Best Pellet/Charcoal Combo Grills 2023

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Now, you may have heard of a combo grill in the past. However, that term commonly refers to pellet/gas combo grills. However, there is now a growing number of pellet/charcoal combo grill options. With this article, I wanted to show you those options and also discuss the purpose/target customer of such a grill. After all, you may understandably be confused why anyone would want a grill that could use both pellets and charcoal as a fuel source? We’ll get to that…

Best Pellet/Charcoal Combo Grills
If you can cook with pellets, what’s the appeal of briquette/lump charcoal? Well...

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Introduction To Pellet/Charcoal Combo Grills

Ok, so first, some clarification is needed on what this article is discussing. The reason is, you can now get charcoal pellets. Hence you can indeed burn charcoal in a pellet grill.

However, charcoal pellets are going to burn differently from charcoal briquettes/natural lump charcoal.

This article is going to discuss grills which can burn pellets and also burn charcoal briquettes/natural lump charcoal.

Why would you want to? Well, pellets burn very efficiently in a very controlled process. A more efficient burn while it creates more heat at the same time, it will produce less smoke.

The Appeal Of A Pellet/Charcoal Combo Grill

Many pellet grills/smokers do have a ‘Smoke Mode‘ and other methods to produce more smoke, such as P-Setting adjustments. However, by their very nature, pellets burn efficiently.

Burning charcoal briquettes/natural lump charcoal with manual control of the air intake can be made to produce more smoke than burning pellets. Hence, the appeal to some of a manual charcoal burner.

The same principle applies to offset/stick burners. You can get more smoke than a pellet smoker. The downside is, they require more time management. That’s the trade-off.

This is where the appeal of a pellet/charcoal combo grill comes from. On one side, you have the convenience/low time investment of cooking with pellets.

On the other side, you have a manually controlled charcoal/wood burning chamber if you want more smoke than a traditional pellet grill/smoker can provide.

Pit Boss Charcoal/Pellet Combo Grill

This is currently the cheapest example of a pellet/charcoal combined grill on the market. The general design of the unit shares a lot in common with the Pit Boss pellet/gas combo grills.

You can use the button below to check the price of the Pit Boss Charcoal Pellet combo. It’s currently exclusive to Tractor Supply, and the price when I checked was $600.

The 1230 Charcoal Pellet Combo is the first such grill from Pit Boss

A couple of things to note though. Currently, this unit is fitted with an older Pit Boss control panel. Hence, no PID temperature control and no SmokeIT communication with your phone.

Furthermore, what disappoints me about the design is that the pellet and charcoal cooking chambers are completely separate.

Ideally, you would be able to have some charcoal burning in the right-hand side chamber and let that smoke enter the pellet cooking chamber for additional smoke flavour.

That way, you would still have the precise temperature control of cooking with pellets but additional smoke flavour as and when you wanted it.

Hybrid Offest/Pellet Smokers

Offset smokers burning charcoal/wood have their benefits/drawbacks, and so do pellet grills/smokers. Therefore, a combination of the two could appeal to you.

Below I’ve included a video from Trinty Smokers, who produce custom BBQ pits where they take an existing offset smoker and add onto it a pellet burner/hopper assembly.

A very interesting combination of an offset smoker and a pellet smoker

As of writing this article, you cannot currently purchase custom/hybrid offset/pellet smokers through the Trinity Smokers website. I’m not sure if/when they will be offering their services.

However, the point is, the is really just a combination of two technologies that you could try out for yourself if you like a DIY project.

The pellet burner/hopper assembly used in the video above is widely available from Pellet Pro and features a PID temperature control for accurate pellet combustion.

Pellet Pro Burner/Hopper
This is the pellet burner/hopper assembly used in the Trinity Hybrid Offset/Pellet Smoker: Image –

If your welding skills are up to scratch, you may want to take on the DIY challenge yourself by taking an existing offset smoker and the pellet burner/hopper assembly above.

However, if the DIY route is not an option, there is also one more pellet/charcoal grill currently on the market, which you may want to look into.

Camp Chef Woodwind Pro

So the last product that I’m currently aware of that can be classified as a pellet/charcoal combo grill is the Camp Chef Woodwind Pro.

I’ve previously written a detailed article about this grill/smoker (link above), so I don’t want to repeat myself. The short of it is, this is a very different concept from the two other grills above.

The Smoke Box on the Woodwind Pro can be loaded with wood chunks, chips or charcoal: Video –

So as you can see from the video above, instead of a separate pellet and charcoal cooking chamber like the Pit Boss model above, the Woodwind Pro works very differently.

The retractable Smoke Box sits above the pellet burn pot, and you can add the charcoal as and when you need to, to provide the desired smoke level you’re looking for.

Final Thoughts On Pellet/Charcoal Grills…

For anyone only looking for a lighter/milder smoke flavour in your food, a pellet grill/smoker will suit your needs just fine.

However, for those looking for more intense smoke flavour while still benefiting from the convenience/ease of use of a pellet grill/smoker, one of the models above may suit your needs.

Personally, I think it will be interesting to see the idea of pellet/charcoal grills takes off. Or will it be just a small niche of the pellet grill market? Only time will tell…

That’s it! Thanks for reading, I hope you found the information above interesting/useful. I you would like to know more, please check out my Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker Guide. 🙂

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