Gas grills have a well-earned reputation for being user-friendly. Still, there are some outdoor chefs who just can’t live without the taste of genuine wood smoke. For these individuals, a hybrid grill could provide an easy solution.
These ingenious devices can be fueled by either propane or charcoal, leaving the choice entirely up to the chef. If you’re pressed for time, you can use the gas option to create a delicious meal in a hurry. If you’d prefer an authentic barbecue, the charcoal chamber is ready and waiting.
Char-Broil was founded in 1948. Fifty years later, the brand acquired the Oklahoma Joe’s label, expanding their repertoire to include high-quality smokers and accessories. Today, the Georgia-based company sells more gas grills in the US than any other brand.
The Gas2Coal Hybrid Grill differs from most similar offerings in one important respect: The gas and charcoal chambers are one and the same. While many hybrids place a gas grill and a charcoal chamber side by side, this unit is comprised of a single chamber, which can be used for either grilling style.
What does the Char-Broil Gas2Coal Hybrid Grill have to offer that the competition doesn’t? Let’s take a look.
- Affordable price point
- Great customer support
- Versatile unit; both gas and charcoal aspects work equally well
- Quality materials
- Tricky to assemble
- Charcoal sits a bit too close to the ingredients
- Time-consuming cleanup
Things To Consider Before Buying a Hybrid Grill
Hybrid grills are among the most versatile models on the market. They can be used for everything from grilled prosciutto-wrapped asparagus to smoked pulled pork. In terms of both flavor and convenience, they’re difficult to beat. They can also be a good choice if you don’t have enough space to accommodate two grills.
That said, hybrid units tend to be more expensive than grills that offer just a single fuel source. They also require more care and maintenance, especially if you use both options on a regular basis.
Many grilling aficionados choose to stick with one or the other. If you’re on a budget or prefer to keep cleanup simple, then a hybrid grill might not be the best fit for you.
What are the most important features to look for in a hybrid grill? Let’s go over the basics.
- Value: The grill should offer a good value for the money spent.
- Quality: Look for a sturdy steel frame and heavy-duty grilling grates.
- Size: Think about how many people you’ll be cooking for, how often you’ll use the grill, and which ingredients you plan to cook the most.
- Heat Retention: A double-walled stainless steel lid should help the grill maintain its temperature.
- BTU Output: You’ll want powerful gas burners that can put a good sear on steak and chops.
- Other Features: The grill might offer shelving, a side burner, or tool hooks.
Char-Broil Gas2Coal Hybrid Grill Review: Features & Benefits
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get into the particulars.
First, we should mention that this unit is available in both 3- and 4-burner configurations. For the purposes of this Char-Broil Gas2Coal Hybrid Grill review, we’ll be sticking with the 3-burner version.
All of the burners are constructed of high-quality stainless steel. As long as the metal is cleaned regularly, these burners should last for several seasons without rusting through. A wire brush is the perfect tool for this task, but some people prefer to use less abrasive methods.
Stainless steel is also an effective heat distributor. When you use the gas burners, the food should cook thoroughly and evenly.
In addition to the three main burners, there’s an extra burner located on the left-hand side of the grill. This one is designed to resemble the burners on an indoor gas stove top range, making it a good fit for heating sauces and side dishes.
The Gas2Coal comes with a stainless steel tray, equipped with long grooves to accommodate the gas burners. The spaces between the grooves can then be used as compartments for holding charcoal briquettes.
No tools are required to toggle between propane and charcoal. However, as we mentioned, you can only use one technique at a time.
Converting the Gas2Coal to a charcoal-burning unit is simple. Just remove the grilling grates and insert the charcoal tray. Add the charcoal briquettes, making sure to use an equal amount in each of the four compartments. Then replace the grates, fire up the burners, and close the lid. The coals should heat up within 15 minutes.
The configuration of the tray makes it unnecessary to use lighter fluid or a chimney starter. However, note that the tray sits very close to the cooking grates. That means that you won’t be able to use lump charcoal, only briquettes.
Finally, note that the design of the charcoal tray means fewer flare-ups. This makes the grill safer to use and cuts down on cleanup duties to boot.
The Gas2Coal offers 420 square inches on its primary grilling surface, as well as a 120-square inch warming rack. That gives it a grand total of 540 square inches of cooking space.
For a 3-burner unit, this isn’t a bad total. The grill should be able to accommodate a family of four with no problem. Singles or couples who enjoy entertaining might also want to take a closer look.
Like many quality units, the Gas2Coal features cast iron cooking grates with a porcelain coating. The cast iron offers superior heat retention, while the enamel helps keep the food from sticking. Cast iron can last a lifetime with the proper care, but the enamel may wear off after a few years.
Although the grilling grates are naturally rust-resistant, they should be cleaned after each use in order to maintain their integrity. Fortunately, the porcelain coating makes the job a fairly simple one. Just make sure the grates have cooled completely before removing them from the cooking surface.
The combined BTU output of the three main burners is 40,000. By way of comparison, many gas burners offer just 10,000 BTUs apiece. That makes this a powerful unit that’s capable of holding a high temperature.
As for the side burner, it delivers 12,000 BTUs all on its own. If you’re looking for a way to boil water for rice or pasta while you grill the main course, the Gas2Coal could be a perfect fit.
