Best Gas and Charcoal Grill Combo ( Hybrid ) – A Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

You love having both the convenience of a gas grill and the rich flavor of food made with a charcoal grill? Just for you, the hybrid grill was made, which combines both types of grills ( charcoal and gas ). Who doesn’t love the convenience of cooking with gas or the charcoal smoke flavor of food?

The differences in both types of grills are significant, you should definitely check out my charcoal vs gas grill comparison. Each type of grill has its upsides and downsides, which is why I understand that you want to have a combo grill that makes it possible to cook food with gas or charcoal.

How did the gas and charcoal combination grill come to be? Plenty of people have several different types of grills in their backyard, like a smaller charcoal one and a big full-size gas one. It means that plenty of people use different types of grills depending on what they want to cook. Which is why hybrid grills were invented, which combine more than one types of grills.

Remember ! All the below reviews are objective and based on my experience and private tests. My goal is to create a list of several best hybrid grills at different price ranges.

I want to help you choose the best combo grill ( charcoal & gas ) that will live up to your expectations and needs and most important, won’t cost a fortune.

How does this combination work out in reality? I decided to check it out which is why I chose the best hybrid grills and put them into a test. Below you will find a table and reviews of the best gas and charcoal grills combo.

Best Hybrid Grills of 2018 - Comparison Table

MODEL

Cooking Space

BURNERS

PRICE

TOP 2 Pick 

Char-Broil Gas2Coal 3-Burner

Best Overall

Char-Broil Gas2Coal

540 sq. in. total

3

Char-Griller 5050 duo

Runner-Up

Char-Griller 5050 Duo 

1260 sq. in. total

3

Dyna-Glo Dual Fuel

Dyna-Glo Dual Fuel Grill

952 sq. in. total

2

How did I choose the best ones?

It is a very time-consuming task, my job was to go through all the offers at stores and verify which gas and charcoal combo grills qualify for the tests. The moment you want to buy a new grill, you discover how tedious, boring and difficult this task is. Why? The offers at stores are very broad these days and it takes a lot of time to analyze each product in detail. It is important if you don’t want to overpay, or simply to buy a product that will disappoint you.

Don’t worry, I did everything for you by reducing your time of looking for a new hybrid grill to the minimum. At first I divided the search into different price ranges, that way I found several good hybrid grills at different prices.

I paid attention to reviews from other buyers as well as many other details, including the quality of workmanship, features or the quality to price ratio.

How did I test?

tests

Having already prepared what I thought were good looking hybrid grills, I moved on to the second stage which was the tests. What was it all like?

I spent a total of several dozen hours cooking on different combo grills and observing how they worked.  Of course, I used different cooking methods, observing the results. I cooked different kinds of food ( the most popular ones ) and paid attention to everything related to cooking.

That way I could observe if a grill warmed up evenly, how its extra features worked. What was the quality of the elements and workmanship and efficiency of the burners. I’m not going to list it all here since that would be pointless.

To put it in simplest words, the tests consisted of analyzing it from the start to the end of cooking. Only this way it is possible to honestly evaluate whether a grill is good and efficient as well as find out about its upsides and downsides.

1. Best Overall Char-Broil Gas2Coal 3-Burner

A hybrid grill usually means an expensive one, one little exception here is Char-Broil Gas2Coal.

When it comes to the price and my overall rating then I choose it as the number one among hybrid grills.

Sadly, it might be a downside to many that it is not possible to cook on gas and charcoal at the same time. You have to make a choice whether you want to cook using charcoal or only gas, but let me briefly describe the 3 burner version.

Like I mentioned above, you can cook using gas or charcoal, but not at the same time. It is not a problem, though, as switching from gas to charcoal is very fast and you don’t need any extra accessories to do that.

It is a mid-size grill, under the lid you will find porcelain-coated cast-iron cooking grates as well as 420 square inches of the main cooking area and a heated rack with the area of 120 square inches. Such area makes it possible to use different cooking methods, like indirect cooking.

When it comes to accessories, it has a thermometer on the lid as well as a side burner ( 12,000-BTU )

When you don’t have much time, you can quickly and conveniently cook food using gas, turn the burner knob and wait 10-15 minutes until you reach the right temperature for cooking.

