Another bank holiday is almost upon us and the smell of charcoal is (soon to be) in the air. However, if your current barbecue’s days are numbered, having not weathered the winter well, you might want to start thinking about an update.

To test the new range of charcoal models available we began by noting how easily the larger barbecues came together out of the box, including fiddly installations like vents and ash catchers as well as legs, housings and carts – after all, you want to spend your time in the garden with tongs in hand rather than a screwdriver.

Unlike with gas models, where you can control the heat easily, charcoal barbecues rely on vents to manage the heat your food is exposed to, so these have to be efficient and it’s crucial that the heat to the grate is distributed evenly, so you don’t have to worry about hot and cool spots spoiling your alfresco fare.

Finally, the food. We needed to know how each grill performed cooking with high heat so that you wouldn’t have to worry about scorching a batch of burgers to satisfy friends and family.

Also, we got hands-on to see which grills coped best with slower grilled foods, like chicken, and whether they could hold a lower temperature across the whole grate to ensure the food didn’t dry out.

Once the ash settled, these were the barbecues that stood out as serious contenders to satisfy any garden gathering this summer.

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We’d bet our last briquette that you won’t regret investing in the Napoleon pro cart charcoal kettle grill, which consistently produced excellent barbecued fare. The bespoke design of the Original Jerk vert drum meant that it’s perfect for larger families and parties; and for portable barbecuing the Everdure CUBE is well designed, practical and produces perfect food for a day at the beach or the park.

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