Best Hybrid Grill of 2018: Gas or Charcoal? Both?

Oct 16, 2018 | Grills, Reviews

There are so many grills out there that it can be hard to choose one. 90% of the time it comes down to “what fuel is best,” so buyers struggle to pick between gas or charcoal. But what if we told you that you can have both? That’s right, hybrid grills are becoming exceptionally popular as of late, and with good reason. You get the benefits of two grills in one.

Listed below are three hybrid grills. Our own personal choice is the Longhorn Combo; however, the other two on this list are by no means bad in and of themselves. Have a look and decide for yourself which hybrid grill works for you.

Top 3 Hybrid Grills

1. Best Overall

Oklahoma Joe’s Charocoal/LP Hybrid

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This is the mother of all hybrid grills. It’s a three-in-one charcoal grill, gas grill, and offset smoker. It comes with an incredible 1060 square inches of grilling space.

The firebox acts as both a charcoal grill, with two porcelain-coated cast-iron grates, and as a heat source for the smoke chamber which is right next to it. In addition, the heat damper is located on the side of the firebox, under the handle. You can regulate heat easily when you’re smoking meat.

The smoke chamber also acts as a charcoal grill itself, with high-quality cast-iron grates of its own. Next to it is the gas grill, with its own set of controls on the front. This grill has three high-quality burners made of stainless steel which you turn on via electronic ignition. But that’s not all – an additional side-burner is located right next to the gas grill. It works both as a burner and if you’re not using it, as working space.

Pros and cons

  • Very large grilling area
  • A combination of three separate food preparation systems in one
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Needs a few mods for sealing the fire and smoke box doors
  • Plastic knobs on the front

2. Best Value

Char-Griller 5050 Duo Gas and Charcoal

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Char-Griller rarely disappoints with its products, and DUO 5050 is merely one in the line of successful grills. With 1260 square inches of grilling space combined, you can use this bad boy to barbecue an entire meal for a family gathering or anything similar. The gas grill section features an electronic push-button ignition, as well as three high-quality burners. Furthermore, you get an additional side-burner for added cooking space. On top of that, the gas section contains two smoke stacks for an even smoke and heat distribution.

Both sides have porcelain-coated grates which you can clean easily after a fair bit of grilling. The charcoal section has an adjustable height for grates, so you can regulate heat more easily. In addition, the grill comes with a grate-lifter, so you can pick up the grates and add more charcoal without burning your fingers. And don’t worry about anything burning through the bottom, as it is double-insulated. What’s more, you can clean and dispose of ash easily with its easy-dump pan.

Finally, it comes with a condiment basket where you can put all of your extra utensils and spices. Grilling is indeed made easier with DUO 5050.

Pros and cons

  • Large grilling area with three burners and side-burner
  • Ash management is simple
  • High-quality grates
  • Extra smokestacks and adjustable grate height for better temperature regulation
  • The construction is a bit flimsy and lightweight

3. Best for Beginners

Dyna-Glo Dual Fuel Grill

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This grill might look a bit bulky, but it gets the job done. Dyna-Glo, like others on this list, has provided its customers their latest, greatest hybrid grill yet, the Dual Fuel Grill.

The total cooking space is 952 square inches. The gas section is powered by two stainless-steel burners. Both this and the charcoal section contain porcelain-enameled cast iron grates for smooth grilling.

On the other side, you’ll see a little old-time crank at the charcoal section. This crank is used to raise or lower the level of the charcoal tray. In other words, you can literally “raise” or “lower” the temperature of this section as your meat requires it. Furthermore, you have a removable ash pan underneath, as well as two heat dampers on the lid.

The best parts of Dyna-Glo come in the form of dual storage cabinets beneath the grills themselves, as well as multidirectional wheels that enable you to take it anywhere.

Pros and cons

  • High-quality grates over a vast cooking area
  • Easy to clean
  • Additional storage space under the grill
  • Swiveling wheels
  • Temperature control is a bit lackluster

What to Look for in a Hybrid Grill

One thing you should keep in mind is that you’re effectively buying two grills instead of one. Therefore, each of them has its own set of options to consider.

What Works With the Charcoal Section

Charcoal makes a lot of mess, so your first priority is easy cleaning. Make sure your new hybrid grill has an easily-accessible charcoal section and an ash pan you can either clean up quickly or just throw away. Also, make sure the material of the grates and the base can endure a quick wash or scrub.

Materials are also important. Always think in terms of steel, cast iron, porcelain or any combination thereof. This also goes for the gas grills.

Finally, let’s talk temperature. Always keep in mind that your charcoal section must have great temperature control. That means air and smoke have to leave somewhere and the lid must have a functioning thermostat. In addition, having a grate you can move around is also a bonus.

What Works With the Gas Section

Most of the things listed for the charcoal section also work for the gas portion of your hybrid grill. That includes temperature maintenance, durability, and even easy cleaning. However, gas grills work with gas burners. So two more things you should pay attention to are the type of gas the grill uses (and where it’s sold) and the number of burners. Two or three burners per grill is usually a good sign.

Conclusion

Hybrid grills are great because you can have both the convenience of making something very quickly and the luxury of enjoying a slow, classic barbecue with the smell of burning charcoal in the air. It’s no wonder that out of these three the Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Combo works the best, as it follows all the criteria above. Still, the other grills in this list aren’t that far behind, and whichever one of these you purchase, you won’t be disappointed.

Happy Grillin’!

Billy Stewart

Chef and Reviewer for Barbequesmoked.com

Barbeque Smoked

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