Is there anything more Australian than a barbecue? Hanging out round the grill, cooking whatever takes your fancy. It doesn’t get any better. If you're in the market for a new BBQ, here are a few tips to help you choose the right one.
Fuel for the fire
Your first decision is fuel source. The two main choices are gas or charcoal. Gas gives you instant control and there’s less prep time, so it’s great for an impromptu cook up. Bottled gas is the most common option, but if you can, connect to mains gas. You’ll never have to worry about running out and it’s also cheaper.
Charcoal cooking gives your food a delicious, smoky flavour. There’s more prep time and cleanup involved but if you’re into authentic barbecue flavour then charcoal is for you. You can also use wood in your charcoal barbecue giving you even more flavour.
Apartment dwellers may want to consider electric models, as gas models are impractical and charcoal models are too smoky.
What size is best?
There are a couple of things to consider when to comes to BBQ size.
Space – Some areas can be dominated by even a small BBQ. In this case look at a small patio model that won’t overtake your space. As a bonus they’re generally portable enough to be taken on picnics or camping.
How many burners? – If you’re cooking for just a couple of people, a two or three burner model should be fine. Add a few more people and you may want to look at a four burner. If you’ve got a whole tribe or are into serious entertaining, then you’ll need a six burner. Also consider what you like to cook. If you’re into larger foods such as fish or ribs then pick one that is suitable in terms of size.
Cast iron burners radiate a lot of heat evenly while stainless steel burners have great corrosion resistance. For the best of both worlds, porcelain-coated cast iron burners are corrosion resistant but have the output of iron burners.
When it comes to the barbecue body, look for an easy clean surface such as enamel. Stainless steel offers great corrosion resistance if your barbecue is in an exposed area.
All the extras
Barbecue’s have gone past just being somewhere to cook a steak and a few snags. There’s a range of accessories to make yours a complete cooking centre.
Side burners bring your kitchen cooktop outside so you can cook a sauce or some veggies while still keeping an eye on what’s on the barbie.
A hood let’s you bake and roast as well as grill. They come with built-in thermometers to control the temperature while models with glass windows let you check on your food without lifting the hood.
Rotisseries turn your BBQ into a mini spit roast.