BBQs To Consider Buying This Summer: Gas, Charcoal, Electric & More

BBQs To Consider Buying This Summer: Gas, Charcoal, Electric & More

It’s official — sizzling season is here, meaning it’s the best time to upgrade or finally invest in a brand-new BBQ.

Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or a novice looking to start, selecting the right BBQ can elevate your culinary skills and outdoor entertainment. But with so many models on the market, navigating the various options can be challenging, leaving you wondering which BBQ to buy. We’re here to guide you through the different types of BBQs available, their pros and cons, and provide some practical advice on choosing which BBQ is best for your needs. 

Perfect for whipping up some mouth-watering treats, get ready to elevate your culinary skills, enhance your outdoor space and do some next-level grilling. 


Why get a BBQ?


Cooking for friends and family

As soon as the seasons turn, thousands of Brits wait in anticipation for the first barbeque of the year. Why? Because there's nothing quite like a barbecue with family and friends in the sun. One of life's little pleasures, a barbecue transforms any meal into a social event. 

The perfect way to bring people together, BBQs are great for creating memories over delicious food, allowing you to grill juicy steaks, sizzling sausages and colourful vegetable skewers while your guests mingle and enjoy the atmosphere. Plus, the open grill and smoky BBQ flavours add a unique taste that's hard to replicate indoors.


Extending your living space

Napoleon Prestige Pro 825 RSIB Gas Barbecue £5,999.99


Often overlooked, a BBQ can effectively extend your living space, transforming your back garden, patio or balcony into a mini functional garden kitchen. This extension of your living area allows you to make the most of your home’s space, enhancing not only its appeal but also its useability—especially during those lush summer months

By adding a BBQ, outdoor seating and some decorative lighting, you can create an inviting outdoor living space for cooking, dining and relaxing. This transformation turns your garden into a social hub, perfect for catching up over family dinners, hosting parties or enjoying a romantic evening meal with your partner. 


Enjoying more time in your garden

Napoleon Prestige Pro 500 RSIB Gas Barbecue £3,159.99


Do you love spending time outdoors? Then a BBQ has your name all over it, encouraging you to enjoy your garden even more. Rather than being confined to indoor cooking, you can bask in the fresh air and sunshine while preparing your meals, making cooking and food preparation so much more enjoyable. 

Whether you have a small urban garden or a sprawling country lawn, cooking and dining outside adds a new dimension to your gardening experience. You can even use this as the perfect excuse to plant some fresh herbs or vegetables to use in your BBQ recipes for healthy meals bursting with flavour.


Which BBQ to buy?

Napoleon Phantom Prestige 500 RSIB Gas Barbecue - £2,890


Choosing what BBQ to buy in the UK can be daunting when there are so many options available — especially if you aren’t an expert. That’s why we’re here to help. Our handy table below will help you quickly understand some of the main features, pros and cons of each type of BBQ to give you a better idea of what would best suit you and your needs. 


Main features 



Charcoal BBQ 

  • Traditional, smoky flavour
  • Uses charcoal briquettes
  • Authentic BBQ flavour
  • High heat for searing meat
  • Longer prep time 
  • Harder to control temperature

Electric BBQ

  • Plug-in
  • Uses electricity
  • No open flame
  • Easy to use
  • Suitable for flats
  • No smoke
  • Lacks traditional BBQ flavour
  • Limited portability


  • Uses propane or natural gas
  • Quick start-up
  • Convenient
  • Precise temperature control
  • Easier to clean
  • Less authentic flavour
  • Requires a gas supply

Dual-fuel BBQ

  • Combines charcoal and gas options
  • Versatile
  • Versatile
  • Various cooking methods
  • Convenient
  • Greater range of flavours
  • More expensive
  • Bulkier and takes up more space 

Kamado grill

  • Ceramic construction
  • Excellent heat retention
  • Superior temperature control
  • Versatile cooking
  • More expensive
  • Heavy

Masonry BBQ

  • Built-in 
  • Fixed structure
  • Aesthetic appeal
  • Durable
  • Excellent heat retention
  • Permanent installation
  • On the more expensive side


Charcoal BBQs

Napoleon NK22 Charcoal Kettle Grill £229.99


  • Uses charcoal briquettes for fuel.
  • Known for producing a distinctive, smoky flavour.
  • Typically includes a grill grate and a venting system for airflow control.


Charcoal BBQs are infamous for delivering that authentic smoky flavour which many BBQ enthusiasts crave (and sweat to achieve). Their high temperatures are perfect for searing meats and creating a deliciously charred exterior while keeping the inside tender and juicy. 

