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What Barbecue Is Best for You?

April 16, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 157

If you're thinking of buying a new barbecue this year then read our tips on what would be best suited to you. Today there are hundreds of gas and charcoal BBQs, stoves and fire pits, so it can be difficult to get the right one for you.

Firstly look at your budget, however do have an allowance so that you can go up slightly should one particular BBQ really stand out, when you see different barbecues you will start to get the feel of why prices vary so much. Now look at who you are cooking for, how many in your family and how many friends you will have round, this will play a big role in the size of the grill you choose, i.e. how many burners it may have or the size of the cooking area, with this you also need to be sure what you're going to be cooking, most will cook the favourites like the burgers and sausages, however more recipes are available now than ever before, barbecue cooking can cope with almost everything your kitchen oven can, so bear that in mind as well.

How often will the barbecue be used? This is really important, and one often overlooked. Have you purchased a barbecue before, possibly a few times and maybe one every year, if you have then you've probably bought the wrong one every time, a good quality barbecue should last you from 10 years and on, you should always look at what the manufacturer warranty is, they will only offer what they feel confident with, so if its 2 years, then it may well only give you that, an example is Weber, they offer up to 25 years and some like Napoleon will warranty the unit for as long as you own it. Where will the barbecue be located, if you have a patio area just outside the back door, then you are 3 times more likely to use the barbecue often, if you have an area at the bottom of the garden where you like to sit and relax and the barbecue is going there, then you will likely only ever use it when entertaining. For those who use the barbecue a lot then gas is often the best choice, it is easy to light up and quick to clean, hooded grills will enable you to roast food as well as do the trusted bangers and burgers, with good gas barbecues you will find that more have side burners, a really handy addition, perfect for sauces, onions in a pan etc. also look at the barbecue, can it take a rotisserie? Once you have cooked on one you will want to use it again and again.

Don't always be put off by the looks, we have become really fussy over the last few years on how something looks, and whilst this is important to some extent, don't be too hasty, try to keep a close eye on what the grill has to offer you over and above how it looks.

Cooking surfaces and grill construction, a good quality barbecue will have a cast aluminum cook box, this is the lower part of the grill that houses the burners, cast aluminum will not rust or rot-out so will last you the lifetime of the barbecue. The hood should be double lined, this keeps the grill looking good and also keeps the internal temperature at an accurate level throughout the cooking process. Look at the cooking surface, you generally have a choice between cast iron and stainless steel, either is fine however cast iron will retain heat better and get to temperature a lot faster, this uses less gas and can be cleaned easier, though always remember to keep the grills oiled to protect from rust. With charcoal barbecues you will either get stainless steel or coated steel, try to opt for stainless when your budget allows, both will rust over time but stainless will clean easier and withstand harsher treatment for longer.

Gas or Charcoal?

It comes down to two things, firstly how often you will use the barbecue and secondly what will you be cooking on it, so the answer is very easy once you know these two points, if you're going to use the barbecue at the weekend for roasting a chicken, or you want it for smoking food, then opt for a good quality charcoal barbecue or smoker, Weber would always be my first choice for charcoal.

If your likely to cook and roast and use the barbecue often then gas is the best option, with a good gas grill you can add different cooking surfaces to suit different foods, I have a flat cooking grate and it gets used every Sunday for the eggs and bacon, rather like a plancha style barbecue used widely in Europe, great for vegetables and stir fries as well!

If you need help, then talk to an expert, you can contact dedicated barbecue centres for help, or talk to the manufacturer.

Source: EzineArticles
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