The best hybrid BBQs for the ultimate summer cookout

Get the benefits of both gas and charcoal with the best hybrid BBQs in the UK.

Hybrid BBQ cooking

by Eleanor Weaver |

If you're looking to make the most of the summer weather and indulge in delicious grub surrounded by your nearest and dearest, a hybrid BBQ is a must-have. It's the perfect way to make the most of the sunshine, and enjoy longer evenings and good mood food, all with a refreshingly chilled drink in hand.

But which type of BBQ do you go for? A charcoal BBQ gives you those deliciously authentic smoky BBQ tastes, while a gas BBQ will get your burgers, hot dogs, and veggies cooked quicker and more efficiently.

Can't decide? You don't have to! One of the hottest (sorry!) innovations this year, a hybrid BBQ gives you the choice of cooking on charcoal or gas, or both together, all within one unit.

We've rounded up the best hybrid BBQs to buy right now to give you the best of both worlds, so the family can dine al fresco and rule the garden as the BBQ King or Queen with your BBQ tools, no matter the occasion.

What is a hybrid BBQ?

Having grown in popularity in recent years, hybrid BBQs are great for offering that perfect mix between gas and charcoal cooking, reaping the benefits of both.

Modern Gardens writer Jill Morgan says, "You can also use the gas burners to quickly get charcoal or briquettes lit and up to temperature, before cutting the gas to savour the delicious aroma and smoky flavours only given by traditional coals. Having these two fuel types within one unit also enables you to be really flexible with your outdoor cooking and adapt your methods depending on how much time you have available.

"Short on time on a weekday evening? Then cook with fast and easy-to-control gas. Want to impress guests with
a more authentic grilled flavour at the weekend? Opt for slower-burning charcoal, safe in the knowledge that you can boost the heat with the gas burners if needed, or if your hungry younger guests just can’t wait any longer."

With a hybrid, you could choose to pick whichever you prefer, or even start out on charcoal and switch to gas when time is of the essence, helping to cook your food quicker with that great BBQ flavour.

The best hybrid BBQs to buy in the UK

Slightly more than JL's 6-burner hybrid BBQ (below on our list), thanks to its dual hood, this one is a premium option that can cook for up to 10 people with the hybrid system allowing you to cook with charcoal alone for authentic, classic smoky-flavour barbecuing or with gas for better temperature control and instant, more convenient cooking.
It also has plenty of the same features such as a warming rack to keep food warm or for use as a secondary cooking area, the handy side shelves, sliding drawers, a chopping board, and underneath storage space.

Key features:

Integrated Piezo ignition; Five stainless steel burners; Grillstream; Lid thermometer; LED backlit control knobs; Warming rack; Side shelf; Enclosed storage; Cast iron grills; Flame tamers; Drip tray; Four wheels.

Review: "Very Impressed. Buying online can sometimes disappoint as you can not visually get an idea of the product, but I cannot fault this, It took about an hour to put together with very easy to follow instructions and when you are putting it together you can see the excellent build quality. This is the best of both worlds the flavours of traditional BBQ and the speed of gas, especially with our British weather. This is a great investment and looks like it will last for years if you buy a decent cover. Highly recommend."

An ideal option for those who have less people to cook for but still want to have a hybrid, this 4-burner grill from Outback has been praised for being easy to assemble, retaining the required cooking temperature, and looking frankly outstanding.

This striking four-gas-burner grill comes in three colours (red, green, and blue) and features a charcoal basket with hybrid briquettes and porcelain-coated cast-iron grates. Cook simultaneously at four different temperatures and use the side burner for simmering sauces.

And when you've got the whole family around, there's room to cook up to 24 burgers on this model!

Key features:

Charcoal basket; Side burner; Stainless-steel design; Lockable castors; Multi-cook grill for pizza, wok, griddle, BBQ; Tool rack; Chopping board; Temperature gauge; Drip tray; Bottle opener; Integral spark ignition.

Dimensions: 125cm x 140cm x 58cm

Review: "Excellent at retaining the required cooking temperature. Very solid, well-engineered."

A firm favourite out of the limited options available in the UK, this combination Char-Broil grill can convert from gas to charcoal and vice versa in just three steps and under 60 seconds! This hybrid also has a patented charcoal tray to ensure uniform cooking, fewer flare-ups, and juicier food.

This BBQ has enough space to cook for all your family and friends and comes with a handy side shelf for plating up and hosting all your cooking utensils. It really is all-in-one with a side-burner which we love, perfect for warming up sauces, making gravy, or preparing side dishes and vegetables quickly. Plus there's a warming rack too to keep everything nice and toasty off the primary heat.

Key features:

Electric ignition; Stainless steel burners; Cast iron grates; Charcoal tray; Side burner; Temperature gauge; Side shelf; Warming rack; Cart wheels.

Dimensions: 62.5cm x 134.4cm x 120.7cm

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."

