BBQ Buying Guide
It’s that time of year again. The sun is shining, there is the unmistakable aroma of charred snags, barbie season is finally here! No matter what you are in the market for, there are a few basic things to think about before deciding which BBQ is right for your needs. In this guide you’ll find tips to help you get the right barbecue for your space.
Whats in this Guide:
- Types Of BBQs
- BBQ Size
- BBQ Accessories
- Gas barbecues use bottled LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) or natural gas from the mains. Different barbecues are compatible with different fuels.
- Gas burns cleaner and is generally less expensive per use than charcoal.
- Gas BBQs ignite quickly and depending on the plate materials, will be ready to use after a few minutes of preheating.
- Side burners on gas BBQs give you more cooking options.
- A 9kg gas bottle is the most common and contains 8.5kg of fuel. With a 4 burner BBQ this should last about 6-7 hours.
- Charcoal BBQs use charcoal briquettes, wood or a combination of both.
- Cooking on a charcoal BBQ gives your food a smokey, ‘char grilled’ flavour.
- Cooking over charcoal requires preparation. After lighting, you should be ready to cook in 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the barbecue and the number and type of briquettes used.
- Sizes range from small kettles great for picnics or camping to large BBQ/smoker combinations.
- Top of the range charcoal BBQs have air vents or dampers to control cooking temperatures.
- Most charcoal BBQs are metal and will get very hot to touch.
- When using a charcoal BBQ, ashes need to be disposed of regularly.
- Electric BBQs are cheap to run but need to be near a power point.
- Electric BBQs heat up quickly but generally do not get as hot as gas or charcoal.
- If you live in an apartment or other area that can’t accommodate charcoal or gas, you can still cook outdoors with an electric BBQ.
- If an extension cord is needed, be sure to select one rated for outdoor use.
You can find everything from small charcoal kettles for camping to 8 burner outdoor kitchens for wowing the neighbours. Before choosing, you’ll need to consider the following:
How many people will you normally be cooking for?
When looking at BBQ capacity, consider the entire cooking area. Keep in mind that manufacturer’s specifications for the cooking area often include the warming rack or side burner on gas BBQs
Larger Cooking Areas:
Manufacturers sometimes measure a cooking area with the warming rack and side burner included.
What will you cook?
Steaks, chicken, snags and vegetables can be cooked in a small space. If you are planning on cooking larger items, such as rib racks or whole fish, you’ll need a large BBQ.
How often will you be BBQing?
Remember that charcoal BBQs generally take longer than gas BBQs to heat up. Weekend users have the luxury of time, but if you planning on BBQing a lot during the week, gas or electric may be a better option.
How much space is available for the BBQ?
A 6 burner BBQ with cabinets, roasting hood and side burners can take up a lot of space on a patio. Before you go shopping, measure your available space.
Portable Barbecues: Small BBQs are great for camping
or the balcony of an apartment.
How many burners are available?
To help control the location of the heat, most BBQs are available with at least two individually controlled burners. Higher-end BBQs may have up to six or eight burner for even more control. Look for stainless-steel or porcelain-coated burners for rust-resistance.
Note: Take care when placing your BBQ. The heat from cooking can be harmful to the finish of the house and grease may stain the surface the BBQ is sitting on.
Hot Plates & Grills
Hot plates and grills come in a variety of different styles and materials:
Porcelain-coated, cast-iron plates are the most desirable for heat retention and ease of cleaning. These wear extremely well, are rust-resistant and last longer than other materials. They do however take some time to heat up.
Stainless-steel plates are rust-resistant, and quick to heat but they may allow food to stick. Porcelain-coated plates are the best bet for nonstick cooking. However, the porcelain glaze can chip and rust if not properly cared for. Cast-iron plates require curing like cast-iron cookware to prevent rust. These heavy grates wear well, cook well and distribute heat more evenly than the other materials.
Outdoor BBQ Accessories
BBQ accessories range from basic to specialised. A BBQ cleaning brush, tongs and spatula are must-haves. Specialty cooking accessories like a pizza stone or fish basket gives your barbecue more recipe options. Rotisseries are available to fit some BBQs. If you plan on cooking poultry or large cuts of meat, invest in a quality meat thermometer. A BBQ light also helps you make sure food is cooked to perfection when cooking at night.
Buying a lined cover will protect your new barbecue from the elements and ensure it’s clean and ready to use when you need it.
All information and tips in this publication are of a general nature only and Jovialfloor does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information and tips in this publication. This publication is not intended to be a substitute for expert advice.Jovialfloor advises you to always consult an experienced and qualified person when undertaking jobs of this kind (including consulting a qualified tradesperson such as an electrician or plumber where relevant expert services are required). You should also consider any safety precautions that may be necessary when undertaking the work described in this publication (including wearing any necessary safety equipment such as safety glasses, goggles or ear protectors or hard hats). The information and tips in this publication are provided on the basis that Jovialfloor excludes all liability for any loss or damage which is suffered or incurred (including, but not limited to, indirect and consequential loss or damage and whether or not such loss or damage could have been foreseen) for any personal injury or damage to property whatsoever resulting from the use of the information and tips in this publication. Jovialfloor also notes that there may be laws, regulations or by-laws with which you must comply when undertaking the work described in this publication. You should obtain all necessary permissions and permits from council and/or any other relevant statutory body or authority before carrying out any work.