BBQ Buying Basics

BBQ-buying -basics -hero

With so many different types of BBQs available, it can be difficult to find the one that works best for you and your entertaining needs.

We take a quick look at the pros and cons of some of Australia’s favourite types of BBQs.

 

Hooded Grills

One of the most popular BBQs, hooded grills are good for year-round use and usually offer specialist cooking add-ons like rotisseries and smokers.

Most hooded grills are gas fuelled and vary greatly in options and sizes a, so you’re sure to find one to suit any price range.

Pros:

  • Versatility – use as a normal grill, or pull down the hood for roasting.
  • Huge range of models, sizes and options.
  • Widely available, so replacing broken parts is cheap and easy.

Cons:

  • If you want all the bells and whistles, they often become heavy and not very mobile.

 

Smokers 

Smoked meats can be expensive so if you’ve got a penchant for everything smoked, this may be the BBQ for you.

Smokers come from the ‘low and slow’ school of BBQ cooking, so they’re best left for days spent pottering around the house or yard where you can keep an eye on the temperature. 

These funny looking BBQs also come in a wide range of sizes and price ranges, dependent on your needs.

Pros:

  • Huge variety of sizes and prices - you can pick up a cheap one for around $50.
  • Enjoy slow-cooked, melt in your mouth meat!
  • You can play around with flavour using different woods, brining, charcoal etc.
  • A cheaper way to enjoy smoked meat.

Cons:

  • They’re slow, so no good for weeknight family dinners.
  • You need to stick around the monitor the temperature, so you may write off a whole day cooking.

 

Kettle BBQs

Highly portable, these versatile BBQs are ideal for slow roasting and conventional grilling.

Kettle BBQs come with electric, gas and solid-fuel options, and are popular for apartment living or those challenged for space.

Pros:

  • Highly portable – most come apart quickly and will fit in your car.
  • Huge variety of sizes for quick dinners or big Christmas feasts.
  • Widely available, cheap and easy to find replacement parts.

Cons:

  • The solid fuelled BBQs can’t be used on fire ban days.
  • Charcoal versions require quite a bit of elbow grease to clean.

 

Wood fired ovens

Although they’re traditionally known as ‘pizza ovens’, wood fired ovens can be used to cook just about anything.

Meats can be slow roasted at a lower heat, as well as casseroles and breads. As the name suggests, they’re powered by wood fire and are generally made from clay or refractory concrete.

As most residual fat burns up, they’re easy to clean by simply removing the left over ash.

Pros:

  • Environmentally friendly and cheap to run.
  • Cook a pizza in just 2 minutes, or slow cook meats and casseroles.
  • Easy to clean.

Cons:

  • They’re not cheap, starting from around $1,500 for a DIY kit.
  • They’re heavy and not very portable.

 

Spit rotisserie

People love to gather around a spit rotisserie  for a drink and a chat – and a taste test or two!

Designed for outdoor-only use, they slow cook meat to perfection. With regular poking and taste testing, it really is difficult to under- or over-cook meat prepared on a spit rotisserie.

They come in a huge range of sizes – cook a small roast for a few people, or a whole pig!

Pros:

  • They produce tender meat, slow-cooked to perfection.
  • Ideal for outdoor entertaining.
  • You really can cook a lot of meat on these!

Cons:

  • Can only be used outside, so not ideal for bad weather (unless you’ve got some cover).
  • They’re designed for slow cooking, so require a little planning.
  • You’ll need to wait around 2-3 hours for the charcoal to burn down before you start cooking.
  • They can be expensive starting at around $1000 for a medium size.

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