Want to invest in a new barbecue but can’t decide between the convenience of gas and the smoky taste of charcoal? Get the best of both worlds with the Char-Broil® Gas2Coal Hybrid Grill. Read my review below.
We have a questionable (or downright sad) history with barbecues. They have always been charcoal-based, cheap, and not one has survived longer than one season. Somehow, that final collection of ash never gets cleaned up and even with a cover, the rain gets in. By December, the once pristine barbecue has been reduced to a rusted out, ash-coated monstrosity to be carted to the nearest tip. And so we decided not to bother with barbecues anymore and lived without one for several years.
All of that changed when we were offered the chance to review the Char-Broil® Gas2Coal Hybrid Grill. As the somewhat elaborate name suggests, it’s a gas grill that can easily be converted into a charcoal grill simply by adding coal into the special fitted tray. The charcoal is then heated by the gas requiring no lighter fluid, kindling or frantic waving with a card until the coal decides to starts heating up. The Char-Broil® Gas2Coal Hybrid Grill offers the best of both worlds without the mess. All you need is a propane tank, which is usually available from your local DIY shop or petrol station.
Some assembly required
But before you get out out your apron and BBQ seasoning, you will need to spend some quality time putting the barbecue together. It arrived flat packed in an enormous box and required a good couple of hours following detailed instructions before it could finally be wheeled into garden. As I am totally useless at following instruction manuals I passed this task over to my husband… Sorry not sorry.
Apart from the easy conversion from gas to coal, there are several other thoughtful touches that set this barbecue apart. The grates are porcelain coated and therefore rust-resistant and easy to clean. The grill comes with a little side burner which can be used to keep sauces or side dishes warm – a feature I haven’t actually had a chance to use yet. The temperature gauge on the lid is especially useful for when you want to cook at lower temperatures. There’s even a rotisserie attachment (sold separately) that I can’t wait to try out.
Putting the Gas2Coal Hybrid Grill to the test
Once it’s assembled, the Gas2Coal Hybrid Grill lights up with the push of a button and is ready to go in less than 10 minutes if you’re using the gas alone. If you decide to go for the gas charcoal combo, it takes about 15 minutes. No more waiting around for the charcoal to turn just the right shade of white before you can throw your burgers on. And for those of us not blessed with a vast back garden and living cheek-by-jowl in the British suburbs, one of the best things about the Gas2Coal Hybrid Grill is the lack of choking smoke drifting through every open window. The heat is distributed evenly, especially when you close the lid (with its built-in thermometer), which means you can cook your selection of meats and veg much faster than on a conventional charcoal barbecue or even your stove! Midweek barbecues here we come.
What’s the verdict?
We had two barbecues, back to back, the first weekend we set it up. I don’t think we’ve had more than two barbecues in an entire summer in the past. Chicken skewers, burgers, grilled aubergines, corn on the cob, jacket potatoes, all cooked to perfection in record time. And we’ve used it many more times since we first set it up a few weeks ago. The only thing stopping us from using it more has been the weather. I’d call that a success.
Some barbecue recipes to inspire you…
• For an authentic Greek souvlaki you will need to use the coal feature. We must have made this recipe at least four times in the past month!
• Cook this BBQ butterflied leg of lamb in record time.
• Can’t wait to try my dry-rubbed ribs with bourbon-spiked BBQ sauce on an actual barbecue!
The Char-Broil® Gas2Coal Hybrid Grill retails from £369.99 and is available online and from selected stores across the UK. Visit www.charbroil.eu for a list of stockists.