This hybrid BBQ is one for the serious BBQ-er. Combining a gas grill, charcoal BBQ, and smoker in one, this versatile BBQ provides plenty of delicious ways to grill a variety of meats and dishes. The gas grill has three stainless steel burners with individual heat controls for cooking to perfection whilst the built-in smoke box delivers that delicious, authentic taste. And for the charcoal grill, you have four multi-height arrangements for precise cooking.

The Tower Multi Fuel Wagon doesn't only look smart, but it also provides a large cooking area, boasting enough space to entertain a party with a banquet of tasty BBQ food. Like the Char-Broil, it comes with a side burner and thermometer to keep your cooking temperatures in control.

Key features:

Large cooking area; Cast iron grill grate; Three stainless steel burners; Side burner; Height adjustable charcoal grill; Dual temperature gauge; Large capacity smoker box; Base shelf; Castor wheels.

Dimensions: 129.5cm x 195.5cm x 61.5cm

Looking for a BBQ to go the distance and be able to withstand year after year of outdoor cooking? This is the one for you. With a PE-coated tough exterior, the Outback Meteor BBQ has been praised by reviewers for its sturdiness and longevity, with previous models having lasted over 10 years. Having said that, you should still make sure to equip it with a cover when in storage.

It's simple yet has enough capacity for you to exercise a bit of culinary creativity and broaden your al fresco menu. It has four burners and charcoal baskets with Hybrid briquettes. There's a large cooking area, a warming rack, and a side burner that has a hinged lid for additional serving space.

Key features:

Piezo ignition; Four stainless steel burners; Cast iron grills; Hybrid cooking system charcoal basket; Four stainless steel flame tamers; Bottle opener; Side table; Side burner; Warming rack; Two wheels; Front drawer; Drip tray.

Dimensions: 128 x 140 x 61cm

Review: "After deciding to move back to a gas bbq from a charcoal one and having had an Outback products in the past, this was a natural choice. I wasnt disapointed as the build quality seems to be very good. Theres a lot to put together but it all went together well and feeks really sturdy. It cooks well on gas. I havent tried the hybrid bbq charcoals yet but its a great idea to have a crossover with charcoal style cooking. So far so perfect!"

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. Geared towards every BBQ enthusiast, this BBQ has thermostats on both hoods for temperature regulation, a storage shelf, wheels for portability around the garden, hooks for tea towels and utensils, and even a spice rack. It's all in the detail!

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.

Key features:

Two stainless steel burners; Flame tamer; Drip tray; Two thermostats; Side shelf; Warming rack; Two wheels; Hooks; Spice rack.

Dimensions: 59cm x 116cm x 139cm

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!!"

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.

There are six burners plus a warming rack to keep food warm or for use as a secondary cooking area. The dual hoods allow completely separate cooking temperatures with built-in thermometers to keep you in control, which you can adjust with the LED-backlit knobs.

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.

Not only will this elevate your cooking, we particularly like the handy side shelves, sliding drawers, chopping board, ice bucket, and underneath storage space that'll elevate your BBQ experience, making it superior in ease and quality.

Key features:

Integrated Piezo ignition; Six stainless steel burners; Grillstream; Two thermometers; LED backlit control knobs; Warming rack; Side shelf; Enclosed storage; Cast iron grills; Flame tamers; Drip tray; Four wheels.

Dimensions: 55.5cm x 115.2cm x 168.7cm

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 gas lighters - 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 first impressions I'm very pleased with it."

If you're after a bargain burner, this online-exclusive family-sized barbecue from Aldi makes cooking for large parties a cinch, at an incredible price. Enjoy the convenience of gas and smoky flavour of coals along with handy extras such as warming racks, thermometers, two-side prep surfaces, and a roomy lower storage shelf.

As well as being fantastic value, customers found it easy to clean thanks to the stainless-steel cooking grills. It's a little fiddly to put together but despite the price, once built it looks surprisingly stylish.

Key features:

Side burner; Two thermometers; Two warming racks; Side shelf and under-shelf; 2 wheels; Removeable charcoal tray; Fat tray; Stainless steel side burner with 3.2kW rotary ignition system; UK standard gas hose and regulator.

Dimensions: 159cm x 53cm x 102cm (approx.)

Review: "Absolutely love this BBQ, been contemplating buying it since last year and finally bit the bullet, easy enough to assemble, took me about an hour on my own. Once assembled it looks very impressive, we have only used the gas side and side burner to date, but very impressed. The biggest plus side for me was the ease of cleaning, everything comes out for you to soak in the sink. Very impressed especially for the price."

A hybrid BBQ so popular it sells out fast. The John Lewis & Partner Grillstream Hybrid four burner is an affordable option for under £500 and can cook for up to eight people. The Grillstream system streams away fat for virtually flare-free, clean and healthy grilling. Fat is streamed away from the heat source, basting the food as it goes, leading to perfectly cooked, succulent food. It comes highly recommended by shoppers who have said it's an "absolute game-changer". Don't miss out.

Key features:

Integrated Piezo ignition; Four stainless steel burners; Grillstream; Lid thermometer; LED backlit control knobs; Warming rack; Side shelf; Enclosed storage; Cast iron grills; Flame tamers; Drip tray; Four wheels.

