Best BBQ 2023: the top 14 we've put to the test

From charcoal to gas and hybrid to electric, these are the best BBQs, grills and smokers we've tested

Best BBQ: Tower Kamado, Everdure Furnace in mint and Char-Broil All Star
(Image credit: Future)

If you're anything like us, the arrival of spring means our thoughts are firmly fixed on the promise of warm, sunny days cooking on the BBQ in the garden. And if you're in need of a new BBQ this summer to grill your favorite steaks, burgers and veggie sides to perfection, you've come to the right place. 

At Gardeningetc we've been reviewing the best BBQs for quite a while so we can bring you our recommendations, no matter the size or type of garden you're working with. 

BBQs can be split into two main categories. There are gas BBQs, which can be pretty hefty and hard to build but are incredibly easy to light and maintain. Charcoal BBQs are a traditional choice, with that classic smokey smell that will have all the neighbours hankering for an invite. They're typically smaller and cheaper, too, and many come with a portable kettle design that will be easily stored in your shed throughout the winter months. 

The best BBQs to buy in 2023

Why you can trust Gardeningetc Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Here's a quick low-down of our top picks. Click through and you'll be sent to the cheapest offer.

  • Best charcoal BBQ:  Big Green Egg
  • Best gas BBQ: Weber Genesis II EX-335 GBS
  • Best hybrid BBQ: Char-Broil Gas2Coal Hybrid Grill
  • Best electric grill: Everdure Fusion Grill
  • Best smoker: Traeger PRO 575 Pellet Grill

Best BBQ Char-Broil Gas2CoalGold badge

(Image credit: Char-Broil )
The very best BBQ for most families

Specifications

Fuel: Gas with charcoal tray accessory
Weight: 47kg
Colour: Black
Cooking area: 64.2 x 43.5cm
RRP: £469 for a 3-burner model

Reasons to buy

+
Warming rack
+
Side burner
+
Charcoal tray is easy to store
+
Loads of cooking space
+
Easy to clean
+
Range of sizes

Reasons to avoid

-
Assembly takes time
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It's a little basic looking 

We've tried this BBQ, and it's a top choice for those who don't want to compromise when it comes to quality on either cooking mode. It's also easy to clean, and simple to switch between gas and coal plus it features a warming rack for when your timing is a bit off. Not only is it great for cooking for a crowd, but it even has an in-built bottle opener to make for fewer trips to the kitchen. It's the ultimate barbecue for those who want the best of both worlds, and if you often cook outdoors.

Easily tell the temperature of your grill using the in-built gauge which goes up to 350 degrees, which is plenty for any meal. You can use this BBQ to cook just about anything from halloumi to steak, burgers and even scallops. It also has a side burner which is perfect for, you guessed it: your side dishes. Even when using the charcoal tray with this BBQ you ignite the fuel using the gas burner, which lights easily and only needs to burn for 15 minutes to get the perfect temperature in your charcoal. After using the charcoal tray, you can also store it underneath the BBQ for less faff. It also comes with a holder for the grate tool that helps to lift grates when they're hot or dirty.

Big Green Egg LargeGold badge

(Image credit: Big Green Egg)
The very best charcoal BBQ

Specifications

Fuel: Charcoal
Weight: 40kg/73kg/93kg
Colour: Racing Green
Cooking area: 33cm diameter
RRP: £795 - £1,790

Reasons to buy

+
Iconic design 
+
3 sizes
+
Easy to clean
+
Versatile
+
Simple ash removal

Reasons to avoid

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High price
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A hefty model

If you're an adventurer who still likes the finer things in life, then try the Big Green Egg out for size. It comes in your choice of three sizes and it can do everything from sear veggies to roast a turkey, grill sausages and even slow cook your food. It can even cook pizza! This bad boy could actually rival your home oven, all in one compact (yet admittedly heavy) piece. We tested the large size and we love it.

It's the high lid that lets you cook larger cuts of meat using indirect heat. It won't get as hot as other metal barbecues – making it safer – but it's insulated and complete with patented airflow features so that you will enjoy good, even cooking. While it is costly, it is an investment and you'll get compliments. Oh, and it's easy to clean. Plus, it's designed to be used year-round, whether in the height of summer or on Christmas morning for that turkey.

This barbecue comes in three sizes with the smallest boasting a cooking surface measuring 33cm in diameter, the medium size 46cm and the largest 61cm. Choose wisely and based on how large your family is (and how spacious your patio is). 

Weber Go AnywhereGold badge

(Image credit: Weber)
The best portable BBQ

Specifications

Fuel: Charcoal
Weight: 6.78kg
Colour: Black
Cooking area: 42 x 26cm
RRP: £179.99

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to store
+
Cleans in dishwasher
+
Hinged lid
+
Great for travelling
+
Lightweight

Reasons to avoid

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Only comes in one colour
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No built-in thermometer dial

If you are searching for a portable barbecue to take on staycations, camping or on a trip to the seaside, then this one from Weber is brilliant. In fact, we tested it in a London garden that's compact in size and it fared well. It offers everything a normal-size charcoal BBQ can, without a huge amount of floor space required. It's the best bet for anyone short on space with a tiny budget and a small family to feed.

Equipped with a lid, you can use this barbecue to cook anything from a dozen burgers to kebabs, sausages and even large joints of meat and veggies, too. The size of its cooking space is impressive considering its footprint, though you might need to batch cook on it if you are cooking for a large group. You can also use it to indirectly cook your food and create a keep warm area on your barbecue. This all-in-one unit is easy to store and even easier to cart around. Its legs are foldable and help keep the BBQ secure when not in use. It's super easy to clean due to its compact size and you can put its grates in a dishwasher for ease. 

This barbecue also comes in a gas version for those who are interested in a portable BBQ but want the ease of gas cooking.

