Want the charcoal flavour on a gas BBQ? Hybrid BBQs
What are Hybrid BBQs?
Who wouldn’t want the convenience of Gas with flavour and aroma of charcoal or wood cooking?
Two companies in Australia offer a very good optional extra in the form of a removable charcoal tray to achieve Hybrid Gas-Charcoal Cooking.
Simply place these trays on top of the Gas burner under the grills of the bbq and the Charcoal/wood is then placed in the tray. You light the Charcoal with the gas burners and away you go cooking.
Now it is very import to note that the removable trays work well and safely with these BBQs due the strong build and design of the fireboxes to withstand the heat from charcoal cooking as with most Gas BBQ the firebox is designied with the idea that most of the heat moves upwould to the cooking area, but with charcoal heat goes in all directions. The depth of the fire boxes and the protected gas manifold make for a better and safer cook too. While you could place a charcoal in any BBQ you do so with a fair bit of risk.
From Napoleon you have the Rogue bbq range in a free standing trolley BBQ and the a built-in model you have the LEX and the premium 700 series. All these use the same cast iron tray (Length 38cm and Height 40cm). The cast iron build means it heats up fast and the holes in the bottom of the tray make a for a very lighting of the charcoal.
In the Tucker range you have the GTR and the R-Class. The Tucker tray is stainless steel with the size being depend on the model/size of the BBQ. This tray does not have the holes in the bottom and relays on combustion to light the charcoal. You use the gas burners to heat the tray and charcoal until it combusts. This process is a little slow then the Napoleon tray but clean up is so quick as when you take the tray out you are left with very little if any ash in the BBQ fire box making the clean up process so much quicker.
The use of the these trays with a rotisserie kit is where I feel these are best utilised with charcoal taking cooks meats like chicken and lamb to a another level.
Electric Ignition Charcoal BBQs
There are a few Electric ignition Charcoal bbqs on the market. These use some form of electric element to light the charcoal giving you a simple and quick start. Some even have fans and digital controls for a precise temperament control. Unfortunately at this stage with no built in option as yet.
Everdure also have the 4 K, these are modern take at Kokomo style of bbq and are a very versatile units where you can Grill, smoke, bake and use as a pizza oven.
Masterbuilt Gravity Series is about as simple as it gets for a charcoal cook. With it’s auto charcoal feed and Digital Fan control to maintain a set temp it could not be any easier. These units are a lot like very popular Pellet grills from brands like Traeger, GMG and Camp chef but use charcoal instead of the wood pellets.