Breaking out the grill for dinner can be a great way to spend time with the family, but it’s also the perfect way to enjoy a variety of your favorite foods prepared healthier since the dripping fat helps to significantly lower calories. If you love your charcoal grill but you’re in desperate need of an upgrade, then the best gas charcoal grill can be the perfect solution. There’s no doubt that when it comes to an authentic smoky flavor, nothing beats cooking with charcoal, but if you want a model that also offers excellent temperature control, not to mention a significantly faster heat-up process, then a gas grill will be a better option. But what if you could enjoy the best of both worlds? That’s where the gas charcoal combo grill comes in.
If you’re looking for a better, more efficient way to grill, but you don’t want to lose out on the type of smoky flavor that only a charcoal grill can provide, then you’ll be impressed by this combo grill’s versatility, ease of use, and low maintenance needs.
I’ve included five top models on my must-have list. Each grill is loaded with all the right features, is very user-friendly, and comes with all the features you need in a model that’s tough enough to handle regular use. Below, you’ll find a comparison chart with each of these best-sellers listed, complete with important specs that can help you determine which model is right for you.
Gas Charcoal Combo Grills Comparison Chart
|product||cook chamber||BTUs||cooking surface space||rating|
|Char-Griller 5050||Dual||40800||1260 in|
|Dyna-Glo DGB730SNB-D||Dual||24000||952 in|
|Oklahoma Joe's Charcoal/LP Gas||Triple||12000||1060 in|
|Smoke Hollow 4-in-1||Triple||42000||860 in|
|Char-Broil Standard 1010||Dual||36000||505 in|
Char-Griller 5050 Duo Gas-and-Charcoal Grill
This model features a heavy-duty steel construction and dual cooking surfaces, one designed for gas and the other for charcoal. It offers a total of twelve hundred and sixty inches of cooking space, in addition to a side burner for additional cooking space. The grates are made out of cast iron and coated with porcelain, to prevent foods from sticking to the surface. Both the gas and charcoal cooking chambers have their own temperature gauges and warming racks. The gauges will allow you to keep an eye on charcoal grilling temperatures, then switch to the warming rack once it’s finished cooking to keep it warm and ready to serve.
In total, the gas chamber comes with three burners, for a total of forty thousand, eight hundred BTUs. Firing up the gas grill couldn’t be easier, thanks to the electronic push ignition. Each gas burner is capable of reaching five hundred degrees and features a total of four hundred and thirty-eight inches of cooking space. The side burner can be used for side dishes, sauces, and more. The charcoal grates are highly adjustable, so you can lower or raise the grates based on what you’re cooking. The grate also does double duty as an ash pan, so clean up is a cinch.
- Large cooking surface
- Dual cooking chambers
- Porcelain coated grates
- Heavy-duty construction
- Electronic push ignition
- Side burner
- Will rust if left outdoors uncovered
- Grates can be difficult to clean
The grill’s dual chamber design will allow you to use both at the same time, so you can sear a steak in the charcoal grill side, and cook veggies, baked potatoes, or roast corn on the gas grill side. The heavy-duty construction means this model can withstand regular use and will last season after season. This model will allow you to quickly whip up your favorite dishes, in a fraction of the time, compared to using a standard charcoal grill. Versatile, efficient, and low maintenance, this model will allow you to enjoy grilling year-round.
Dyna-Glo DGB730SNB-D Dual Fuel Grill
The Dyna-Glo combo grill comes with stainless steel burners, top of the line cast-iron grates that come equipped with a porcelain-enameled coating and a charcoal tray adjustment system that allows you to lower or raise the grate based on the type of food you’re grilling. This model offers a total cooking surface of nine hundred and fifty-two inches, which may be too small for the buyer who loves to host backyard barbeques. This grill also offers plenty of cooking power, at twenty-four thousand BTUs.
This is a dual-chamber model, which means it has a dedicated side for charcoal and one side dedicated to gas grilling, so you can prepare twice the amount of food at the same time, unlike combo grills that share the same chamber. The grill comes with side tables that are made out of stainless steel, complete with a powder-coated surface that’s designed to prevent rust. These side tables can be used to hold cooked food and all of your grilling supplies. Each table can hold up to twenty-five pounds and comes with integrated towel bars and tool hooks so you can stay organized while you grill. These side tables are collapsible, for easier storage and transportation.
