There is absolutely nothing wrong with the first sentence. In fact, I think it's stylistically preferable to the second, though that's just how I see it. The first seems to evoke an image, while the second seems just to state facts dispassionately - to me, anyway. I think it's because in the first sentence, the glowing red coals and the sparks are connected with the barbeque, rather than being introduced later on.
EDIT: I don't think I have made much sense. I'm not saying, of course, that you run everything into one sentence, or that you should write sentences like yours all the time. What I immediately felt upon reading your sentences was what I've said above. I might feel differently, if every sentence you wrote was like that. It would feel like the same style was being overused. Simple sentences are effective, too, and I can think of situations in which you might prefer the second style to the first (though not perhaps given these sentences in particular): for instance, simple and short sentences can be used when you're dealing with a tense situation, and you want every moment that passes to feel significant to the reader. This isn't the only situation, and you may not always want to do this in this sort of situation.
The point is, this isn't ungrammatical, and you should keep it.