms that yielded tornados, and I relocated the grill to the safety of the garage days before any storms rolled in.

Char-Griller Duo Combo Grill being tested in writer's home

(Image credit: Future)

Char-Griller Duo Combo Grill: Set-up

Admittedly, I am not the most talented builder. But even with two people assembling this grill, it was difficult. That’s because the screw holes were not cut all the way, and the original tool used to create these openings left behind burrs on the edges of the holes, which made plugging in the screws to the grill a DIY project in and of itself. We ended up filing down the burrs and widening the screw holes by hand to fit the intended screws.

Then, placing the barrels into the cross-bar base of the grill legs took some time and effort, even with two people. The problem was expanding the legs enough to fit the barrels. As one person held the legs and expanded them enough to take the barrel, the other person had to push the barrel into the stand.

Directions were clear and easy to follow. The only exception was perhaps the makers might consider labeling the screws in the images a bit more. There were several hex nuts to be used, for example, in building the grill, and so which hex nuts worked best where? That decision was left to us. Or maybe which hex nuts to use and where doesn’t matter. Either way, knowing that information would have been helpful.

All in all, it took about an hour and a half to build. Had the burrs not been a factor, it would have taken less time.

salmon being cooked on the Char-Griller Duo Combo Grill during testing

(Image credit: Future)

Char-Griller Duo Combo Grill: Performance

The Char-Griller Duo Combo Grill is great for its flexibility. If you include the optional offset firebox on the grill, you can even use the charcoal side as a smoker. But sticking to the grill as it is, you have plenty of cooking options. Need to grill up fish fast? Choose the gas setting, like I did to cook salmon. Want burgers too? You can actually get them on the charcoal side, which heats up even quicker if you adjust the charcoal grate—doing this, I got burgers cooked thoroughly and evenly.

I credit the superb air flow pattern on the charcoal grill barrel for the delicious burgers, but the grate and its adjustability really made this food possible. Most charcoal grills have air coming up from the bottom, but combining the barrel shape of this grill (allowing air to flow around and through the sides) with the adjustable charcoal grate makes it possible to heat the charcoal side even faster than with other grills. As you adjust the charcoal grate, you move the charcoal directly into the air flow path. If for whatever reason, you want to cook one side of the charcoal slower, you can actually pile more charcoal on one side of the shelf, creating a cooler side.

Using the grate was easy. Made from narrow-gauge steel, the grate offers effective heat transfer. It also has a handle connected by eyehooks, so the only drawback was making sure I swung back the grate enough to catch these hooks, which meant leaning over the grill somewhat. My only recommendation is to always use hot pads when adjusting the grate, even when the grill first heats up.

Char-Griller Duo Combo Grill

(Image credit: Char-Griller)

Char-Griller Duo Combo Grill: Our verdict

The grill is very adaptable to the cook’s needs. And in terms of heat flow and retention, the grill is great for its price point. With all its burners and two barrels, the grill can definitely do a lot.

So, the question you might want to consider is, do you want a grill that can do everything? If so, you would be the king of the tailgate because the Char-Griller Due Combo makes cooking in a totally outside environment a breeze.

For years, Char-Griller has made charcoal grills and smokers that work great, so the brand knows how to deliver a high-quality product. But if you’re someone who doesn’t need all the capabilities this grill brings to the table, you might want to stick with a smaller or simpler grill option.

Michelle Mastro
Freelance contributor

Michelle Mastro is a writer from Indiana who loves to share her passion for travel, home, and culture. When she's not writing, she's exploring her new home in the Midwest after moving from Southern California. Michelle reviews gas grills for Livingetc, putting them to the test in her own backyard and nearby outdoor spaces.