- Two collapsible side tables
- Dual cooking chambers
- 24,000 BTUs
- Grates can be raised or lowered
- Small cooking surface
- Charcoal chamber can be difficult to clean
This model may not be the best choice if you’re looking for a grill that can handle cooking for a large number of people, but it’s perfect if you want a grill that can handle preparing food for five to eight people at one time. The dual-chamber design will allow you to prepare a wide variety of foods simultaneously, while the charcoal grate crank gives you more control over the cooking temperature.
Oklahoma Joe’s Charcoal/LP Gas/Smoker Combo
This grill offers one thousand and sixty inches of cooking space, with seven hundred and fifty inches of cooking space in the main chamber. This grill also comes with a smoking box, which makes it more versatile than competing models. Now, you can grill a steak, cook veggies in the gas grill chamber, and use the firebox to smoke fish or a brisket. The firebox is located on the side burner, so you can cook three different dishes using all three types of cooking methods at the same time.
This will allow you to prepare dinner faster and more efficiently since there’s no waiting. The gas side has three burners, while the charcoal chamber comes with a multi-damper system that will make controlling the temperature a breeze. If you’re looking for a grill that’s loaded with storage space then you’ll appreciate the metal storage shelf that’s located directly under the cooking chambers. You’ll also find a couple of temperature gauges mounted directly on the lids of each chamber, so you can keep a close eye on your food as it cooks. For added safety, this model also has cool-touch handles that will not heat up as you grill. This is a great safety feature to have if you have small kids in the home.
- Triple chamber design
- Large cooking surface
- The smoker box can run too hot, which can make it difficult to control the temperature
This three chamber grill allows you to cook food using gas, charcoal, or you can use the smoker for meats and veggies that are loaded with a smoky flavor, and the grill allows you to use each of the cooking chambers simultaneously. So, if you’re looking for a model that allows you to multitask like a pro, then this model by Oklahoma Joe is it.
Smoke Hollow Gas Charcoal Smoker BBQ Grill
This is another three-chamber model that allows you to use charcoal, gas, or the smoker firebox for indirect cooking and an amazing smoky flavor. The grill’s ceramic infrared side burner will sear seafood and steaks in order to lock in the flavor, while the three-burner gas cooking chamber allows you to quickly prepare your favorite vegan grill recipes. The charcoal cooking chamber comes with a charcoal pan that’s adjustable, which will allow you to precisely control the cooking temperature. The side smoker firebox can be used for indirect cooking or you can fill up the firebox with your favorite type of wood chips and smoke meats, veggies, fish, poultry, and more. The cast-iron cooking grates are porcelain cooked, which will help to cut down on cleanup. The adjustable damper system on the charcoal cooking side of the grill will give you more control over the cooking temperature, but if you’re new to grilling with charcoal, this can take a little experimentation on your part.
- Three cooking chambers
- Cast iron grates
- Damper system
- Three burners
- Infrared side burner
- The temperature in the charcoal chamber can be difficult to control
This is a grill that comes loaded with all the right bells and whistles, including an infrared side burner, dual charcoal and gas cooking chambers, and the ability to smoke some of your favorite dishes. The grill itself offers a decent-sized cooking surface, a durable design, and plenty of storage space so you can keep your grilling supplies accessible and organized. This model is perfect if you’re looking for a model that can handle cooking for a large family or a small backyard get together.
Char-Broil Standard 1010 3-Burner Liquid Propane and Charcoal Combo Grill
This combo grill offers the lowest amount of cooking space out of any model on my list, coming in at just five hundred and five inches. This dual-chamber model comes with a three burner gas grill design, offering thirty-six thousand BTUs. The additional side burner features a total of twelve thousand BTUs. In order to control the temperature in the charcoal chamber, you can use the crank to raise or lower the grate. For easier cleanup, the charcoal chamber has a charcoal access door, in addition to a slide-out ash pan so you can easily dump out the ashes. Each of the lids has a temperature gauge, so you can keep a close eye on the cooking temperature whether you’re cooking burgers or searing a steak. The smaller cooking surface makes this model a bad choice for larger families, but if you’re not planning on hosting any backyard barbeques and instead need a grill that can handle cooking for four to six people, then this model is a great buy.
