Finding the Best Gas-Charcoal Combo Grill
- Finding the Best Gas-Charcoal Combo Grill
- Our Top Picks for 2019
- 1. Char-Griller 5050 Duo Gas and Charcoal Grill
- 2. Dyna-Glo Dual Fuel Grill
- 3. Smoke Hollow 4-in-1 LP Gas Charcoal Smoker-Searing BBQ Grill
- 4. Char-Broil Gas2Coal 3 Burner Gas and Charcoal Grill
- Key Features of Great Grill Combo Units
Combo grills are all about finding hybrid solutions. The funny thing about gas grills is that they were designed as an alternative to charcoal grills. It's very easy to see the shortcomings of charcoal grills. They tend to be smoky. They're a hassle to maintain and clean. They just have too many issues.
Gas grills, at least on paper, deliver a cleaner, more efficient and, ultimately, cheaper high cooking heat alternative to charcoal. What's not to love?
As more and more people use gas grills as an alternative to charcoal grills, the drawbacks of gas grills have come to the forefront. First of all, gas grills often do a bad job at distributing heat to maximize texture. In addition, you have to do something extra to get that scent or that smoky or semi-smoky texture and scent you get from charcoal. There are also the psychological attractions of charcoal grilling. Gas grills often do a lousy job of mimicking or simulating these. While gas grills do a great job in delivery stable and predictable high heat, there are still too many other factors it loses out on. This is not lost in the quality and texture of the foods you produce with your gas grill. Sure, your food is well-cooked but it might not have the texture and scent you’re looking for.
Not surprisingly, a lot of people have looked at certain workarounds like reusable charcoal briquettes or ceramic briquettes for gas grills. However, these workarounds are exactly that. They're just workarounds. They're temporary midterm solutions, and they themselves carry their own set of drawbacks. If anything, adding briquettes to your gas grill assembly as you cook your meals adds another chore to your list of grill-related tasks.
It is not a surprise that a lot of people are looking for more direct solution, and this is where hybrid gas-charcoal combo grills come to the picture. Before we dive in, let's look at the benefits of these different types of grills and see how combining those in one assembly can make serious outdoor cooks' lives so much easier.
Our Top Picks for 2019
With the option of coal and gas in one cart, this machine has been manufactured using heavy steel which results in long lasting durability. The barbecue apparatus consists of dual primary cooking surfaces while both sides feature warming racks and temperature gauges that are built-in which is perfect for added control over the grill. The entire cooking surface area of this combo is approximately 1260 square inches with 438 square inches of the gas surface and 580 square inches of coal. The grates are porcelain coated making it easy to clean while retaining the heat to cook your meats and fish.
The 5050 Duo boasts of a push button electronic ignition system which can heat up its main and side burners. The three stainless steel burners of the primary area fire up to 40,800 BTU's and achieve up to 500 degrees enabling you to enjoy a good sear on your steak. The cast iron side burner is perfect for simmering your favorite sauce or toasting a few vegetables for a side dish.
The coal grate height is adjustable providing excellent control over the temperature for a slow hot or low heat sear. The furnace can be used as an ash pan where you can simply lift it out and get rid of the residue. The product offers efficiency due to its double bottom construction while there is plenty of room for storage of your condiments that will be needed during your cook. The machine measures at 60" x 25" x 50" while it weighs approximately 144 pounds. At the time of this writing, It's available on Amazon for about $500 while the price may be lesser depending on promotions and sale deals.
Many customers state that it was easy to assemble while the machine is very sturdy and durable. The propane grill is efficient while the quality of the entire product is excellent. The only downside was the price which is a bit on the high end
With unmatched service and product quality, Dyna-Glo has been a household favorite when it comes to barbecue machines, and the Duel Fuel Grill is no exception. Boasting of a high-performance system that you can enjoy for many years with friends and family, this beast has been constructed using heavy duty cast iron cooking grates which have been porcelain enameled so that the temperature is properly retained and transferred directly on to the food that you are grilling.
The stainless steel burners are commercial-grade units and deliver a steady heat-flow of 24,000 BTU's with a grilling space of 952 sq. inches, making it slightly lesser than the 5050 Duo. There are two stainless steel tube burners on the propane side while they are protected by tents allowing the natural flavor to retain in the food. The electro-pulse ignition consists of an easy push-button system for a quick startup while the control valves are chrome plated.
The Charcoal side of the Dual Fuel Unit consists of an adjustment crank providing the user convenience when it comes to temperature control. There is a front door where you can insert wooden chips or coal depending on the time of the cook. Each lid located on either side consists of a stainless steel handle which is easy to lift, an interior that has been constructed by aluminized steel to retain the heat as well as a temperature gauge. The warming rack can also be used as an additional cooking space where you can rest your meats.
There are some features that we did not come across in the previous model. These include side tables that are collapsible offering more space for your prep work while they can carry up to 25 pounds of weight. It also has integrated towel bars and tool hooks, a removable ash pan and a double door cabinet with a tank seat where you can store your propane. Measurements consist of 28.67" x 45.63" x 68.45" while it weighs less than 90 pounds.
3. Smoke Hollow 4-in-1 LP Gas Charcoal Smoker-Searing BBQ Grill
Promising a unique outdoor experience the Smoke Hollow 4-in-1 has many features. Slightly expensive and closing in on the $ 600 mark, this bbq machine is one of a kind offering four grilling options in one. It can be used as a liquid propane gas or a charcoal grill, and you can also use the Smoker type firebox to give your food that authentic bbq smoke flavor in an indirect way, or you can sear your seafood and meats with the utilization of the infrared searing burner.
