The best BBQ can cater to you and your entire family all summer long, and now is the time to buy. While we're all looking forward to enjoying summer 2021 with friends and family, it still feels some time away right now. That means your odds of being able to get your hands on the best barbecue are far better, so if you want to get ahead of the curve and snag an in-stock BBQ for you and your family, now is the time!
Nothing spells the end of winter like breaking out the BBQ, and we can't wait to get our hands on those juicy burgers, steaks, and even chargrilled veggies and kebabs.
Jump to the best BBQs by type
In our guide to the best BBQ we've covered every type you could possibly wish for. That includes charcoal barbecues, as well as gas and even hybrid options. You can opt for something portable to take on camping trips or on the go, or something a little larger with enough burners to feed the whole family.
We've also covered the subject of how to buy the best BBQ at the bottom of this guide, because all these different varieties can be a little daunting for those who may be buying their first BBQ. Some of our top picks even come with the option of buying a pizza stone and making some fresh slices in the BBQ itself, but we also have a separate guide to the best pizza ovens if you want something a little more bespoke.
Our best BBQ picks to buy
There's a selection of BBQs to choose from; from gas BBQs to charcoal barbecues, which all come in various different shapes and sizes. And, depending on which make and model of barbecues you are drawn to, you will ultimately see differences in price so it's worth honing in on a budget before making a decision.
Keep scrolling to see our top picks of the charcoal, gas, electric and hybrid varieties.
Best charcoal BBQs for 2021
Nothing beats the traditional smokey flavour of a charcoal barbecue; having said that, with the dizzying number of models out there, it can be difficult to choose a good one. We've compiled the best charcoal bbqs that give the best flavour. Keep scrolling for more barbecue types.
Love a traditional charcoal barbecue? We wouldn't hesitate buying the Weber Performer Deluxe Charcoal BBQ as it offers plenty of cooking surface as well as storage and somewhere to serve, too.
A grate and sear grate are included and you can also buy a number accessories as optional extras, such as the poultry roaster, which can be slotted into the centre of the grate. Perfect for classic grilling of burgers, bangers and chicken.
As the barbecue is integrated into the cart, it doubles up as a cooking surface with storage space below. Ideal for keeping sauces and condiments within easy reach, ready to serve.
It may be a charcoal barbecue but there’s no need to worry about using firelighters to get this beauty going, as the Touch-N-Go electronic gas ignition lights it in no time. It also comes with a charcoal measuring cup and a lid thermometer so you can make sure everything is cooked to perfection. There are also three tool holders and a removable LCD cooking timer. We also love the One Touch cleaning system, as no one likes cleaning the barbecue after use.
If you want to involve your favourite wood chips to burning charcoal for full-on flavour, we recommend buying the Napoleon charcoal kettle BBQ.
The spacious lid provides plenty of space to barbecue whole joints of meat or alternatively, the grille is large enough to produce a BBQ feast, helped along by the temperature gauge, which should prevent you from burning or undercooking your food.
There is a small open shelf on the bottom where you can pop a few items but nothing more, so you’ll need to have a garden table or trolley to hand for all the condiments and added extras.
The lid lifts up on a hinge and stays open with no risk of it snapping shut as you're turning your meat. This means you won't need to be looking for a place to put down a hot lid while cooking. Also, once shut, the lid locks in the heat while the vents regulate it. The result is some seriously juicy meat.
To make cooking outdoors easier on yourself we can highly recommend investing in the Outback Omega 200.
The Grid in Grid system allows you to expand your cooking space by adding in pizza stones, woks and pans, which are available separately. There’s also a temperature gauge, removable centre rack and a secondary rack for slower cooking.
There’s a handy side shelf that folds down for easy storage after use. Perfect for popping the ketchup and mayonnaise on.
We love the ash collection tray, as this makes cleaning the barbecue so much quicker and simpler once it’s fully cooled down. Just slide out the tray and dispose of the ash. Easy.
Small enough to pop into the back of the car as you head off on a day or weekend out, we can recommend buying the Weber Smokey Joe (it's well priced too!)
For a portable model, it’s packed full of features such as a steel cooking grate, a handy tuck and carry lid, a steel charcoal grate for aeration and a briquette measuring cup so you don’t overdo it on the heat production.
There’s no storage but you wouldn’t expect that for such a small model or such a low price.
At just 3.5kg, this is lightweight enough to take with you to the beach, park, festival or camping site. The size is ideal for two people, but you may struggle to cook comfortably for any more than that.
See more of the best portable BBQs in our guide.
We can highly recommend buying the Green Egg BBQ; it's everybody’s favourite in terms of style and substance and it’s perfect for small spaces, terraces and courtyard gardens.
