Choosing the Best BBQ For Your GardenIf there’s one thing us Brits love is a barbecue. We may not have the best climate like our friends down under, but we still flock to the grill as soon as the sun comes out.
The ideal BBQ differs from home to home and depend on several factors. That’s why we’ve put together this quick guide to ensure you’ll be cooking with confidence in no time.
What Size Should I Get?
The most important factor to consider is cooking area, which is typically expressed in cm2.
If you’re regularly cooking for 2-4 people, we recommend a BBQ with an area no less than 1800 cm2. For six people, it’s 2000 cm2 and you’re looking at a hefty cooking area of at least 2500 cm2 if you’re entertaining eight guests or more.
Also, think of the overall size of the BBQ. For example, if you have a small outdoor space, you may be limited to compact BBQ’s or something more portable. A lot of the larger BBQ’s also come with shelves and warming racks that add to its bulk. Ultimately, you may feel these are unnecessary for your needs.
Charcoal or Gas?
Looking for the most authentic BBQ experience? Then charcoal is the way forward. It imparts a unique flavour compared to gas as the smoke generated while cooking creates that instantly recognisable BBQ taste.
A charcoal grill’s design is a lot simpler as well. No extra features like igniters or side burners mean there’s less chance of anything going wrong – just remember to always keep a sack of charcoal on standby!
However, charcoal BBQ’s take a lot longer to reach optimum heat (as much as 40 minutes) and it’s harder to control the temperature compared to the handy dials on a gas BBQ. Overall, cooking with charcoal takes patience to get the best results.
With gas BBQ’s, convenience is key and suits those who may not have the time or inclination to learn the complexities of charcoal cooking.
It’s also easier to control direct heat with a gas BBQ, which means a more even cook and less chance of burning your burger to a cinder. Just hook it up to a gas canister and press the ignition button for a simpler way to grill outdoors.
Gas BBQ’s are easier to maintain too. Simply use a grill brush to clean the grates and a cloth to wipe the outside. Ultimately, gas BBQ's are quicker, safer and last longer than charcoal versions.
Modern BBQ’s are a lot more feature heavy these days – especially on gas models. Look below for some of the most common ones:
Burner - Lie beneath the cooking grates and provide heat to your food from the gas canisters.
Side burner - A small cooking surface found on gas BBQ’s. Usually designed for smaller items (eg vegetables) while your main course is cooked on the large grill.
Lid/hood - Many BBQ’s come with a lid or hood that, when shut, gives you more cooking options. eg cooking by convection.
Built-in thermometer - Allows you to monitor heat inside the BBQ. Typically found in the dome or hood.
Warming rack - Keeps your food warm before you’re ready to serve.
Wheels - For easy manoeuvrability round the garden.
Rotisserie - Also known as a rear burner. Used to cook meat on a rotisserie spit.
Firebox - An extra chamber for fuel to impart your food with more smokey flavour. Found on charcoal BBQ’s and gas/charcoal hybrids.