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Mar 21, 2007 09:04 PM

Dual Fuel Outdoor BBQ Grill

I'm looking for a recommendation for an outdoor grill that won't cost two arms and a leg with the ability to do charcoal and gas. Something like this but less $$...

Anyone have any experience or recommendations about such a thing?

Thank you for any advice you may be able to offer.

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  1. I don't know about anything that resembles the unit you linked to (which sounds fabulous). But Napoleon, a Canadian BBQ also available in parts of the U.S. has this as a simple, cheap option. You can see it at:

    The charcoal option does actually work. The gas burner lights the charcoal in the tray and the area directly over the glowing coals is much hotter than the grill surface using gas alone. I can't recommend Napoleon highly, though, because the unit (which seems well built) has been too unreliable. There is a lifetime warranty, and they support it, but it is a real pain to need several replacement parts every year.

    The good news is that you should be able to improvise this. You can see how simple it is. Some basic principles seem to be involved:

    - The charcoal basket must be solid, heavy metal (such as cast iron) in order to take the heat. The charcoal tray on the website is much heavier than the other baskets shown on that page.

    - The charcoal tray must fit between the burner and the bottom of the grilling surface.

    - You need to be sure that large amounts of ash won't fall through the bottom holes and clog the burner ports. This is the only significant design issue.

    - Your BBQ must have a casting that can cope withe the intense heat. Many BBQ castings I've seen would warp.

    2 Replies
    1. re: embee

      I just ordered the Napoleon Ultra Chef stand-alone cart (405) mainly because of the charcoal tray. I checked them out a couple years ago at a reliable dealer and they looked great. I hope the quality hasn't gone downhill. I got the grill for $800 shipped with a cover and charcoal tray thrown in. I'll keep you posted. I wish more manufacturers left more room between the burner and grilling surface.

      1. re: embee

        I spent my tax refund on a Napoleon a few years back and love the charcoal tray for when I want to treat special people to a special meal. I've yet to need to replace a part. I bought the Napoleon because of the higher quality and it has paid off . . . compared to replacing the cast aluminum BBQs frequently. their website is at

      2. Take a look at this:

        Actually, don't look too closely at the unit on their homepage, or you'll go blind!!

        1. I was just at Lowe's last week and they have a new grill there for $298.00. It is a Dual-Mode. The brand is "Char-Griller". It has a burner on the left side, gas grill in the middle charcoal grill on the right. There is also a smoker attachment that you can add for $59.99. I'm going today to take another look at it. I want to buy it myself but I went the week before and got a cheap grill at WalMart for 128. Now I wish I had waited. The Char-Griller has everything I ever wanted in a Grill and doesn't cost $10,000. This is the only place that I have seen it though. It's not even on Char-Griller's website ( It looks just like their "Outlaw" model split in half (gas grill left/coal grill right), with the LP Side Burner accessory on the left instead of the wooden side shelf. And with the Side Fire Box accessory that you can attach on to the right side what more could you ask for?

          1 Reply
          1. re: kingram

            I've been looking for something like the dual fuel chargiller that you saw at lowes. what area of the country are you in? I'm not sure if the lowes in nebraska has that model. I have found an Aussie grill that looks promising but the charcoal is too close the the cooking surface. but it is the best option that i have found so far.

          2. We purchased a Char-Broil dual fuel or convertible grill nearly five years ago at Walmart. We paid about $200.00 for it. It has a tray for charcoal that sits just above the burners once the splatter cover were removed. We live in Chicago and use it year around; so its' pretty weather beaten. We've worn the thing out and would like another, but I don't think they make it anymore.

            1 Reply
            1. re: m2nd2none

              See my post above. The Napoleon system works and you can improvise something similar or order the Napoleon charcoal basket over the net. You MUST be sure that your BBQ's casting can take the added heat. (Do not try this with a flimsy casting or with an unmodified Broil King Signet model.)

            2. Check out the Vidalia grills, well made and a loyal following, way cheaper tan Kalamzoo, but still costly, the Vidalia 440 is around $1000.