Barbecue Buying Guide
We have provided this guide to help you make the all important decision of which barbecue to purchase, unfortunately in this guide we can't cover each and every barbecue comparison - however if you need any help or advice to make the correct decision then please do not hesitate to contact us via our online contact form or call us on 01789 763 336 and speak to one of our keen barbecue specialists - who cook all year round on their barbecues and on the majority of the barbecues that we sell have actually cooked on them!
» Which Barbecue Brand should I choose?
» Grand Hall
» Ultra Chef
» How many people will you likely cook for?
» Would you prefer the ease of gas or a traditional charcoal model?
» Grill Care & Maintenance
» Grilling Tips
To choose the ideal barbecue for you, you will need to weigh up the amount of space you need to cook with against your budget. In today’s market there is an enormous choice of barbecues. For example, Weber produces barbecues that range from single burners up to six burners. This presents you, the consumer, with a great choice.
Smaller BBQ’s are ideal for the family summer evening meal.
The mid range BBQ’s are usually 3 and 4 burner BBQ’s, these are ideal for not only family get-togethers but also the entertainer in you.
Charcoal barbecues also come in a range of sizes, shapes and colours. Weber has produced the Performer, which is ostensibly a charcoal barbecue with a gas ignition system. Or at the smaller end, the Weber One-Touch has reinvented the kettle style of BBQ, offering substance and style at a very reasonable price.
There are many BBQ brands available in the UK today, we have taken a lot of time and effort in putting together one of the best ranges of barbecues available from one retailer for our customers. When putting our range of barbecues together our criteria was simple - barbecues manufactured to an excellent standard that are backed up with an excellent warranty whilst offering great value for money for our customers.
Weber in the UK are by far the most well known bbq brand, certainly seen by most as the number 1 brand and it is difficult to disagree. When buying a Weber barbecue you can have complete peace of mind that you purchase is manufactured to an excellent standard and is backed up by a decent warranty which varies on each grill up to a whopping 25 years.
» The iconic Weber One-Touch range is ideal for the charcoal kettle traditionalists **Keen Gardener Recommends**
» The Weber Q range is perfect for those grillers on the move
» The Weber Spirit range is the entry level for gas barbecuing on the patio and certainly the most popular
**Keen Gardener Recommends**
The Weber Genesis range is for the more dedicated patio griller
» The Weber Summit range is for the ultimate griller
Napoleon Grills have only really been available to the UK market for a couple of years, however in this time they have become a massively popular choice due to their impeccable quality and great value for money; the benefits of infrared grilling and the charcoal insert box accessory has really struck a chord with UK grillers combined with the lengthy warranties it is a genuinely good alternative to a Weber barbecue.
**Keen Gardener Recommends**
The Napoleon LE range is their most popular range - a fantastic grill which will last for years and years
The Napoleon Prestige range offers the ultimate in engineering and design - a fantastic looking product with great functionality
A brand new range of barbecues to the UK, after many years of success across Europe and Australia we are proud to be one of the first retailers offering Grand Halls range of barbecues in the UK. Grand Hall barbecues offer excellent value for money and quality close to what can be found on the pricier Weber and Napoleon Barbecues it is a great alternative to a Napoleon and a Weber.
The E Grill is not like other electric barbecues; with infrared the heat output and cooking is comparative to a gas barbecue
**Keen Gardener Recommends**
The Xenon range is superb possibly one of the best grills from a value for money perspective
The GT3 range is an excellent alternative to a Weber Spirit for the Patio Gas Griller
The Grand Hall GTI range is the perfect for a Weber Gensis with the GTI island offering unbelievable value for money
The Maxim range is a stunning barbecue with excellent performance
The Grand Hall Odeon range offers a retro look and comes with Crossray infrared
Cadac are a South African company which earned their excellent reputation in the UK within the camping and caravanning industry - the number 1 barbecue brand in South Africa bring a great take on barbecuing with their modular accessories and innovative ideas with thir portable grills as well as their patio barbecues, you should certainly consider a Cadac.
The Ultra Chef range of barbecues are by Napoleon and have been built to meet demand for a lower end price point, whilst the quality and materials do sit below the Napoleon Grills this by no means means that it is not a good barbecue, when compared to other barbecues in this price range it stands up above the rest.
