If you’re still stuck on the fence between picking a gas or charcoal grill, then opting for a combo grill is a great medium between the two.
The manufacturing costs for these types of grills are quite high, which means that these are a bit more expensive to purchase than single purpose grills.
That said, they do manage to provide the best of both worlds: They offer the simplicity of a gas grill, while also offering the flexibility and authenticity of charcoal grills.
1. Smoke Hollow 4 in 1 Combo Grill
Usually with combo grills you see them listed as a combination between a charcoal and a gas grill. Not so with the Smoke Hollow, who have their model listed as a combination of an incredible FOUR types of BBQ: Propane, Charcoal, Smoker, and Infrared Searing Burner.
This fantastic grill offers a massive 860 square inches of cooking space. Across this large space is 30,000 BTUs of power.
The infrared burner is a great addition, because while gas grills often have side burners, the one provided here is ceramic, which you often see with high-end infrared grill models. Ceramic is a great material for efficient heat distribution, which means you can heat food properly with less energy or heat leakage.
It also packs in cast iron grates across both its charcoal and propane grill elements, which ensures durability. It also features temperature gauges (although personally I recommend getting your own grill thermometer for accurate temperature reading). At 168 pounds, it’s a heavy unit, but it’s easy to move around. Besides, when it comes to outdoor grills, I like to bit of heft.
Just like any good smoker, it also has top and bottom dampers so that you can start properly experimenting with BBQ smoking techniques. Check out my guide on how to regulate smoker temperatures for a full guide on how to get the very most out of these vents.
2. Char-Griller Duo Model 5050
This is a more streamlined grill in the fact that it doesn’t have infrared or smoking facilities, however the charcoal and propane capabilities it does have still make it an excellent performer.
This is a really hefty, big grill. However I don’t see this as a bad thing whatsoever. This size makes it extremely versatile however, as it allows you to use each of its features separately without any crossover.
It has a mightily impressive 1260 square inches of cooking space between its charcoal and propane areas. Across these 1260 square inches it has an amazing 40,800 BTUs of power. Not only this, but it also has a side burner that packs in 12,000 BTUs of additional power.
It’s big and it’s powerful.
It’s great for large families or even for those of us who like to show off a bit with our home equipment.
Just like other models it has cast iron grates, which help ensure durability and also makes it easy to clean.
3. Char-Broil Gas2Coal 3-Burner Gas and Charcoal Grill
This combo grill from Char Broil sits at the smaller end of the scale, offering 540 square inches of cooking space. It streamlines its charcoal and gas capabilities into just one grill, which is why it's far smaller than size than other types of combo grill.
This doesn't mean poor performance however, as the Char Broil offers fantastic gas and charcoal grilling. Its BTU power for its propane element sits at a very impressive 40,000 across 3 burners. These sit under cast iron grates, which means that very little of this heat power is wasted, with it being spread efficiently across your grill grate surface.
The grill's charcoal element takes the form of a tray which you then fit under the grill's grates. You simply fill this tray with your coals, and then place it back into the grill. It hardly takes a minute and couldn't be simpler. When you're not using it, the tray then just fits into a compartment on the side of the grill.
It then also has a side burner, which alone offers about 12,000 of BTUs. I like that this is separate to the charcoal and gas element, so if you want to do some low and slow cooking over charcoal, followed by a quick sear over the side burner then Char Broil have made this very easy for you.
4. Dyna-Glo DGB730SNB-D Dual Fuel Grill
On the down side, it only has 24,000 BTUs of power, which doesn’t compare well to the other combo grills on this list. For a grill of this size in particular, it means that the overall heat distributed heat impact across the grill will be quite low.
5. Char-Broil Gas and Charcoal Combo Grill, Deluxe
This is one of the smallest grills on the list, with a cooking area size of only 505 square inches. However what I would add here is that compared to a lot of other types of grill, this is still adequate size to work with.
This small size also has its own advantages. Obviously maintenance is one, but also it makes it extremely fast to cook on as the heat is more concentrated.
It has three burners that combine to create 36,000 BTUs of power.
Just like all the other grills on this list, it has cast iron grates that help ensure durability and also good heat distribution across the cooking grate area.
On its charcoal element, it’s naturally slower (as is the case with all charcoal grills when compared to propane), but it does heat up just as quickly as the other charcoal elements on this list. What I would add though is that, when compared to its propane element, the charcoal grill here just feels… a bit… cheap. It’s an odd quality imbalance here, as you would assume that the gas grill would be more demanding to design and assemble, but for some reason it’s the charcoal grill that lets this model down. However, if you’re mostly after a gas grill but with the option of charcoal grilling, then this is a great option to have.
Its charcoal grill has an ash catcher, which is a great addition to have. Far too few charcoal grills have these, when I consider them as necessary as the grates themselves.