If you are a true fan of outdoor cooking, then you must have been caught up in an inevitable debate – which is better, gas or charcoal? When it comes to flavor, nothing can beat the smoky flavor charcoal grills produce. They are also more affordable. Charcoal grills take a while to set up and heat up and it is pretty hard to use them on cold days. In addition, some skill is required to use these grills. Gas grills, on the other hand, can get going with a push of a button. They are simple to use, quick to start, and easy to clean. But they lack the “authentic” barbecue flavor of cooking with charcoal. Now you can get the best of both worlds with a Hybrid grill, also known as a combo grill.
A hybrid grill is a grill that has more than one fuel option. For example, you can get a combination gas and charcoal grill or hybrid infrared grill which uses only gas. What is hybrid about infrared grills is that they use two different types of burners – one side features the traditional convection burners whereas the other has infrared burners. In addition, there are also gas smoker combo grills available on the market. The real question is – which one should you choose?
Top Pick -Oklahoma Joe’s Charcoal/LP Gas/Smoker Combo
When it comes to the build of the unit, Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn features a heavy-duty, all-steel construction build that will last you for many years without a doubt. The grill is made out of six porcelain-coated wire cooking grates on the charcoal grill, three burners on the gas grill, a mounted thermometer, and an added metal bottom shelf for keeping grilling utensils. The shelf can be used as a workspace as well, so you could chop or store food until you’re ready to use it.
This model comes with an easily-removable ash bin that allows you to quickly remove the cold ashes. The handles are designed in such a way that you can grab them without getting your hands or fingers burnt, even while the grill is being used. The cooking racks are made out of non-rusting material and covered in porcelain, so they can distribute the heat evenly. All grill grates are removable and can be effortlessly cleaned in a dishwasher.
Oklahoma Joe’s Charcoal/LP Gas/Smoker Combo Overview
The manufacturer made sure that this hybrid grill is convenient and easy to use. For example, you can stoke the flames without having to open the main door thanks to the easily-accessible firebox. This also ensures that heat and smoke remain in the main chamber. The grill also comes with multiple dampers that help regulate the airflow and temperature. Since the unit has to be preheated, the lid-mounted temperature gauges can help you keep track of the temperature inside both the gas grill chamber and the smoker chamber.
Oklahoma Joe’s Charcoal/LP Gas/Smoker Combo Features
3-in-1 Hybrid Unit
Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn is a 3-in-1 unit – a grill, barbecue, and smoker. The greatest part is that you can do all different types of smoking and grill simultaneously. The unit features three powerful burners (12,000 BTU each) and each has a separate temperature control knob. The gas burners have an electronic ignition for easy startup. The charcoal burner comes with a 12,000 BTU gas fire-starter which is offset to the side. The smoke chamber comes with a smoke damper and its own thermometer for even greater control.
Some users complain about the fact that his hybrid grill comes unassembled. However, the assembly is quite simple and straightforward. All you need to do is attach a few bolts and the grill will be good to go. Even though the unit is easy to put together, keep in mind that the Longhorn is heavy and you may need some help with lifting the parts.
Convenient and Durable Design
This hybrid grill by Oklahoma boasts a smart and durable design. Made out of heavy-gauge steel, the smoker can endure plenty of wear and tear. The porcelain-coated grates will last for years and won’t give you a hard time when it comes to cleaning them. Almost every part of the grill was made to ensure convenient use. For example, the built-in temperature gauge will help you maintain the perfect temperature, all lids have stay-cool handles, and the storage shelf can be used for storage and cooking as well.
Easy-Access Firebox Chamber
The Oklahoma Longhorn’s firebox chamber is entirely made out of steel for maximum durability. The chamber has a side door which makes removing ash and tending the fire an incredibly easy task. The firebox also has a top grill for easier filling and refilling. In addition, if you ever run out of cooking space you can always use the firebox for grilling.
Oklahoma Joe’s Charcoal/LP Gas/Smoker Combo Pros
- The unit offers plenty of cooking space.