Buschbeck Masonry Barbecues & Fireplaces are almost certainly the finest semi-permanent masonry barbecues available in Europe. They're effectively like a brick-built barbecue, and act as a barbecue, a garden focal point, a firepit and a patio heater.
Lifestyle offer quality, reliable barbecues at great prices, from affordable charcoal grills to stainless steel outdoor kitchens they have a barbecue to suit your needs, whilst not being one of the top barbecue brands such as Weber, Napoleon, Grand Hall or Swiss Grill they do represent good value for money.
How much do you wish to spend and how often will you use your barbecue?
Price is determined not only by the size and number of features, but also by the quality. If you intend using your barbecue regularly it's worth spending a little more money as higher priced models are of superior quality and will last longer; they also come with lengthier warranties.
Every barbecue has a cooking area which is measured in square centimetres (cm²). As a rough guide, those with smaller cooking areas (up to 1800cm²) will cook for up to 4 people; those from around 2000cm² to 2500cm² will be plenty big enough for 6 people; the largest gas barbecues (over 2500cm²) will be suitable for up to 8 people, and griddles and warming racks make even larger parties possible. The bigger gas barbecues feature up to 6 burners, and with only 1 burner in use it is possible to cook for just a couple, without wasting too much gas.
Gas barbecues are a quick and hassle-free option. Easy to light, push-button ignition provides an instant flame and you can start to cook in about 10 minutes. Whereas charcoal barbecues are the traditional option, with the heat below the grill from glowing embers gives the food a classic barbecued appearance. There is no difference in taste between gas and charcoal barbecues, however the adjustability of gas means that it's easier to cook food more evenly, with less risk of burning. If you like the idea of barbecuing on a picnic or when camping, a portable model makes a wise choice.
Whether built into a counter, standing on a fixed pedestal, or mounted on a rolling cart, the gas barbecue is the ideal item for outdoor cooking. A gas barbecue is clean and reliable. Look for heavy duty steel or stainless steel construction. Choose one with a grill surface big enough for your needs. Multiple burners will allow you to vary the temperature on different parts of the grill. A side burner gives you the option of cooking vegetables or sauces. A lid will allow you to roast as well as grill but make sure there is a thermometer to check the cooking temperature. A rotisserie will give you even greater flexibility in your cooking. Many gas barbecues include storage space and worktops.
Gas Barbecue - Before or after grilling, burn off any residue by simply turning the grill on high until the smoke stops, then brush the cooking grates with a brass wire grill brush. After use always clean the rack, lid, drip trays and gas burners before putting away. Never use oven cleaner on your barbecue as it is not friendly to the painted surfaces of your grill and could remove the paint.
Charcoal Barbecue - Once cold, remove the grill rack and scrub off any residue with a wire brush, then wash with a soapy scouring pad and dry. Remove the cold ashes from the grate and brush it out. Remove cold ashes from the barbecue grate and brush it out as they may prevent airflow problems next time you grill.
1. Preparation is key. Make sure everything is ready before cooking, so you can serve up straightaway.
2. Remove chilled meats from the fridge and allow them to reach room temperature.
3. Do not leave raw food out in the sun before cooking. Keep it covered and away from children and pets.
4. Do not pack food onto a skewer too tightly as this will not allow each piece to cook thoroughly.
5. Turn food regularly and check each piece is cooked thoroughly before serving.
6. Food will cook best over glowing embers rather than a flame; have a spray bottle of water handy to extinguish any flames as they appear.
1. Choose a suitable location for your barbecue: keep away from combustible materials.
2. If you have a gas barbecue, check that the gas bottle is properly connected and that the hose is not cracked or perished.
3.Only ever light a barbecue with firelighters and fuels specially made for the purpose. Read the manufacturers' instructions carefully.
4. Keep matches, firelighters and fuels well away from lit barbecues.
5. Never use petrol or other flammable products to light a barbecue.
6. Once alight, never leave unattended - keep children and pets safe and away.
7. Do not attempt to move a barbecue once lit.
8. Always leave a barbecue to cool down completely before cleaning, covering and storing.