They can also reach higher temperatures than gas grills and tend to be more affordable in terms of initial cost, as well as fuel. Not to mention this quintessential bit of outdoor cooking kit makes the grilling process more engaging, leaving you feeling accomplished as you watch your guests tuck in while you flip your burgers and sausages.



There’s no denying that the traditional charcoal BBQ is a great piece of kit, but be warned — it requires more prep time than other models. When you light the charcoal you’ll have to wait around for a bit before you can start cooking, and maintaining a consistent temperature throughout the entire process can be a challenge. 

It’s also less environmentally friendly and generates more ash, making it harder to clean.


Electric BBQs

Electric Charcoal Lighter for Kamados & BBQ Grills £49.00


  • Powered by electricity — simply plug it into an outlet.
  • There’s no open flame, using electricity to heat the grill instead. 


Convenient and easy to set up, electric BBQs are the perfect choice for beginners. All you have to do is plug it into an outlet and you're ready to start grilling! You also don't need a big garden to add one to your outdoor space. Electric BBQs tend to be smaller and more portable, making them ideal for balconies or small patios. They also don’t produce any smoke and can be used for indoor or semi-enclosed outdoor cooking. 



There’s no denying that electric BBQS are incredibly convenient. However, they often fall short of delivering that smoky BBQ flavour which only comes from grilling traditionally — over a flame. They are often small, making them great for smaller properties and gardens. However, they can be problematic if you need to cook large family meals and can only be used in spaces with an electrical outlet. 


Gas BBQs

Napoleon Rogue SE 625 RSIB Gas Barbecue £1,819.99


  • Uses propane or natural gas as fuel.
  • Quick ignition and precise temperature control.


Gas BBQs have many advantages and are a popular choice of BBQ to buy in the UK due to their convenience and efficiency. They ignite at the push of a button and heat up quickly, cutting down on cooking time. They are also easier to clean, with no ashes and less smoke to deal with compared to their traditional charcoal counterparts.

For those who love complete control, a gas BBQ is a great option, allowing you to control your temperature precisely and cook a variety of dishes with ease. 



Unfortunately, similar to the electric grill, you won’t quite get that smoky BBQ flavour. A gas BBQ also requires a steady supply of propane or natural gas, meaning you’ll need to keep the tanks filled or install a gas line, which is an additional cost. 

Dual-fuel BBQs

Napoleon 700 Series 44" Built-in Gas Grill £4,055.00


  • Combines charcoal and gas grilling options in one unit.
  • Gives you the convenience of gas and the flavour of charcoal.


With a dual-fuel BBQ, you'll get the best of both worlds in one unit. Gas offers a quick start and precise temperature control, while charcoal offers flavourful cooking. Which one do you choose to use? That's all based on your mood, flavour preferences and time constraints. 



The main drawback of dual-fuel BBQs is their cost. While its added features are great for experimenting with various cooking techniques, they make these models more expensive than single-fuel units. They are also bigger, requiring more space and aren’t suitable for smaller patios or gardens. 


Kamado grills

Cooking Grid Expander for 21" & 22" Kamado Grills £29.00


  • Made from ceramic for great heat retention and distribution.
  • Can be used for grilling, smoking and baking.


Commonly referred to as the big green egg, Kamado grills are best known for their temperature control, versatility and sleek, minimal design.

They have a ceramic constriction, which is one of the healthiest and cleanest materials to cook with and won’t rust. This, alongside their built-in thermometer, ensures even heat distribution and retention for moist and tasty meals. You can also enjoy a range of cooking methods and choose between charcoal, pellets or hardwoods for an authentic wood-fired flavour in your dishes. A Kamado grill can also be used as a bread and pizza oven, making it a truly versatile outdoor cooking appliance. 



The main downsides to Kamado grills are price and weight. They tend to be more expensive than other types of BBQs and their ceramic outer shell makes them heavy and bulky — although they do come with easy-to-move wheels and wheel locks for stability. There's also a learning curve when you first start cooking on one, and its closed-lid cooking design might not be the best choice if you like to tend to your BBQ and regularly flip your burgers.

Masonry BBQs

Buschbeck Venedig Masonry Barbecue with Stainless Steel Hood - £840



  • Built-in, fixed structure that’s often made from brick or stone
  • A stunning focal point 
  • Durable


Masonry BBQs are guaranteed to elevate your outdoor barbeque experience instantly. A fixed cooking appliance typically made from brick or stone, they’re built to last and provide a stunning and durable focal point to any garden. 

They are known for their excellent heat retention and consistent cooking temperatures, making them ideal for longer, slower cooking. This makes them a real fan favourite of outdoor cooking enthusiasts. 



Masonry BBQs are fixed structures requiring permanent installation. As a result, they might not be suitable for every garden or for those who want flexibility. They can also be a big investment in terms of both cost and effort. 