Thanks to patented air-flow technology, once the Big Green Egg is up to temperature (which doesn’t take long at all), it maintains it nice and steady so there’s no worry about over or under-cooking food. Having a predictable barbecue gives peace of mind, especially when you’re having people over. You can also control the temperature to within a few degrees for precise cooking.
It features wooden shelves on either side, so you can easily keep meat and fish separate, or use one shelf for the cooked food and another for the rolls and salads.
No need to worry about children dashing about, as this design has superior insulation so the outside of the egg is never too hot to touch. It’s also self-cleaning as the oil and fat left over after cooking are burnt down by the Egg’s residual heat leaving a fine ash that can easily be brushed away.
Best gas BBQs for 2021
When you don’t want to be messing around with charcoal and smoke or you prefer precise control, a gas barbecue is for you. Or you can keep scrolling for hybrid dual fuel designs as well as electric grills, smokers and pizza ovens, or check out our best gas BBQ guide for more options…
Our favourite gas barbecue is the Weber Genesis II E-310. It's designed to last, with chip-resistant and rust-free coating and cast iron cooking grates that are durable and easy to clean.
Three burners for a crowd
Weber claims this barbecue can cook for up to 12 people, and because of its warming rack you can cook in bulk for large meals. It does have only three burners which, while making it easier to clean, is not as many as other models on offer.
No more waiting for your charcoal to light - with a gas barbecue you can simply ignite the grill and have all the control you need to create perfectly cooked steak, burger, and more.
Storage is easy
With a 120cm height, 152cm width, and a 76cm depth, this barbecue comes with its space demands. It is easy enough to store though, with four wheels (two of them lockable) and a tuck-away side rack.
Not the cheapest, but definitely one of the best, the Campingaz 4 Series Classic LS Plus is designed to cater to the whole family. As the name suggests it has four burners, as well as a side burner for preparing side dishes and keeping sauces warm.
With a cast iron interior, you can alter the layout of this gas barbecue depending on your needs. While they cost extra, it's possible to buy a pizza stone or wok to fit into a central circular section, which is removable.
Plenty of storage
The entire underside of this gas barbecue can be used to store cutlery, tools, and other extras you may need to cook up a feast. It also houses the gas tank, which can be one of the less attractive elements of many gas barbecues.
Cleaning is a breeze
The InstaClean function allows you to remove all machine-washable elements of the Campingaz 4 Series Classic LS Plus in under a minute, making cleaning up easier than ever.
This gas barbecue ticks all the right boxes; it's convenient, easy to use and great value for money. For these reasons, we recommend buying the Argos Home Premium 4 Burner Gas BBQ With Side Burner – it's great for all kinds of alfresco entertaining!
Thanks to an off-heat cooking option, this Premium 4 Burner Gas BBQ enables you to keep two rings on and two off if you’re looking to slowly cook meat all the way through. There’s a handy heat rack to keep food warm without burning and a smaller side burner gas ring perfect for cooking side dishes at the same time as your mains.
This one’s got plenty of storage with a bottom shelf and useful condiment rack, which is great for seasoning food as you cook.
Suitable for both propane and butane gas, this model comes with a regulator for propane gas pre-installed. If you need to use butane gas, you’ll have to change this to a certified butane regulator.
Best hybrid BBQs for 2021
Not sure whether you prefer charcoal or gas? How about a hybrid dual fuel design for the best of both? Here are our top picks…
Whether one member of your family prefers gas and the other prefers coal or you’re really looking to maximise every available opportunity to cook outside this summer, we can recommend which leaves you with plenty of scope for creating amazing food.
This design offers great gas temperature control with three individual burners that allow you to get the temperature just right when cooking on the gas setting. There’s an off-heat cooking option for that smoky, slow-cooked flavour while the ability to cook without the heat on in the charcoal mode is great. The results, flavour-wise, are stunning.
There is a little space with a side shelf and warming rack, which is also handy for keeping food warm.
Thanks to a warming rack, you can keep food warm while cooking more – ideal for larger batches and parties.
Find more of the best gas BBQs in our guide.
- Buy the Char-Broil Gas2Coal Hybrid Grill
Use both gas and charcoal at the same time with this hybrid barbecue, which provides both instant and classic cooking in one.
We love this John Lewis & Partners hybrid model, as it’s packed with features. There are five burners as well as an infra-red ceramic side burner, dual hoods with thermometers for cooking at different temperatures and a warming rack to keep dishes warm or you can use it as a secondary cooking area.
As well as the warming rack, there are also side shelves, two sliding drawers and enclosed storage space underneath the cart.
Check out the Grillstream, which prevents flare-ups, as well as the LED backlit control knobs, chopping board and ice bucket, all of which elevate this barbecue into something truly special. The cut-out circular griddle can also be used with a pizza stone, wok and poultry roaster, which are available to buy separately.
