Weber Smokey Joe Premium Charcoal Barbecue
If you’re only cooking for two, or are planning on taking the barbecue camping, the Weber Smokey Joe Premium is the perfect solution. It’s small enough to pop in the car boot, while the Premium version includes a convenient carrying handle.
Like its big brothers, this Weber mini kettle is made from porcelain-coated steel that is guaranteed for 10 years, but should last longer if properly maintained. Smaller barbecues tend to get fired up more often, as they are quicker to reach cooking temperature and easier to clean.
It’s not cheap, but the Weber Smokey Joe Premium will still be providing wood-chipped pleasure when the legions of substandard copycats are rusting away in landfills.Compare on Shopomo
Weber Compact 47cm
The Weber Compact barbecue is a departure for the iconic US brand. It’s the first time Weber has launched a ‘budget’ version of its distinctive kettle barbecue – which you can pick up for around £70 if you shop around. That’s about half the price of the Original Kettle model.
So what is the big difference between the two? Well the Compact has a much shallower shape than the Original Kettle, although both are made from the same porcelain enamel and share a 10-year guarantee. The Compact also doesn’t have the One-Touch cleaning system – basically a rotating aluminium ‘propellor’ at the bottom of the barbecue that helps shift the ash out.
But neither of these omissions are show stoppers, and in most of the core Weber properties – especially build quality and actual cooking effectiveness – the Compact is just as good as its more expensive sibling. So if you need to cook for 4-6 people and want the Weber seal of quality, the Compact is the only choice in the sub-£100 sector.Shop now on Argos
We’ve looked at most of the few gas barbecues that come in at under £100 – excluding the price of the gas cannister, naturally – including the Mastercook Classic 2 and the Landmann Lava Rock – but felt that none justified a recommendation.
The manufacturers have simply cut too many corners to keep the price down, which means that the barbecues are very light-weight and quite unstable. At this price point, you’re simply better off buying a charcoal BBQ.
Outback Excel 310
The Outback Excel 310 is the new, improved version of the Excel 300 gas barbecue which picked up a Which? Best Buy award in 2011 – when it cost £200. Now the price has dropped £70 – which suggests that it is a bit of a bargain.
First things first – there’s a lot of cheap plastic in the chassis, as you would expect. And the Excel only has a 1-year guarantee – rather than the 10-year peace-of-mind offered by the more expensive models in the Outback range.
However the main porcelain coated grill is reassuringly robust and the 28kg chassis is solid and sturdy. The supplied lava rocks help provide a more charcoal-like style of cooking while the side burner is handy for frying onions or just heating up a tin of beans. At this price, it’s a real steal.Compare on Shopomo
Weber Original Kettle Premium
We make no apologies for the recurring presence of Weber products in the best charcoal barbecues sections. The fact is that their products are built to a far higher standard than any rivals – indeed it seems that they stand alone in the premium market while everyone else puts out flimsier, cheaper copycat versions made in China.
The Weber Original Kettle is normally priced over £200 – but there are several offers on Shopomo where it comes in below that so we’ve included it here. The original and still the best – the gold standard for charcoal barbies, and at this price pretty much unbeatable value.Compare on Shopomo
Weber Master-Touch GBS 57cm Barbecue
Weber have been making its distinctive kettle charcoal barbecues for over 60 years, and the 57cm Weber MasterTouch GBS distills all that experience into a product of supreme quality.
The build quality is terrific – the barbecue comes with a 10-year guarantee, but many satisfied owners have barbecues that have lasted 20 years and are still going strong. The new MasterTouch model includes iterative improvements, most notably the hinged lid that helps it double as a wind breaker and a new modular system of grilles that allow you to swap out different types of cooking containers.
The MasterTouch GBS also comes in 5 different colours – including our favourite, crimson. Otherwise it’s business as usual, the best all-round charcoal barbecue you can buy just got better.Shop now on Go Outdoors
Weber Spirit E-310 Classic
The Spirit series is Weber’s entry-level for gas barbecues, but they are far from cheap. The Spirit E-310 can be purchased for around £500 and is a very solid all-rounder. The grill has 3 stainless steel burners and a generous 2635 cm² of cooking space.
Some people complain that the build quality of the China-manufactured Spririt range is not up to the brand’s historic high standards, but we feel that there is nothing comparable to the E-310 at this price point. The Sprit E-310 is a reliable, unfussy griller that will last for decades if maintained properly.Shop now on John Lewis
The Shopomo editorial team writes our buying guides and reviews based on first-hand knowledge of the products featured and the marketplace they operate in. Shopomo makes a small commission on links to a retailer if a purchase is made but the final decision to feature a product, and how highly it is rated, is purely an editorial one.