Practical considerations: how do you choose a BBQ in the UK?

Napoleon Rogue XT 425 SIB Gas Barbecue - £989.99


Design and layout considerations

When choosing what BBQ is good to buy, consider the design and layout of your outdoor space. BBQs come in different styles and sizes, and only some will be suitable for your garden. 

A more compact electric BBQ might be the better choice if you have a small balcony or patio. For larger gardens, masonry or dual-fuel BBQs can become a permanent, stylish fixture, helping you make the most of your space. 


Assembling your BBQ 

Napoleon Prestige Pro 500 Built-in Gas Grill - Natural Gas - £2,899.99


Some BBQs are more complicated to assemble, while others come ready to use. If you prefer something simple and don’t have the time to fiddle around with a complicated setup, choose an easy-to-assemble model. Gas and electric BBQs generally have simpler setups compared to charcoal or dual-fuel options.


Safety precautions

Napoleon Rogue XT 425 SIB Gas Barbecue - £989.99


When deciding what BBQ to buy, safety should always be a top priority. Ensure your BBQ is stable and on a flat surface, away from flammable materials and keep a fire extinguisher or a bucket of sand nearby. Electric BBQs are safer for enclosed spaces, whereas if you’re considering which gas BBQ to buy, ensure you have a well-ventilated area. 



Napoleon Rogue SE 425 RSIB Gas Barbecue £1,349.99


BBQ prices vary widely, from budget-friendly charcoal grills to high-end kamado or masonry models. Investing in a high-quality BBQ might be worthwhile if you plan to use it often for its features and longevity. 


Size and space


Napoleon Charcoal Professional Barbecue - £1,529


Evaluate the size and space in your garden before committing to which BBQ to buy. A larger model will be perfect for spacious back gardens but impractical for a small patio or balcony. To avoid any nasty surprises, measure your area in advance to ensure you choose a BBQ that fits comfortably and leaves you with enough room to cook and move around your grill safely. 


Cooking capacity


Napoleon Prestige 500 RSIB Gas Barbecue - £2,289.99

Do you have a big family? Or maybe you frequently host a large group of friends? If so, a larger BBQ with a bigger cooking surface, like a gas or dual-fuel model, is ideal. For smaller gatherings and family meals, a compact charcoal or electric BBQ will suffice. 

Cleaning, care and maintenance

Napoleon Pro Charcoal Kettle Grill with Cart - £449.99


Be honest with yourself — just how much time are you genuinely willing to spend on cleaning and maintenance? Charcoal BBQs require more cleaning due to ash and residue, while gas and electric models are generally easier to maintain. Look for models with removable parts and easy-to-clean surfaces to simplify the process. 



Napoleon NK22 Charcoal Kettle Grill - £229.99


Your lifestyle and cooking preferences will naturally influence your BBQ purchase decision. A charcoal or kamado grill may be perfect if you enjoy a traditional BBQ experience with mouth-watering smoky flavours.

For convenience and quick cooking, a gas BBQ may be more suitable. Or if you’re unsure which gas BBQ to buy, dual-fuel models offer the best of both gas and electric.

Which BBQ is best?

Napoleon Freestyle 425 Gas Barbecue £579.99


The best BBQ for you is the one that fits your lifestyle and cooking needs and will ultimately depend on your preferences and outdoor space. Charcoal BBQs are perfect for grilling enthusiasts who love that unmatched smoky flavour, while electric BBQs offer convenience for even the smallest spaces, ensuring no one is left out. In a hurry? Gas BBQs are ideal for quick and precise cooking. Don’t want to choose between one or the other? A dual-fuel grill offers the best of both worlds.

Get your summer off to a sizzling start with Harbour Lifestyle’s wide range of BBQs, tailored to every need and preference. Explore our collection to find out which is the best BBQ to buy to complement your garden and lifestyle.



When is the best time to buy a BBQ in the UK?

The best time to buy a BBQ in the UK is usually during the off-season, from late summer to early autumn or even during the winter. This is when retailers are looking to clear out their stock, meaning you can find some good deals during the winter sales. However, you might also get a discounted BBQ during early spring promotions. 

That being said, while you’ll get the best deal during the off-season, most retailers will have the biggest selection and latest models in late spring and early summer when the BBQ season officially kicks off. 


Which brand is the best BBQ?

The best BBQ will depend on your preferences and needs. However, top brands like Kamado Grills, Buschbeck and Napoleon are well-known for their quality, durability and performance. You can find all these brands on Harbour Lifestyle, each catering to various cooking styles and budgets. Lastly, consider your cooking habits, space and budget when choosing the best brand for you.