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The best charcoal BBQ UK will enhance your meal with a great method for flavour intensity, delivering smoky, beautifully charred, moist, and tender meat.
With our charcoal BBQ reviews UK, we will help you to enlighten your knowledge about charcoal barbeque for use, relevant popular questions, and how to choose one for your needs, preference, and budget.
A charcoal barbeque is a great choice for a budget-friendly product compared to gas alternatives, and there is no problem with the setup process.
It can be perfectly chill for an evening with nice weather at your place. Friends and family can gather together around a barbeque grill. The smell wandering in the air and flavour of food can bring a wonderful atmosphere. After all, we can also expect to have a meal with great cooks.
Here are some general reviews and information to get to know a charcoal BBQ better. Let’s expand our barbeque horizons together!
Table of Contents
- What Is A Charcoal BBQ?
- How To Choose The Best Charcoal BBQ UK?
- Best Charcoal BBQ Reviews UK 2023
- 1. Weber Compact 47cm Charcoal BBQ – Best For Portability
- 2. George Foreman GFKTBBQ Charcoal BBQ – Best For Temperature Control
- 3. Weber Smokey Joe® Premium – Best Small BBQ
- 4. Grandma Shark BBQ Grill – Best Budget Charcoal BBQ UK
- 5. Tepro Grillwagen Toronto Click Charcoal Barbecue – Best For Convenience
- 6. CosmoGrill Outdoor XL Smoker Barbecue – Best Spacious BBQ
What Is A Charcoal BBQ?
A charcoal barbecue is an outdoor grill powered from charcoal as a fuel source held by a charcoal grate. You can choose coals from briquettes or natural lumpwood for cooking food, leaving a unique lovely smoky flavour.
There’s no rule for when to use charcoal barbecues. It’s up to you as they are great for outdoor cooking in all four seasons throughout the year. You can use them on chill winter days as well as summertime.
After firing up, you can apply any techniques to cook on a charcoal grill, either cooking food slowly or quickly. And in the end, you can achieve that amazingly grilled steak or longer-cooking pulled chicken.
How To Choose The Best Charcoal BBQ UK?
As BBQ grills come in various shapes, types, functions, they can make us confused when considering which one to buy. Keep in mind the following criteria:
Types of Charcoal Grills
It may be a considerate decision when choosing the type of charcoal grills, depending on how you like to cook, the time you spend on cooking, and their features. Aslo, here we divide them into three main categories: kettle, barrel, ceramic, or kamado.
A kettle is absolutely the well-known type that will come across your head for a charcoal grill. The unique point of this type is that it has a tapered appearance, larger at the top and gradually smaller at the bottom. And by this, it can be easy to have a deep bed of lumpwood maintaining longer heat.
If you want to sear some chicken, pulled pork, requiring a longer time for cooking, a kettle grill might be your choice.
Next, we have a barrel type larger than the kettle one but shallow, nearly like a barrel. Because of the bigger size, there are a large number of briquets required, so it is likely to burn out quickly.
It specialises in a fast cooking method for a bunch of wieners, hamburgers, and smoked steaks at once.
Here comes a kamado type of grills that might be a bit expensive but also iconic ones. They are really large and carry a lot of briquets holding the heat for long.
These grills also offer you overall cooking control for all-purpose grilling, including briskets, turkeys, bacon.
Size Of Charcoal Grills
A factor for choosing the size of barbeque is to figure out how many people you mostly cook for at a time, as we assume:
Standard barbecues for a group of four to six people: These grills are sufficient for most families yet may not be suitable for bigger meals for a reunion, for instance.
Large BBQs in case you are catering for 8 guests or more: You also need more coal fuel. Therefore, they seem quite high-end products with a lot of briquets required.
Portable barbecues can be a perfect idea for anyone going for a picnic or camping. They are so handy and portable, as we call them. Hence, all problems are solved for a picnic lover. For a versatile barbeque like this, it can serve less than five people. So don’t be disappointed with this while it comes with a wide range of prices for your preference and needs.
