The best charcoal barbecues in the UK 2023

Better than gas or electricity, charcoal grills give food a great taste. No wonder 44% of users opt for charcoal barbecue. But before you buy yours, there are a number of factors to consider. So, which charcoal barbecue should you choose? For you, we recommend the Weber Compact Kettle 47, the best value on the market.

Tepro Toronto Click 1

Best value for money

Tepro Toronto Click

The best charcoal grill in 2021

The Tepro Toronto Click is a remarkable charcoal grill. As a family barbecue, it benefits from a good build quality, with some unusual, but welcome features.

135 £ on Amazon

This American barbecue has a sturdy, square design with a hinged lid and 2 grill shelves. The first shelf offers a cooking surface of 56 cm x 41.5 cm and the second shelf 53.9 x 24.1 cm. The bottom shelf is used to cook food while the top shelf keeps food warm or cooks more delicate foods that don't need to be very close to the heat source. In addition, you can control the temperature of the grill by means of the crank system that accompanies the shelf on which the coals rest.

You can also monitor the cooking temperature with the lid closed using the built-in thermometer. This gives you an idea of when you may need to add more charcoal, without having to open the grill and release heat unnecessarily. Finally, it should be noted that this barbecue also comes with sturdy wheels, making it easy to move around.

Weber Compact Kettle 47 cm 2

Best value for money

Weber Compact Kettle 47 cm

The best entry-level charcoal grill

The Weber Compact Kettle is a great starting point for those who want a charcoal grill at a generally very competitive price. It is built on the same solid foundation as the other Weber Kettles.

63,92 £ on Amazon

The Weber Compact Kettle's 47cm diameter triple plate chrome cooking grid is a slightly thinner than the Original Kettle range. This probably means that the grill will not last as long, but will cook your steaks or roasts beautifully. The grill is not hinged. This means you have to pull the entire grill out to replenish the charcoal logs if the temperature drops too low.

The 2 aluminum charcoal baskets that come with the Weber Kettle Compact keep your hot logs or charcoal in place. Just like the Original Kettle, the centerpiece of the Compact Kettle charcoal grill is the one-touch cleaning system. With literally one touch, you move the lower vent handle left and right, which pushes the ashes down into the aluminum ash catcher.

Weber Performer Premium 3

Best value for money

Weber Performer Premium

The best high-end charcoal grill

The Weber Performer Premium improves on the same features of its little brother, the Weber Performer Premium, such as the Tuck-Away lid support, the hinged cooking grid, the lid with integrated thermometer...

581 £ on Amazon
Aobosi CG09 4

Smokeless charcoal barbecue

Aobosi CG09

Excellent smokeless charcoal grill

The smokeless charcoal barbecue Aobosi CG09 will be great if you like grilled meat to enjoy inside. It is for those who live in apartments and are looking for the taste of embers without the smoke.

79,99 £ on Amazon

The smokeless charcoal grill Aobosi CG09 is presented in the form of a large circular bowl without legs. This implies a use on a table. Of course, there is still smoke, but much less compared to a conventional charcoal grill. To achieve such a feat, the manufacturer has added a special device to his barbecue that prevents the oil from the food to reach the embers.

The enamelled cast iron cooking surface of this model is oval, measuring 35 x 32 cm. Apart from that, the inner stainless steel tank for grease collection is very easy to clean. Note that the grilling temperature is adjustable. This feat is made possible by a ventilation system to control the temperature.

Buying guide • November 2023

Best charcoal barbecue

Any specific needs?

The best charcoal grill in 2021

The best entry-level charcoal grill

The best high-end charcoal grill

Excellent smokeless charcoal grill

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best charcoal barbecues

Tepro Toronto Click 5
Weber Compact Kettle 47 cm 6
Weber Performer Premium 7
Aobosi CG09 8
Tepro Toronto Click
Weber Compact Kettle 47 cm
Weber Performer Premium
Aobosi CG09
The Tepro Toronto Click is a remarkable charcoal grill. As a family barbecue, it benefits from a good build quality, with some unusual, but welcome features.
The Weber Compact Kettle is a great starting point for those who want a charcoal grill at a generally very competitive price. It is built on the same solid foundation as the other Weber Kettles.
The Weber Performer Premium improves on the same features of its little brother, the Weber Performer Premium, such as the Tuck-Away lid support, the hinged cooking grid, the lid with integrated thermometer...
The smokeless charcoal barbecue Aobosi CG09 will be great if you like grilled meat to enjoy inside. It is for those who live in apartments and are looking for the taste of embers without the smoke.
Cooking grid dimensions
56 x 41.5 cm (bottom rack) / 53.9 x 24.1 cm (bottom rack)
47 cm diameter
56 cm
35 x 32 cm
Cooking grid material
Enamelled steel
Plated steel
Chrome-plated steel
Enamelled cast iron
Bowl material
Stainless steel
Enamelled steel
Porcelain enamel
Cooking type
Grill, oven
Grill, oven
Grill, oven, smoker
Integrated thermometer

Help us improve this table:
Report an error, request the addition of a feature to the table, or suggest another product. Thank you for your kindness!