If you have more time, though, or you simply want to eat meat with charcoal smoke aroma, then convert your gas grill into a charcoal one. All you have to do is put in a special tray under the grates and pour briquettes on it.

As you can see, this grill is a versatile hybrid that obviously has its upsides and downsides.

One downside when it comes to charcoal is the inability to regulate the distance between the grates and the hot briquettes as well as not much space for briquettes  ( you can only put on a single layer of charcoal ). Not long after, the temperature starts to drop significantly, which is why I suggest to cook large amounts of food fast and carefully.

PROS

  • Inexpensive
  • 3 burners
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • Lifespan: 2-3 years
  • Not a heavy-duty model

It doesn’t have any air vents that would make it possible to control temperature as is the case with a full-size charcoal grill. Which is why you need to know that in this grill, temperature is controlled with the amount of charcoal.

The charcoal option will surely be great for cooking good steaks and hamburgers. Gas, on the other hand, will be great for quick and convenient cooking. Personally I have to say that I would cook with gas the most due to the convenience.

When it comes to assembly, there is nothing particularly difficult here. The manual is clear and simple, and the entire process should take you about two hours.

Conclusion - Char-Broil Gas2Coal is a durable and efficient gas charcoal grill combo that offers two styles of cooking ( gas or charcoal ). I picked it as the number 1 in this category because the quality and efficiency are very good.

It is not a phenomenal grill, but if we take the price, features and quality into account, it’s a very good choice. Definitely cheaper than most competitive models, which is why I think that it will suit your budget. A good choice for a small family.

2. Runner-Up Char-Griller 5050 Duo

The second suggestion is definitely more expensive, bigger and it offers cooking with gas and charcoal at the same time. It is definitely for those with a bigger wallet, as the price is pretty high. As every hybrid grill, it has its upsides and downsides.

What do you get for this kind of money? A charcoal and gas grill combo with the main cooking area of 1018 square inches as well as a heated rack with the area of 242 square inches.

It is equipped with 3 burners (40,800 BTUs - with electronic ignition ) as well as a side burner (12,000 BTU )

The grill is divided into two separate areas, one is reserved for cooking with gas, whereas the other for cooking with charcoal. That way you can cook in two areas of different temperatures at the same time.

Under each lid of the grill, you will find Porcelain-coated cast-iron cooking grates. How to control the temperature? Every lid has a thermometer that shows the internal temperature.

Under the grill, you will find plenty of space to store accessories, charcoal or anything you please.

What is the assembly like? Due to the size of the grill and the number of elements, you have to expect the assembly to take several hours. Of course, it comes with an assembly manual that makes it an easy, but also a time-consuming task.

I really like the two cooking areas in this grill. Gas cooking is very convenient, it warms up fast and reaches high temperatures, whereas charcoal cooking offers much more interesting flavor.

It is a very good gas and charcoal combination grill considering the size, functionality and efficiency, but sadly, it’s downside is a rust problem that plenty of people complain about. If you’re concerned about that, I honestly recommend buying a cover and cleaning your grill regularly in order to protect it from rust and significantly extend its durability.

PROS

  • Inexpensive
  • 3 burners
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • Lifespan: 2-3 years
  • Not a heavy-duty model

What is my overall rating? I have to admit that it’s a simple, beautiful and functional grill. I really like the approach with two separate cooking areas. One of them is intended for gas cooking, with simplicity of use plus electric ignition for all three burners.

The other area, on the other hand, is intended for charcoal cooking. After you’re done cooking, all you have to do is take out the tray and remove the ash from it.

Two cooking areas make an awesome solution that will make it possible to cook with gas and charcoal at the same time. Of course, if you want to, you can use just one cooking area, like gas cooking when you have no time to get the charcoal burning.

Overall, I rate this hybrid grill as good for few years of use. Functionality and efficiency are very decent, whereas durability is not the strongest point of Char-Griller 5050 Duo.

3. Dyna-Glo Dual Fuel Grill

A slightly smaller area than in Char-Griller 5050 Duo, but judging by many reviews, a much better quality of workmanship. The price is similar, whereas the quality of workmanship is slightly better.

The structure of this combo grill is divided into two areas ( two separate cooking places ) which makes it possible to cook with gas and charcoal at the same time. Under each lid, there are porcelain enameled cast-iron cooking grates.