Introduced by "Outdoor Leisure Products" and with over 125 years of experience in engineering, design and marketing these machines, this innovative unit brings you a memorable food experience since you can experiment several outdoor cooking methods in one go. Product dimensions measure at 82" x 23" x 53.5" and weighs about 200 pounds but since there are locking casters, you can easily move it about and keep it stable when you need it stationed outdoors.
With a generous cooking space of 860 square inches, the product consists of 10,000 BTU burners on the gas section and the side burner as well. With the ability to enjoy smoking, searing and grilling your food all at once, this unit exudes versatility. It has individual built-in temperature gauges on each grilling-station, removable ash and grease pans for convenience, two lower shelves as well as two condiment racks for extra storage.
The LP section also includes porcelain coated iron grids and warming racks and a flare guard while the coal section consists of porcelain coated iron cooking grates, an air damper control, and an adjustable charcoal pan. The only setback is that the assembly of the unit takes time, but it's completely worth your time and effort.
4. Char-Broil Gas2Coal 3 Burner Gas and Charcoal Grill
The cheapest model of the chosen few, this hybrid grill by Char-Broil comes packed with features leaving it on the top of the list of combos. The machine offers you the ease of switching from propane to coal without the use of any tools making it a powerful yet convenient combo grill. Char-Broil's Gas2Coal 3 burner presents users 40,000 BTU main burners along with a 420 square inch cooking area which has the capability to convert from one fuel source to another in under 60 seconds. You will not require lighter fluid since the gas-burner can be used to light the charcoal.
The product features an additional side burner with a lid that can heat up to 12,000 BTU's while you can use it as a prep area when not using it as a cooker. The burners are stainless steel while the iron grates are porcelain coated so that you are sure that your Char-Broil hybrid will last a long time. The coal tray has been well engineered to reduce possible flare-ups while the propane tank is concealed from the exterior of the material.
Additional features include metal side shelves that provide you with the much-needed workspace for prep. The product can also keep track of its heat with its lid mounted temperature gauge. Its versatility and convenience are further strengthened by an electronic ignition offering a spark with every push. The manufacturer has also provided a comprehensive warranty on the product. Item dimensions range at 47.5" x 52.5" x 24.6" while it weighs approximately 110 pounds.
Many users loved the convenience of converting fuel types. The only downsides were that the side tray doesn’t fold up or down when it comes to storing the machine and the time taken to assemble the unit.
Gas vs Charcoal
If you have been wondering why gas grills are better than charcoal grills, you can read our article here. However, if you want to get the best of both worlds, your perfect choice is to buy a combo grill. The good news is that they are almost in the same price category and some come with a smoker box as well.
Standalone Gas Benefits
Standalone gas grill offers easy propane access. They bring a lot of heat quickly. Ignition is not a problem. If you're looking for smoky scents, smoky effect or texture, they can include a smoker feature. Furthermore, if you are looking for a crispy yet succulent chicken, standalone gas grills have rotisserie add-ons. When it comes to clean-up and heat delivery, standalone gas grills are untouchable. They truly outshine charcoal as far as cleanup and heat quality are concerned.
Charcoal grills pack a lot of value besides simple nostalgia. There's nothing like charcoal's texture. We know food has been cooked above on charcoal just by looking at its texture. This is why a lot of barbecue purists demand charcoal grilling.
Key Features of Great Grill Combo Units
If you are looking to maximize the value of gas-charcoal combo grills you need to insist on the following: First, it has to be a true hybrid design. We're not talking about partly charcoal. We're talking fully charcoal and fully gas at the same time. This means true hybrid architecture. Moreover, there has to be a smoker add-on because gas grills perform better with a smoker and smokers also add value to the charcoal element in the combo unit. This, of course, means a truly authentic dual fuel source. You actually have to use real charcoal briquettes.
what is the best gas charcoal grill combo?
So, if you have been asking yourself this question, here are some tips to find the matching unit. To protect yourself from bad combo architecture or bad combo ideas, make sure that the product that you're considering has top reviews. We're not talking about uniform reviews here. There has to be a real mix of enthusiastic, not-so-enthusiastic, to even negative reviews. Without negative reviews, the review profile of the product that you're thinking of buying may not be all that reliable. You should be quite skeptical if a product has absolutely no negative reviews.
Moreover, make sure that the grill combo unit has a high heat rate. Whether it's from the charcoal or from the propane, it has to deliver quite a bit of heat. In terms of fuel access, the unit has to have easy charcoal and propane access. The grill combo design overall must be convenient, highly accessible and deliver on the strengths of these two fuel sources.
Let’s face it when it comes to producing one excellent barbecue or grilled meal after another, you need versatility. Maybe you just need plain roasted food one day. That’s no problem, you just use the grill unit of your combo appliance. Feel like some highly textured pork loins? Again, no problem, you only need to whip out your hybrid grill and get down to business.
If you think about it hard enough, gas grill combo units pack a lot of versatility and this feature alone ensures you get a lot of value for your hard-earned bbq dollars. How? Well, the more you use any product, the cheaper that product becomes on a per use basis. Sure, you may have spent tons of cash to get the item the first time but the more you use it, the lower it is per usage cost becomes. Eventually, you may end up using it so much that each subsequent use becomes cheaper and cheaper.
Compare the situation above with a typical gas grill you use only once in a blue moon. Over the life of the product, the relative rarity of its usage will end up driving its per use cost sky high. Keep this in mind. A lot of consumers don’t pay attention to this. In fact, a lot of them are perfectly clueless about it and that’s why they tend to overpay for an inferior product. Get maximum value for your money. After all, you worked hard for your cash. Use a hybrid grill and get out there and cook more. The more you cook, the faster you recoup your investment in your hybrid unit. Since this grill can be used more often to cook a wider range of grilled foods, you can bet that it can easily become an extension of your other kitchen-based cooking appliances.
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