- It has a solid construction.
- The firebox features an easy-access door.
- The grill has multiple shelves for convenience.
- A built-in temperature gauge makes it easy to maintain the right temperature for your food.
- The smoker has cool touch steel handles for added safety.
Oklahoma Joe’s Charcoal/LP Gas/Smoker Combo Cons
- The unit comes unassembled.
- It is difficult to move around.
- The paint on the fire chamber box peels easily.
- Wells are not sturdy.
Runner Up-Char-Griller 5050 Duo Gas-and-Charcoal Grill
Char-Griller 5050 Duo Gas-and-Charcoal Grill Overview
The Char-Griller features 1,018 square inches of the main cooking area and an additional heating rack that is 242 square inches large. The grill is divided into two separate areas – one reserved for cooking with gas, the other for grilling with charcoal. And, of course, you can use both cooking areas at the same time. When it comes to the power of this grill, it is equipped with three burners (40,800 BTU) and an additional side burner (12,000 BTU). The burners use electronic ignition. In addition, temperature control has never been easier since every lid has a thermometer that displays the internal temperature. For easy maintenance and longer duration, the manufacturer made sure to include porcelain-coated, cast-iron cooking grates.
Char-Griller 5050 Duo Gas-and-Charcoal Grill Features
Build and Durability
The Char-Griller 5050 combination gas and charcoal grill feature a steel body. This doesn’t only make the unit durable but it also helps it to retain the heat well. The cooking grates are made out of ceramic instead of standard cast iron, which makes them better in quality.
However, this grill comes with one flaw – it is not immune to rust. The manufacturer recommends “regularly coating any bare metal surfaces inside the grill with cooking oil.” In addition, to prevent the non-stainless metals from rusting, make sure not to expose those parts to moisture and temperature change.
What makes this hybrid grill stand out from its competitors is its outstanding performance. The burners heat up fast and can reach very high temperatures. Controlling the temperature is easy thanks to the independent temperature controls for each burner. When it comes to the charcoal side, the charcoal rack can be raised and lowered to provide better temperature control. If you buy the additional firebox, you can turn the charcoal grill into a smoker. Each grill has a large cooking capacity and you can use only one to prepare enough food for a small party.
The storage capacity of the Char-Griller 5050 is the acing feature. Below the grill is located a storage shelf which can be used for storing pots and pans. To add even more space, you can fold the side burner cover. In addition, cleaning the grill is a breeze. The ash dump pan can be easily removed and all you’ll have to do to clean the other parts of the grill is simply wipe them with a cloth.
Char-Griller 5050 Duo Gas-and-Charcoal Grill Pros
- The grill is sturdy and durable yet lightweight.
- The unit comes with plenty of cooking surface.
- Gas grill features three burners (40,800 BTU) and a side burner (12,000 BTU).
- Cooking areas can be used separately or at the same time.
- Each grill features an embedded thermometer.
Char-Griller 5050 Duo Gas-and-Charcoal Grill Pros
- The grill is prone to rust.
- Some users stated that it is difficult to assemble.
Best Value-Durable Outdoor Barbeque & Burger Gas/Charcoal Grill
Durable Outdoor Barbeque & Burger Gas/Charcoal Grill Overview
This grill is an excellent choice for those who are looking to cook various types of food at once. For example, you can use the sear burner to prepare seafood and you can use the gas grill to cook tasty hamburgers. In addition, the grill comes with adjustable trays for better temperature control and easier cleanup. All in all, the Smoke Hollow 3500 is a great companion for hosting BBQ parties in your backyard.
Durable Outdoor Barbeque & Burger Gas/Charcoal Grill Features
The Charcoal Grill
This hybrid grill comes with a removable tray that can be placed in six different positions. This allows you to experiment with heat and even slow cook. In addition, you can also use the dampers positioned on the front to slow cook your food. The grates are made out of cast iron, and they are great for distributing heat evenly and producing delicious food.
