BBQ BUYING GUIDE
Planning on buying a BBQ this year? BBQs come in assorted styles and sizes, plus there’s always the big decision of whether to go gas or charcoal. So, we’ve compiled this guide to help you find the perfect BBQ for you.
- The Great BBQ Divide - Gas or Charcoal?
Gas or charcoal is one of the main decisions you will need to make when choosing your new BBQ. Our research has shown that the split between charcoal and gas BBQ users is almost 50:50, which goes to show that it really does come down to personal taste.
Here are the pros and cons for both gas and charcoal barbecues to help you understand which will suit you best.
The Pros and Cons of a Gas BBQ
Heats up quickly - you will be cooking in 5-10 minutes.
The temperature can be easily regulated.
Burns more evenly.
Easier to clean - no ashes.
Cooked food can lack that distinctive chargrill taste.
The Pros and Cons of a Charcoal BBQ
Smaller & more portable.
Gives cooked food that smoky chargrilled flavour.
Take longer to reach cooking temperature (although a Chimney Starter can help alleviate this problem).
More clean-up required afterwards.
Higher risk of fire-related injury.
- What Size BBQ?
There are three aspects to consider when it comes to determining the size of barbecue you need. There is the physical space it takes up; for example, if you have a small balcony your choices will be limited to compact designs. There is also the cooking preparation area, such as side tables and warming racks, which you may or may not feel you need. And possibly most important of all is the size of the actual cooking area, i.e., the grill.
Here is our general guide to cooking area sizes based on the amount of people you will be cooking for:
4 people or less: up to 1800cm²
4-6 people: 1800-2500cm²
8+ people: 2500cm²
Before giving into the temptation to buy the biggest BBQ you can afford, think about how many people you will be cooking for and where the BBQ will fit. If you are only going to cater for larger parties on occasion, you can always cook in batches and fill your grill with smaller items like burgers and sausages rather than large steaks and racks of ribs. Barbecues with warming racks will also help, as they will keep a large amount of the food warm as you cook the rest.
- Additional BBQ Features
Here are a few other features to consider when buying a BBQ:
Lids & Hoods
A barbecue with a lid or a hood is more versatile. Closing the lid or hood while cooking will keep the heat and smoke inside the BBQ, giving you flexibility in your cooking methods. It allows you to smoke the food and to cook by convection with the heat of the air as well as with the heat of the grill.
Heat or cook side dishes or sauces in a saucepan while you barbecue, without having to go back into the kitchen. They can also be used to keep barbecued food warm.