Features Should Be Expected To Buy The Best BBQ
Some of these features can help you to make up your mind when purchasing a new barbecue.
Sturdy design: It is suggested to go for a solid material or stainless material so that it can place firmly on the ground during any sudden wind or shake. The durable material can help to withstand rainy days or wet weather.
Adjustable height: it can help to keep your kid away and feel free to cook. The heat level also depends on raising or lowering your grill.
Air vents: this will control airflow and manipulate the heat to cook faster.
A solid lid: lid functions to keep heat. Check if they may be too hot to lift up and then hard to check your food.
Warming rack: keep your food warm until you are ready to serve so you don’t have to worry about your food getting cold.
Wheels: they can be mobile to get your grill to the perfect cooking spot.
Ash collector: this will make your cleanup task easier as they will collect ash under the grill.
Temperature gauge: give you the exact temperatures for your cooking styles or certain kinds of food.
An integrated door: provide you a convenient way to add more coals to your grills during your barbecuing without any interruptions and making your food consistent.
Check If it’s Easy to Clean
When it comes to barbeques, we highly suggest you check the product carefully if the cleaning process can be harsh for you or not.
There might be different features between barbecue options to make cleaning easier, especially with a kettle.
By any cooking method, you will eventually leave stain spitting over your barbeque, so cleaning is an inevitable part of it. Thus, to make it the most convenient to you, with the best kettle BBQ, you just need to get rid of charcoal and stain from the base before cleaning, and that is quite a piece of cake.
Compared to other BBQs, you can notice some of them might have a catchment filter under the cooking surface itself. Your job now is simply to remove the lid after you’ve done with your cooking.
That is pretty straightforward for someone who does not want any trouble with cleaning, but who on earth wants? So that seems to be a nice option for anyone looking for a simple technique to wrap things up.
Best Charcoal BBQ Reviews UK 2023
While there are numerous options available in the market, we will figure out some distinctive features of our best charcoal BBQ UK to make it clear to you. Let’s dive right into it!
1. Weber Compact 47cm Charcoal BBQ – Best For Portability
- Brand: Weber
- Material: Plastic
- Item Dimensions: 53.1 x 54.1 x 87.9 cm
- Weight: 7 kg
- Diameter: 47 cm
Weber Compact BBQ can totally blow your mind for its design, making the best of limited outdoor space, including balconies, patios, small yards.
There are 2 large wheels for effortless transport. With two crack-proof wheels on one side, you can easily move this unit to and from the perfect BBQ spot.
If you want to move to a new spot when camping, carrying it is a real doss for its weight of only 7 kg. It is also perfectly portable for any picnic without taking up too much space in your package, thanks to the compact size of 53.1 x 54.1 x 87.9 cm.
This model is well designed for ultimate durability. The porcelain enamelled bowl with lid has two weather-proof handles providing a protective heat shield, making your hand safer from heat when lifting it to check the food. Also, the shield ensures that there’s always a consistent heat level inside to evenly grill your food.
The lid even includes rust-proof aluminium vents combined with the ones at the base of the bowl, which allows accurate airflow for heat when baking.
If you are asking for this item to be cleaned, the answer is a rust-proof aluminium catcher underneath the bowl that collects ash and embers that slip out the base air vents. It is also useful for reducing burn or scorch marks on the ground below the BBQ.
- It is big enough for serving a small family and pretty light
- The ash catcher is well located
- The grill is easy to get clean
- Easy to assemble
- Bottom wire rack
- Ten-year warranty
- The wheel is quite wobbly
2. George Foreman GFKTBBQ Charcoal BBQ – Best For Temperature Control
- Brand: George Foreman
- Item Dimensions: 60 x 114 x 98 cm
- Materials: Chrome steel grill
- Item Weight: 8.98 kg
- Diameter: 45 cm
The George Foreman barbecue has a 45cm tray catering just for small to medium-sized families.
