When the sun comes out, one of the best ways to spend an afternoon is gathering friends and family in the garden for a BBQ. Gone are the days when cooking food al fresco involved a basic charcoal stove on legs; now there’s a huge selection of stylish and multi-functional designs out there to help you up your grilling game.

There are also lots of different fuel types available; our list includes wood pellet and electric grills alongside the best charcoal BBQs for anyone after a slightly more sustainable alternative.

The best BBQs to buy in 2023

Weber Smokey Mountain Charcoal Barbecue

Weber Smokey mountain Black Charcoal Barbecue on a pink background

Pros: great for smoking, distinctive style, built-in thermometer, easy-open door

Cons: takes a while to heat up, harder to clean than others

  • Wood or charcoal
  • Bullet shape for smoking food
  • Built-in thermometer
  • Easy-open door for refuelling

As the name suggests, this bullet-shaped BBQ is designed to allow space for smoke to circulate, which should help keep food tender and flavoursome. It’s one of the best BBQs to buy if you favour the ‘low and slow’ cooking technique, and the larger models in this range have two grates inside.

This BBQ also comes with a handy in-built thermometer in the lid and a water tray to help regulate the inside temperature. One of the most convenient features is the rust-proof aluminium door, which makes it easy to top up the charcoal or wood fuel.

When you’ve finished barbecuing, you can make sure the BBQ stays in pristine condition by storing it under its cover, which has Velcro straps for extra security.

Traeger Pro 22 Wood Pellet Grill

Traeger Pro 22 Wood Pellet Grill on a pink background

Pros: eco-friendly fuel, large hopper to reduce refuelling, meat probes for easy control

Cons: may need to order wood pellets online

  • Wood pellets
  • 8kg-capacity hopper to reduce refuelling
  • Meat probes to monitor food without lifting lid

Besides electric grills, a wood-fired design is one of the best BBQs you can buy if you’re looking for something more sustainable than charcoal. This option from Traeger has an 8kg hopper, so you can cook for hours without worrying about refuelling.

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According to Traeger, you can ‘grill, smoke, braise, roast, bake and BBQ’ in the Pro 22. It’s also a great choice for barbecuing novices, thanks to the two integrated meat thermometers and the large hopper, which help keep the temperature and smoke level stable.

Big Green Egg Charcoal BBQ with Acacia Shelves & ConvEGGtor

Big Green Egg Large BBQ on a pink background

Pros: works as oven, thermometer, folding shelves and locking castors, insulated outer for safety, stylish

Cons: harder to clean than others

  • Charcoal
  • Kamado style
  • 2-10 portions
  • Includes ConvEGGtor to circulate air
  • In-built thermometer, folding acacia shelves and locking castor wheels
  • Insulated outer for safety

The Big Green Egg has already found a big fan base among al fresco cooking connoisseurs. With its classy green coating and iconic oval shape, it’s instantly recognisable in any garden. It’s also one of the best charcoal BBQs to get if you’re after a kamado grill, modelled on traditional Japanese clay ovens.

Thanks to the ceramic construction, you can try a range of cooking styles in the Big Green Egg, including smoking, slow-roasting and baking.

This model includes the brand’s ceramic ConvEGGtor, which helps to circulate the air and avoid hotspots. It also comes with folding acacia wood shelves for food prep and storage space.

BergHOFF Leo Tabletop Charcoal BBQ

BergHOFF Leo Tabletop BBQ on a pink background

Pros: portable, stylish

Cons: heavy to carry

  • Charcoal
  • Perfect for couples
  • Portable
  • 8kg
  • Removable cork lid/heat shield

If you’re looking for a portable BBQ to take on day trips and camping holidays, BergHOFF’s Leo could be the right choice. It’s also a great option for couples or anyone with a small garden, and it’ll be quicker and easier to clean than larger models once you’ve finished cooking.

While many portable BBQs have a fairly basic look, this one has a sleek design, complete with a cork lid, carry strap and detachable silicone handles.

At 8kg in weight, it is heavy to carry around, especially with charcoal inside, so it’s best if you’re driving to your destination. Once you’re there, you’ll be able to cook meat, kebabs and small items like baked potatoes.

*Remember, always check the rules around barbecuing in public places like parks and beaches.

Weber Pulse 2000 Electric Barbecue

Weber Pulse 2000 Barbecue with Cart on a pink background

Pros: eco-friendly electric power, precise control, two temperature zones, easy to clean

Cons: doesn’t create smokey flavour, needs electric power

  • Electric
  • Control with companion app and thermometer
  • Two temperature zones
  • Status indicator lights

An electric BBQ like the Weber Pulse is ideal for anyone hoping to avoid the mess and smoke associated with a traditional charcoal or wood grill. It’s also a premium option with plenty of impressive technical features to impress friends and family.

Most notably, this BBQ can create two separate cooking areas and uses in-built thermometers to automatically adjust the temperatures and keep them consistent. You can even monitor up to four items at once on the LED display screen and Weber’s companion app.

Check the indicator lights and listen for the alert sound to find out when the BBQ reaches low, medium and high temperatures.

If you’re after matching accessories, you can buy the BBQ’s cover, cleaning brush, gloves and tool set separately.

