Best BBQ 2018: Top 7 barbecues this summer

We asked our expert colleagues on sister site Ideal Home to give us their top picks of the best BBQs on the market. Here’s what they suggest, should you be heading out into the garden to get grilling this summer:

Barbecued food always somehow tastes better. We’ve rounded up the best BBQs on the market, so that you can enjoy cooking outside all summer long.

The latest models of barbecues come in an array of shapes, sizes and price points. Whether you’re after charcoal or gas, electric or slow-cooker styles, there are a variety of different options to suit every home.

Read on for all the information you need before investing in the best BBQ to suit your needs.

Best BBQs:

1. Char-Broil Gas2Coal Hybrid Grill – best BBQ for charcoal and gas grilling

Best BBQ: Char-Broil Gas2Coal Hybrid Grill

While you used to have to choose between the flavour of coal and the convenience of gas, the Gas2Coal Hybrid Grill from the American BBQ specialist Char-Broil covers both options. This is particularly useful in the UK, where even the best laid plans can be ruined by unpredictable weather.

To get grilling straight away, fire up the three gas-powered burners and cook directly on the 24-inch grill. However, if you’re after that smokey, barbecued flavour, simply slide out the removable tray, place it on top of the hob and fill it with coals. The gas will heat the coals up quickly, and your meat will absorb the smoke.

If the coal runs out, simply fill it back up, or remove the tray to finish off cooking on the gas. This is a good option for parties, when the risk of losing heat can jeopardize your plans. This barbecue is so easy to get up running, it’s also ideal for small-scale grilling sessions whenever the mood strikes.

Additional features include a side grill for cooking with pots and pans, and a shelf with plenty of space for plates. It is reasonably easy to move around, and at such a reasonable price point, it’s a perfect mid-range investment.

Trusted Reviews rating: 5 out of 5 stars

2. Weber Genesis II E-410 – best BBQ for the connoisseur

Best BBQ: Weber Genesis II E-410

Many perfectionists in the barbecuing world choose Weber. Although their kettle charcoal barbecues are more famous, their gas systems work very well, and the Genesis II E-410 is a great addition to the range.

Its four gas-powered burners use Weber’s GS4 Grilling System, and are fitted with porcelain-enamelled cast iron GBS cooking grates and flavouriser bars – which do exactly as their name suggests. Smoking and speed-cooking are made easy with the double-walled air insulated porcelain-enamelled lid.

However, this barbecue is not small, so be prepared to lose a fair portion of your outside space. But useful additions like the Grease Management System make for hassle-free cleaning, and you’ll be glad you invested.

Trusted Reviews rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

3. Medium Big Green Egg – best BBQ for pro-level cooks

Best BBQ: Medium Big Green Egg

If you are willing to invest in an all-out professional level barbecue then the Big Green Egg is for you. Cheaper alternatives don’t quite match up to quality of the original, which has the ability to grill, smoke, bake, sear, slow cook, pan cook, and roast. The ceramic build distributes heat evenly and retains heat – making it the go-to choice for professional chefs. The fact that it also looks great on your patio is an added bonus.

Trusted Reviews rating: 4 out of 5 stars

4. Dancook 1501 – Best easy-to-use BBQ

Best BBQ: Dancook 1501

Dancook, the outdoor-cooking brand from Denmark, has brought minimalism to kettle barbecues. This functional, aesthetic charcoal grill is suitable for both beginners and seasoned professionals. With its stainless steel surfaces and sleek wooden base it looks great in your garden, while providing plenty of surface space for plates and pans while cooking.

This barbecue comes with four wheels and is reasonably lightweight, making for easy wheeling to-and-from the back door to collect food and plates from the kitchen. The grill is also a decent size – at 58cm it can easily fit up to 16 burgers at once.

Dancook claims that their specially-designed kettle liner collects ash and grease, which means it is easier to clean and has a faster preheat time. Fitted with an easy-to-control cooling lid to prevent excessive heat from flames, the Dancook 1501 is a well-designed barbecue that is powerful and easy to use.