The Gas Grill
What makes the gas grill interesting are the cylinder-shaped steel burners. They are very durable but it takes them a bit more time to heat up. The grates are made out of cast iron which makes the cooking time reasonable, despite the slower heating up. In addition, with 30,000 BTU powerful burners, there is nothing to worry about.
The Searing Burner
What many users love about this hybrid grill is the searing burner. Featuring cast iron grates that distribute the heat evenly, your food will cook evenly without any burnt patches. In addition, the burner is infrared and it heats up very quickly. Since the burner is small yet powerful (12,000 BTU), you can use it to cook all types of food quickly.
Durable Outdoor Barbeque & Burger Gas/Charcoal Grill Pros
- Hybrid grill that comes with a smoker and a firebox.
- Affordable price.
- 860 square inches of cooking space.
- Easy to clean and maintain.
Durable Outdoor Barbeque & Burger Gas/Charcoal Grill Cons
- The gas grill takes a bit more time to heat up.
- ·It was hard to assemble the unit for some users.
Best Small Combo Grill-Char-Griller Dual 2 Burner Charcoal and Gas Grill
Char-Griller Dual 2 Burner Charcoal and Gas Grill Overview
The unit comes with plenty of great features such as easy-dump ash pan, cast iron grates, and stainless-steel heat gauges. And, with 24,000 BTUs, this small hybrid grill is also quite powerful. You can use the charcoal side for the standard BBQ experience, but whenever you are in a time crunch you can use the gas side to cook food in a flash.
Char-Griller Dual 2 Burner Charcoal and Gas Grill Features
Decent Cooking Area
This combination gas and charcoal grill come with 606 squares of cooking space, 303 square inches on each side. This gives you enough space to grill steaks and burgers to perfection and also grill large pieces at low temperatures. This unit also comes with a 131 square inch warming rack that will keep your meats warm.
Creating a product that can please absolutely everyone is impossible. Well, almost impossible because this grill can do it all. The dual two-burner combines the convenience of gas with the great flavor of charcoal on the very same grill, but side-by-side so there is no need for any conversion. While you’re using the charcoal side to grill your meat with wood chips to enhance its flavor, you can simultaneously grill those hot dogs with gas and warm the buns on the other burner.
The durable stainless steel burners deliver a total of 24,000 BTUs to cook your ribs, chicken or burgers to perfection. In addition, the unit starts up quickly and reaches high temperatures without much trouble.
Char-Griller Dual 2 Burner Charcoal and Gas Grill Pros
- The grill is built out of quality materials.
- A small yet powerful unit.
- Features convenient dual burners.
- Excellent grill for the price.
Char-Griller Dual 2 Burner Charcoal and Gas Grill Cons
- Assembly might take a lot of time.
Honorable Mention – Blackstone Grills Tailgater – Portable Gas Grill and Griddle Combo
Blackstone Grills Tailgater – Portable Gas Grill and Griddle Combo Overview
Blackstone Grills Tailgater – Portable Gas Grill and Griddle Combo Features
Blackstone Grills Tailgater allows you to enjoy numerous different setup combinations. You can use the grill box and griddle separately, at the same time, or you can remove both so you could use the open burners for pans or pots. Or, you can keep the griddle/grill and have one open burner. With a griddle and a gas grill, you can easily cook and barbecue your food however you like.
This combination gas and charcoal grill come with two burners. The stainless steel H tube burner can produce 15,000 BTUs whereas the cast iron burner can put out 20,000 BTUs. In total, you get 35,000 burners that allow you to cook food on up to 500 degrees.
Blackstone Grills Tailgater is the perfect grill for any outdoor event. You can host a small gathering in your backyard or take it with you when you go camping. The grill is portable, requires almost no assembly, and is ready to use in less than a minute. The adjustable legs will keep the grill stable on any terrain and even on uneven ground.
This hybrid grill was definitely built to last. It includes a heavy-duty grill box with vent, and durable cast iron grill grates plus a cold rolled steel griddle plate. In addition, the entire unit has a durable powder coat finish.
