Best charcoal barbecue 2021: the best classic grills for summer

Large and portable charcoal barbecues to make your summer go with a swing

best charcoal barbecue 2020
(Image credit: Francesco Paggiaro | Pexels)

Owning the best charcoal barbecue out there is the most prized garden gadget objective for many summer grillers, whatever the merits of gas, pellets and even electric fuel might be. For the garden, patio, beach, campsite or RV, the best charcoal grills are a great choice, and we've found the best of the best. We’ve rummaged through our more in-depth barbecue guide to pull out the five best garden and travel-friendly charcoal grillers.

• The best gas barbecues shortlist

You'll find much longer reviews to these charcoal grills in the guides below. So, dodge those tedious garden centre queues and order from our reputable online retail partners instead.

Further reading:

Best charcoal barbecues, in order of preference

Best charcoal barbecue: Napoleon Pro 22K-LEGT3 Best Buy logo

1. Napoleon Pro 22K

Best charcoal kettle barbecue

Grill size: 22 inches
For: Garden & patio
Reasons to buy
+Adjustable height grill+Lid with offset hinge+Top build quality

This Canadian kettle barbecue fulfils all the criteria of a top-drawer griller: a hinged lid for both indirect and direct cooking, an adjustable-height, cast-iron cooking grate, ash catcher, integral thermometer, foldable grill plates for adding charcoal and four sturdy legs. Say no more.

best charcoal barbecue: Weber Master-Touch

2. Weber Master-Touch

Best Weber charcoal BBQ

Grill size: 22 inches
For: Garden & patio
Reasons to buy
+Reliable performer+Extremely durable

The world-conquering Master-Touch doesn’t come with an adjustable height grill or a hinged lid but it will survive a decade of harsh winter storage. It also features Weber’s innovative Gourmet grill insert system – simply remove the centre and slap in the optional wok, pizza stone or poultry roaster. If reliability, build quality and brand kudos are your main prerequisites, then venture no further than this cracking model. Just be sure to avoid buying from any unethical sellers trying to capitalise on the current situation.



Best portable charcoal grill

Grill size: 10 inches
For: Balconies & picnics
Reasons to buy
+Stylish design+Easy to carry

• Buy the Everdure Cube for £149 at John Lewis & Partners

Looking for a classy portable that’s properly designed for grilling on the go? Try this chic little number from food voodoist Heston Blumenthal. The porcelain enamelled Cube comes with a 10-inch grill designed to prevent sausages from rolling off onto the beach sand and a sealed lid that doubles as a food storage and prep tray. A top-dollar option for discerning guerrilla grillers.

best charcoal barbecue: TEPRO TORONTO CLICK

(Image credit: Tepro)


Best budget charcoal barbecue for families

Grill size: 22 x 16 inches
For: Garden & patio
Reasons to buy
+Great price+Raisable charcoal grate

•Buy the Tepro Toronto Click from Amazon for £125

If you’re looking for a very keenly-priced charcoal barbecue that’s well designed and big enough for a party of six, consider this crafty German designed model. Aside from its ample 22 x 16-inch cooking grate, hinged lid with integral warmer rack, built in thermometer and folding side shelf, the Toronto Click also features a raisable charcoal tray that you simply wind up and down using the crank handle. Granted, the materials used aren't the finest in town but you still get an awful lot for your money. Its clever click together system, meanwhile, makes it pretty easy to assemble. A great budget barbie for families.

best charcoal barbecue: LotusGrill

5. LotusGrill

Best portable charcoal BBQ for instant grilling

Grill size: 12 inches
For: Balconies & picnics
Reasons to buy
+Fan-assisted heating+Almost smokeless+Comes with a carry bag

• Buy the LotusGrill for £126 at Amazon

This fan-powered barbecue creates less smoke than any other model on the market so contemplate nabbing one for the balcony or campsite. The LotusGrill’s battery-powered fan heats up charcoal in less than five minutes while its snap-on 12-inch grill provides enough meal estate for up two – or three at a pinch. Available in seven powder-coated colours.