Ninja Woodfire Electric BBQ Grill & Smoker

Ninja Woodfire Electric BBQ Grill & Smoker on a pink background

Pros: efficient, built-in smoker and convection fan, easy to clean

Cons: needs electric power, doesn’t come with legs

  • Electric
  • Add wood pellets for smoking
  • Compact
  • Seven cooking functions
  • Convection fan
  • Fits eight burgers / 16 sausages

You might know Ninja for its famous air fryers. Well, here’s the brand’s answer to the traditional BBQ. It’s an electric outdoor fryer, which uses up to 75% less fat than deep frying, according to the makers. It comes with seven customisable cooking modes, like ‘roast’, ‘bake’ and ‘dehydrate’, so it’s a versatile bit of kit perfect for the adventurous home chef.

Although this is primarily an electric BBQ, it does come with an in-built smoker box, which you can fill with Ninja’s woodfire pellets to give your food a smoky flavour.

Another great feature is the convection fan, which helps to circulate the air inside and cook meat evenly. You can even grill frozen food in this clever device.

Buschbeck Masonry Charcoal & Wood Barbecue

Buschbeck Masonry Barbecue on a pink background

Pros: smart, stylish, choice of fuel types, chimney to take away smoke

Cons: needs installation, more expensive than others

  • Wood, charcoal or briquettes
  • Made from granite and steel
  • Attractive garden focal point
  • Choose from lots of designs

If you’re not sold on a metal or ceramic BBQ, why not build a permanent structure in your garden? Masonry BBQs like these create a stylish focal point in any outdoor space and will look good for years to come.

The white-toned finish and warm copper detailing give this BBQ a distinct Mediterranean look, while the chimney funnels away smoke, so diners can gather around for extra warmth in the evening.

Buschbeck’s masonry grill is also one of the best charcoal BBQs for strength and durability, as it’s reinforced with steel rods inside. As well as charcoal, you can fuel it with wood and briquettes.

VonHaus American Style Charcoal BBQ Grill

VonHaus American Style Charcoal BBQ Grill on a pink background

Pros: can add wood chips for smokey taste, storage shelves

Cons: takes a while to heat up, harder to clean than others

  • Charcoal
  • Add wood chips for smoking
  • Height-adjustable grill
  • Two shelves
  • Bottle opener and utensil hooks

American-style BBQs like this one are a popular choice - and for good reason. Designed to be an all-in-one cooking station, they provide plenty of grilling space, alongside handy storage shelves and tool hooks.

This BBQ from VonHaus doubles as a wood smoker, and you can give your food a smoky flavour and succulent texture by adding wood chips underneath the grill.

While electric BBQs build in temperature control with integrated thermometers, this design has an adjustable charcoal tray, which you can move up and down to change the heat intensity.

Storage shelves, tool hooks and a bottle opener are also included to make life easier as you cook.

What to consider when buying a BBQ

Buying a BBQ can be an investment and there are many different models out there, so it’s worth weighing up your options before choosing one. Here are a few factors to consider:


Think about not only the number of meals you want to be able to cook at once, but also the amount of garden space you want to dedicate to your BBQ set-up. The bigger the grill, the more fuel you’ll need and the more time you’ll spend cleaning it, so it may not be worth going for a huge BBQ if you usually only cook for you and your partner.


These days, BBQs come in all shapes and sizes. You’ll find everything from ceramic Japanese-inspired kamado eggs and temperature-controlled electric models to American-style grills with in-built smokers and even permanent masonry BBQs with chimneys.

Balance style with performance to make sure your BBQ can work for you.

Fuel type

Charcoal is the traditional choice, but more and more brands are introducing BBQs that can run on different fuels, either for efficiency or sustainability. Here are some of your options:

Gas BBQs

  • Efficient
  • Reach precise temperatures quickly
  • Don’t achieve the smokey flavour of wood or charcoal
  • Easy to clean
  • Can be expensive
  • You can use natural gases like biogas rather than propane

Charcoal BBQs

  • Often cheaper than other types
  • Give food the classic smokey flavour
  • Take longer to heat up and it’s harder to control the temperature
  • Harder to clean
  • You can find sustainable ‘charcoal’ briquettes made from other materials like coconut shells

Electric BBQs

  • Reach precise temperatures quickly
  • Easy to clean
  • Don’t achieve the smokey flavour of wood or charcoal
  • Some don’t get as hot as gas and charcoal BBQs

Wood pellet BBQs

  • Often US-style BBQs or models with smoke boxes to create a smokey flavour
  • Can be more efficient and eco-friendly than gas and charcoal BBQs
  • Usually need electric power
  • You may need to order wood pellets online


BBQs range from basic charcoal grills to digital, temperature-controlled models with separate cooking zones, convection fans and companion apps.

While the more advanced BBQs give you more control over your food, they can be more complicated to use. So, the right choice depends on your requirements and level of ability when it comes to cooking al fresco.


No one likes scrubbing their BBQ at the end of the day, but if easy cleaning is top of your priority list, you’ll need a gas-powered or electric model. As they don’t use solid fuel or create excess smoke, they’re usually simpler to polish up afterwards.

Looking for similar options?

See our favourite outdoor ovens or browse some of the best pizza ovens you can buy online. Grab some eco firelighters to get started.


Alice TufferyDigital Writer

Drawing on a love of gardening and countryside walks, Alice works across Countryfile and Gardens Illustrated magazines to find and review the very best products for life in the great outdoors.