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.
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.
- Best barbecue – every type of grill, in depth
- Best small barbecues – for small gardens, balconies and days away
- Best smokers – for the true pit master
Best charcoal barbecues, in order of preference
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.