Types of barbecue: know the main advantages and disadvantages

There is no barbecue without a barbecue, do you agree? But before buying or building your own, it’s worth getting to know better the types of barbecues out there.

Maybe you’ll discover that model you’ve always dreamed of isn’t as good as you imagined.

That’s why we’ve brought in this post a complete manual to help you choose the ideal type of barbecue and, then, make that respectful barbecue. Come and see!

Types of lighting

One of the main differences between grills is the way they are lit. Below are the main types and their respective advantages and disadvantages.


The charcoal or ember grill is the favorite of Brazilians. She is the one who guarantees the smoked flavor of the meats and that characteristic barbecue flavor.

There are several types of charcoal barbecues, including masonry, pre-molded and portable models.

The great advantage of this type of lighting is the smoked flavor. On the other hand, if you opt for this model, know that you will need to deal with the smoke.

Another point to be considered in the charcoal grill is safety. This version of the grill does not have temperature or flame control, which can be a problem for beginner grillers.


The gas grill is very popular in the USA and European countries. Around here, this type of barbecue has become popular more recently with the need for more compact options, especially for those who live in an apartment.

The gas barbecue is safe, since it has control and regulation of the flame and temperature, in addition to not generating smoke.

However, this type of grill leaves something to be desired in terms of flavor, since the meats do not gain the traditional aroma and smoked flavor of a traditional charcoal grill.


The grill with electric lighting is also an option for those who live in small spaces and who do not allow grills that generate smoke.

This is because, like the gas grill, the electric grill does not produce smoke and also has the advantage of having compact models.

But she suffers from the same problem: she doesn’t smoke meat.

9 types of barbecue grills: advantages and disadvantages

1. Masonry barbecue

The masonry barbecue is the most traditional and popular in Brazil. Usually made of exposed bricks, this type of barbecue has charcoal lighting, bringing that smoky taste that every Brazilian barbecue lover loves.

Nowadays it is also common to see masonry barbecues built in refractory concrete, which makes it more modern and with greater possibilities of finishing, such as porcelain, for example.

Advantages of the masonry barbecue: smoked flavor, conserves and spreads heat well, high durability, smoke directed by the hood.

Disadvantages of masonry barbecue: high cost and need for specialized labor for construction.

2. Pre-molded barbecue

The pre-molded barbecue has charcoal lighting and emerged as a more economical alternative to the masonry version.

This type of barbecue comes ready-made and you just need to place it in the desired location when you get home.

Constructed in refractory concrete, the pre-molded barbecue can be coated with other materials to adjust to the design of the environment.

Advantages of the pre-molded barbecue: easy to install, cheaper than masonry and it gives the meat a smoked flavor.

Disadvantages of pre-molded barbecue: smoke control is not as efficient and can be lacking in terms of aesthetics.

3. Portable barbecue

A portable grill is the best option in terms of versatility. There are gas, coal, and electric models in different sizes.

It is also very useful for those who travel frequently, as this type of barbecue can easily go in the trunk of the car.

Advantages of the portable barbecue: easy to transport and assemble, cheap and varied lighting options.

Disadvantages of the portable barbecue: reduced capacity for roasting meat, serving few people.

4. Built-in barbecue

The built-in barbecue is another great friend of small spaces. It can be built-in either on the wall or on the countertop and the lighting mode can also vary, with gas, electric, and charcoal options.

Advantages of the built-in barbecue: good value for money when compared to masonry models, accepts different types of finish, good for small environments, lighting options, and quick assembly.

Disadvantages of the built-in barbecue: it needs specialized labor to perform the service.

5. Iron barbecue

The iron grill is another star in the world of Brazilian grills. Charcoal-lit, this is that pop version of the grill that everyone once had.

Advantages of the iron barbecue: easy to assemble, cheap, meats with a smoked flavor, it can be taken anywhere, and is great for small environments.

Disadvantages of the iron barbecue: it emits a lot of smoke since it is lit by charcoal, it can rust if it is not well cared for and aesthetically it is not very attractive.

6. Electric barbecue

Nowadays, the electric grill is the one that has stood out the most in houses and small apartments. Available in several options of sizes, brands, and models, the electric barbecue is a great alternative for those who live in an apartment.

Advantages of the electric grill: lightweight (some models weigh less than 2 kg), available in built-in or portable versions, safe, roasts meat evenly, does not generate smoke, ideal for apartments or small houses without a backyard.

Disadvantages of the electric barbecue: energy cost increases and does not impart a smoked flavor to the meat.

7. Gas barbecue

The gas grill has gained popularity in Brazil and promises to be a more efficient option from the point of view of energy consumption when compared to the electric grill.

Available in various models, sizes, and formats, the gas barbecue also has the possibility of being built-in, countertop, or portable.

Advantages of the gas barbecue: Safe, ecological, quick lighting, does not generate smoke, ideal for apartments and a variety of models.

Disadvantages of the gas barbecue: It needs a supply point or a cylinder, it does not smoke the meat and it has a higher price than the electric versions.

8. Barbecue on breath

The barbecue grill is the favorite of those who appreciate slow-prepared meats, such as termites and ribs. The functioning of this type of barbecue is different since the meats are roasted thanks to the muffling caused by the internal heat of the ember.

Advantages of the barbecue grill: it uses little coal, lights up quickly, roasts different types of meat, adds a smoked flavor to the meat, and is light and portable.

Disadvantages of the breathable barbecue: it does not allow the use of skewers and, even though it generates little smoke, since it remains most of the time with the lid closed, the breathable barbecue is also not suitable for apartments or indoor environments.

9. Gengiskan grill

The Gengiskan grill was very popular in the past, fell out of favor, but has recently seen a resurgence, thanks to the need for lightweight, small and portable grills.

The interesting side of the Gengiskan grill is the historical value it carries.

It is said that Mongol soldiers, back in the 13th century, used their own helmets to roast meat during the time they were on a military campaign.

Based on the shape of these helmets, the Gengiskan barbecue came about. It is even named after the Mongol Emperor Genghis Khan.

Stories aside, the fact is that this grill works from a container similar to a pot, where the charcoal is placed. On top, a round grill is used for the meats.

Advantages of the Gengiskan barbecue: super light, small, easy to transport, and even adds a smoked flavor to the meat.

Disadvantages of the Gengiskan barbecue: It generates smoke, does not allow the use of skewers, roasts a small amount of meat, and, therefore, is not very suitable for a meeting with a large number of people.