Don't miss Practical Motorhome's verdict on the Outwell's Cervon Grill & Fire Pit test to see if this portable charcoal-fuelled BBQ is for you

Overview

What's your favourite barbecue food? On any campsite you'll see people cooking steaks, burgers, sausages, kebabs, halloumi, vegetable kebabs and veggie burgers, because in almost every group of people you find both vegetarians and carnivores. That's just for starters. Then it's time for the foil-wrapped peaches filled with honey, toasted marshmallows, or whatever takes your fancy for dessert. After a day outdoors you'll have the appetite to do such delicious foods justice.

But when it comes to choosing a barbecue to take on tour, what are you looking for? Here at Practical Motorhome we've assembled a group of barbecues for testing, to find out which are the best products to buy.

We debated the pros and cons of gas barbecues versus charcoal barbecues. On the one hand, gas grills are quick to use because they heat up and cool down pretty fast. They create no sparks, no fire risk, and no piles of ash and spent fuel. They are also easy to use, often having temperature gauges and controls, plus they're easy to clean. But gas grills tend to cost more than charcoal BBQs and add no extra flavour to the food. To get round the latter point, you can buy lava rocks so that any fat can splash onto them and flare up a bit to char the edges of the food and give extra flavour.

By contrast, cooking on coals seems to give food a fabulous smoky flavour, particularly if you add pear wood, or hickory or apple wood to the fire. The glow of a traditional charcoal barbecue attracts people and invites everyone to gather round for a cosy evening around the 'camp fire' long after the food has been cooked and eaten.

If you've ever seen a heathland on fire, you'll know all about the dangers of hot coals and sparks setting light to the dry grass and bushes on the caravan park or in your chosen picnic spot. For that reason in our tests we looked at the height between the base of each BBQ and the ground. We also checked out any drip trays and guards that might help keep hot fat and cooking oil away from the dry surroundings – just in case. 

In this review we've focused on the Outwell Cervon Grill & Fire Pit, which costs £84.99.

It only took about a minute to transform the contents of the 47 x 46 x 6cm bag into the complex-looking charcoal barbecue that you see here. Dismantling was just as quick, too — not bad considering the roomy 35 x 26cm cooking area.

The clever touches continue with the bottom plate, which prevents any ash from getting to the ground, and — in theory — the grille’s multi-level height adjustment.

Sadly, though, the design of the Cervon Grill & Fire Pit makes the advertised four-step adjustable grilling height practically impossible when the unit’s hot.  

Nevertheless, it's easy to use and we like the fact that you can burn both wood and charcoal on it.

Technical specs

Size32.5cm wide x 32.5 deep x 34cm high
Pack size44cm wide x 44cm deep x 4cm high
Weight7kg
FuelCharcoal and wood
MaterialStainless steel

Verdict

It's quick and easy to set up, and gives a good cooking area, but the fact that you can't adjust the grill height once it gets hot lets it down a bit. We've awarded Outwell's Cervon Grill & Fire Pit three stars. 

For those who favour gas grills, we have also reviewed the Kampa Sizzle gas barbecue at £36.99, the large Kampa Caddy, at £190, and the Weber Go Anywhere, costing £103. For fans of charcoal-fuelled barbecues, we've tested the SunnCamp Compact BBQ, at just £5.99 and the Weber Smokey Joe, £39.99. Check out all our BBQ reviews and camping accessory reviews before you buy your outdoor equipment. 

Conclusion

Pros

  • Large cooking area
  • Stainless steel won't rust
  • Uses both charcoal and wood

Cons

  • Not cheap
  • It gets too hot to adjust grill height
  • Quite heavy (7kg)
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