Barbecue Buyers Guide

There’s nothing like the aroma of food cooking away on a barbecue. I’m an absolute sucker for a nice rib eye steak marinated in a bit of mustard.

We’re all hoping that this summer is as good as the last one. That got everyone outdoors and we were all barbecue experts at the stage when it was time for the kids to go back to school.

A charcoal versus a gas barbecue

You need to have patience for a charcoal barbecue. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes for the charcoal to ignite properly. You can’t begin to cook until the charcoal goes bright red and any lighter fuel has completely burnt off. A gas barbecue ignites with the push of a button and once the temperature rises sufficiently, off you go.

But, while charcoal is slow to heat up, once the embers are hot they retain their heat and are slow to cool down. They therefore last ages and you can get great value out of them –cooking starters, mains and some desserts even on one light.

Fats released during the cooking process and dripping onto charcoal add to the flavour of food cooked over a charcoal barbecue. Gas ones have lava rock under the grill. These are full of air bubbles and simply soak up the fats from your food. They have to be replaced every year.

Gas barbecues are a convenient option

We still tend to sell more gas barbecues. People find them more convenient in our changeable weather and a bottle of gas typically lasts years. Barbecue prices are determined by the number of burners they have.

The smallest gas barbecues have three burners and are perfect for occasional use and smaller spaces, like this Landmann Grill Chef Midas Gas Burner BBQ.

If you barbeque regularly and cater for bigger numbers then a four-burner BBQ like this This Landmann Triton 4.1 PTS BBQ is a great choice. It comes complete with four stainless steel burners, a side burner and an enamelled cast iron cooking grates and storage cabinet.

This allows you to cook more delicate foods and offers the option of having different temperature zones for your cooking needs. Many of these are enamel and fit perfectly into your dishwasher afterwards.

For a reall Grill King or Queen, the top of the range gas models have six burners and many are also fitted with a further side burner. It’s everyone’s dream barbecue but how often most people would get to use it is anyone’s guess! You’ll need plenty of room to store a beast like this Landmann Triton 6 burner

Six things to consider when buying a barbecue

  1. Where can you store it?
  2. Can you handle its weight?H
  3. How many people are you catering for?
  4. Have you got the patience for charcoal or does gas better suit your temperament and needs?
  5. What additional utensils will you need to buy to cook safely?
  6. If you opt for a charcoal version, do you want to add wood chips to flavour the meats?

Maintaining your Barbeque

When I’m finished with my barbecue each year, I give it a good once over. Krud Kutter Trigger Spray makes fast work of grime.

To avoid unwanted visitors during the darker months, it is vital that you give it a good clean before putting it away. I spray the frame of mine with WD40 and give it a wipe of a cloth to keep the rust away.

I highly recommend that you always do a dummy run at home after winter, just to get it red hot and give it another clean down for what we always hope is a busy barbecue season ahead! Enjoy!