Lifestyle 22in kettle charcoal barbecue review
This medium-sized charcoal barbecue offers good temperature control and room to cook for up to four people at a time. Read on to find out if it's good value for money.
- Double level cooking area, removable ash catcher, twin air vent system for temperature control, easy and lightweight to move
- Complex building instructions, cheap-feel plastic handles, chrome-plated grills, not non-stick
Lifestyle 22in kettle charcoal barbecue summary
Thanks to its price, manoeuvrability and some easy to use features for personalising heat ferocity, this barbecue is a good choice for beginners and occasional fair-weather grillers.
Assembling it is a bit of a faff. However, thanks to a pair of wheels and lightweight materials for construction, it's easy to relocate under cover for wetter months.
Read our full review of the best charcoal barbecues
We are pleased to see that there isn’t excessive use of plastic inside the cardboard box with this barbecue. Its kettle dome and lid are both wrapped in brown paper. Laid out, the parts are all self-explanatory which is lucky, because the instructions pose a problem.
They are a series of technical product drawings, using letters and numbers to instruct you on how everything fits together. It takes an hour to build and you'll need a standard screwdriver and small spanner to do it.
How easy is it to use?
Once upright, the barbecue sits at a nice height on its four legs with two wheels. It has plastic handles for lifting. At 3.7kg, it’s an easy one to move in and out for when the weather’s good. The ash catcher is removable and well-placed underneath the bowl’s air vent. This and the vent in the main dome are adjustable.
The barbecue comes to temperature in under 15 minutes with the lid off when the bottom air vent above the ash catcher is fully open. There's a 55 x 55cm top cooking grill and a slightly smaller one to sit lower and closer to the coals for hotter, faster cooking.
Because of the large size of the bowl, two packs of coals produce the most efficient and prolonged use of heat. With one pack, we find the ingredients only cook through on the lowest grill close to the coals, burning quickly. The lid is lightweight and has a plastic handle so it's easy to lift on and off. There are no accompanying accessories for cleaning the components. Plus, they’re too big for the dishwasher, so just give them a good scrub.
We arrange the coals to achieve an even heat and wait for them to fully burn down to a glowing red before adding the ingredients. This barbecue performs particularly well with the lid on, showing that the barbecue retains its heat well. Although there’s no thermometer to show the internal temperature, the barbecue’s two air vents are adjustable.
We fully open the vent below the coals before lighting, then adjust the lid vent during cooking. Closed, we get lots of smoky flavour into the spatchcock chicken, which takes an hour to cook through and get a nice, crisp skin on the outside.
The courgette slices are unevenly cooked and stick slightly to the grill, so although it’s a large grill, you can cook slices for four at a time in reality. The potato slices also fare best on the lowest grill and require plenty of oiling to cook through without burning. With the lid on, the results are much better.
This barbecue’s price is a positive. It’s a large capacity model that offers good control over temperature for cooking for up to four people at a time. The duo grills are useful depending on how many coals you have, although cooking space reduces significantly with the lower grill.
Dimensions: H80 x W75 x D57cm
Cooking area: W55 x D55cm
Materials: vitreous enamel bowl and lid, two chrome-plated cooking grills
Warranty: one-year guarantee
This review was last updated in April 2021. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.