The sun has got his hat on; hip hip hip hooray. The sun has got his hat on; and it’s time to get out the barbecue and play. If a quintessential British summer’s day involves alfresco dining, then the
absolute epitome of outdoor eating has to be the classic barbecue.
In the UK, a flaming barbecue is a British Summer birth right! Of course, no two barbecues are the same. Which is handy because specifications differ from household to household. So before embarking on the pleasurable trip of choosing the right barbecue, it’s worth bearing a few questions in mind so you don’t get your fingers burned.
Helpfully, leading high street retailer Robert Dyas has compiled a failsafe guide to picking the correct barbecue for your circumstance. Richard Redman, Senior Trader at Robert Dyas and outdoor specialist says, “There is a barbecue for everyone. Whether you’re cooking for two on the balcony of a city flat or hosting a sizzling extravaganza for family and friends in a garden somewhere in the countryside, there are barbecues to suit all spaces and budgets.”
The questions to answer…
1) Gas or charcoal?
The million-dollar barbecue question. There are a number of compelling reasons to plump for either.
A gas barbecue will provide almost instant heat - perfect if you’re in a hurry. Because they’re so easy to use gas barbecues tend to get more use. You’re more in charge with a gas barbecue so you can adjust the temperature accordingly to ensure you don’t get sausages that are burned on the outside yet remain uncooked on the inside. This convenience can come at a price though - they tend to be more expensive than charcoal barbecues and can be heavier and more awkward to move and store.
The barbecue purist’s favourite. Lighting the coals and waiting for them to get white hot is integral to the barbecue ritual. Advocates will also tell you the smoky flavour you get from chargrilled food is how all barbecued food should taste. Charcoal barbecues tend to be cheaper and easier to assemble and store. Best used for long, sunny afternoons they’re not ideal for barbecues on the fly. They’re also messier than gas barbecues, making cleaning them more of a chore.
2) What will you be cooking?
If you’re aiming for a good selection of burgers, sausages, kebabs and the like a standard grill (either gas or charcoal) will suffice. If you’re the ambitious sort and want to indulge in something more than grilling then think about trading up to a barbecue that includes accessories like a hood (great for roasting and controlling the temperature); a griddle/hot plate (just the job for flash frying thinner cuts of meat and veg); a side burner (for steaming/boiling veg and preparing sauces) and a warming rack.
3) How often will you use it?
If you’re a barbecue veteran and plan on spending all summer grilling your food, it’s worth investing in an all-singing, all-dancing model. If you’ll only use the barbecue once or twice during the temperamental British summer a basic model will see you right.
4) How much space have you got?
A smaller, portable model is probably best for those cooking in tighter areas. You don’t want the barbecue to take up all your outdoor space. If room isn’t an issue and you’re cooking for more than two, consider getting a decent-sized grill; squeezing too much food on a grill can be cumbersome. Also think about storage. Where will the barbecue live when it’s not cooking up a gastronomic storm?
5) Other things to consider
Ease of assembly
Quality of construction (in particular sturdy wheels and handles)
If stored outside, it might be worth investing in a cover/hood
Safety - ensure your barbecue is in good working order; cook away from trees, sheds etc… for a full list of safe barbecue best practice it’s worth reading the advice provided by the UK Fire Service*
Smoke control areas - do you live in a smoke control area? Ensure you read the government advice on using BBQs* in these areas. And always consider your neighbours.
So, having answered those questions, it’s time to choose your barbecue instrument of choice.
One of the downsides of urban living is space. But even those with the tiniest of balconies can get their barbecue fix with this handy Outback Voyager Smokeless Charcoal BBQ (£79.99) which is exclusive to Robert Dyas. This lightweight portable barbie comes with its own carry bag and offers convenient smoke-free cooking while still delivering authentic barbecue taste thanks to the battery-operated airflow fan. Great for camping trips too.
Another great barbecue designed for smaller gatherings is the Flamemaster Charcoal Trolley BBQ (£99.99). Featuring a deep bowl for excellent heat distribution and an easy-to-use crank system to adjust the height of the grill.
For those looking to cook for more than two this Outback Excel 310 2-Burner Gas Trolley BBQ with Side Burner (£139.99) is a great introduction to the joys of barbecuing. An all-in-one for cooking up a family feast, the Excel has a large cooking area with a handy upper rack for extra food and a whole host of other features.
Now that you’re cooking with heat, maybe it’s time to throw in some additional fancy extras. Love pizza as much as burgers? Then the Flame Master 3-in-1 Charcoal Pizza BBQ (£129.99) is the barbecue for you. This versatile barbecue comes complete with a chimney for smoking and an authentic ceramic pizza stone for crispy homemade pizzas.
Talking of versatility, the Outback Full-Drum Charcoal BBQ with Quad Grill - Black (£179.99) is a proven winner. With a unique drum design that opens out to provide two large cooking spaces, this barbecue is great when you’re catering for extra guests.
If you can’t make your mind up between gas and charcoal, how about the benefits of both? Welcome to the Outback Dual-Fuel 2-Burner Gas and Charcoal BBQ (£374.99). Featuring the best of both gas and charcoal, this barbecue will grill up to 32 burgers at once – ideal for entertaining at garden parties.
For those looking to make a real statement in the barbecue stakes this summer, it’s going to be hard to beat the Outback Meteor 6-Burner Gas BBQ with Multi Cook Plate System - Stainless Steel (£449.99). With its large size and three interchangeable cooking surfaces – griddle plate, grill or pizza stone – the Meteor offers great versatility so you can cater to everyone’s taste. It even has a double cupboard for storage.
Additional extras worth bearing in mind include a Barbecue Tool Set (£9.99). If your barbecue is going to be stored outside, covering it up when it’s not in use is vital. There’s a wide selection of covers to choose from. Finally, get the barbecue looking brand new after use with this HG BBQ Cleaner (£5.89).
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About Robert Dyas:
Robert Dyas, a man of notable character and remarkable determination, founded the company in 1872. He had a vision to provide customers with the best products, service and advice possible – a tradition that continues to be the focus of the company to this day. In 2012, successful businessman and star of BBC TV’s Dragons Den, Theo Paphitis, bought the company.
Theo Paphitis is one of the UK’s most high-profile businessmen with an empire spanning retail, property and finance. Theo, through his staff at the Theo Paphitis Retail Group (TPRG), has continued the Robert Dyas tradition of excellent customer service.
Robert Dyas offers an extensive range of household products. The range includes smart home technology, DIY solutions, small and domestic appliances, homeware, bakeware and kitchenware, outdoor and garden, utility, gifts, textiles plus Christmas trees and gifts.
The company has 94 stores, ranging from 1,250 to 9,000 square feet (116 to 836 square meters) and operates online and in the South of England. The most western store is in Yeovil, the most eastern store in Colchester, the most northern store in Solihull and the store furthest south is in Eastbourne. The company’s head office is now based in Wimbledon.
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/94365/
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