Blackstone Grills Tailgater – Portable Gas Grill and Griddle Combo Pros
- Durable and heavy unit.
- Has two burners, total of 35,000 BTUs.
- The unit is easy to assemble.
- Griddles can be easily cleaned.
Blackstone Grills Tailgater – Portable Gas Grill and Griddle Combo Cons
- The grill is not suitable for large gatherings.
Honorable Mention – Smoke Hollow 1800CGS
Smoke Hollow 1800CGS Features
Ease of Use & Convenience
This grill stands on four locking casters, making it very easy to move it and relocate. Both the gas and charcoal grill feature porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grids which are very durable. In addition, the gas grill also comes with a porcelain-coated flare guard, a porcelain-coated warming rack, and a removable grease tray and cup which make the cleanup process easy. The charcoal grill comes with an adjustable charcoal pan and deluxe sliding air damper control. A temperature gauge is mounted on both grills.
Perfect Choice for Every Backyard
Smoke Hollow 1800CGS was designed to be used either as charcoal or a gas grill. You can easily switch between the two options before every meal. This grill allows you to grill your food on three burners. Each burner features the push-button ignition so you can get them working right away. If you need to prepare food for a larger group, then you can use the side burner and the warming rack to keep your food warm.
Best of Both Worlds
This hybrid grill includes a gas grill, charcoal grill, side smoker/firebox, and a side burner. Basically, you get to use all outdoor cooking styles with one grill. The grill body is a convenient gas grill. Right next to it is the separate charcoal grill. The side smoker/firebox lets you add wood-flavored smoking to your meats.
Smoke Hollow 1800CGS Pros
- A multipurpose hybrid grill.
- The unit is easy to use.
- Temperature gauges are included.
- Warming racks and cooking grids are porcelain-coated.
Smoke Hollow 1800CGS Cons
- Some parts of the grill might be prone to rust.
- There are minor gaps under the lid.
Honorable Mention – Char-Broil Gas2Coal 3-Burner Liquid Propane and Charcoal Hybrid Grill
Char-Broil Gas2Coal 3-Burner Liquid Propane and Charcoal Hybrid Grill Overview
Char-Broil Gas2Coal 3-Burner Liquid Propane and Charcoal Hybrid Grill Features
This Char-Broil grill features a convenient design. It is a small-sized grill, making it a perfect choice for those who have little space yet would like to get a hybrid grill. Switching for gas to charcoal takes less than a minute. All you have to do is remove the porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grates, put the charcoal tray above the burners, add charcoal, replace the grates, and ignite the burners. Then, close the lid for about fifteen minutes and you’ll be good to go.
The grill comes with three burners that deliver 40,000 BTUs of heat. The burners offer versatile heating options that can meet the range of your cooking requirements. In addition, you can use the side burner (12,000 BTU) to warm up dishes and sauces. When this burner is not in use, you can flip the lid down and use the surface as an additional prep space.
One great thing about this unit is that you get a 5-year warranty on all burners, 2-year warranty on the lid and firebox, 1-year warranty on all other parts. When it comes to its design, the propane tank is concealed from view, and the charcoal tray can be stored right underneath the grill’s logo. You also get large side shelves that increase your prep space.
Char-Broil Gas2Coal 3-Burner Liquid Propane and Charcoal Hybrid Grill Pros
- Affordable unit.
- Small and compact grill (420 square inches of cooking space).
- Comes with three main burners (40,000 BTU) and a side burner (12,000 BTU).
- Features porcelain-coated cooking grates.
- Side burner and side shelves increase prep space.
Char-Broil Gas2Coal 3-Burner Liquid Propane and Charcoal Hybrid Grill Cons
- The gas and charcoal grill can’t be used simultaneously.
