Buying Guides


Buying a BBQ

Enjoy the summer weather and make the most of outdoor living with a barbecue.

This guide will help you choose the right one for your space, and offer tips on how to use, clean and store it safely. We also offer a pre-delivery assembly service for many of our barbecues  - find out more.

Things to consider

How often are you using it? Where are you using it? How many are you cooking for?

Consider investing a bit more in a model that will last you longer and has a great warranty
Small terrace, patio or balcony

Portable or tabletop models may be the best option or even a simple plug-in electric model

Up to 4 people

You'll need only a smaller cooking area, up to 1800cm²


Consider a cheaper and perhaps more compact barbecue that can be easily stored away

Large garden

Make the most of your outdoor space with a larger trolley BBQ boasting side shelves and storage underneath or even an outdoor kitchen
Up to 6 people 

A larger cooking area of 2000cm² to 2500cm² is plenty
    Up to 8 people 

The largest gas BBQs over 2500cm² will fulfil all your hosting needs

Types of Barbecues

Gas barbecues
  • Simple, push-button ignition provides an instant flame so you can start cooking in about 10 minutes
  • Easier temperature control due to multiple burners and ideal for cooking different foods at the same time
  • Low maintenance, with  minimal cleaning and no charcoal ash to dispose of
  • Some options include a side burner which is useful for sauces, and warming racks for keeping cooked food warm

Gas for barbecues is usually propane (sometimes called "patio gas") and is supplied in a red cylinder. John Lewis does not sell gas bottles.

  • When you first buy, it's usual to pay a deposit or hire charge for the cylinder as well as for the gas
  • When it's empty, it can be exchanged for a full one, and you just pay for the gas
  • Larger cylinders are also available for  bigger gas barbecues with three burners or more

All our gas barbecues are equipped with a regulator, which attaches from the hose to the gas bottle and regulates the gas pressure.

Testing for gas leaks before using your BBQ
Before first use and periodically during the season, or whenever a gas cylinder is changed, you must check for gas leaks. Follow these steps:

  • Turn on the gas cylinder
  • Turn all gas valves on the BBQ to the off position
  • Brush a soap solution of one part liquid detergent and one part water to all gas connections
  • The presence of bubbles indicates a leak. Tighten or repair as necessary
  • Under no circumstances should a naked flame be used to check for leaks
  • If a gas odour is present and no leaks can be found, do not use the BBQ. Turn the gas off at the source, disconnect the hose and immediately contact your BBQ dealer or place of purchase for assistance


Charcoal barbecues
  • Heat from glowing embers gives food a classic barbecued appearance and flavour
  • On most models, adjust the heat by simply raising or lowering the grill
  • May take slightly longer to heat than gas. Use a chimney starter to get up to cooking temperature in 15-20 minutes
  • Ideal for cooking food quickly on high heat. Slower cooking can also be achieved by simply raising the grill further from the charcoal
  • Some models feature a cleaning system with a removable ash catcher making clean-up easier  
Charcoal BBQ
Hybrid or Dual Fuel barbecues
  • Hybrid BBQs cook with either gas, charcoal or both together. Fuel trays sit above the gas burners, simply pour in the charcoal and ignite

  • You can either turn off the gas and cook over just charcoal or just use the gas by itself. On some models you can even use charcoal on one side and gas on the other to create different temperature zones

  • Hybrids harness the convenience and ease of cooking with gas as well as the authentic BBQ flavours achieved with charcoal
Electric barbecues
  • Instant ignition, just plug in and off you go
  • Removes the hassle of buying and lighting fuel. Ready to cook in 20 minutes
  • More cooking functions are available. Some models steam, smoke and even let you cook from frozen 
  • Still delivers the same great flavour by reaching temperatures of over 315°C but via a filament rather than any live flames. Great for smaller spaces and city dwellers
  • Added safety features like built-in timers and automated shut-off settings make them great for families
Wood Pellet barbecues
  • Create authentic traditional wood-smoked flavour using natural fuel. Choose wood types to add different flavours
  • Ideal for smoking food.  You can limit direct heat and maintain temperature control for better results, even when slow-cooking
  • Easy to use. Simply pour in the pellets and turn on the grill
Pizza Ovens
  • Cooks more than just pizza - it lets you bake bread, cook pies, heat meat and more
  • Select from charcoal, gas powered or dual options
  • Charcoal will enhance the flavour, gas can heat pizza in under a minute
  • Portability lets you set up outdoors wherever you choose

Features to look out for

  • Chrome plated: looks smart, but take care to clean thoroughly after use
  • Stainless steel: easy to clean and maintain, and more durable than chrome-plated grills
  • Cast iron: excellent heat source, as they hold the heat well. Wipe the grill with cooking oil before and after use to help prevent rust
  • Porcelain-coated: easy to clean, and the coating stops rust. This type is found on top-of-the-range models. Some models are equipped with 'flavouriser' bars, which help create a smoky taste when hot juices and fats drop down from the grill
Lids and hoods

Kettle barbecue lids can act as windbreaks, as well as a roasting hood.

  • When the lid is closed, it deflects the heat and smoke more evenly around the food
  • Some hoods also incorporate a thermometer to check you're cooking the meat at the right temperature
  • 3+ burner models are best for roasting as you can turn off the middle burner to avoid burning the meat before it's cooked through
  • If you leave the lid or hood open, the barbecue will grill as normal
  • Dual Hood BBQs - mean you can cook things at different temperatures
Side burners

Useful for heating up and cooking sauces and accompaniments while you're grilling so you don’t have to run back and forth to the kitchen hob


A griddle is a solid metal plate to use with foods which might otherwise fall through the grill – like eggs for an all-day breakfast. Some models have this as well as a grill.

BBQ Care & Cleaning

  • Once cold, remove the grill rack and scrub off any residue with a wire brush then wash with a soapy scouring pad and dry
  • Always clean the rack, lid, drip trays and any burners
  • Remove the cold ashes from the grate and brush it out
  • Clean the rest of the barbecue with an oven cleaner to get rid of any accumulated grease and dirt
  • For gas BBQs, heat the flavouriser bars for a time and clean when just warm
  • Wash the outside with warm soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry before storing or adding a cover
  • We sell tailored BBQ covers for most of our barbecues which will prolong their life even when kept outdoors

Assembling, Positioning & Use

  • Assemble your barbecue as close as possible to where you'll use it
  • Choose a level surface away from combustibles such as plants, trees and fencing
  • Always find a sheltered position if windy
  • Check all the components are present, and take a look at the manufacturer's instructions
  • Heat your barbecue enough to sterilise it before placing uncooked food on the grill

Our Installation Service

Need a hand? We can also pre-assemble your barbecue before we deliver it.