- Dual chamber design
- Built-in temperature gauges
- Crank adjustable grate
- Slide-out ash pan
- Small cooking surface
- No storage space
This model isn’t quite as feature-heavy as some of the other grills in my list, but it offers a reliable, solid performance, comes with a dual-chamber design that allows you to use both charcoal and gas at the same time, and comes equipped with durable porcelain-coated cast iron grills. Overall, it’s a great choice if you’re looking for a smaller grill that’s versatile, beginner-friendly, and easy to maintain.
Gas Charcoal Combo Grill Buyer’s Guide
There are several features that you’ll want to pay attention to before you buy a new grill. This includes the BTUs, number of burners, warming rack, the size of the cooking space, and any extras. The cooking area refers to the size of the rack and it’s what will determine how much food you can cook at the same time. The warming rack is used to keep food that’s already cooked, nice and warm and ready to serve.
Some models will also come with some great extras including grilling accessories, storage space, and shelves on the sides of the grill that can hold your grilling supplies and food. Below, you’ll get an in-depth look at many of the important features you should keep an eye out for and what type of power this style of grill has to offer.
As I mentioned above, the size of the cooking surface will be important if you’re looking for a model that can cook for a larger family or if you often invite friends and family over for a backyard barbeque. Pay attention to the dimensions of the cooking surface, which should be listed on the spec sheet. A larger cooking surface will allow you to cook more food at once, but it can also make it more difficult to maintain a precise temperature.
Some models of hybrid grills will feature one or two cooking chambers. There may be one chamber that’s used for both charcoal and gas grilling, or separate chambers, one for gas, one for charcoal. In some cases, both types of cooking chambers may be used at the same time. This can help to speed up the grilling process, allowing you to cook a variety of foods at the same time. Single chamber models tend to be more affordable, but don’t offer the same type of precise temperature control or versatility.
A smoker box gives you an additional way to prepare your food. These smoke boxes are often placed on the side of the grills and can be used to slow cook and smoke some of your favorite dishes. You can use a variety of different types of wood chips, such as hickory or pine, to give meats and veggies that flavor-packed smoky taste that most barbeque enthusiasts love. Just like with models that have dual cooking chambers, many grills will allow you to use the smoker box at the same time you’re using the charcoal and gas grill, making for one versatile grill that will allow you to prepare several dishes at once.
While warming racks are usually used to keep food that’s grilled warm and ready to serve, the lower heat can also be used to prepare certain types of delicate foods that should be cooked on indirect heat only. Both the charcoal cooking chamber and gas grilling chamber should come with their own warming racks. Keep in mind, if the grill you’re interested in does come with warming racks, this space will be included in the spec sheet and counts as part of the grill’s total cooking surface measurement.
One of the best things about this style of grill is the fact that you can simultaneously prepare a variety of dishes using different types of cooking methods. Because different foods will require different temperatures, then a model that’s equipped with a variety of burners will allow you to prepare different meals at once. The side burners can be used for sauces, soups, and side dishes, while you’re smoking fish or grilling ribs. Keep in mind, the more burners a model has, the higher the price tag.
The fact that these grills are loaded with a combination of grilling functions means that it’s going to be significantly heavier than a standalone gas or charcoal grill. Most models will have caster wheels, which are designed to make it easier to move the grill from one place to another.
Most models will come equipped with grates that are made out of cast iron due to its ability to evenly distribute heat and the fact that it can retain heat more efficiently, compared to other types of materials. These grates are usually coated with porcelain, which is what makes them easier to clean and prevents food from sticking to the surface.