Honorable Mention – Smoke Hollow 4-in-1 LP Gas Charcoal Smoker Searing BBQ Grill Model PS9900
Smoke Hollow 4-in-1 LP Gas Charcoal Smoker Searing BBQ Grill Model PS9900 Overview
Smoke Hollow 4-in-1 LP Gas Charcoal Smoker Searing BBQ Grill Model PS9900 Features
Design & Cooking Space
This Smoke Hollow hybrid grill is robust and made to withstand wear and tear. However, the downside of the durable design is that the unit is very heavy and you might need help when moving it around. Luckily, the grill comes partially assembled. When it comes to the cooking space, the grill is really spacious. You get 860 square inches of cooking surface and an additional warming rack (100 square inches).
A Powerful Grill
The gas grill features three burners that distribute the heat evenly so you won’t have to deal with any burnt patches. However, since the burners are made out of steel it might take them some time to heat up. The searing burner uses infrared technology that reduces the cooking time and keeps your meat juicy. Last but not least, the charcoal grill comes with a tray that can be placed on six different levels so you can adjust the heat intensity.
One great thing about this hybrid grill is that it is very easy to clean, which is quite a relief since you have four different units to take care of. The porcelain-enameled grates can be cleaned simply by using a rag and some washing liquid. The only trouble you might have is with the smoker since you’ll have to scoop out the ash frequently.
- Smoke Hollow 4-in-1 LP Gas Charcoal Smoker Searing BBQ Grill Model PS9900 Pros
- A powerful 4-in-1 hybrid grill.
- The unit comes partially assembled.
- The unit is easy to use and clean.
- Total of 960 square inches of cooking surface, including the warming rack.
Smoke Hollow 4-in-1 LP Gas Charcoal Smoker Searing BBQ Grill Model PS9900 Cons
- The unit is heavy.
- Using the smoker requires some effort.
Honorable Mention – Dyna-Glo DGB730SNB-D Dual Fuel Grill
Dyna-Glo DGB730SNB-D Dual Fuel Grill Overview
Dyna-Glo DGB730SNB-D Dual Fuel Grill Features
Size & Design
This Dyna-Glo hybrid grill is lightweight, weighing only 92.6 pounds whereas most combo grills weigh over 150 pounds. In addition, the grill is very durable and features a sturdy, solid design. The top is made out of stainless steel and the porcelain-enameled cooking grates are heavy-duty. Each lid has stainless steel easy lift handle, temperature gauge, and is protected by an inner wall of aluminized steel for ultimate heat retention.
Heat & Temperature
This grill comes with two burners which deliver 24,000 total BTUs of steady heat. The burners are protected by stainless steel heat tents which also ensure that the heat is distributed evenly across the cooking surface. The temperature and cooking on the charcoal side can be controlled by raising and lowering the charcoal tray.
This grill comes with side tables that are made out of powder-coated steel. The tables are perfect for resting plates and containers while you cook. Each table can support up to 25 pounds. In addition, there are integrated tool hooks and towel bars so you could free up more space. The greatest thing about these tables is that they are collapsible so you can fold them when the grill is not in use.
Dyna-Glo DGB730SNB-D Dual Fuel Grill Pros
- Large cooking surface (about 950 square inches).
- Durable yet lightweight grill.
- Comes with cast-iron grates, charcoal tray, and collapsible side tables.
- The unit is easy to clean.
Dyna-Glo DGB730SNB-D Dual Fuel Grill Cons
- 24,000 BTUs is not powerful enough for some users.
- Temperature control could be more advanced.
Honorable Mention – Char-Broil Standard 1010 3-Burner Liquid Propane and Charcoal Combo Grill
Char-Broil Standard 1010 3-Burner Liquid Propane and Charcoal Combo Grill Overview
Char-Broil Standard 1010 3-Burner Liquid Propane and Charcoal Combo Grill Features
The Gas Grill
The gas grill features three burners with a total of 36,000 BTU output per hour. The gas side also features cast-iron cooking grates which ensure that your food is cooked quickly and evenly. The side burner has an output of 12,000 BTUs meaning that you can use it for cooking and not only heating up.