Trusted Reviews rating: 4 out of 5 stars

5. Napoleon P500RSIBPK – Best BBQ for parties

Best BBQ: Napoleon P500RSIBPK

This barbecue might not have the catchiest name, but it is excellent in all other respects. The price is its only drawback, but even then you certainly do get value for money. The Napoleon has an impressive six burners and a grilling area of 5802cm2. It is perfect for BBQ enthusiasts who love to cook huge amounts, for parties or individual sittings. It is solid and weighty owing to its stainless steel frame, yet reasonably easy to wheel around, even when loaded with gas canisters. These are hidden neatly in a cupboard under the grill.

There’s an infrared side burner, which is useful for heating up additional dishes that need a little more control, and the infrared rotisserie burner at the back of the barbecue can be upgraded with a charcoal tray, which is bought separately.

The whole barbecue is thoroughly high-quality, down to the metallic burner knobs which are a touch of class. Just remember, there is no excuse for serving up anything other than perfection when using this piece of kit.

Trusted Reviews rating: 4 out of 5 stars

6. Weber Smokey Joe Premium – Best portable BBQ

Best BBQ: Weber Smokey Joe Premium

If you’re after a barbecue that isn’t confined to your back garden, then the Weber Smokey Joe Premium is a good option. Weber have expertly combined portability with craftsmanship without compromising cooking quality, so you can take your grilling to any beach, park or field. The 37cm grill is small enough to carry around, whilst being big enough to cook for around 3 people, more if you replenish the coals and cook in shifts. The porcelain-enamelled, rust-resistant lid means that heat is retained even in the most testing elements. Plus, the fire-resistant lid handle and detachable carry handle mean that if you suddenly need to up and move, you won’t scald yourself.

Trusted Reviews rating: 4 out of 5 stars

7. Ozpig – best BBQ and heating combination

Best BBQ: Ozpig

The Ozpig is both a barbecue and a heater, providing warmth to your outdoor patio as you cook. This is particularly useful in countries where the weather can take a turn for the worse without warning.

The Ozpig’s main body is a barrel-shaped wood burner, which radiates heat in all directions, including, most importantly, straight up onto the grill. Although at 38cm it doesn’t have a big surface area, the flavour profile you get from cooking with wood and the added benefit of warmth outdoors makes this a worthy trade-off.

It also comes with a chimney, so smoke won’t blow into your eyes or clothes. There’s a nifty table attachment for storing food and plates, and a selection of optional accessories, like the diffuser, for controlling cooking temperatures, or a rotisserie, for roasting entire carcasses.

Trusted Reviews rating: 4 out of 5 stars

How to buy the best BBQ for you

Buying a barbecue is a significant investment, and prices vary drastically between models. Start by setting out a price range you’re happy with, and match your needs with what you can afford. Fuel is one of the most important considerations, and it’s a controversial area. Some people believe that the flavour of cooking with charcoal is incomparable to gas. It’s down to personal preference – for some, gas flames do impart enough of a smokey taste.

To complicate matters further, it is possible to buy barbecues that heat charcoals with gas-powered flames. When juices from the meat drop down onto the coals, this creates the smoke, and the flavour. Get rid of the coals, and you get rid of the extra taste.

Alternatively, you could choose a smoker, which intensifies the smokey flavour through slow cooking, while keeping large pieces of meat nice and tender.

The main issue with gas and charcoal is that you need to stock up, which can be inconvenient. If this is an issue, then electric barbecues are the perfect solution. All you need to do is plug them in and you’re good to go. Naturally, some might say this is no different to cooking in your kitchen, but with a lid to keep in the heat and smoke, you’re still getting that BBQ feel.

How much should I spend on  the best BBQ for me?

This is a difficult question to answer, as the possibilities are endless. You could make a saving and opt for a portable barbecue, or invest in a professional-level grill with all the trimmings. Most people settle somewhere between the two. A barbecue that costs between one and a few hundred will most likely fulfil your needs. However, make sure you remember to factor in fuel costs, as gas and coal varies in price and could make a difference if you’re grilling a lot.

What else do I need to consider for a BBQ?

Size must be taken into consideration for smaller gardens, so sometimes a more compact barbecue can be preferable in terms of storage. However, if you’re hosting lots of parties, a bigger surface area to grill on is always a bonus. Spending more to get a BBQ cover is also an important consideration if you’re storing your barbecue outdoors, particularly in colder, wetter climates through the winter, to prevent it from rusting.