Dimensions: 115.6cm x 139cm x 55.8cm

Review: "We've only ever had charcoal or gas BBQs - never a hybrid! It's a game-changer! Hot hot coals within 10 mins ready to cook on or don't bother with coals and just use the gas for a mid-week BBQ. Best of both worlds! After reading the reviews we decided to pay the extra for JL to build the BBQ- so glad we did. It arrived ready-made and is fantastic! I'd really recommend this BBQ, great looking, sturdy, really easy to clean everything you want from a barbie!"

Half charcoal, half gas, there’s no messing about with this classy three-burner grill. The cast-iron plates accommodate a wide range of handy accessories including cast-iron pan, pizza stone, wok, pastry inlay, Dutch oven and poultry roaster, although these must be bought separately.

The left-hand side of the BBQ is a traditional charcoal barbecue, while on the right-hand side is a three-burner gas BBQ, each with a cast-iron cooking grid with enamelled warming racks. Mounted on a trolley with four swivel casters, it has ample storage with a cabinet fitted with a gas bottle holder on one side, a shelf, drawer, two side shelves, and even four hooks to hang your must-have BBQ tools from.

Key features:

Cast-iron cooking grids; Warming racks; Removeable inlay; Height-adjustable charcoal fuel tray; Three 2.9kW stainless steel burners; Powder-coated frame; Four tool hooks; Two side shelves; Four swivel castors; Cabinet.

Dimensions: 116.5cm x 65cm x 173cm

Hybrid BBQ grill FAQs

Jill Morgan answers those burning hybrid BBQ questions...

What features should you look for?

There are combo barbecues on the market to suit every size plot and budget, from compact two-burner designs that are easily wheeled around a small garden to majestic six-burner numbers that will be the gourmet hub for any outdoor gathering.

Cooking features

Individually controlled gas burners, grill plates at adjustable heights and hoods with built-in thermometers all help to eliminate the guesswork needed when cooking on charcoal, as well as saving on time, stress and fuel. Side burners are worthwhile extras and super-useful for heating sauces and simmering veggies.

Usually gas-powered, you can also find models with ceramic infrared plates that are quick to heat and energy efficient.
Removable charcoal collection trays make for an easy and quick clean-up, while grills with built-in work and prep areas save on journeys to and from the kitchen.

Two women using hybrid bbq
©Getty Images

Shelving features

Look out for single or twin side ledges, which are great for chopping. Warming racks are also handy for keeping food that is fully cooked warm.

Other useful features to look for include open shelving that can be loaded up with plates and serving boards, and rows of hooks to keep utensils close to hand. Some designs even have spice racks and narrow shelves for sauce bottles and seasonings. And double door cabinets are great for not only concealing the gas canister but hiding cooking clutter too.

Swift conversion

How easy is it to swap from one fuel type to another really depends on the model, so do pay attention to this factor when choosing which to buy. There are a few grills with dedicated sides for charcoal and gas but the majority have gas
burners that can be adapted to be used with coals by simply adding a tray of charcoal above the gas burners.

What material should a hybrid BBQ be made of?

If you barbecue regularly, being choosy about your cooking grates can really pay off. There are three main options:
Stainless steel looks uber-smart and is easy to keep clean, but it doesn’t give quite the same cooking results as cast iron.
Cast iron plates are fantastic at conducting heat and will leave impressive sear marks on food but their slightly pitted surface makes them tricky to keep scrupulously clean.
Porcelain-enamelled cast iron (or PECI) combines fast-to-heat qualities with an easy-clean surface and, while it’s more expensive, it is exceptionally durable. You’ll need to resist the temptation to scrape the plates as this can damage the surface and lead to rusting. Instead, use a stainless-steel brush to remove any dirt then soak in warm water with a mild non-citrus washing-up liquid and dry thoroughly with absorbent paper towels.

Cooking on a hybrid BBQ
©Getty Images

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.

For more advice on the best BBQ fuel for your grill read our in-depth guide.

Outback Hybrid Coconut Briquettes

Outback Hybrid Coconut Briquettes

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These Coconut Shell Briquettes are for use with all Outback® Hybrid gas BBQ. Simply add briquettes into the charcoal basket, ignite using gas on medium heat for 15 mins, and turn off the gas when the briquettes start to turn grey.
Use with: Gas and charcoal BBQs
Instant ignition and lasts for up to 4 hours
Weight: 5kg

Weber 1759180 Briquettes 8kg

Weber 1759180 Briquettes 8kg
Amazon

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If you want consistent results briquettes are hard to beat. They light evenly and burn at the same temperature, so there's less chance of developing a hot spot, and these Weber briquettes are made from waste wood and promise a three-hour burn.
Use with: Charcoal BBQs
Easy and quick to light and burn for a long time, ready to use in 20 minutes
3 hours burning time
Weight: 5kg or 8kg

Flogas Butane Gas Cylinder 13kg

Flogas Butane Gas Cylinder 13kg

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Ideal for patio heaters and large BBQs with four burners or more.
Fuel type: Butane
Avg 43 hours of heating with one burner, avg 32 hours of cooking with two burners

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