Campingaz gas bbqGold badge

(Image credit: Campingaz)
The best BBQ for families

Specifications

Fuel: Gas
Weight: 66kg
Colour: Slate
Cooking area: 46 x 72cm
RRP: £649.99

Reasons to buy

+
Speedy and consistent heating
+
Modular cooking system
+
Grease-resistant design
+
Gas canister is hidden from view

Reasons to avoid

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Assembly took a while
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Lacks that smokey charcoal flavour

This mighty gas BBQ is designed for family feasts. Our reviewer was able to cater to meat-eaters and veggies alike with its expansive four-burner design, and the modular grill system even has room to add a wok or pizza stone. Delish. 

The standout feature of this BBQ is its self-cleaning system. It's a smart design, called InstaClean Aqua. You add water to the underside of the BBQ (which also creates a lovely bit of steam to keep food moist) and any fat that drips away from your meat will simply form a layer on top of the water, meaning it's simply wiped away. 

There's a thermometer on the top lid of the Campingaz 4 Series Premium S that accurately shows the temperature as you're cooking. This helped to make sure our food was still cooking when the lid was down, and because the dials could ramp down the temperature with ease, it offers complete control when cooking steak, etc. 

We think the price is spot on for such a smart BBQ, and while it took a while to assemble, it's durable once you've pieced it all together. 

Traeger PRO 575 Pellet Grill

(Image credit: Traeger)
The best smoker BBQ

Specifications

Fuel: Wood pellets
Weight: 58kg
Colour: Black
Cooking area: 3709 sq cms
RRP: £899

Reasons to buy

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Smart
+
Easy to use
+
Large cooking space
+
Versatile
+
Self-fueling

Reasons to avoid

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Expensive
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Pellets are hard to find
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Large in size

We were blown away in testing by how powerful the Traeger PRO 575 Pellet Grill is when it comes to smoking, grilling and cooking. It's definitely one for serious cooks, or for anyone who likes to impress their guests. Cook fish, meat and veggies with this pellet grill. It's got a drum-shaped body that can fit larger cuts of meat, too. It's an ideal buy for anyone with plenty of patio space, and a love for outdoor cooking.

A Wi-Fi-operated grill? You heard us right. You can receive alerts when your food reaches the ideal temperature, and monitor your grill from the Traeger app even when you're indoors. Simply fill the hopper with pellets, plug it in, switch it on at the back, select the temperature you want it to reach, press the ignite button and you’re sorted. It automatically adds more pellets when required, and if you're cooking a joint of meat it makes sense to use the meat probe. This connects to your phone so that you can check cooking progress as you rustle up a side salad or clean the house before guests arrive. Considering its size, it's also quite simple to clean after use, too.

WeberGardeningetc Reviewed and Rated badge

(Image credit: Weber)
The best portable gas BBQ

Specifications

Fuel: Gas
Weight: 28.1kg
Colour: Black
Cooking area: 2065 cm2
RRP: £465

Reasons to buy

+
Folds down for easy storage
+
Easy to use and clean
+
Ample cooking space
+
Handy prep surface
+
Very easy to assemble

Reasons to avoid

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Quite heavy for a portable barbecue
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Gas canisters are disposable and not very eco-friendly

The smart design is what caught our eye with the Weber Traveler. It has a generous cooking area but folds down to a pull-along for easy transportation. We rated it 4.5-stars out of 5, mostly because of how easy it is to use, clean and cart around. It's app-connected, too, and it offers a handy prep surface. It's the ultimate portable gas BBQ for large families that might want to avoid a charcoal option. If you're often staycationing, then this is the buy for you.

Beyond the sturdy wheels and grippy handle, this BBQ is useful for more than just travelling. Because it folds flat we could imagine it propped against the wall of our garden shed when not in use. It's also got smaller, disposable gas canisters that won't take up much space, either. Whilst handy for being on the go, it's something to consider if you're trying to be eco-conscious. Design aside, we were wowed by the cooking space that Weber has been able to pack into the Traveler. It cooked up corn and an enormous tomahawk steak with plenty of space to spare. We think it could cook for four to six people, easy. 

Char-Broil The Big EasyBronze badge

(Image credit: Char-Broil)
The best multifunctional BBQ

Specifications

Fuel: Gas, wood chips
Weight: 22.7kg
Colour: Black
Cooking area: D38.5cm
RRP: £232

Reasons to buy

+
Flexible cooking
+
Great smoky flavour
+
Speedy roasting
+
Generous drum capacity

Reasons to avoid

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Teeny grilling area
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Not best for slow cooking

Taking only 40 minutes to assemble, we were off to a great start with the Char-Broil Big Easy Smoker, Roaster and Grill. For the price, it looks like a premium model that will stand the test of time, with an unconventional design that's probably more akin to the type of BBQ you'd buy in the USA. It allows you to slow cook inside the barrel of the BBQ, and you can use wood chips to smoke your meat for heaps of extra flavour. 

The actual cooking surface is a little small for feasting, so it's better suited to those cooking for three or four people than serious garden parties. We used this BBQ to roast chicken, slow-cook pork shoulder, and even make a speedy pizza that might just rival the best pizza ovens

This BBQ is gas-powered, and because the cooking surface sits top the main drum body of the grill, it means it will take a longer time to pre-heat than most BBQs. Cooking was very even though, and once again we took full advantage of the smoking modes here to make some extra flavourful sausages. Delish. 

Weber Smokey Joe Premium in BlackSilver badge

(Image credit: Weber)

8. Weber Smokey Joe Premium

The best small BBQ

Specifications

Fuel: Charcoal
Weight: 3.5kg
Colours: Black, Slate Blue, Smoke, Ivory White, Crimson, Spring Green
Cooking area: D37cm
RRP: £85