Both areas offer a total of 730 square inches of the main cooking area and 222 inches of a heated rack. I think it’s enough place for a big group of people or family.

The gas area has 2 burners (24,000 total BTUs ) that start quickly and securely thanks to the electric ignition. The grill warms up quickly and evenly.

The charcoal area is much better developed than in other combo grills, when going through other hybrid grill reviews, I came into conclusion that Dyna-Glo Dual Fuel had the charcoal area best figured out.

Why? When it comes to the charcoal cooking area, I really like the idea with two air vents on the lid and the air intakes at the level of the control panel under the lid. Everyone who has cooked on a dedicated charcoal grill knows perfectly well how important air intakes are for temperature control. Dyna-Glo Dual Fuel has solved this problem perfectly in the combo grill whereas the rest of competitors have likely forgotten about this important fact which is temperature control when cooking on a charcoal grill.

Another advantage is the ability to regulate the charcoal tray, everyone knows that charcoal can reach high temperatures which is why I think the regulated distance between the charcoal tray and the cooking grates used here is a great idea. Such solution would be perfect in Char-Broil Gas2Coal.

Among the additional things that deserve a mention is a built-in thermometer on each lid that makes it possible to monitor the temperature inside the grill. Foldable side shelves with integrated accessory hooks.

PROS

  • Inexpensive
  • 3 burners
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • Lifespan: 2-3 years
  • Not a heavy-duty model

The grill’s assembly, due to its size and the number of elements, is not complicated thanks to the simple manual, but you have to prepare yourself for spending up to few hours on it.

Overall, what I really like about this grill is how the charcoal area is expanded with such features as regulated distance between the charcoal and grates as well as air vents that allow for a better temperature control. When it comes to the gas area, everything is where it should be, the grill warms up fast and evenly and is easy to clean.

In conclusion, I think it’s a good, efficient combo grill ( it may not be the best grill out there, but definitely worth its money ). At this price, you get a large cooking area in two sections ( charcoal and gas ). 

I think it’s a great choice for someone who loves to cook with a charcoal grill but sometimes needs to quickly cook something with a gas grill. Dyna-Glo Dual Fuel has created a really good hybrid grill.

Buyer’s Guide

When you’re buying a grill, the most common question is what type to buy ( gas or charcoal ) ? This is where plenty of different opinions arise on the subject and everyone defends their favorite grill. The hybrid grill was created for those who can’t decide what type to choose.

Of course, there are different  combo grills, not just those combining gas and charcoal, but also those that combine an infrared grill or smoker. One can find a combo grill that offers all the four types listed in one device.

But for now, let me focus mainly on the gas and charcoal grill combo. Why? I think that it’s the best combination of grills, you get charcoal cooking ( rich smoke flavor and the fun ) and gas cooking ( convenience, speed and easy cleaning ).

One big advantage of a combo grill is that it provides versatility in a single device while taking much less space in the backyard. So if you’re looking for a hybrid grill, then check out my suggestions and think about what you really need.

I have to admit that, depending on the model of a hybrid grill, you have to pay attention to how the cooking areas were finished in the grills. Why? I noticed that many manufacturers only really put effort into one cooking area, like the gas one. However, they forget about useful features for the charcoal area ( I’m talking about air vents or regulated grates), but more on that below.

What to pay attention to if you’re more into charcoal?

charcoals

If you’re buying a charcoal grill, you pay attention to several very significant aspects. You check out the temperature control, ash removal and the charcoal access as well as the distance between the grates and the hot charcoal. All those characteristics are what a good full-size charcoal grill needs to have. That’s why it is up to you to search for similar features in a gas and charcoal combination grill. Sadly, plenty of combo grill manufacturers don’t focus on perfecting the charcoal area, which is why you need to make sure if the grill you’re going to buy is good at:

Temperature Control

Most hybrid grills equipped with a charcoal area are not well thought-out devices. Why? Good temperature control in the charcoal area requires well thought-out air vents. Unfortunately, most of available hybrids don’t have air vents or they are not well thought-out. A good hybrid grill with a charcoal area should have air vents located below to let the air in and air vents on the top of the grill to let the air out.

