BBQ buying guide

September 16th, 2015

Appliance Talk BBQs Buying Guide

BBQ Buying Guide

Spring is back, and summer is just a few months away. Barbeque season is upon us once again!

beefeater-bbq-sl40006lpg-mediumBeefeater BBQ 30060

Before you buy a new barbeque to take advantage of the sunny weather, take a look through our BBQ buying guide and get the lowdown on what to look for:

Where do you plan to do your barbequing?

In the backyard

Pretty much any barbeque should be just fine, provided it comfortably fits your available space. A two or four-burner BBQ may be all a smaller household needs (especially if you’ve only a limited amount of backyard space, such as in a townhouse), but larger families may benefit from a bigger 6 burner BBQ.

On the balcony

You can still barbeque when living in an apartment, though your options are even more limited by your available space. While you may be able to fit a four-burner barbeque or larger onto a small balcony, you may not be left with much space for doing anything else out there. Then again, if you weren’t planning to use the balcony for much anyway, that shouldn’t be an issue. But if you don’t want to dedicate your balcony entirely to BBQing, a smaller 1-2 burner model may be ideal.

On the road

A portable barbeque is a great little luxury to bring camping or caravanning, or even for the occasional friendly outing. You’ll definitely want a small, portable BBQ for this task, so it can be set up anywhere you go.

Gas or electricity?

Gas barbeques tend to be the general order of the day, with the majority of models running off LPG bottles.

…Sunbeam BBQ HG5400

But if gas is impractical for any reason, then an electric grill can serve as a reasonable compromise. These are generally smaller, more portable designs, and are ideal for travelling – all you need is access to a normal power point to enjoy something delicious.

Built-in or not built in?

To start with, a built-in barbeque is only really an option for home owners – if you’re renting, you’ll need an alternative option.

Beefeater BBQ 19942Beefeater BBQ 19942

But if you have a backyard of reasonable size, and enjoy alfresco entertaining, a built-in barbeque can form the core of your outdoor kitchen area.

Remember that your built-in barbeque will be exposed to the elements – keep it covered when not in use, to minimise wear and tear.

Do you need a barbeque rangehood?

In most cases, no. Cooking outdoors means that the smoke and grease of your cooking can glide straight into the atmosphere, without requiring assistance.

Beefeater Canopy Rangehood 27300Beefeater Canopy Rangehood 27300

But if your built-in barbeque is set up under cover in a semi-enclosed area, you may need to add a BBQ rangehood to keep the air clear in this space, both for cleanliness and safety.

Make sure to select a rangehood that’s been designed to handle the high-intensity cooking of a barbeque – smaller kitchen rangehoods may not be able to cut it.

Features to look for in a BBQ:

  • Rust-free cooking surfaces – long lasting and simple to keep clean
  • Sturdy construction – stainless steel or porcelain enamel are both hard-weathering
  • Side burners – these can be handy for doing a bit of wok cooking on the side, or separateing an ingredient that one of your guests is allergic to, such as mushrooms
  • Flip up side tables – good for keeping your ingredients, utensils and more organised
  • Roasting hood – allows you to use your BBQ for more than just grilling. If possible, choose one with a built in thermometer, so your can roast outdoors more precisely.
  • Rotisserie – adds more cooking options, allowing you to evenly roast poultry or whole joints of met on your BBQ.

Basic BBQ Safety

  • Check the expiry date on your LPG tank, and make sure it’s in good nick.
  • Confirm that all the hoses are undamaged and connected properly.
  • Only light the BBQ as described in its instructions – do NOT add an accelerant to help things along.
  • Before you BBQ, always check the Fire Ban status and confirm the relevant regulations with your local fire authority.
  • Always make sure your barbeque is attended. don’t walk way from your cooking.


Yes, you do need to clean the BBQ, even if it sounds like heresy.

Remember to give the surfaces a good scrub after cooking, while they’re still warm, and you’ll have less to do the next time you cook.

It is possible to wash some BBQ grilles and hotplates in the dishwasher. Use the intense cycle normally reserved for pots and pans.

Be sure to regularly empty the grease drip tray – this not only helps make your BBQ less disgusting, but also helps to reduce the fire risk.

Mark joined Appliances Online in November 2011 and has since learned more than he ever expected to know about appliances. He enjoys looking for new and unusual ways for to solve everyday problems using typical household appliances. When he’s not toiling at the desks of Appliances Online and Big Brown Box, he tries to find time to write the next big bestseller and draw satirical cartoons, but is too easily distracted by TV, music and video games. Mark’s favourite appliance is the Dyson Groom Tool, as he loves the concept of vacuuming your dog. Google+

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