Buying guide - charcoal barbecue

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How to choose your charcoal barbecue

#1 - The intended use

Choose your charcoal barbecue according to what you plan to do. Indeed, some people entertain many guests, others prefer grilling for 4 or 6, others are looking for a portable model that can be used for picnics or camping. In addition, you need to choose according to the functions available: grill, plancha, smoker, bread oven or even pizza oven.

#2 - The number of vents

The fire of a charcoal barbecue depends on the air flow. More air moving over the coals allows the fire to reach high temperatures. On the other hand, limiting the airflow by closing a few vents can save coals, keep the grill barely lit or ensure slow cooking. Look for a model with a tight-fitting lid and vents near the bowl and/or hood.

#3 - Access to the charcoal grill

Cooking for hours involves adding charcoal. Experts say the temperature of the brazier peaks about 20 min after it is lit. It begins to die down dramatically after 90 min. The best charcoal grill should have a removable cooking rack with handles or a special opening for adding charcoal and pellets.

#4 - The size and shape of the barbecue

All charcoal briquettes burn at about the same temperature. The size and shape of the barbecue will then dictate how that heat is concentrated, directed, retained or distributed. Most charcoal barbecues have a rounded cooking surface, about 50 cm in diameter. They can cook a large amount of food, but have a narrow charcoal grill.

Kamado barbecues have deeper and narrower charcoal grates. This allows them to concentrate the heat and ensure slow cooking if you close the air vents. Finally, barrel-shaped barbecues have a very long cooking surface. Their charcoal grill also allows for slow cooking. By the way, these barbecues are excellent for smoking meat.

#5 - The cooking temperature control

Food close to the hot coals burns faster. However, they are cooked only on the surface and the risk of charring is real. If possible, buy a barbecue with an adjustable height cooking rack and place it at least 10 cm from the coals. This way, you can better control the heat and the cooking process.

#6 - The weight of the barbecue

The weight of a barbecue depends on its size and the materials used to make it. A small cast iron barbecue can be heavier than a large enameled sheet metal Kettle! In addition, you will need a light barbecue to be able to move it easily. Indeed, most of the models on the market are not rust resistant and therefore cannot be left outside. Also, the lighter a barbecue is, the more unstable it will be.

#7 - The design of the barbecue

Aesthetics can be an important criterion if you regularly invite family or friends over. The design of charcoal barbecues has evolved a lot in recent years. There are now all types of models on the market, with various colors and different styles. But it would be a big mistake to favor design over other criteria. Note that only 48% of English people are interested in the aesthetics of a barbecue.

Options to consider

The best charcoal barbecues 9

Charcoal barbecues do not have as many accessories as gas barbecues. However, their presence affects the success or failure of charcoal cooking.

Cooking grid

Some charcoal barbecues have a cast iron cooking grate. In most cases it is made of enamelled steel. There are even barbecues with superimposed or even articulated grates. The height-adjustable cooking grid is the equivalent of the temperature control knob on a gas barbecue. You can put the grill closer to the fire for quick searing, and further away for slow cooking without charring the skin.

Ash catch tray

Charcoal grilling is messy, especially because of the ashes that result from burning the charcoal or pellets. At the end of the grilling, all the ashes as well as the residual charcoal and the pieces of food will accumulate at the bottom of the barbecue. Hence the need for an ash pan. Opt for a removable ash pan to facilitate cleaning.

Chimney starter

This cylindrical device makes it easier to light the coal. Once the embers are red hot, you can simply put them in the tank or on the charcoal grill. If you don't have a chimney starter, build a pyramid out of your coals and carefully light the pyramid in several places underneath.

Casters and base

Most charcoal barbecues are equipped with 2 or 4 thermoset plastic wheels. Besides moving the barbecue, the wheels are also used to secure the barbecue. For this purpose, some models have wheels with brakes, which keep them perfectly still. In addition, charcoal barbecues have feet that help stabilize them.