But don’t overlook its ability. It comes with an integrated temperature gauge that can keep optimum searing temperatures stable, allowing you to cook faster.
The lid crafted integrated thermostat helps maintain a precise cooking temperature at all times. Please note that the temperatures inside and outside are different. For example, if the thermometer measures 202 degrees C, the temperature inside could reach 220 degrees C. So remember to do some matches to find the right point for a perfect smoky note.
There’s also a grease collection tray at the bottom to keep track of your healthy grilled foods, minimising any extra fat. The BBQ also has a filter plug for preventing big chunks of charcoal from falling down. For this, the after cleanup task becomes much easier to get rid of the remaining ash at the plug.
The lid is assumed to be awkwardly large for barbecuing. Plus, the formidable lid can be too hot to handle as well as lift up the lid to add some ingredients or check the food. The difficult part is hanging it off the kettle. Other than being hot, you also need to get it balanced while adjusting the attached hooks.
- Come with a convenient wire storage rack
- An enamelled bowl and lid with cool-touch handles
- Manoeuvrability for going camping, picnic
- Easy to clean
- It may be a bit shorter than some may expect
- The thermostat is easy to fall out
3. Weber Smokey Joe® Premium – Best Small BBQ
- Brand: Weber
- Material: Alloy Steel
- Item Dimensions: 42 x 36 x 43 cm
- Item weight: 5.48 kg
- Diameter: 37 cm
The Weber Smokey Joe owns a modest 37 cm cooking area and 43 cm for its modest height, which is the smallest BBQ on our list. And you have to sit down while grilling due to its short design.
It is suitable for serving a family of four. Every member can sit around the campfire and enjoy the party. For camping, it is also desirable to put in the boot of a car or a camper van to any place the journey takes you without a mess.
This best small charcoal BBQ Uk is extremely resistant to harsh weather conditions as they are made by an entire porcelain-enamel steel bowl and weather-proof lid with a protective heat shield, expanding their long lifetime through any devastating days.
Coming in with the lid lock to the bowl, it helps carry the BBQ around without any problem. The design is really well thought out as the lock also keeps the lid tight when not in use. And it can keep you secure from the heat when lighting the charcoal using some wind booster.
Besides, the cleaning part is quite tricky. Even using a liquid or detergent, you can not easily get away with the sticky outer surface of the lid.
Removing the coals is also a big problem when you need to dig your hands into the remains of charcoal. The grid for charcoal is easy to fall out and can’t hold any coals from dropping around.
- Durable product
- Great accessories provided
- Simple to assemble
- Enamel on the lid can crack
- Catering for a limited number of people
4. Grandma Shark BBQ Grill – Best Budget Charcoal BBQ UK
- Brand: GRANDMA SHARK
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Item dimensions: 73 x 33 x 16 cm (when folded)
- Weight: 3.86 kg
- Cooking area: 73 x 33 cm
Grandma Shark BBQ is outstanding over any grills available in the market for its high-quality stainless steel material at an affordable price.
While it is pocket-friendly to any barbecue lover, the cheapest doesn’t mean the dearest. Its materials can withstand any extreme weather days, staying still by air or water and not changing the colour. You might think this material of steel is likely heavy, but it is quite light (3.86 kg) and also trouble-free for cleanup.
Along with steel features, it is also crafted with anti-scalding handles on both sides of the barbecue. When transporting, this can be so manoeuvrable and safely diminish burning by residual temperature.
Plus, the legs can be folded up for easy storage (73 x 33 x 16 cm) and only take a modest footprint in the trunk of your car. Just throw it in your backpacks and head out with these portable steel grills for a great adventure.
This unit also has a cross-shaped net that keeps the food from falling into the briquettes, and there are clips to remove the charcoal. All the accessories added to improve your barbecuing performance beyond your expectation at a very attractive price.
