Above any other summer the looming social restrictions we’re all facing has us looking for ways to treat ourselves from the comfort of our own homes. The humble barbecue, previously reserved for scorchers in the back garden or special occasions, is being broken out more frequently to add some intrigue to dinner times and make an event out of your meal. But figuring out what barbecue to buy is a big decision and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. So we’ve done the research and come up with suggestions for every budget.
Things To Consider Before You Buy
The best place to start is with the why: Why do you want a barbecue? Are you planning on unleashing your inner Master Chef or will you just be doing some simple cooking? Also, how many will you be cooking for? Is it just you and your SO, the family, a bunch of friends? If you’re only going to be doing basic cooking for a couple of people, then there is no need to go buying a six burner monster griller with all the bells and whistles.
Next thing to look at is what sort of fuel you want to use. We’ve recently posted about the advantages of using lumpwood charcoal in your barbecuing . We love it because it’s the most organic product to use and leaves a delicious smokey taste on your food, but we appreciate that it takes a little more work and therefore isn’t for everyone. To learn more about using lumpwood charcoal click here. Otherwise, keep reading to find out more about gas powered barbecues!
Gas barbecues are the quickest and easiest means of cooking outdoors, once you have your gas canister secured simply fire it up and in a few minutes it will be hot enough to cook on. This speed means you’re more likely to use your barbecue because less preparation is required to get it going. Another advantage is that your gas barbecue will have dials that allow you to control your temperature making cooking up a feast that much easier.
What are the downsides to gas? With no smoke generated your food can come out tasting quite bland if not properly seasoned in advance of cooking, so don’t be afraid of the spices! Also, gas barbecues can be a bit more expensive than the charcoal alternatives and you have to store a canister of gas which can be a bit awkward when the summer is over.
Need To Know Features
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the addons in barbecues when you go shopping but before you get swept up in double and triple burners have a look at our features guide below:
Side Burners: These are more common in gas barbecues and allow you to cook with pots or pans while your grilling. These are perfect for cooking or warming up sauces or boiling up water for some veggies.
Warming Racks: Pretty simply a little rack above the main grill in your barbecue that you can pop things to take them off direct heat but keep them warm
Fat Collectors: This feature is exclusive for gas barbecues, it’s a tray underneath your unit that will collect the fat drippings for an easier clean up after cooking. (Handy Tip: line the tray with foil or some sand to make cleaning your fat collector even easier again!)
Temperature Gauge: This explains itself doesn’t it? It’s a gauge on the outside of your unit that will give you an idea of the temperature when the lid is closed. It’s of course really useful but if it pushes you outside of your budget don’t fret. There’s a rough guestimating guide to feeling out your barbecue temperature on our post about cooking with charcoal right here or just use a meat thermometer while cooking to make sure everything is cooked through.
Wheels: This can’t be overstated. Wheels should be a key feature on your barbecue wish list. Nobody wants to be lugging about a barbecue from one end of the garden to the other or in and out of storage. Wheels are the key to an easy life on this one.
1. Cheap and Easy
This option from Littlewoods is as cheap as it comes for an easy to use barbecue. It’s charcoal so you don’t need to mess about with gas canisters and has wheels for easy mobility. However, it doesn’t come with a lid or a cover so you’ll need to either get a cover or have somewhere dry to keep it safely stored.
This charcoal Weber kettle barbecue is ideal for small backyard cooking. At 47cm in diameter its compact, excellent quality, and an absolute steal at only €99. Fitted with an ash catcher underneath and a dampener on the lid to regulate air flow it’s the perfect starter barbecue.
2. Not Too Pricey
This Lovo barbecue from Agros ticks all the boxes for your everyday cook out. Lots of shelf space, which is extremely handy for while cooking, and the lid is another cooking space so you can easily double your cooking space for bigger gatherings. It has wheels for easy movement and a lid to keep the inside of your unit dry when not in use.
Portable and lightweight, this gas barbecue is a solid choice for small scale cooking. Inside is half grill and half cooking plate so you can cook mains and sides together. It can be used as a table top cooker or on it’s frame so it’s extremely easy to move about. It also has an exterior thermometer to check your cooking heat and also comes with a utensils set including a fork, tongs, and spatula, and a PVC cover!
This three burner gas barbecue is plenty big for an average family. Being gas powered it is easy to fire up on a whim and has a burner on the side for cooking sauces or sides too. Featuring a warming rack, an exterior thermometer, and wheels it’s an excellent all rounder barbecue at a reasonable price.
3. Expensive Picks
The Weber range of barbecues is known worldwide for quality. They have ranges of both charcoal and gas units and come in a variety of sizes and specifications to suit every level of chef. The Genesis II model has four burners and even comes fitted with the iGrill 3 connection which allows you to connect up to four temperature probes and wirelessly pair their readings with an app on your phone. You can program the app for the level of done-ness which you prefer your meat or set a temperature preference so your food will be cooked to perfection every time. If you click the link here you can qualify to get a free griddle and pizza stone so win win!
The Big Green Egg range is synonymous with quality in the barbecue world. Used and loved by Michelin chefs across the world it has been described as “the ultimate cooking experience”. It has an airtight cooking chamber to keep moisture in your food and can be used on your countertop as well as outside in the garden.
If you're barbecue quest leads you to a charcoal grill we cannot recommend enough that you try out our range of Marienburg Charcoal. It's made from hardwood harvested from FSC certified forests in Latvia and is 100% organic, meaning it contains no added chemicals that are sometimes found in standard charcoal. Learn more about it in our blog 'Cooking with Charcoal'