The Charcoal Grill
The charcoal grill is a bit less impressive than the gas grill. The grates are made out of steel and they do not disperse the heat as well as cast-iron grates do. The good thing is that the food won’t stick but you’ll have to put in a lot of effort to make sure that your food is cooked evenly. Similarly to other dual fuel grills, you can control the heat on this side with adjustable grate heights.
Thanks to the fast ignition, it is very easy to operate this grill. The thermometers are placed so that you can clearly read them. Putting in more charcoal is also an easy task thanks to the easily-accessible trap door for charcoal. The great thing about the door is that it won’t let much hot-air out and won’t slow down the grilling process. Last but not least, cleaning the unit is quite simple as well, all you need to do is wipe the grates.
Char-Broil Standard 1010 3-Burner Liquid Propane and Charcoal Combo Grill Pros
- Powerful unit with 36,000 BTU heat output.
- Gas grill features cast-iron grates.
- The grill comes with a side burner (12,000 BTUs).
- It is easy to clean the unit.
Char-Broil Standard 1010 3-Burner Liquid Propane and Charcoal Combo Grill Cons
- Temperature control is not very advanced.
- The charcoal grill comes with steel grates.
Choosing the right Hybrid Grill
A dual fuel grill provides you with the flavor of cooking with charcoal and the ease of use of a gas grill. With so many models available on the market, it is difficult to make a choice. The best approach is to decide what you need and compare it to what’s being offered. Here are a few things you should pay attention to when looking for a new hybrid grill.
The power of a grill is usually measured in BTU (British Thermal Unit) and it lets you know the amount of heat that the burners will produce in one hour as well as the amount of fuel you’ll be burning during that period. However, many experts say that knowing the BTU doesn’t tell you how powerful a grill is. It all depends on the amount of heat produced per square inch. And to get this number, you will have to divide the BTU by the square inches of the primary cooking space, not including the space provided by the warming rack. The BTU rating for decent performance is between 80 to 100 per square inch.
Even though heat output is very important, so is heat distribution. If your grill has cold spots then your food won’t finish cooking at the same time. Also, it is very likely that some of your food will cook unevenly. Unfortunately, you can’t test this feature out, but what you can do is look over the reviews.
One of the first things you should ask yourself when buying a hybrid grill is how many people you’ll be feeding. Some combination gas and charcoal grills come with only one cooking chamber meaning that you can only use one fuel type at a time. On the other hand, other combo grills have separate cooking chambers for each grill type meaning that you can use both fuel options at the same time if you need to feed a large group of people.
There are some things that great charcoal grills have in common – easy access to charcoal, easy cleanup, and, most importantly, great temperature control. When it comes to hybrid grills, something has to be compromised so that you could get two types of grills at an affordable price. Usually, that compromise is related to temperature control.
When it comes to charcoal, easy access to it is a feature that every outdoor chef likes. The last thing you’d want to do is to waste time taking out your food and lifting the grate so you could add more fuel to your fire, and then putting all back again. Even though this feature sounds like a given, it is actually hard to find a hybrid grill that allows you to access the charcoal easily. For example, Char-Broil hybrid grill has combined the gas and charcoal grill into one firebox. This makes lighting up the charcoal easier, but you will still need to lift the grates and put the charcoal tray on top of the burners.
As we already mentioned, great temperature control may sometimes be compromised when it comes to hybrid grills. Some grills do not feature dampers and vents that allow you to precisely control how much heat is produced in the cooking chamber. Some hybrid grills do not have an adjustable charcoal tray that allows you to put the charcoal nearer or further from the food. But, of course, there are those combo grills that come with great temperature control.
If you’re planning to get a combination gas and charcoal grill, then you probably already know that cleaning up charcoal is a pain. However, many hybrid grills come with an easy cleanup system such as a slide-out ash dump pan. If you make sure that your grill has this feature, then you’ll be set for life or at least as long as you use the grill.