Barbecue ideas: gas, charcoal and hybrid models

barbecue ideas for both gas and charcoal lovers

National Barbecue Week is kicking off the al fresco season on 3 June, which can only mean one thing – it’s time to get ready for fiery grills, ice-cold drinks and entertaining outdoors. To help you sort out your summer cooking kit, we’ve rounded up the latest BBQs…

But first, which is the right barbecue for you? These days, you can find solutions to cater to any lifestyle, aesthetic and budget. So, there are a few factors you need to take into consideration before you buy.

Outdoor kitchen featuring storage area with built-in barbecue.
Long Island 4 burner barbecue with integrated storage cabinet, £2850, Cox & Cox.

Gas, charcoal or both?

Do you prefer gas or charcoal? A gas barbecue allows you to cook food evenly while the latter offers that unbeatable chargrilled flavour. Can’t decide? Joanna Humphreys, fire and stove specialist at Direct Stoves, shares the pros and cons of each: “For charcoal lovers, nothing can replace the authenticity of burning real solid fuel, from searing steaks and slow-cooking ribs to smoking meat on hot wood chips or simply grilling burgers in a good old-fashioned way. The downsides are getting the fire going, which some people find too time-consuming, and the reduced ability to control the heat.”

If you want to fire up your barbecue in an instant and cook over an even temperature, Joanna says a gas solution is the right choice to make. “Many gas barbecues come with a hood so you can roast inside it, though remember you won’t be able to smoke any foods,” she explains. “The only other possible downside to consider is that gas grills don’t create the same level of radiant heat as charcoal grills and don’t burn as hot. This means you won’t get the same crispy, charred or scorched effect as you would with solid fuel.”

Wish you could have the best of both worlds? Then why not try a hybrid model, which offers both gas and charcoal?

Open barbecue in a modern garden.
Grillstream Hybrid gas/charcoal 6 burner barbecue in stainless steel, £1049, Atkin and Thyme.

What to consider

Do you love entertaining big groups or do you simply enjoy cooking for your family? Think about whether a large barbecue is a wiser solution as opposed to a smaller design, which is more suitable for intimate dinners. The size of your garden or outdoor space will also dictate the size of your barbecue.

It’s also a good idea to look into the extra features that come with different barbecues. “Some models come with additional cooking surfaces, a warming rack, or built-in thermometers,” says Michael Coverley, managing director of The BBQ Shop. “Others might have tool hooks, side tables, or even a smoker box for added versatility. While these features aren’t necessary, they can make your grilling experience more convenient and enjoyable.”

Once you’ve narrowed down your search, Kris Manalo, design lead at Atkin and Thyme, advises you to choose a product that’s made with high-quality materials and craftsmanship, so you can enjoy it for years to come.

Lastly, ensure your barbecue is weatherproof or invest in good covers to protect it from unpredictable British summers. “Look for a barbecue capable of enduring harsh conditions, especially near the sea, without compromising performance,” recommends Knud Augustin, co-founder at Flammkraft.

Ourdoor kitchen with built-in grill and veiny surfaces.
This EO outdoor kitchen, from £25,000, includes a Whistler gas grill and barbecue from The BBQ Shop

Barbecue ideas, from big to small

Ready to shop? The latest barbecues come in a wide range of styles and sizes, from extra large to tiny and portable. In terms of finishes, you can find anything from modern chrome and sleek black designs to custom shades – however, beware this will be more expensive.

We’ve rounded up some of the latest barbecues that have caught our eye to get you inspired. Scroll down…

Colourful barbecue design on a balcony.
OG Barbecue 100 freestanding, £15,402 (delivery charges excluded), Officine Gullo.
Five burner gas and charcoal bbq pictured in a garden.
Grillstream Legacy 5 burner hybrid gas and charcoal BBQ, £699, Garden Street.
Matt black barbecue with a gas tank next to it and food cooking on the grill.
Compact 4 burner gas BBQ, £179.99, VonHaus.
Close up of a multi-functional grill for outdoor kitchens.
Block D (Gen. 5) Infa-red gas grill, from £6790, Flammkraft.
Outdoor kitchen design with drawers for storage, and built-in ovens and grills, and a sink and tap.
Sub-Zero & Wolf Grill in a Gaze Burvill outdoor kitchen. Grills start from £7320.
Food cooking on a three burner barbecue grill.
Char-Broil Special Edition Hybrid Gas2Coal BBQ grill, from £599.99, available at John Lewis.
Product shot of a hybrid grill.
CosmoGrill Hybrid 4 burner barbecue, £349.99, available at Amazon.
Product shot of a matt black gas grill.
Sahara Storm 2 burner gas BBQ, £349, Dobbies.
Product shot of black barbecue.
Pro22K Charcoal black kettle grill, £329.99, Napoleon.
Product shot of an egg-shaped grill with wood handles and on wheels.
Kamado charcoal BBQ, £600, Habitat.
Product shot of a red grill with a black frame.
Kamado Joe Jr Grill and barbecue with cast iron stand, £499, Direct Stoves.
Product shot of a chrome portable grill with red handles.
Picnic charcoal grill, £99.90, Bodum.
Product shot of a stainless steel grill for outdoor dining or preparation tables.
Everhot Grill, £1995, Everhot.

Enjoyed this post? Click here for culinary expert Judi Rose’s top tips for a fiery grill

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