Best electric grills for 2021
No mess, no fuss, no purchasing of fuel: electric grills give you all of that, plus portability. Keep scrolling for smokers and pizza ovens.
One of the best electric grills you can get, we wouldn't hesitate to buy the Smart Grill Pro. Perfect for steaks and burgers, it’s the next best thing to a barbecue.
From rare to well done, the five temperature settings will delight steak lovers. However you like your meat cooked, this will get it exactly right. Remarkably accurate, the heat probe will allow you to relax and cook meat through to the right temperature without fuss.
None but then you'll likely be using it in the kitchen so that’s not really an issue.
The grill heats up in seconds and sears food for that smoky, chargrilled finish. It cooks veggies in seconds and it’s easy to clean, as the plates can be removed and will fit in a standard dishwasher.
If you're savvy with your money, we can recommend buying the George Foreman Indoor and Outdoor Grill which can double up as table top cooker and BBQ. Whether you’re taking on the cooking responsibilities at a summer BBQ or cooking a healthy mid-week dinner for the family, this grill should enable you to do it with ease.
Perfect for meat or fish, this portable appliance can easily cook 15 portions of food and can be used inside or out. There’s also an outside temperature gauge so you can keep an eye on the temperature inside, too.
There’s no storage with the unit but when it comes to storing it yourself, simply remove the stand and the grill will sit neatly on the table or worktop.
Cleaning this BBQ Grill is easy as it comes with non-stick removable plates, which are also angled so they drain fat and grease away into the integrated drip tray. No need for connecting to a gas canister or messing around with dirty charcoal – just plug in and away you go.
See more of the best electrical grills in our guide.
Best smoker for 2021
Love the characteristic flavour and tender texture of smoked fish and meat? Now you can create your own smoked dishes at home…
Weber is a big name in barbecuing, so it’s no surprise that they’ve successfully turned their hand to barbecue smokers too. If you want to buy the Smokey Mountain Cooker you won't be disappointed – it does what it says on the tin which is why it's award-winning and highly rated by yours truly.
It's sturdy, snug construction is very important for the quality of the smoke, and all the parts in this reassuringly heavy smoker hold together in a nicely tight fit, making sure smoke does not escape. Smoking is an hour-long process and this smoker, once you've got it to the desired temperature, will hold it remarkably steadily. This makes it suitable for smoking anything, from fish to veg and even nuts. The multiple vents compensate for windy weather.
There's no storage with this smoker but that’s not a problem as you’d likely have an additional barbecue or table alongside it.
This smoker means business in terms of how much it can cook in one go: we're talking a very large whole chicken or multiple whole salmon fillets.
How to buy the best barbecue for 2021
Where to buy the best BBQ
Picking the perfect barbecue for your family will depend on a number of things – the fuel you like to cook with, whether you want any fancy extras and how large or small you need the barbecue to be. Also, take into account the style, the overall look and the price, too.
Think about the type of food you like to pop on the barbie. Is it more your classic burgers and hot dogs? In which case a traditional charcoal design will give the best, most authentic chargrilled flavour. Or are you after something that will expertly cook fish and seafood? In which case you’re be better off with an all-singing, all-dancing gas design. Maybe you want the best of both with a hybrid dual fuel model or an electric grill for when it rains? If you’re after something a little more exotic or as an added extra for an existing barbecue, consider a smoker. And when you need something for the park or to take to a festival, go for a portable model which will really impress your guests; whilst a pizza oven (also very impressive) is perfect for children’s parties and large gatherings too. So there are plenty to choose from at prices to suit every pocket too.
While the best gas barbecue will still deliver on the smokey BBQ flavour, a charcoal barbecue is your best bet if you really like that authentic, chargrilled taste. An electric grill will be portable and easy to use, but won't give you the smoke. For added flavour, consider a smoker barbecue instead.
Ease of cleaning
Look at how simple the barbecue is to clean. Are the grates and accessories dishwasher-safe for instance? Do the parts come off so you can dunk them in a sink of hot soapy water? Bear in mind that larger surface areas will take more elbow grease and time, too.
As a rough guide, for four people, you'll need a grill size that's less than 1800cm²; for six people, a grill up to 2500cm² will do; for eight people or more, look for a barbecue with a grill size that's 2500cm²+.
Consider whether the barbecue comes with any storage space for cooking utensils and tools as well as larger shelves for condiments and pop-up side flaps for bowls of salads and rice. At the very least, it’s great if there’s somewhere to pop the Ketchup. Also, look at the overall dimensions of the design and think about where you’ll store it during the winter months. A barbecue left outdoors won’t last very long if it’s exposed to the elements so make sure there’s room in the garage or shed.
- You've reached the end of the page. Jump back up to the top.