What Is The Best Barbecue Grill For You?
When buying a barbecue, there are several important things to consider and questions to ask.
A reputable BBQ specialist will give you the biggest range and allow you to mix and match trolleys, BBQ’s, roast hoods, side burners and additional extras, offering a BBQ tailored to your individual requirements.
These days a BBQ is considered an extension of your kitchen, and should ideally be located near the main cooking area – you’ll probably be surprised how much use it will get. Remember that the price of the BBQ will determine quality, performance and longevity.
1. WHAT IS THE BEST BBQ COOKING SURFACE?
Cast Iron is used in most BBQ’s, with a range in quality available. Premium cast iron surfaces can be coated in a non-rust ceramic finish that prevents rust and is easier to clean.
2. GRILLS, HOT PLATES OR BAKING DISHES?
The Grill is designed for cooking steaks, kebabs and other meats. It cooks food directly over the BBQ rock or flame tamer, allowing juices to fall onto the rock which then smokes and flares up giving your food a distinct barbecue flavour.
Food cooked in this way is low in fat content and is the
healthiest option. The Hot Plate is ideal for cooking foods that would fall through the grill, such as eggs, tomatoes and mushrooms. The baking dish is for cooking marinated foods.
3. PORTABLE OR BUILT IN?
The portable model is by far the most popular as it offers greater flexibility. However built in models
can look great on paved areas and complement your entertaining area.
4. SHOULD I USE NATURAL GAS OR BOTTLED GAS?
Natural Gas is the best option as it provides an inexhaustible, economical gas supply. The new, flexible natural gas hose allows the BBQ greater flexibility of movement. Natural Gas BBQ’s are only available from specialist retailers.
Alternatively, there is bottled gas. This is easy to fit but requires
regular refilling. The preferred cylinder sizes are the 4.5kg and the 9kg. The 9kg is the most economically viable in the long run as it requires less refilling.
5. WHAT IS THE BEST IGNITION SYSTEM?
There are several types of ignition systems: the push button and rotary piezo ignition systems as well as the new battery powered rapid-fire ignition system.
The latter is the best; with a simple touch of a button, the burner will light instantly. If you are apprehensive about lighting BBQ’s, you will
appreciate this feature.
6. WHAT IS THE BEST FINISH FOR ME?
This depends on where your BBQ is to be situated.
BAKED ENAMEL: Does not resist heat or UV rays very well, and so is only suitable for areas that are well covered.
VITREOUS ENAMEL: A hard finish that is easy to clean and heat resistant. It is absolutely ideal for a BBQ built within brickwork or outside in the elements.
STAINLESS STEEL: The most durable finish, perfect for salt air conditions. Must be FULLY
(not SPOT) welded, and be sure that the complete body is stainless steel and not just the front.
7. WHAT SIZE WILL SUIT ME BEST?
The size of the BBQ is determined by the amount of burners: two; three; four or six. The larger the BBQ, the greater the flexibility in cooking surface.
There are four types of BBQ trolley to choose from:
METAL TROLLEYS: There is a big variance in quality. Look for solid construction with a durable finish. Their main advantage is their low maintenance.
TIMBER TROLLEYS: There is a BIG difference in the quality of the timber trolleys available. Jarrah is the premium timber. A good quality trolley should have big wheels and wide timber legs with extra bolts for side shelf support.
These are good looking and complement timber patios. Check the construction and make sure there is plenty of bracing; give the trolley a good shake, if it seems to wobble FORGET IT!
STAINLESS STEEL TROLLEYS: These are extremely durable and look fantastic. They are ideal for a salt-air environment, as they will never rust. Another plus is their low maintenance.
CABINET TROLLEYS: The area underneath the BBQ is completely enclosed, providing a useful storage area for all your BBQ accessories. Features of the cabinet trolley include swinging doors and a side burner. These are good looking trolleys that complement any patio.
Ensure that the trolley you buy has 4 wheels –not two – to allow easy movement.
9. SHOULD I HAVE A SIDE BURNER?
Side burners are an optional, stove-like cooking area attached to the side of your BBQ. They areuseful for boiling water, making gravies and allow you to cook wok style foods such as a stir-fry. An inexpensive and worthwhile addition to any BBQ.
10. WHY SHOULD I HAVE A ROAST HOOD?
They open up a whole new world of outdoor cooking, and can be added at a later date – just makesure that the BBQ you are looking at will accept a Roast Hood.
Check the quality of the hinge system, handle and temperature gauge, and that the finish is Vitreous Enamel or Stainless Steel
(avoid painted Roast Hoods as these are low quality)
11. ROCK OR FLAME TAMER?
Some BBQ’s come with a Flame Tamer that can be either metal or cast iron. The alternative is BBQ rock; the preferred type being ceramic manufactured rock. Both are extremely good and this decision is really personal choice.
12. DRAINING SYSTEMS
There are two types of draining systems. The simpler BBQ’s have a slide out drain tray, but the better BBQ’s have a double drain system that is more effective and easier to clean. They reduce the likelihood of a fat fire as fat is collected and stored in a container away from the heat.
13. HOSE AND REGULATOR
All BBQ’s approved by the Australian Gas Association must be supplied with a hose and regulator. Check that the regulator you are given will fit the cylinder you have. Adapter fittings are available if there are any problems.
I hope you enjoyed this guide. If you would like more tantalizing recipe ideas for your next barbecue, head over to Barbecue Party for hundreds of varied and delicious barbecue recipes and much more. They have a wealth of guides, recipes, how-to’s, hints, tips and BBQ Grills, with a blog that is updated daily, so don’t forget to subscribe to their feed.
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