Let's set the scene: The sun is shining, the lingering smell of BBQ wafts through the air and you're surrounded by friends and loved ones. You've got a beer in one hand, and you're reaching to snag some freshly grilled meat with the other - if that isn't the epitome of spring and summer, then we don't know what is.
Alfresco dining is the best way to spend those long evenings, but a great quality barbecue can mean the difference between an amazing meal and, well, an average one. If you've been trying to decide between a gas BBQ or a charcoal BBQ but just can't seem to pick, then it might be time to consider the best of both worlds: a hybrid BBQ.
Hybrid BBQs give you the option of cooking with both gas and charcoal, both of which have their own benefits. Charcoal BBQs tend to give you the best authentic, smoky BBQ taste, while gas is faster, as well as more efficient. With a hybrid, you can change up as and when you please and be as flexible as you like.
We've rounded up the best hybrid gas and charcoal BBQs for your next summer soirée, which is sure to make your neighbours envious.
What is a hybrid BBQ?
A hybrid BBQ is one that allows you to switch between gas and charcoal whenever you like, or use them both simultaneously.
Is a hybrid BBQ any good?
Hybrid BBQs have started growing in popularity over the last few years, and for good reason.
With a hybrid, you can choose to use gas one day, charcoal the other, or both at the same time to achieve that smoky, BBQ flavour we all love plus the time-efficiency of gas. So, if you start out on charcoal but find you're running out of time, just switch to gas halfway through and your meal will be cooked within minutes.
Lighting up your BBQ is also much easier with a hybrid BBQ - you no longer need to worry about getting a lighter fluid or paraffin cubes, simply turn the gas burners on and your charcoal will be ready to cook on.
The best hybrid BBQs UK
1. Char-Broil Gas2Coal Hybrid Grill
A solid choice when it comes to hybrids, this combination Char-Broil grill can convert from gas to charcoal and vice versa in under 60 seconds. With three burners, this BBQ provides enough space to cook for all your friends and family, and the side burner will help warm up sauces and other side dishes quickly. We love that there's a handy side shelf to keep all utensils in one spot, as well as a warming rack to keep everything nice and toasty.
Dimensions: 62.5cm x 134.4cm x 120.7cm
Stainless steel burners
Cast iron gates
Review: "Amazing BBQ, best we've ever owned. Really well made and sturdy. Coals light easily and there are no flare-ups when cooking. Well worth the money for stress-free BBQing. Would highly recommend it."
2. CosmoGrill Barbecue 6+1 Pro Gas Grill BBQ
Best hybrid BBQ for enthusiasts
A premium, multi-function model, the ComsoGrill is perfect for those looking to go one step further and drift into the realms of professional barbecuing. There are six burners that can be lit separately, allowing you to cook meat, veggies and anything else individually. We particularly liked the spacious bottom half, where you can store condiments, pans and any crockery you might need. The grease trays and grill grates are removable, making cleaning that much easier.
Dimensions: 149cm x 55cm x 110cm
Clever flame tamers
Large storage space
Review: "This BBQ is excellent. Since we have received it we have used it loads of times. Great value for money and not too difficult to assemble…well my husband did it in a couple of hours. Just make sure that you follow the instructions. Thank you for an excellent product :)"
3. Premium Dual Fuel Charcoal & Gas Combi BBQ
Best hybrid BBQ for budget and design
Argos Home's Premium Dual Fuel Charcoal & Gas Combi BBQ lets you cook with both gas and charcoal in separate grilling spaces, meaning you can enjoy the ease and speed of cooking with gas, and if you've got time to spare, the flavour of cooking with charcoal. We've given this best in show for design, not only because it looks chic with the matte black steel exterior, but because of all the added features included. Only the regulator for propane gas is included, so if you'd prefer butane instead or have some leftover from an old gas grill, you'll need to buy a regulator separately.
Dimensions: 59cm x 116cm x 139cm
Two stainless steel burners
Flame tamer; Drip tray
Review: "Very versatile and efficient for cooking all kinds of foods and lots of grill space for cooking for large quantities. Easy to clean." And another said, "Perfect BBQ for small or large gatherings. We couldn't decide whether to get gas or coal for years- this is the perfect solution. Worth mentioning - spare yourself a few hours to put it together!!"
4. Outback Meteor 4-Burner Hybrid Gas & Charcoal BBQ
Best hybrid BBQ design
A smaller option, the four-burner Outback Meteor BBQ is great for large family gatherings but compact enough to fit in beautifully with most gardens. Switch between gas and charcoal at your convenience, and make use of the large cooking area to unleash some culinary creativity. The porcelain-coated cast iron grill is rust-resistant and the side burner will help you heat up any extras while keeping them separate from the rest.
Dimensions: 128cm x 140cm 61cm
Fixed side burner
Pull out drawer
Review: "Arrived quickly, clear instructions to build, and works perfectly. Used it a handful of times in prep for BBQ season. Love that we can use the gas or coal options! Also - love the colour of it!"
5. GoodHome Rockwell Black Charcoal & gas Hybrid barbecue
Best value hybrid BBQ
With the capacity to cook for up to 14 people, you can prepare an absolute feast with this BBQ. The dual-fuel function allows you to use both gas and charcoal at once to make sure you're getting the best of both worlds. With a large cooking surface on both sides, as well as storage underneath, you'll be able to enjoy a clutter-free, stress-free cooking environment. All grills are dishwasher safe, making clean up a breeze, and the integrated warming rack and side table are the cherry on top.
Dimensions: 109cm x 123cm x 58cm
Large cooking surface
Review: "Comes in 2 large boxes and you need to build from scratch. Don't be put off though as the instructions are excellent and parts clearly identifiable. Takes a few hours but the build quality is incredible. The ash pan under the coal section is a great feature too. Used both gas and coals independently for a small family barbecue but looking forward to using both at once for the full effect. Well worth the money!"
6. John Lewis & Partners Grillstream 6 Burner Hybrid Gas & Charcoal BBQ
A premium, multi-function model, the John Lewis & Partners hybrid BBQ is perfect for those looking to go one step further and drift into the realms of professional barbecuing. This BBQ has it all. This luxury BBQ has the Grillstream system built-in, which means all your barbecuing is virtually flare-free and fat is streamed away, basting the food as it goes for extra succulent and juicy meats.
Dimensions: 55.5cm x 115.2cm x 168.7cm
Integrated Piezo ignition
Six stainless steel burners
LED backlit control knobs
Cast iron grills
Review: "I must admit I had a bit of a panic when this first arrived and thought JL had delivered the wrong BBQ. The instruction manual didn't seem to match the online description and it wasn't clear this was a dual fuel BBQ that could cook with both gas and charcoal (which is why I chose it). But on closer inspection, one of the gas compartments includes a hybrid system that enables you to place charcoal briquettes on top of the gaslighters - very impressive. The charcoals were white within 10 minutes of lighting and I was able to use both gas and charcoal to cook my BBQ as I'd intended. The BBQ is well built and on first impression I'm very pleased with it."
Can you use any cooking charcoal or gas on a hybrid BBQ?
Yes, though it's worth checking the manufacturer's instruction manual in case they have any requirements or recommendations.
The BBQ brand Outback, for example, recommend that you use their Hybrid Charcoal Briquettes for their charcoal, and John Lewis recommends propane or patio gas cylinder bottles ranging in sizes from 3kg to 13kg for their gas.
Marina Avraam is a Commercial Content Writer for WhatsTheBest, and also writes for Mother&Baby, Heat and Closer. She has a passion for psychology, reading and fashion writing.
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