The spit

The spit or rotisserie is intended for cooking a whole animal or cut into very large pieces. It can be placed on the charcoal barbecue but also on the electric or gas models. A long pointed metal rod is used to skewer the meat and a whole mechanism turns it horizontally. Note that recently there are rotisseries that do not rotate. The spit is placed vertically and it is the fire that turns around the meat or the animal.

Utensil hook

The presence of this type of accessory does not really depend on the price but on the willingness of manufacturers to include it. In general, the utensil hook is located on the handle of the bowl or the lid. Thanks to it, you can keep everything you need within reach, especially if the charcoal grill does not have a shelf.

The shelf

Generally, the shelf is available in 2 ways. Either it can be folded down and is located on either side of the charcoal grill. Or it can be fixed and the barbecue can be placed inside or even slightly next to it. The shelves can hold ingredients, food to be grilled, various utensils or even the cook's drink.

The aerators

Heat control in a charcoal grill depends on the amount of charcoal being burned and the amount of air flow. High airflow generates higher temperatures, which you can reduce by closing the vents. Charcoal grills with at least 2 vents give the flexibility to control the temperature of the fire.

The different types of charcoal barbecues

With a spit, built-in, cast iron, tabletop... there is something for everyone when it comes to charcoal grills. Here are the 3 types available on the market.

Kettle barbecue

When you think of a charcoal barbecue, the Kettle is probably what comes to mind most often. It is a metal cooking grid on legs with a lid. Easy to use, space saving and inexpensive, it has a circular cooking surface.


  • Easy to move and takes up less space on a deck or in the garden
  • The tapered shape allows you to build a deeper wood brazier for long searing or cooking without adding a lot of coals
  • Affordable price for everyone

Disadvantages :

  • Usually has the smallest cooking surface
  • 3-legged models are not as sturdy or stable as 4-legged models

Who is it for?

The Kettle is a good type of charcoal grill for beginners. It is mostly bought for its simplicity, versatility and affordability.

Barbecue baril


type of barbecue looks like a metal barrel extended on the sides. The larger grates are typically used for slow cooking and smoking. However, they can also be used for quick grilling of meat or fish.


  • Larger cooking grid than the Kettle and kamado's
  • Convenient features, such as a door for adding charcoal and adjustable cooking grates
  • Removable ash pan


  • Consumes more charcoal than other barbecues
  • For extended cooking, you'll need to build a multi-layered brazier

Who is it for?

This type of grill is ideal for a more experienced user who likes smoked meat and fish, but also grills.

Barbecue kamado

The kamado looks like a giant egg. Quality models are worth several hundred euros. The thick ceramic body and deep, narrow shape allow it to hold high temperatures, cook slowly and distribute heat evenly.


  • Often designed to be airtight, which helps control cooking temperature
  • Deep, narrow shape allows for a deep brazier for extended cooking
  • Designed to retain heat. Some models can cook for 8 hours or more without adding coals
  • Precise temperature control allows for a very wide range of cooking temperatures


  • Some models are worth over 2,000 Euros
  • Particularly heavy because of the thick ceramic
  • Despite the large charcoal capacity, the cooking surface is often smaller than that of the Kettle or barrel barbecue

Who is it for?

This type of charcoal barbecue is not ideal for a first experience. Only experienced users who grill all year round can exploit its full potential.

Indirect cooking and flexible barbecue

Some charcoal barbecues allow indirect cooking by placing the coals on the side and not under the food. The oven mode, with the lid closed, is also possible. There are also modular barbecues. The charcoal is no longer located under the cooking grate but is burned in a side grate. This system limits the formation of unwanted compounds in the food.

Charcoal or electric barbecues?

Charcoal barbecues

Any barbecue enthusiast will tell you: charcoal barbecues offer more taste to grilled food. The fire, the sparks, the smoke and the crackling sound obviously awaken the primal instincts of grilling fans. They easily cook your food thanks to the embers that are distributed on each side of its grill.

Charcoal barbecues are compact and often sold at a reasonable price. In addition, they allow you to barbecue in almost any location. However, this device is less suitable for quick grilling. In addition, the charcoal smoke it gives off is quite high when lit, which can be unpleasant for the environment.

Electric barbecues

Electric barbecues are smaller and lighter than charcoal barbecues. Equipped with electric resistances that are located under its grill and a resistance. They quickly heat up the food placed on top of heating bars or a grill plate. With electric barbecues, you have the possibility of grilling in your kitchen, because it is easier to handle and it emits less smoke.

