The facts from National BBQ Week (taking place from May 27 to June 2 2019) state that barbecues, at-home eating and entertaining is now the UK’s No1 summer home leisure activity with three out of four households now owning some type of barbecue grill. Surprisingly, 14% of all households own two barbecue grills and 7%, three or more. Traditional ‘smoker’ barbecues are found in 2.5% of all homes and 3% of all households now have some form of outdoor kitchen.*
But with umpteen barbecues to choose from, just how do you select the ideal barbecue for you? Enter the high street retailer, Robert Dyas who has come up with a thorough guide to help you find your perfect barbecue match.
Richard Redman, Senior Trader at the firm and self-proclaimed barbecue boffin, says, “There’s a barbecue for everyone, something to suit every taste, style, space and budget. Whether you are hosting a sizzling extravaganza at home for friends and family or out and about camping in the countryside, there is an ideal grilling solution for you.”
So before embarking on a barbecue buying expedition, it’s worth considering a few pointers so you don’t get your fingers burned!
Charcoal for the Purist
Charcoal is the fuel of choice for true barbecue aficionados who lean towards the purist approach when it comes to al fresco cooking. Integral to the barbecue ritual is lighting the coals, waiting for them to get white hot, and the distinctive smell. The authentic smoky flavour of chargrilled food is how all barbecued food should taste.
The Outback Orion Charcoal Barbecue in Black (Was £239.99 now £179.99) provides the perfect tool for creating a traditional barbecue for a gathering of family and friends. Useful features such as a temperature gauge built into the hood, ensure consistent cooking results and the foldable side table creates a larger working area whilst two handy wheels and a side handle allows for easy manoeuvrability.
Sitting neatly on top of a trolley base providing easy movement and with plenty of room for food prep, the Charcoal Kettle Trolley Barbecue (Was £399.99 now £249.99) features a temperature gauge as well as adjustable air vents on the hood allowing you to manipulate the temperature for cooking perfection.
Charcoal barbecues tend to be less expensive and easier to store. They are best used on long, sunny afternoons, as they’re not barbecues on the fly. However, they are messier than gas barbecues, making cleaning them more of a chore.
Cooking on Gas
If it’s instant, efficient and adjustable heat you’re after then cooking on gas is the fuel for you. Convenience is key with a gas barbecue and you’re more in charge as you can easily adjust the temperature.
No waiting for the coals to reach temperature, just turn on the propane and cook with this best-selling Outback Excel 310 Propane Gas BBQ Trolley (Was £199.99 now £149.99).
Make the most of the good weather this summer with family and friends with the popular Outback Hunter Three Burner Gas Barbecue in Green (Was £374.99 now £279.99). Or if you have a few more hungry mouths to feed, look no further than Hunter’s bigger brother, the Outback Meteor Four Burner Gas Barbecue in Green (Was £449.99 now £329.99).
Both models are sturdy and robust to withstand year after year of outdoor cooking and two durable wheels allow you to position the barbecue in the perfect spot in your garden or terrace. With large cooking areas and individually controlled burners, this pair are designed to make your job as chef as easy as possible.
If you can’t make up your mind between gas and charcoal, how about enjoying the benefits of both?
Providing a simple solution to the ultimate grilling question, gas or charcoal, enjoy both with this Charbroil Gas2Coal Hybrid Grill (Was £449.99 now £379.99). This combination grill converts from gas to charcoal in three steps in less than 60 seconds with no tools required.
Also featuring both gas and charcoal modes, the Outback Duel Burner Gas Barbecue (Was £499.99 now £374.99), exclusive to Robert Dyas, is ideal for cooking for large gatherings, efficiently and quickly. It has two generous cooking areas for both gas and charcoal, a warming rack and a multicook system which allows you to cook with four interchangeable plates including the griddle plate, grill, pizza stone and skillet plate.
Endless Cooking Possibilities
For those who take their barbecues very seriously and are looking to make a real statement in the barbecue stakes this summer, there’s simply no better choice than an all-singing, all-dancing model such as the Outback Meteor 6 Burner Gas BBQ-Multicook (Was £699.99 now £499.99), exclusive to Robert Dyas. Ideal for large gatherings when a variety of grilled and barbecued food is required, this beauty offers four interchangeable cooking surfaces – griddle plate, grill, pizza stone or skillet plate.
Talking of versatility, raise the temperature with the equally impressive Big Easy Smoker, Roaster and Grill (Was £349.99 now £289.99) which combines three cooking methods all in one unit. Equipped with a ‘TRU-Infrared cooking system’, the Big Easy radiates heat that helps lock in juices. In addition, the roaster can cook up to a 11kg of poultry with no oil, ensuring a healthier meal for the whole family.
These barbecue beasts are the instruments of choice for barbecue veterans who plan to spend all summer long outside, enjoying the company of family and friends with good food.
Have barbecue, will travel
Small but mighty, the Outback Portable Stainless Steel Charcoal BBQ (Was £53.99 now £39.99) is durable and robust and ideal for cooking out and about. A perfect compact travel companion, this portable model boasts a strong stainless-steel build with four sturdy legs and opens to reveal two cooking grills, doubling up on cooking space.
But before you buy your barbecue, have you asked yourself the following questions?
1. How often will I use it? If you’re a barbecue guru, it’s worth investing in a top of the range model whereas a more basic instrument will be suitable for the occasional barbecue.
2. How much space have I got? You don’t want a barbecue to take up all your outdoor space and also think about storage. Where will the barbecue live when it’s not cooking up a gastronomic storm?
3. What will I be cooking? If you are aiming for a selection of burgers, sausages and kebabs then a standard grill, either gas or charcoal will suffice. However, if you’re more ambitious, then trading up to a barbecue with extra features such as a hood, griddle, side-burner, pizza stone or warming rack might be more appropriate for you.
4. Who will I be cooking for? If it’s for friends and family then a standard barbecue may be fine but it you like to entertain and love parties, your multi-faceted grill might be a lovely talking point.
5. What’s the ease of assembly and quality of construction? Buy a reputable brand where you can understand the instructions and have money-back guarantees.
6. Smoke control areas. Do you live in a smoke-controlled area? Ensure you read the government advice on using barbecues in these areas.
7. Safety is paramount. Ensure your barbecue is in good working order and for a full list of safe barbecue practice it’s worth reading the advice provided by the UK Fires Service.
Must Have Accessories
And now that you’re cooking with heat, it is worth equipping yourself with some additional extras including a Flamemaster 18-Piece Barbecue Set (£39.99).
Carry on cooking, whatever the changeable English weather throws at you this summer, with the stylish Monaco BBQ Gazebo (Was £199.99 now £149.99).
And finally, to keep your barbecue protected from the elements and looking brand spanking new, it is definitely worth investing in a durable barbecue cover.
Prices correct at time of publication. All images copyright Robert Dyas.