The igniter switch on the Gas2Coal unit is both reliable and effective. That’s especially important for a grill like this one, because it relies on that spark for both the gas and the charcoal grilling techniques. You won’t have to resort to creative lighting methods with this unit.
A built-in temperature gauge can be found in the lid of the Gas2Coal Hybrid Grill. While we would recommend keeping a digital thermometer on hand as well, the readout is generally trustworthy. As a bonus, the numbers are large enough to be viewed from a short distance away.
The propane tank is stored in a small compartment beneath the firebox. When the charcoal tray isn’t in use, it can be placed just above it on the customized shelf. This configuration cuts down on the footprint of the Gas2Coal unit. It also makes the design much more user-friendly.
As we mentioned, this model is flanked by a side burner. When the burner isn’t in use, a metal shelf covers the heating element, so this space can be used to hold side dishes or barbecue tools.
A second painted shelf is located on the right-hand side. While we think it’s a bit too narrow to be used for prep, it’s suitable for tools and condiments.
The two-shelf configuration is a major plus in my book. Not only does it provide more space overall, it allows you to put any dirty utensils on one side and a clean platter on the other. That means you can spend less time running in and out of the house and more time at the grill.
Two large wheels are affixed to the legs on the left-hand side of the grill. The other legs are stationary. Although the unit weighs in at a hefty 110 pounds, this design makes it more maneuverable, particularly by hybrid grill standards.
Char-Broil offers a generous warranty, especially considering the low price point.
A 5-year warranty is in place for all the burners, including the one on the side. The lid and firebox are guaranteed for up to 2 years. All the other parts are covered by a 1-year warranty.
Be aware that replacements are only offered for defective parts, not regular use. If the grill has suffered damage due to ordinary wear and tear, Char-Broil isn’t considered responsible under the terms of the warranty.
The 4-Burner Option
Looking for something a little bigger?
Char-Broil also offers a 4-burner model with many of the same benefits. Like the 3-burner unit, it features cast iron cooking grates with porcelain enameling. The burners are constructed of high-quality stainless steel, and the system for converting the grill from gas to charcoal is just as simple.
The only real difference is the size. The 4-burner model features 710 square inches of cooking space in total. 530 square inches are located on the primary grilling surface, while an 180-square inch warming rack rounds out the space.
This unit also offers a 12,000 BTU side burner. The four main burners crank out a collective 44,000 BTUs, which is adequate for a grill of this size.
Char-Broil Gas2Coal Hybrid Grill: Social Proof
To find out what other buyers had to say on the subject, we conducted a brief internet search.
This model earned high marks among families who couldn’t decide between a gas or charcoal unit. Proponents of gas grilling were enthusiastic about the reliable ignition system, while charcoal enthusiasts praised the easy cleanup. All in all, people seemed to think that the unit offered good value for each dollar spent.
Let’s say you’ve taken a look at this Char-Broil Gas2Coal Hybrid Grill review and want to keep your options open. That’s fine—there are plenty of hybrid units out there. Here’s a look at three popular ones.
#1 Royal Gourmet Dual 3-Burner Gas and Charcoal Grill Combo
This unit differs from the Char-Broil offering in terms of design. The gas and charcoal sections are entirely separate, meaning you can use both at once. This is likely to appeal to grillers who truly want the both of best worlds.
How They Compare:
- Value—Royal Gourmet
- Size—Royal Gourmet
- Heat Retention—Char-Broil
- BTU Output—Char-Broil
- Storage—Royal Gourmet
If you often cook for a crowd, the Royal Gourmet Dual 3-Burner unit is worth a second glance.
#2 Char-Griller Dual Function Gas/Charcoal Grill
Like the Royal Gourmet offering, this unit from Char-Griller offers up dual cooking zones. It cranks out 40,800 BTUs over three main burners, and the charcoal side is outfitted with adjustable vents for superb temperature control.
How They Compare:
- Heat Retention—Char-Broil
- BTU Output—Char-Griller
The Char-Griller Dual Function could be a great investment for chefs who want to create the ultimate outdoor kitchen.
#3 BLOSSOMZ Dual Fuel Combination Charcoal/Gas Grill
Are you looking for an inexpensive hybrid grill so you can determine whether it will suit your lifestyle? If so, then this budget offering from BLOSSOMZ could be the unit for you. The quality isn’t the greatest, but it should work well for a season or two.
How They Compare:
- Heat Retention—Char-Broil
- BTU Output—Char-Broil
Bargain shoppers should consider experimenting with the BLOSSOMZ Dual Fuel grill.
What has this Char-Broil Gas2Coal Hybrid Grill review taught us about the product?
First of all, it’s one of the most compact units in its category. It has a modest footprint that allows it to fit on smaller decks and patios. This element is sure to appeal to apartment-dwellers or anyone with limited outdoor space.
On the other hand, you can only fire up one fuel source at a time. That limits the versatility of the grill. It also means you’ll have to prepare fewer ingredients at once, which could be a deal-breaker to some people.
For our part, we think the Gas2Coal is a fine hybrid model. As long as you’re willing to choose between gas and charcoal for each cooking session, this grill should give you the results you’re looking for.
To gain a better understanding of the Char-Broil Gas2Coal Hybrid grill, click here.