This summer, say goodbye to disposable grills and choose a more sustainable option for your beach cooking. Here, our Coast team tests and reviews some of the hottest portable barbecues to have right now
Compiled by Jessica Reid
Cobb Premier Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Carry Bag
PORTABILITY: We loved that this little barbecue is not heavy (3.8kg) and comes with a handy carry bag so you can take it camping or to the beach with ease, plus the stay-cool base means you can stand it on almost any surface safely.
EFFECTIVENESS: It was quick to heat up and gives a long cooking time (up to 3 hours) and did equally well with meat and veggie options. Plus, the dome, bowl and grill are all dishwasher safe. For two or three people, it’s the ideal size.
STYLE: A clean compact design, comes with a three-year warranty and, if you’re really into it, you can buy countless accessories too.
VALUE: The Cobb is incredibly versatile – it can be used for roasting, smoking and cooking pizzas as well as grilling – and is easy to set up and use, making it a good investment if you fancy yourself as king of the (portable) grill.
PRICE: £139.99 from Lakeland (lakeland.co.uk)
Outsunny Portable BBQ Grill
PORTABILITY: The Outsunny is small (2.4kg) and lightweight, with a wooden carrying handle – easy to stash in the car boot. Remember to allow time for metal surfaces to cool down before packing it up again. Once open, the grill inside the lid rests on the carrying handle, providing extra stability.
EFFECTIVENESS: It was easy to get going and there was good air flow; we lit the charcoal inside a chimney starter first. The food – sausages, small lamb chops, sliced peppers and mushrooms – cooked well, with a little charring but not too much. The double grill is large enough to serve four, or a couple more if you stick to burgers and sausages. It has only one grill level, so things cook quickly.
STYLE: Neat and practical, in shape it echoes the bigger barrel-shaped BBQs popular now.
VALUE: This BBQ does what it promises – it’s simple, small, lightweight, and cooks food quickly.
PRICE: £59.99 from ManoMano (manomano.co.uk)
Need some barbecue food inspiration? See our 7 Recipes for a Beach BBQ
The Hairy Bikers Portable Mini BBQ
PORTABILITY: With a wooden handle and two locking clips to secure the lid in place, the BBQ is perfectly portable even during use. Measuring 42cm x 30cm it’s small, compact and weighs less than 2kg – practical when popping to the beach for some al fresco dining.
EFFECTIVENESS: The raised, detachable charcoal pan and three adjustable air vents allow for good air circulation and the 12” chrome-plated cooking grill is large enough to accommodate plenty of food at once. However, there aren’t any vents in the charcoal pan itself to allow the air to circulate to the fuel source – meaning keeping the coals burning at the beginning was tricky.
STYLE: Cute is the word! This mini kettle barbecue is made from sturdy steel with a shiny black finish.
VALUE: It’s easy to put together and comes with a screwdriver too, representing good value for money.
PRICE: £29.99 from Robert Dyas (robertdyas.co.uk)
Outwell Cazal Portable Grill
PORTABILITY: Brilliant design for portability. Folds completely flat and has an easy carry handle. Just open it up and hey presto, you are ready to go. We tested the 45cm x 30cm x 35cm size, but they do a smaller version too. Weighs 3kg.
EFFECTIVENESS: Despite the lightweight design this opens up to provide a substantial cooking area. There’s no lid so it works best in a more sheltered position, tucked away from the wind. The four legs make it extremely stable though. The heat when cooking is a little focused in the middle of the large grill, so you need to be on hand moving the food around into different positions.
STYLE: Very stylish, sleek design.
VALUE: Great value for steel, super simple to set up, with a cooking space big enough for a family.
PRICE: £40 from Outwell (outwell.com)
You may also like our Campfire Cooking Guide
Robens Timber Mesh Grill
PORTABILITY: Extremely lightweight (1.9kg), rolling up to fit in a small carry bag, with three separate grill rods, and there’s an option to leave out a grill rod to reduce the load further. It takes just a minute or two to assemble with absolutely no fuss.
EFFECTIVENESS: As it’s an open grill, it’s best used on a wind-free day or in a sheltered spot to keep the heat rising underneath the cooking area. Food cooks quickly and evenly – we had halloumi, sausages and burgers – and there’s enough grill space to feed a small group of four or five. Works with both wood and briquettes.
STYLE: A very basic design, but this stainless-steel grill doubles up as a fire-pit, so you can gather around the open flames and enjoy a cosy evening on the beach with a burger and beer.
VALUE: Quick to set up, cooks well and a versatile 2-for-1 BBQ and fire-pit makes this Timber Mesh Grill a worthwhile buy.
PRICE: £64.99 from Robens (robens.co.uk)
NOTE: Please check loval government guidelines for beach barbecues in your area