The Best Charcoal BBQ In Australia For 2020: Weber, Jumbuck

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Who doesn’t love a good barbecue? There’s no better way to spend the afternoon than spending time with friends and family while cooking delicious food on the grill.

Charcoal grills offer great control over cooking and give food that authentic charcoal-grilled flavour. The best charcoal barbecues are easy to use, offer high-quality cooking performance and are low maintenance. The reviews and buyer’s guide below will help you narrow down the choice so you can find the best charcoal BBQ for your outdoor cooking needs.


1. Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill (Top Pick)


The original Weber Kettle is an immediately recognisable classic that has been tried and tested by many. The Weber grill not only looks great but it works great too.

The Aluminium One-Touch Cleaning System uses a simple lever to open and close the bottom vents, removing ash and debris in seconds. The grill has heat-resistant side handles and has trolley wheels so you can move it around as needed.

The grill has a plated steel, hinged cooking grate and a wire rack at the bottom. The Weber Original Kettle is constructed with heat-resistant, heavy-duty steel and it has a porcelain-enamelled bowl and lid. The lid also has a handy built-in thermometer.


What We Like:

Easy to move around
Heavy duty
Classic

What We Don’t Like:

Requires assembly


2. Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill BBQ


The Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill from Weber is one of the best portable options available and is particularly well-suited to hibachi-style cooking.

This grill has fold up legs that hold the lid in place when transporting. The lid is great for smoking food and can also be angled and used as a windbreak.

This is a heavy-duty grill with chrome-plated steel cooking grill and no-rust aluminium vents. This model is sturdy and easy to clean with glass-reinforced handles and porcelain-enamelled bowl and lid.


What We Like:

Portable
Hibachi style
Easy to clean

What We Don’t Like:

Cooking grate not adjustable


3. Char Griller Akorn Charcoal BBQ


This Akorn Charcoal BBQ is a durable, adjustable and fuel-efficient char griller perfect for cooking a range of dishes from steak to smoked ribs and even bread.

This charcoal barbecue has large wheels for easy manoeuvrability, a stainless heat gauge for accurate temperatures and folding side shelves for extra space.

The grill includes cast iron grates and there are adjustable dampers so you can control heat and smoke. This is a convenient, versatile grill that is easy to clean.


What We Like:

Ideal for a range of cooking styles
Control heat and smoke levels
Durable

What We Don’t Like:

Heat control takes practice


4. Weber Compact Kettle BBQ Charcoal


The Weber Compact Kettle BBQ is best suited to anyone who doesn’t have much storage or barbecuing space.

The bowl and lid are both porcelain-enamelled and the lid handle is shielded to prevent it from getting too hot while you are cooking. There is a triple-plated cooking grate inside this charcoal barbeque that makes cooking easy.

This model is easy to maintain as it has a no-rust aluminium ash catcher for one touch cleaning. The Weber Compact is sturdy, high-quality and offers great value for money.


What We Like:

Good price
Compact size
Simple to keep clean

What We Don’t Like:

No temperature gauge on the lid like other Weber models offer


5. Jumbuck 57cm Black Charcoal Kettle BBQ


The Jumbuck Charcoal BBQ is a compact size perfect for smaller gardens and balconies.

This stylish unit is durable and weather-resistant with its enamel-coated steel frame and stainless steel grill. It also has wheels and handles so you can move the grill around with ease.

There is an adjustable air vent on the lid for more control over your grilling and this model also has an ash catcher is for simplified cleaning and maintenance.


What We Like:

Small size
Weather-resistant
Portable

What We Don’t Like:

Simple features


6. Kamado Joe Classic Series III Charcoal BBQ


If you are looking for a charcoal BBQ that is versatile and can do so much more than just grill, the Kamado Joe Classic Series III is worth a look.

This flexible cooking system has a multi-level half-rack design the allows you to cook different foods at different temperatures at the same time. This can save you time and makes it easier to create the meals you want in one go.

There is a Hyperbolic smoke chamber insert and you can control the heat and smoke to suit your dish. The chamber locks in smoke and moisture at any temperature. This charcoal grill also has an accessories shelf so you can keep the area tidy and have everything you need on hand.


