There’s still plenty of summer left and if you’re heading to the great outdoors to make the most of it, you might have considered picking up a portable barbecue.
You can always get a cheap, throw away charcoal grill at the supermarket, but if you want something a little more advanced or something that you can use again and again then you might have considered an upgrade.
We tried out three portable barbecues to see what we thought of how easy they were to carry, use and start. We then had our expert barbecue chef cook sausages and burgers on them to see how they did at cooking up barbecue food on the go.
Jump straight to our barbecue reviews to see how these grills and all of our fully tested barbecues cook up food.
Weber Go-Anywhere portable charcoal grill, £80
This grill weighs 6kg, which is about the weight of a small terrier. It has a convenient carrying handle on the lid.
The lid locks to the body of the grill with the stainless steel legs, which unlock, swivel beneath the grill and clip together to form the base of the grill.
The legs keep the body of the grill – and therefore the heat – off the ground, which means it’s not as likely to scorch the surface it’s resting on.
The lid also acts as a grill hood. The other two barbecues we tested did not have a hood; this feature is quite useful to control the temperature of your grill and, also, to keep the wind out.
Overall we found this grill quite handy, the only complaint being the unwieldy nature of the legs when un-clipping and turning in to the grill base.
Read our full review of the Weber Go-Anywhere portable charcoal barbecue to see all the other details of this grill, including how easy it is to start, clean and – importantly – how well it cooks.
LotusGrill standard smokeless portable charcoal grill, £150
The rotund LotusGrill is the lightest of the three grills at 3.7kg, which is about the weight of normal-sized house cat. It also comes with a handy carrying case.
The double wall construction keeps the outside body of the grill cool enough to touch even when heated up.
The Lotus is a charcoal grill, but with a twist. It takes four AA batteries, which power a fan, to help speed up the lighting process.
You start it by filling a metal ring on the inside base of the grill with fire-lighting gel, lighting this, turning the fan on and placing a metal basket of charcoal on top.
The manufacturer claims the fan will make the grill faster to heat up. But did we find this was the case when we tried it out?
To find out more, including how well it cooked and what we thought of its innovative approach to charcoal grilling, before you plonk down your cash read the whole review of the LotusGrill smokeless portable charcoal grill.
Heston Blumenthal Everdure Cube portable charcoal grill, £149
If you’ve been researching portable barbecues, the Cube will have probably caught your attention. It has an eye-catching design. It also has the Heston Blumenthal pedigree and price tag to match.
The Cube, so named for its shape, has an easy to remove porcelain-enamel firebox and stainless-steel grill grate.
It has two carrying handles, which is for the best as it’s the heaviest of the grills, at 7kg. It also comes with a lid that doubles as two trays: a bamboo serving tray and a plastic prep tray. Our expert barbecue chef was really delighted with the thoughtfulness of the grill’s design and accessories.
The trays sit on the top of the grill for carrying and are kept in place with a very sturdy clip.
The Cube comes with a very simple, but useful instruction guide which has tips for how to get the best out of your portable grill, including different ways you can lay our your coals to try different modes of cooking.
We tried out both burgers and sausages on the Cube and assessed it on how easy it was to light and clean; read the full review of the Heston Blumenthal Everdure Cube portable charcoal grill to get the full details.
All prices correct as of August 2018.