It’s such a pity that you don’t have the best budget charcoal BBQ Uk. On the other hand, it is important to note that the metal of this appliance may be easy to dent. Also, it may not include temperature control.
- Suitable for a group of people – up to 10 people
- Appropriate temperature control at both ends of the air vents
- Mobile unit
- Assembly required
- Easy-to-dent the metal
5. Tepro Grillwagen Toronto Click Charcoal Barbecue – Best For Convenience
- Brand: Tepro
- Material: Alloy Steel
- Colour: Anthracite/Stainless Steel
- Item dimensions: 67 x 115 x 107 cm
- Cooking area: 56 x 41.5 cm
- Weight: 25.4 kg
This Tepro Toronto BBQ truly lives up to its name as a convenient design for grilling. They build an integrated front door on the side for you to add more charcoal when needed. You don’t need to take out food and the grate to put in more fuel. This way, your cooking is more consistent, less cumbersome, and the food will be done evenly.
Moreover, a double-tiered grate is beneficial for expanding a large cooking area. You can prepare a new chain of raw food on the second grate, ready to cook after you are done with one. Otherwise, you can set food that you have just done on it, in case it burns too fast to lift up to your plates.
To store utensils or cooking ingredients, it provides you with an extra side shelf for keeping whatever you want. It can enhance your cooking process to cook faster and more convenient to access everything you need on a shelf.
As a well-sized BBQ, the crank handle allows the barbeque to adjust its height easily. You might feel free if you want your kids to roll up their sleeves.
As the size of the grill surface is about 56 x 41.5 cm, there’s plenty of room to cook for 6 to 8 people to invite a couple of guests over your place to cook up a ton of food.
- Wheels for easily moving
- Removable grill grid insert provided
- Easy to clean
- Handy accessories such as bottle opener, hooks, hanging rack, and lower shelf
- Time-consuming instalment
- The material is pretty flimsy and dents easily from knocks.
6. CosmoGrill Outdoor XL Smoker Barbecue – Best Spacious BBQ
- Brand: CosmoGrill
- Item weight: 24 kg
- Item dimensions: 124 x 66 x 113 cm
- Material type: Metal-Plastic
- Cooking area: 58 x 42.5 cm
CosmoGrill Outdoor XL BBQ is considered as our best large charcoal BBQ UK for plenty of cooking space with 58 x 42.5 cm, which can serve for a group of more than 20 people at once for smoking whole baby chickens, wings, steaks, fish, buggers, etc.
Because of intense, efficient work, a thermometer is given to the user to keep track of the temperature. This way, there’s no worries about checking the temperature for the appropriate food you intend to cook, whether you want to sear or grill.
There are two side shelves provided for storing and keeping tools and accessories. A foldable side table makes it even handy while cooking as they make way to access utensils and seasonings quickly.
Plus, a door at the front of the barbecue provides more movement of coal as you don’t have to lift up the food and open the grate out for adding more charcoal. You can simply open the door and top up your cooking without any interruption when running out of fuel.
- Sturdy design
- Come in with a bottle opener and four hooks to hang utensils
- Cleaning is straightforward with removable grill grates and ash pan
- Variable heat distribution around the grill
- Wheels for transportation
- Easy to put together
- A lot of smoke escapes from the sides
Here is a short rundown of each best charcoal BBQ to buy UK. First comes the Weber Compact, with a modest diameter of 47cm, making it portable to anywhere your adventure takes place.
Next, we have George Foreman BBQ, which is assumed as a highly temperature-controlled product to sear your porks, chickens without any problem.
Besides, we provide information for Weber Smokey Joe Grill – the best small charcoal BBQ UK that might amaze you with extreme resistance to terrifying weather conditions as well as long-lasting.
And Grandma Shark BBQ Grill is great for a reasonable budget product with durable material. If convenience is what you value, you can’t go wrong with the Tepro Toronto Barbecue.
And finally, the best for unique design and great large-sized CosmoGrill Outdoor XL should please you if you have many mouths to feed.