What We Like:

Ideal for smoking food
Flexibility to cook multiple dishes at once
Built to last

What We Don’t Like:

More expensive option


7. Weber Smokey Joe Charcoal BBQ and Smoker


If you love the Weber Classic Kettle but you want one you can take with you on trips or put away when it’s not in use, check out the Smokey Joe.

This brings the great features of the classic just in a smaller package. You get the one-touch cleaning system to remove ash with minimal effort, the heavy-duty steel construction and the aluminium vents too.

The Smokey Joe has self-standing legs and the bowl and lid are porcelain enamel. The lid handle is rubber so it won’t get hot when you are grilling. This is perfect for enjoying good food on camping trips.


What We Like:

Compact size
Perfect for camping trips
High-quality

What We Don’t Like:

Small cooking surface


Charcoal BBQ Buyer’s Guide


Charcoal BBQs are simple to use, durable and affordable. Cooking with charcoal produces flavourful food with that smokiness we all love when barbecuing. If you’re looking for that authentic barbecuing experience then go for a charcoal barbecue. This guide can help you find the best charcoal grill for you.

Types of Charcoal BBQ

Kettle Grills

This is a popular, versatile and low-cost option that can handle low and high heat cooking. A kettle grill is an almost spherical barbecue that has a lid to retain and reflect the heat inside. These charcoal grills are easy to maintain and are compact in size but can easily cook around 15 burgers even on the smaller options. Many kettle grills have an ash catcher that makes clean up even easier. This is a great go-to option that is stylish and offers flexibility without being overkill.

Barrel Grills

A barrel grill is a larger option, the basic design is a barrel where the bottom half is for the coal or wood and the top half forms the lid. These grills usually have wheels for portability and they have air vents too. The barrel grill is suited to smoking, grilling and barbecuing. A barrel grill is very generous in terms of cooking space and can hold more food than a kettle grill. They cost more and are best for people with experience in smoking food and for those wanting to cook large amounts in one go.

Ceramic Grills

These are the most expensive of the three types, a ceramic grill offers excellent temperature control and efficiency. Ceramic grills can handle a range of cooking temperatures so can suit everything from grilling to bread or pizza making, they often have a warming rack too. While these grills come in a range of sizes they are not generally people’s go-to due to the high price tag.

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Basics

  • Solid construction – the barbeque should be sturdy and should be made from long-lasting quality materials such as steel. The grates need to be heavy-duty too. High-quality grates are often made from stainless steel, cast iron or porcelain-coated aluminium. The more sturdy the model is, the better.
  • Assembly – charcoal grills should be fast and easy to assemble, you don’t want to waste time trying to put the barbecue together so make sure the item you choose is user-friendly and easy to get up and running.
  • Maintenance – a barbecue should be low maintenance and cleaning them after use should be easy. Look for a barbecue that has an ashpan as this will collect all of the ash, coal and mess at the bottom of the grill so you can easily empty it with minimal effort.
  • Safety – for safety the grill and shelves should all be sturdy, the edges of the barbeque should not be sharp and the handles should always stay cool to touch. It’s advised you use long-handled tools as the flames on a charcoal grill can get high.

Important Features

When choosing a barbecue consider how many people you will be cooking for, how often you will be using the bbq and whether or not the model you choose needs to be portable. Here are some of the most important considerations:

  • Wheels – wheels make the grill easy to manoeuvre so you can position it in the best spot and easily put it away after use. If it has wheels, the wheels should roll easily.
  • Warming rack – a warming rack can keep cooked food warm while you cook other items, it is a great feature when you are cooking lots of food and you want to serve it at the same time.
  • Adjustable cooking grates – having height-adjustable grates gives you greater cooking and heat control.
  • Shelves and accessories trays – this is great for holding dishes, equipment, condiments and drinks so the chef can have everything they need right there where they are grilling.
  • Chimneys and vents – this allows you to release excess smoke without having to open the lid and lose heat. Vents are important for controlling airflow so make sure the option you choose has air dampers.
  • Versatility – the best BBQs offer versatility to cook quick meals or slowly smoke them. If you are looking for flexibility, find a model that is well insulated as this can offer better temperature control and can more easily handle longer cooking times.