The Ultimate UK BBQ Buyers Guide: What to Consider When Buying a BBQ

Summer in the UK is synonymous with barbecues. Whether you are a seasoned grilled master or a novice looking to add some sizzle to your outdoor cooking, choosing the right BBQ is paramount. With a plethora of options and brands available, making an informed decision can be overwhelming. Our buyers’ guide will walk you through the essential factors to consider when buying a BBQ to ensure your summer alfresco dining is always a sizzling success.

What is the best fuel for a barbecue?

One of the first and most crucial decisions is selecting the fuel type for your BBQ. In the UK, the two primary options are gas and charcoal:

  • Gas BBQs: These are widely known for their convenience and rapid heating. They are great for those who want quick and easy grilling, with a reduced waiting time. Gas BBQs require some maintenance and cleanup as they have fat traps which collects the grease buildup. For the most versatile cooking options, look for models that have multiple burners, side burners and a temperature gauge.
  • Charcoal BBQs: Traditionalists and flavour enthusiasts often prefer charcoal BBQs for the authentic smoky taste that they give to food. They take longer to heat up and require more attention when you are grilling, however, they are well-loved for the classic crisscross aesthetic and flavour. Charcoal BBQs can often also reach higher temperatures than gas BBQs, though you may need to spend more time perfecting your temperature control.

What Size BBQ Do I Need?

Consider how much cooking space you will need based on the number of people that you will be serving regularly. Smaller BBQs are perfect for intimate gatherings and couples, while larger ones can accommodate larger families and big parties. When thinking about size, also remember to think about the size of your garden and patio.

What Materials Are Best For BBQs?

Invest in a BBQ that is built to last. Look for sturdy materials like stainless steel for the main body and cooking grates. Most steel barbeques are porcelain enamelled, which is usually a black coating but can be other colours, too. Durable wheels and a solid frame are essential for ease of movement and stability. If you are planning to use your BBQ whenever you can, come rain or shine, investing in a premium barbecue will be worth the investment.

What Is The Best Material For Grill Grates?

The material of the cooking grates plays a significant role in heat distribution and retention. Stainless steel grates are low maintenance and ideal for even heat distribution, whereas cast iron grates retain heat exceptionally well but require more maintenance to prevent rust.

What Features Should I Look For In a BBQ?

Modern BBQs are often equipped, or are available with additional features, all of which can enhance the cooking experience.

  • Lid and Thermometer: Most BBQs will come with a lid which helps trap heat and smoke for indirect cooking and additional flavour. A built-in thermometer ensures that you will be able to monitor the temperature without losing the retained heat and without burning your burgers and sausages.
  • Side Burner: Handy for cooking side dishes like onions, and for catering to dietary requirements. Side burners extend the size of your cooking area without leaving the grill.
  • Warming Racks: Perfect for when you are cooking different meats for larger parties, warming racks help to keep your food warm, providing you extra space to keep grilling, without overcooking.
  • Storage Space: Shelves or cabinets can be useful for storing utensils, condiments, and other grilling accessories.
  • Chimney Starters: When using a charcoal grill, a chimney starter is a great addition. This inexpensive tool will get your coals hotter in half the time.
  • Smoker Boxes: Smoker boxes can be added to gas barbeques to infuse your food with a hint of wood such as hickory, apple, or beech.

Easy Cleaning Barbeques

After a delicious BBQ the last thing you want to do with your evening is spend hours cleaning your grill. BBQs with removable grease trays and easy-to-clean surfaces make this both easier and less of a headache.

Price Range

Set a budget before you start shopping. BBQ prices vary widely based on size, features, and brand. Be prepared to spend a bit more when shopping for quality and durability.

Brand Reputation and Warranty

Consider brands with a reputation for quality and customer support such as Weber and Grillstream. A warranty is essential to protect your investment, so read the terms carefully. It is also important to follow the manufacturers’ guidelines in terms of storage and the best way to clean your BBQ to ensure you can enjoy it year after year.

BBQ Safety Features

Ensure your BBQ has all necessary safety features such as a secure ignition system and heat-resistant handles before committing. When you get your new purchase home there are also other safety guidelines that you can follow to ensure that you can stay grilling safely. This includes having a fire extinguisher nearby, always having your BBQ on a stable, level surface, and never leaving your BBQ unattended, especially if you have children.

BBQ Buyers Guide
Grillstream Classic 3 Burner Hybrid Gas Barbeque
BBQ Buyers Guide
Weber Summit Kamado E6 Charcoal Barbeque

Best BBQ Brands

Grillstream:

Grillstream is a well-known brand, featuring an innovative grill design that reduces flare-ups and ensures even cooking. Their gas BBQs often feature a patented U-shaped grill that directs excess fat away from the flames, resulting in healthier and tastier grilled food. There are various models available including those with multiple burners, infrared side burners, and made from durable stainless steel.

Weber:

Weber is a UK household name when it comes to BBQs. Renowned for their quality and craftsmanship, Weber gas BBQs offer a range of options suitable for everyone from beginners to seasoned grillers alike. The Genesis and Spirit series are renowned for their outstanding performance and reliability. Weber also offers a wide range of grilling accessories and replacement parts, making maintenance easy.

For those looking for that smoky flavour, we also stock a range of charcoal BBQ brands including:

Weber:

Weber also excels in creating fantastic charcoal BBQs. Their kettle-style grills, like the original Weber Original Kettle, are celebrated for their timeless designs and exceptional grilling performance. There is also a range of charcoal-specific accessories such as charcoal baskets and chimney starters to enhance your charcoal grilling experience.

How To Shop For The Best BBQ

When considering gas or charcoal BBQ brands, remember to check for specific models, features, and price points that align with your preferences and budget. Each of these brands has its unique strengths, ensuring you can find the perfect BBQ for your outdoor cooking adventures in the UK. Remember come rain or shine, in the UK summertime – it’s always time for a BBQ!

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