For the charcoal cooking chamber, look for grates that are equipped with a crank. This will let you raise the grate, moving it further away from the charcoal, or lower it so it’s closer to the charcoal so that you can cook your food at a higher temperature. As an example, if you’re grilling burgers, you won’t need to lower the grate, but in order to sear in flavor when you’re cooking a steak, the grate should be positioned closer to the charcoal. This type of adjustability will give you more control over the cooking temperatures, for better results.
Built-in temperature gauges are often found on standard gas grills, but you’ll also find them on these hybrid models. If you’ve ever used a basic charcoal grill, then you know how difficult it can be to reach a certain temperature and the fact that you have to use the built-in vents to maintain charcoal grill temperatures can be very tricky. A hybrid grill makes it much easier for you to determine and adjust the temperature for more delicate types of foods.
Some models will come with their own covers, which are made out of waterproof materials that are designed to keep your grill nice and dry and safe from the elements. If the grill you purchase doesn’t come with a cover and you don’t want to fork over the extra cash to get one, then I recommend storing the grill in the garage or another covered area to prevent damage that can occur if the grill is left out year-round.
Most charcoal grills are considered pretty high maintenance, while a gas grill runs cleaner, so it’s simply a matter of cleaning charcoal grill grates and wiping down the burners. A combo grill is easier to clean than your standard charcoal models, but it will require more upkeep than a traditional gas grill. Most manufacturers will include cleaning and maintenance tips that will make it easy to keep your grill clean and in perfect working order. In most cases, you won’t need to worry about deep cleaning the grill more than once or twice during the summer.
Cooking on a Combo Grill-Charcoal Versus Gas Grilling
All grills are used to:
- Cook food on direct heat for searing foods at a higher temperature
- Indirect heat for convention cooking, which allows you to cook veggies, roasts, and chickens, or other types of foods that require a hotter medium timed cook or a long slow air circulating cook.
- Indirect heat smoking, in which the lid is closed in order to trap the smoke and allow the food to cook and retain a smoky flavor.
The biggest difference between a gas and charcoal grill is that a gas grill can heat up within a few minutes, while the charcoal grill takes significantly longer. The other difference is searing. Since charcoal grills produce greater direct heat they’re a much better choice for searing meats.
When it comes to obtaining a smoky flavor, both types can work, but for a gas grill you would need to add a smoke box for this purpose. However, because the grease drips off the cooked food and hits the burning coals, charcoal grills tend to offer a better smoky flavor compared to gas. Most people can admit that meat that’s cooked over charcoal just tastes better and has more flavor. But using this type of grill often can become a hassle, especially if you want to grill up dinner quickly and you don’t have time to wait for all of the charcoal to heat up. Gas grills are easier to clean and heat up within a few minutes, but when it comes to cooking certain types of foods, such as steak, you’ll end up missing out on some serious flavor. There’s really nothing like cooking a steak on a charcoal grill, if you want a steak that’s juicy, tender, and not dried out. The ability to sear meats, then slow cook them using indirect heat, will be a cinch when you use a hybrid grill.
To sum it up, gas grills can heat up faster, offer more precise temperature control, are easier to clean and maintain and often come with more cooking features and accessories compared to a charcoal grill. But when it comes to cooking meat, the meat tends to dry out rather quickly, which is why most barbeque enthusiasts recommend cooking meat over charcoal.
As you can see, using a hybrid grill simplifies things and offers the best of both worlds, just as long as you know how to use it, and what fuel source to use depending on what you plan on cooking.
The ability to choose from more than one fuel option means cooking versatility, so you can smoke, sear steaks over a higher heat, or slow cook meats, veggies, fish, poultry, and more. This type of versatility will encourage you to use your grill more often, year-round, and not just during the summer months.
The best gas charcoal combo grill will allow you to sear meats to perfection, smoke fish and veggies, quickly grill up burgers and hot dogs, and prepare your side dishes, while your entrée is cooking. These models are easier to clean compared to a traditional charcoal grill, and often come loaded with some nice extras that make it easy to maintain the grates, cook food at precise temperatures, and grill up a large batch of food for family and friends. These product reviews and my buyer’s guide can help to point you in the right direction if you’re looking for a powerful hybrid that comes loaded with all the right features and one that offers a reliable performance, all for a price that’s affordable.