Time for a new BBQ? Before you start your BBQ shopping adventure, here’s 6 points to consider so you end up with the right BBQ for you…
How many people will you usually be cooking for and how often? And what type of food will you be BBQing? This will help you work out the size of the cooking area and number of burners you’ll need your new BBQ to have. Smaller BBQs with two or three burners will be fine for families of four, but if you’ll be cooking for more people go for a BBQ with four or six burners.
Some people swear by the tasty smoky flavour and succulent meat that charcoal BBQing delivers, but charcoal BBQs do usually need more time to heat up (up to 15 minutes with the lid on), and not everyone likes the smoky taste.
Whereas gas BBQs are convenient, you can get started cooking quickly, the cooking temperature is more regulated and they’re easier to clean. Plus with multiple burners on a gas BBQ you’ll be able to cook different foods at the same time at different temperatures. While gas and charcoal are the most common types of BBQs, there are also some great electric BBQs on the market which are compact and easy to move and as long as you have a power outlet you won’t run out of fuel.
While you can get BBQs with and without a hood, having a hood on the BBQ gives you more control of the heat and helps cook the food throughout. Plus it can be used as an outdoor oven for roasting or steaming, with the hood trapping in the heat to give your food more flavour. Some hoods even have a thermometer, so you know exactly what temperature your BBQ goodness is cooking at, like the Everdue by Heston Blumenthal.
If you’re going to cook a mix of food with items that could possibly slip through the grill (think diced meat, onions, vegies and eggs), then you’ll find a BBQ with both a grill and hotplate better suited to your needs. You might also find a side burner useful, like the one on the Jumbuck 4 Burner Hooded Stardom.
If you love BBQing up a storm on camping holidays, then go for a BBQ specifically designed for travel, like the Napoleon Travel Q. Travel BBQs are made to be portable, so they can be folded and packed away easily. When selecting your new travel BBQ, consider how easy it is to fold up, carry and set up, how much space you’ll have for it in your car, 4WD or trailer, if you want it to have a hood, if it cooks with gas or charcoal and how easy it is to light up and get cooking.
What’s your advice when shopping for a new BBQ? Share it in the comments below.