Help & advice: Buying guide to barbecues
Buying guide to barbecues
Summer days are flaming good fun when you have a hot new barbecue to entertain family and friends. Here's how to choose a real sizzler.
Find your ideal grill in Homebase's range of barbecues.
The steaks are sizzling away, your garden table's creaking with goodies, and you're nursing a cool aperitif. It's barbecue bliss! Nothing beats an al fresco get-together with friends and family on a perfect summer day. Choose your ideal model from our huge range of barbecues and your day outdoors will be even better. Before you buy, here are some key things to think about:
- How many people will you be cooking for? Make sure you get a grill big enough!
- How often will you be using your barbecue? It's definitely worth investing in a top model if you're a big barbecue fan.
- Do you like the traditional way of cooking over charcoal, or do you prefer the convenience of gas barbecues?
- Remember to buy all the essentials for your new barbecue - especially a cover. It'll protect the barbecue from the elements and make it last longer.
There are different benefits to be had from either type of barbecue but one thing's for certain - you'll experience the same distinctive, delicious smoky taste from both. That's because it's the fat and juices falling onto the hot coals and the resulting smoke that creates the unique barbecue flavour.
Benefits of charcoal barbecues:
- You'll enjoy that traditional method of cooking. Lumpwood charcoal or charcoal briquettes generate an even cooking temperature, giving your food a distinctive flame-grilled appearance.
- Charcoal is easy to light and it's simple to adjust the heat - just raise or lower the grill. Light at least 40 minutes before you cook to ensure a high temperature.
- Kettle barbecues have a lid, so you can braise or roast food. That's great for cooking meat such as chicken and beef. Some barbecue lids can also be used as windshields.
- Side hooks for barbecue tools and shelves or side tables for holding sauces and condiments make entertaining much easier.
- You can take the portable models anywhere - cook on the beach or when camping. Look for handy carry handles.
- Getting rid of ash is pretty straightforward with models that have a one-touch cleaning system and removable ash catcher.
Benefits of gas barbecues:
- It's all about instant heat! You can start to cook almost immediately with the easy-to-light push-button ignition. All Homebase barbecues include a propane regulator and hose.
- Some models come with flexible controls so you can adjust heat output. Heat output is measured in kilowatts (kW), and ranges from 8.2kW to 15.5kW. Larger grills generally need a higher number of kWs.
- Gas barbecues feature a number of gas burners. This means you have more options for controlling your heat and cooking different types of food.
- Some gas barbecues come with a side burner or warming racks so you have extra areas for cooking and warming food. This is really useful when you're barbecuing different dishes at the same time.
- Drip trays below the cooking grate collect drops of fat from food and prevent flare-ups.
- Quick cooking times mean gas barbecues are perfect for entertaining large groups.
- With no ash to remove after cooking, cleaning is quick and easy! Simply wipe with a damp, soapy cloth. And for even easier washing, look for barbecues with a 'one-touch' cleaning system.
The barbecue grill size determines how many people you can cook for at one time. Our simple rating system here shows the number of guests you can comfortably cater for.
|Barbecue||Size number of portions(people)|
The numbers above are based on cooking a variety of meats and vegetables.
Grill features to look for:
- A cast iron grill holds heat well. Stainless steel grills are hard-wearing and easy to clean.
- Porcelain enamel finishes transfer heat better and prevent weathering and rust.
- Removable ash collectors make it easier to empty charcoal barbecues.
- Heat distribution plates spread heat consistently for more even cooking.
For brilliant barbecues use the best tools for the job!
Cooking tool set
Long-handled barbecue tongs are ideal for lifting food on and away from the grill. Complete tool sets with tongs, skewers, spatula and grill brush come in handy storage cases.
Ensure meat is cooked to perfection with an instant reading of internal food temperature.
Barbecue cleaning brush
Features brass bristles that won't scratch the grill or rust.
Get that roasted vegetable taste by using Homebase's high-quality vegetable shaker - it even has easy-lift handles.
This features six metal skewers with a holder to keep food off the grill - making it easy to turn for that perfectly cooked finish!
- Site your barbecue well away from fences, trees and combustible material.
- Always use the correct fuel for lighting up and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
- Keep matches, firelighters and fuels well away from lit barbecues.
- Ensure children and pets are supervised at all times.
- Allow a barbecue to cool down completely before moving.
- Important Safety Information: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning – Portable barbeques or lit charcoal should never be taken into an enclosed space such as a tent or a caravan.
If you have a gas barbecue with a lid, close the lid when you've finished, then turn the heat on to full and leave for 10 minutes. This will burn away any remaining food. Rub with the barbecue brush, and your grill will be completely ready to use for next time!
Use a cover when storing your barbecue. This will prevent damage from cold or damp weather.