The disadvantages of electric safety barbecues are that they are not suitable for outdoor grilling if you don't have a power outlet nearby. Also, the cooked food does not have the typical smoky flavor of grilled food.


In conclusion, the choice between these two types of barbecues depends on everyone's preference. The electric barbecue will be the best option for those who like simplicity, because they are easy to start. Charcoal barbecues are very useful and practical to give an authentic taste to your meat, fish or vegetables.

Why buy a good charcoal barbecue?

The taste

Among the 3 English people out of 4 who own a barbecue or a plancha, 44% use a charcoal barbecue. The main reason for this choice? The unique taste that charcoal grills give. Whether it's charcuterie, poultry, fish or vegetables, cooking with charcoal guarantees an inimitable smoky taste, which makes it possible to vary the flavors of the meals to better treat the family or the guests.

The conviviality

The charcoal barbecue is a very convivial cooking tool. It allows to gather family and friends around a meal, the time of an afternoon. Reserved for outdoor use, this cooking equipment is almost indispensable to brighten up the summer seasons in the garden or during excursions in the countryside.

Easy maintenance

A regularly used barbecue does not require much maintenance and will be less exposed to rust. The best charcoal barbecues have a removable tank and an ash tray. There are even charcoal barbecues with a grease trap. After use, you only have to wait for the barbecue to cool down to empty the ash tray and store everything until the next use.

Mobility and easy storage

Apart from the taste, the charcoal barbecue has 2 advantages that the gas barbecue envies: the lightness and the small size. This equipment is practical for picnics. In addition, the storage does not take much space. Most models are on legs or wheels. You can easily move them around, regardless of their size.

Good for your health?

Whether it's charcoal, electric or gas, barbecues produce carcinogenic substances. To reduce the risks to a minimum, install the grill at least 10 cm from the embers, and cook the food on it, not in contact with the flames. Cook lean meats and fish, as they do not char very much. And add vegetables to your dishes, which are rich in protective antioxidants and rebalance the body's acid-base.

The best brands of charcoal barbecues

In our opinion, the best brands of charcoal barbecues in 2022 are :

Alice’s Garden

The American brand was voted best barbecue brand by consumers. Charcoal, gas, electric, Weber knows how to do it all and better than the others. To put it simply, this manufacturer has been on the market since 1952 and is the Rolls Royce of barbecues. Of course, its models are expensive. But their quality of manufacture allows them to last 10 years or more. This brand specializes in outdoor equipment and manufactures the best-selling barbecue, the Georges. It is an entry-level charcoal barbecue. Positioned on this segment, Alice's Garden does not have much to envy to Weber, especially not in terms of cooking. Of course, the materials used are less robust. But the commercial success is fully justified.

Founded in 2008, Klarstein is a genius jack-of-all-trades. Openly positioned in the entry-level segment, the German brand makes heating and air-conditioning units, major appliances, kitchen appliances and cooking equipment. Its charcoal barbecues, especially the kamado, are known for their qualities.

Greaden manufactures both charcoal and gas barbecues. The offer concerns the entry and the top of the range. Known for its quality despite a certain discretion, this brand also manufactures tents, outdoor lighting, heated umbrellas, trampolines and garden furniture.

Barbecook offers entry and mid-range charcoal barbecues. Founded in 1985, the brand also makes quality gas barbecues. In particular, it has a patented ignition system called QuickStart for its charcoal models. This brand has also contributed to the democratization of the use of the barbecue.

What is the price for a charcoal barbecue

The diagram below will help you to get an idea of the typical prices for each price range (entry-level, mid-range and high-end).

However, more expensive does not necessarily mean better.

We therefore advise you to always consult our ranking before deciding, rather than blindly relying on price ranges.

35 £ to 100 £
100 £ to 150 £
more than 150 £
Price range diagram


Use a chimney starter.

A barbecue starter is the easiest way for a beginner to light the coals. Fill the barbecue about halfway with charcoal-you'll learn the best fill level with experience-and place two sheets of newspaper under the chimney. Light the newspaper and wait for the flames to appear at the top of the barbecue.

Make sure your barbecue is clean.

Make sure your barbecue is clean and dry before you light it. This could cause accidents.

Oil and preheat the cooking grate.

Oiling the cooking grate will ensure that your food doesn't stick to the grill. Preheating is just as important. If you try to cook a steak on a cold grill, it will spend too much time on the grill and be overcooked. You won't get those nice grill marks either.

Learn to vent.