You might have something in mind when using charcoal BBQs. To make it clear to you, we provide you with some frequently asked questions below.
Why Charcoal BBQs Over Gas Barbecues?
If you still wonder why you should go for a charcoal grill instead of a gas barbecue, let’s see how the charcoal grill takes the crown.
First, the best charcoal BBQ will accentuate your food with taste intensity and a distinctive flavour.
Charcoal BBQs burn coal when barbecuing, creating an appetising smoky smell and soaking into your food. Yet a gas barbecue can not produce the same aroma as the cooking process is quite different.
Hence, this is something only a kettle unit or even an open charcoal BBQ can be well-performed, and a gas one can’t obtain a similar result.
One more significant point is the matter of versatility. As you want, your grill can be wheeled around anywhere with your camping trip, and then we can sear a ton of food ready to serve. For a gas one, the issue of carrying a gas bottle around is quite a nightmare, and we guess you know the answer.
What Is The Best Charcoal BBQ Brands UK?
There are numerous BBQ options with varying prices, designs and purposes on the market that make you swayed. However, outstanding brands can offer you the best charcoal BBQ that can meet your demands, such as Weber, George Foreman, and CosmoGrill.
The top-notch Weber barbecue brand is well-known for taking initiatives in inventing the kettle grill. It has a smart design with an iconic bowl-shaped grill, sturdy built-in unit, and is especially portable for camping, picnic adventures.
George Foreman has a reputation for pocket-friendly grills. And it is both affordable and easy to use, suitable for those who just started barbecuing.
When it comes to grills from the CosmoGrill manufacturer, they are assumed to have a large space for cooking barbecue and serving a party for 10 to 15 people. So you’d better prepare a large budget.
In short, it seems pretty obvious to us that Weber is the most reliable and famous brand for charcoal BBQ compared to others. With a decent-sized and average price grill, you can cook up a storm with high barbecuing performance. You can take advantage of its portability to be carried for any of your adventures.
Mistakes You Might Avoid When Using Charcoal BBQ?
Forget to Clean The Grill Before Cooking
This step may be forgotten very often, but it is necessary to clean your grill before cooking something new. It can ensure the grill works properly and lasts long.
Left-over food can affect your next cooking part and impart flavour to your food. You can try to preheat the grill to make it easier to remove the food stuck on the surface.
Don’t Pay Attention To The Vents
The vents are for controlling the temperature. You can use them to manipulate the grill temperature when adjusting the vents. These openings control airflow through the grill. The wider they are, the higher the temperature.
They are mostly positioned on the lid itself and on the very bottom of the base, be alert to open up the vents so that the food doesn’t burn.
Lifting The Lid Frequently
You have to be aware that the charcoal grills can become hotter once lifting the lid and making the food burnt. The reason for this is that the oxygen can be absorbed into the lid atmosphere, leading it to burn faster.
Make sure that you wait until the food is nearly done to check whether they are ready to serve, and don’t do that very regularly. And you have to put it back right away once checked unless you want your food inedible because of overburnt food.
Is It Hard To Use Charcoal BBQ?
Absolutely no. It’s a misconception that using charcoal BBQs is way harder than gas BBQs. It may require slightly more effort to burn it up, but it doesn’t seem that difficult.
A little patience and a great choice of coal types can solve the problem. We believe that once you get used to lighting BBQs, there’s no trouble using them compared to gas BBQs.
With numerous barbeque grills out there, it will take you a lot to consider which one will satisfy your need, preference, and budget. We highly recommend you with our best charcoal BBQ UK narrowed down above and hope it can interest you.
From our charcoal BBQ reviews UK, these grills are for someone who wants to show off their cooking skills, enjoying the whole process of cooking, not just the eating part.
If you want to cook a storm to pick up a new skill and get a different appetising kind of flavour and delicious smoky aroma in the end, you might be a potential charcoal grilling person.