Whether you’re planning a summer beach outing, a trip to the park or a camping holiday, a good portable barbecue is essential kit for cooking delicious food on the go.
Portable barbecues are designed to be easy to transport, so they tend to be smaller than standard barbecues and some will have extra features such as foldable legs or a carry handle.
You can buy portable barbecues that work with gas or charcoal. Gas barbecues are usually more convenient to use, with quick heat-up times and easy temperature controls, but they can be expensive. Charcoal barbecues are typically your best bet for achieving that smoky barbecue taste, although they can take a while to heat up and be messy to use.
Not sure whether to go for a gas or charcoal barbecue? Our barbecue buying guide will help you decide which type is right for you.
Portable barbecues we’ve recently tried out
We’ve just given five portable barbecues a first look, including three gas and two charcoal models. Our expert chef cooked sausages, steak, chicken thighs, pork and vegetable kebabs on each one, and gave his verdict on the barbecue’s cooking ability and how easy it was to use.
Some of the barbecues excelled, cooking beautifully chargrilled food, whereas others left us unimpressed – one was so bad that we struggled to even get it to light.
Cadac Safari Chef 2 LP Gas BBQ, £81
You get lots of accessories with this gas barbecue, including a flat pan for frying, as well as a pot that can be turned over and used as a lid. Find out what we made of its cooking ability in the Cadac Safari Chef 2 LP Gas BBQ first look review.
Char-Broil X200 Grill2Go, £150
This gas barbecue comes complete with a built-in temperature gauge, clip-lock lid and carry handles. Find out whether this barbecue could be the perfect accompaniment to your next trip in our Char-Broil X200 Grill2Go first look review.
Landmann Grill Chef Portable Gas BBQ, £130
It’s on the pricey side, but this gas barbecue has plenty to offer including a cast-iron grill, integrated lid thermometer and removable side shelves with tool hooks. Read our Landmann Grill Chef Portable Gas BBQ first look review to find out whether its cooking impressed.
Landmann Piccolino, £40
This affordable kettle-style charcoal barbecue is equipped with a clip-on lid, 34cm stainless-steel grill and a pair of tongs. Discover whether this barbecue is one of our top picks in our Landmann Piccolino first look review.
M&S 37cm Small Portable BBQ, £25
At just £25, this basic charcoal barbecue from M&S is the cheapest of the bunch. It comes with all the essentials including adjustable air vents, an ash collector and a carry handle. We reveal what it’s like to use, and whether it cooks delicious food in our M&S 37cm Small Portable BBQ first look review.
None of the above take your fancy? Here are some other portable barbecues we’ve tried out:
- Weber Go-Anywhere portable charcoal BBQ, £80
- Heston Blumenthal Everdure Cube portable charcoal BBQ, £149
- LotusGrill Standard smokeless portable charcoal grill BBQ, £135
Choosing the best food for your barbecue
Help make your barbecue a sizzling success by choosing food recommended by our expert tasting panel:
- Our top burger picks – find out which burgers, including meat-free versions, are the juiciest and most flavoursome.
- The best sirloin steak – we reveal which supermarket steak scooped the top spot in our summer taste test.
Just want to know where to get the cheapest barbecue food? We reveal the cheapest supermarket for your barbecue food shop.
Top barbecue safety tips
Keep you and those around you safe by following these key tips:
- Place the barbecue on flat ground away from flammable objects such as fences, trees and tents.
- Never leave the barbecue unattended.
- Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies.
- Ensure the barbecue is cool before attempting to move it.
- Never use the barbecue in an enclosed space. Even after it has cooled down, don’t bring it indoors as it may continue to release poisonous carbon monoxide fumes.
For more advice on staying safe when barbecuing, visit fireservice.co.uk/safety/barbecue/