Opening the vents allows more oxygen, which produces a hotter grill. Cutting the vents slows the oxygen, which cools the grill. But don't close them completely or it will smother your fire.

Provide different fire zones.

Just load charcoal on one side of the grill and leave the other side empty. It will still be hot on that side, but it will allow you to move items from the hot, direct heat side to the cooler, indirect heat side. The cool zone will help prevent overcooking and scorching and allow you to grill vegetables and steaks at the same time, for example.


Which charcoal barbecue to choose?

In our opinion, the best charcoal grill on the market is the Weber Compact Kettle 47. The Landmann 0423 is a good, inexpensive alternative. Read our buying guide to find out which product will best suit your preferences and needs.

What is the best brand of charcoal barbecue?

There are several reputable charcoal barbecue brands. Weber, Alice's Garden, Klartstein, Greaden and Barbecook are some of the best brands. After that, it all depends on what you are looking for first. Check out our review of the best charcoal barbecue brands to learn more.

Why buy a charcoal barbecue?

There are many reasons to buy a charcoal barbecue, but the main one is: for the taste of course! Then, we buy a charcoal barbecue for the conviviality and also the mobility. Indeed, gas models are heavy and cumbersome. As for the electric models, they do not allow to receive many guests.

Gas or charcoal barbecue, which one is better?

It all depends on the use you plan. Those who like fast and even cooking, adjustable temperature and easy cleaning will choose the gas barbecue. Those looking for the special taste of food grilled over a wood fire will prefer the charcoal barbecue. It also costs 2 to 3 times less than a gas barbecue.

Does my charcoal barbecue have to be of impeccable property?

No. Coal is a very messy fuel. No charcoal barbecue will be completely clean or free of soot stains unless you spend hours cleaning it! Besides, the more you use the grill, the less clean it will be. And the blackness of the cooking grate also contributes to the unique taste of charcoal grilling.

What accessories for a charcoal barbecue?

The most useful accessories are the adjustable-height cooking grate, ash pan, chimney starter and aerators. Others such as the spit, the casters, the base, the folding shelves or the utensil hook are also useful.

What fuels does a charcoal barbecue use?

In principle, this type of barbecue works with all types of charcoal and pellets. Some models even accept chips or even logs.

What is a chimney starter?

This is a large cylindrical tube in which the charcoal is first burned before being put into the barbecue. If you don't have a lighting chimney, build a pyramid out of your coals and carefully light the pyramid in several places underneath.

How to light a charcoal barbecue?

To light the charcoal, the easiest method is to use paper balls. Otherwise, you can choose cube, briquette, gel or liquid firelighters. Beware of flames and smoke. Kerosene cubes are also effective for lighting charcoal, but they give off bad smells and a lot of smoke. Finally, there are wood fiber fire starters and the inevitable chimney starter.

How to clean and maintain a charcoal barbecue?

Charcoal barbecues used regularly don't require too much maintenance. All you have to do is clean the grill before and after cooking. To do this, let the coals heat the grill for 10 min. For grease residues, not removing them protects the barbecue from rusting. Remove charred food pieces stuck to the grill with a wire brush. And give the barbecue a thorough cleaning after every 10 uses. Soap and warm water should do the trick. For non-removable grills, buy special products from barbecue dealers.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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  2. Coal barbecue : how to choose it well the selection of the best ones,
  3. How to choose a good barbecue and maintain it?,
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  5. 4 simple methods to light a charcoal barbecue,
  6. How to use a charcoal barbecue,
  7. Tips for using the Barbecue,
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  9. Barbecue dangers and safety measures to take,
  10. Using a barbecue: burn risks safety rules tipsBurns fire... How to barbecue safely?,
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  26. Coal barbecue - Darty,
  27. Coal barbecue, Charcoal barbecue - Barbecue & Co,
  28. Barbecue charcoal, wood, pellet cheap at Auchan prices,
  29. Coal barbecue | La Redoute,
  30. Coal barbecue - ManoMano,
  31. Coal barbecue Weber, Somagic & Napoleon,
  32. : charcoal barbecue,
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  34. Barbecues Built-in - Napoleon Barbecue, Granhall Barbecue,
  35. Professional xxl charcoal barbecue at the best price ...,
  36. Buy Charcoal Barbecue - Charcoal Barbecue of ...,
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March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
Tepro Toronto Click 10
Tepro Toronto Click
Weber Compact Kettle 47 cm 11
Weber Compact Kettle 47 cm
Weber Performer Premium 12
Weber Performer Premium
Aobosi CG09 13
Aobosi CG09


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