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.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
How often are you using it?
Plan to use your barbecue regularly
Then consider investing a bit more in a model that will last you longer, and comes with a lengthier warranty.
Plan to use your barbecue occasionally
Then consider a cheaper portable barbecue because they’re:
- Ideal for smaller outdoor spaces
- Usually lightweight and easy to clean
How many are you cooking for?
Every barbecue has a cooking area which is measured in square centimetres (cm²). As a rough guide:
- Up to 4 people: you'll need a smaller cooking area (up to 1800cm²)
- Up to 6 people: a larger area of 2000cm² to 2500cm² is enough
- Up to 8 people: the largest gas barbecues (over 2500cm²) will be enough
TYPES OF BARBECUE
- Simple, push-button ignition provides an instant flame so you can start cooking in about 10 minutes
- Feature flavouriser bars above the burners, which heat up the same way as charcoal but can be regulated the same way as a cooker
- Easier to cook food more evenly, with less risk of burning
- Low maintenance, with minimal cleaning and no charcoal ash to dispose of
- On some models, multiple burners make it possible to cook at different temperatures – ideal if you're cooking different foods
- Other cooking options include side burners (useful for sauces or vegetables) and warming racks that are great for garlic bread, and keeping batches of grilled food warm
Gas for barbecues is usually propane (sometimes called "patio gas") and is supplied in a red cylinder; please note that we don't 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, and these would be more suitable for the bigger gas barbecues with three burners.
All our gas barbecues are equipped with a regulator, which attaches from the hose to the gas bottle and regulates the gas pressure.
Calor Gas will deliver from a local stockist in your area for a small charge. Alternatively, look up 'Bottled Gas' in a directory or online.
- Heat from glowing embers gives food a classic barbecued appearance
- On most models, adjust the heat by simply raising or lowering the grill
- Relatively easy to light and burns cleanly
- Some models feature a one-touch cleaning system and removable ash-catcher which makes cleaning up much easier
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
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.
YOUR BARBECUE CHECKLIST
- A barbecue tool set which usually comprises tongs, fork and a spatula
- A grill basket will stop smaller pieces of food such as vegetables falling through the grill, and makes grilled food easier to turn
- An apron to protect yourself from spitting fat
- For your charcoal barbecue, a chimney starter is ideal – just fill with the required charcoal and light for a quick and safe way to prepare charcoal for cooking
ASSEMBLING AND POSITIONING
- Assemble your barbecue as close as possible to where you'll use it
- Choose a level surface away from combustibles such as plants and fencing
- Always find a sheltered position if windy
- Check all the components are present, and take a look at the manufacturer's instructions
OUR INSTALLATION SERVICE
Need a hand? We can also pre-assemble your barbecue before we deliver it.
CLEANING & STORAGE
- Once cold, remove the grill rack and scrub off any residue with a wire brush
- Wash with a soapy scouring pad and dry
- 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
- Rinse thoroughly
- Always clean the rack, lid, drip trays and gas burners before putting away
- Turn on the gas and heating the flavouriser bars for a time and clean when just warm
- Before you put your barbecue away, wash the outside with hot soapy water, rinse and dry thoroughly
- We sell tailored covers for most of our barbecues which will prolong their life even when kept outdoors