The Pros and Cons of Kettle BBQs

This image shows a steak cooked on a SNS Kettle BBQ


Kettle BBQs have been a staple in the world of outdoor cooking for decades. They are popular due to their versatility, affordability, and portability. However, like any other type of BBQ, Kettle BBQs have their pros and cons. In this blog, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of Kettle BBQs and help you decide whether it's the right choice for you.


This image shows a lit charcoal on a SNS Kettle



Kettle BBQs, also known as charcoal BBQs, are dome-shaped BBQs that use charcoal as fuel. They were invented in the 1950s by George Stephen, who created the first Weber Kettle. Since then, Kettle BBQs have become a popular choice for outdoor cooking due to their ability to cook food in various styles, including grilling, smoking, and even roasting.

Pros of Kettle BBQs

  1. The versatility of cooking styles - Kettle BBQs are versatile and can be used for grilling, smoking, and roasting. They allow you to cook a wide range of dishes, from burgers and hot dogs to briskets and ribs.

  2. Affordability compared to other BBQ types - Kettle BBQs are relatively cheap compared to other types of BBQs. They are an excellent choice for those who want to enjoy outdoor cooking without breaking the bank.

  3. Portability and ease of use - Kettle BBQs are portable and can be easily moved from one place to another. They are also easy to use and require no special skills.

  4. Retains moisture and enhances flavours of the food - Kettle BBQs are excellent at retaining moisture and enhancing the flavour of food. They use charcoal, which produces a smoky flavour that cannot be replicated with other cooking methods.


Cons of Kettle BBQs

  1. Limited cooking space - Kettle BBQs have a limited cooking space, which makes them unsuitable for large gatherings or parties.

  2. Takes longer to cook compared to gas BBQs - Cooking with Kettle BBQs takes longer than cooking with gas BBQs. You need to wait for the charcoal to heat up and reach the desired temperature.

  3. Requires more attention and maintenance - Kettle BBQs require more attention and maintenance than gas BBQs. You need to monitor the temperature and add charcoal as needed.

  4. Difficult to control temperature - Kettle BBQs are difficult to control the temperature, especially during windy or rainy weather conditions.


Comparison with Gas BBQs

Gas BBQs are another popular type of outdoor cooking equipment. They use propane or natural gas as fuel and are relatively easy to use. Compared to Kettle BBQs, gas BBQs have a larger cooking space and can cook food faster. However, they do not produce the same smoky flavour as Kettle BBQs and are more expensive.

Maintenance and Care for Kettle BBQs

To extend the lifespan of your Kettle BBQ, you need to clean and maintain it regularly. Here are some maintenance tips to help you keep your Kettle BBQ in good condition:

  • Clean the grates after each use with a wire brush or scraper

  • Empty the ash catcher regularly

  • Store your Kettle BBQ in a dry place to prevent rust

Common issues with Kettle BBQs include rust, damaged grates, and malfunctioning vents. If you encounter any of these issues, you can easily fix them with replacement parts or by following online tutorials.

This image shows a sausage and steak on a SNS KettleThis Image shows a steak on a SNS Kettle


Kettle BBQs are a popular choice for outdoor cooking due to their versatility, affordability, and portability. However, they also have their drawbacks, including limited cooking space, longer cooking time, and difficult temperature control. If you are looking for a budget-friendly option for outdoor cooking, a Kettle BBQ may be the right choice for you. However, if you prioritise convenience and quick cooking, you may prefer a gas BBQ. Regardless of your choice, it is important to maintain and care for your BBQ properly to extend its lifespan and ensure optimal performance.

In conclusion, Kettle BBQs have been a classic choice for outdoor cooking for a reason. They offer versatility, affordability, and great flavour, making them an excellent choice for casual cooks or those looking to explore new culinary techniques. However, it is essential to consider the pros and cons of this type of grill before making a purchase to ensure it meets your needs and expectations. With proper maintenance and care, your Kettle BBQ can last for many years, providing you and your loved ones with delicious meals and memories.


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by: Michael Wilkie