Such system allows for a temperature control during charcoal cooking. The more air, the faster the charcoal burns ( increased temperature ), analogously, less air means that the charcoal will burn less intensely and longer ( lowered temperature ).

What if it’s not possible to regulate the air vents? In such case, the only way to control temperature is adjusting the amount of charcoal under the grates. You will have to get experienced and evaluate how much charcoal to pour in to get the desired temperature.

The distance between the grates and the charcoal

It is very important, plenty of hybrid grills don’t take it into account. You have to check out the distance between the grates and the hot charcoal. The best combo grill has a adjustable charcoal tray that you can adapt to your own needs. Not enough space between the hot charcoal and the grates of the grill results in the food being directly exposed to overly high temperatures. That way you can literally burn your food in a moment if the charcoal is too hot. That’s why it’s important for the distance between the charcoal and the food to be big enough or for the grill to have adjustable height of the charcoal tray or grill grates.

Charcoal access

When cooking, it is necessary to add new charcoal to the fire in order to continue cooking. For that reason, it is a good thing for the combo grill to have an easy access to the charcoal area. In most cases, it is enough to lift the grill’s grates to pour some more charcoal in and I believe that it’s a good and simple solution. Avoid complicated structures that, in simple words, are inconvenient.

Easy cleaning

cleaning

It is a common fact that after every cooking, the grilling area has to be cleaned, especially when it comes to cooking with a charcoal grill. It is essential to throw out the ash after each cooking, there are several systems to make this task easier. It is the best if the grill has a special tray that can be quickly and easily removed in order to throw the ash away.

A good example of a combo grill that has the charcoal area figured out is Dyna-Glo Dual Fuel Grill. It has all the characteristics  I have mentioned above which is several adjustable air vents, easily removable ash tray, easy access to the charcoal and ability to adjust the distance between the charcoal tray and the grill’s grates. Which is everything that a charcoal based grill should have.

What to pay attention to if you’re more into gas?

gas grill

A full-size gas grill always makes one think of convenience, warming up quickly and evenly as well as efficient burners. Depending on the size of the grilling area, it is a good thing for your combo grill to have 2 burners when it comes to smaller grills and at least three when it comes to big combo grills.

When purchasing, it is difficult to tell if the burners will be really efficient, the only way is to check out reviews from other buyers. Which is why I suggest this particular number of burners to make sure that your grill will warm up fast and reach high temperatures.

As you can see, gas grilling is less demanding than charcoal grilling.

If you’re a fan of gas cooking, though, and charcoal grilling is only there as an addition, then I recommend Char-Broil Gas2Coal 3-Burner. It is a very well thought-out combo grill, the best advantage of which is gas cooking. Three burners work great in this mid-size grill, warming up the entire area very fast and evenly. I have to admit that the charcoal area, despite being far from perfect, works fine.

What else do you need to know?

Hybrid grills are among big and expensive grills. There aren’t as many of them on the market compared to other types of grills.

When buying a combo grill, you save a lot of space instead of keeping several types of grills in your backyard, but think twice if you really do need to save much space. Why am I mentioning this? It’s because there’s plenty of companies with years of specializing in a particular type of grills.

I think that if you have plenty of space in your backyard, then it’s a better solution to buy a full-size gas and a charcoal grill, for instance. For a similar price you can find really great grills that will certainly be a better choice than a hybrid grill.

For example, a big charcoal grill ( Weber Original Kettle Premium ) and a big gas grill (Char-Broil Performance 475 ). If you look at the prices, both of those grills together cost more or less the same as one combo grill except that full-size grills are definitely better executed.

Of course I’m not saying that hybrid grills are pointless, they are good grills, but their downside is high price and, in many cases, poor quality of the materials they are made of.

I’d just like to point out that for a similar price you can have much more durable grills of similar efficiency.

Conclusions

I invite you to check out all the hybrid grill reviews, there is only few of them as it was my intention to only pick combo grills that are worth your money. I think that no matter if you have a thick wallet or not, you will find something for yourself.

I also encourage you to check out my other guides for buyers, product reviews, useful knowledge on grill cooking, comparisons, BBQ news and much more.

Exchange Bar and Grill is a website mostly dedicated to grilling and everything related to it. You will also find plenty of articles here on things related to gardening, useful bbq kitchen tools and food cooking.

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