How to Choose your BarbecueA barbecue is an essential piece of equipment in any garden, especially if you want to makethe most of long summer days. But with so many barbecues available, choosing the rightone can be a daunting prospect. With this in mind, here’s our definitive guide to selectingthe barbecue that’s right for you…There are five things to think about when choosing your barbecue: 1) Your budget 2) The number of people you’ll be barbecuing for 3) How often you’ll want to use your barbecue 4) Where you’ll be having your barbecue 5) Whether you prefer the convenience of gas, or more traditional charcoal?1) Your BudgetThere are barbecues to suit all purses and wallets. From a simple patio charcoal barbecuefor around £12 to a deluxe, four-burner gas barbecue for around £3000. With so manybarbecues available, there’s a model to suit every budget and lifestyle.2) Who Will You Be Barbecuing For?If you’re barbecuing for just two or you, or you’re a small family, you don’t need to splashout on a large barbie - unless you want to of course! On a gas barbecue, rings can be litseparately so you won’t be wasting gas - and therefore money - if you don’t fire all the ringsup every time.If you’re cooking for a larger family with hungry teens, or big groups of friends, or love toplay host over the summer, then you’ll probably want a barbecue with more space andperhaps some workspace around it.Here’s a rough idea of the size of barbecue you’ll need: Up to 4 people – 2 gas burners or around 1800 cm2 of grill space Up to 6 people – 3 or more burners or around 2200 cm2 of grill space Up to 8 people – 3 or more burners or over 2500 cm2 of grill spaceIf you have vegetarians amongst your family or friends, you may want to consider twobarbecues – one for the meat-eaters and one for the veggies.3) How Often Will You Use Your Barbecue?If you’re planning on using your barbecue a lot, then you should probably invest in a slightlymore expensive model, which could save you money in the long run. If you are a part-timebarbecuer and just want to use it occasionally, then there’s no need to spend a fortune - asimple barbecue should suffice.
4) Where Will You Be Using Your Barbecue?Do you plan to do all your barbecuing in your back garden or are you looking for a barbecuethat you can take on picnics or on camping trips? If you want your BBQs to be mobile, you’llneed to take this into account when choosing your model: a portable charcoal barbecuecould be the best choice.5) Do You Prefer the Convenience of Gas or Traditional Charcoal?The thing that really differentiates these two types of barbecue is the convenience versusthe traditional. There are pros and cons for each type of barbecue.Gas Barbecues Advantages Push a button and you’ll get instant heat, no messing about You can start to cook immediately Adjustable heat means you can control your cooking better Quick cooking times, ideal for catering for larger groups No mess. Drip trays catch the fats, no ash to clear up Disadvantages They are more expensive initially than charcoal barbecues For smoking techniques, you’ll need to buy extra equipment Not easily portableCharcoal Barbecues Advantages Very cheap to buy and maintain Great traditional barbecue taste to the food Plenty of portable options You can smoke your food, no need for extra equipment Disadvantages Slow to fire up. They need 40 minutes beforehand to heat up so no possibility of making an instant decision to have a barbecue The heat can’t be controlled so you have to get the timing just right Cleaning them can take quite a lot of work Running costs can be high
And Finally…Once you’ve decided whether you what you want to spend, what size grill you’ll need,whether it should be portable or static and if you want gas or charcoal, you can then narrowyour selection even further. This time looking at the type of grill that would be mostsuitable for you needs.Grills come in different materials - usually porcelain, cast iron, and stainless steel – and eachhas their own advantages. Stainless steel grills are hard-wearing and easy to clean. Porcelaingrills are great for cooking and don’t rust or weather. Cast Iron grills hold the heat really welland make tasty, traditionally BBQ food.Whichever barbecue you go for, one thing’s for sure, dinner on warm summer evenings maynever be the same again…