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How to choose a BBQ, smoker or grill

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How to choose a BBQ, smoker or grill

Best BBQs to buy this summer for every style of cooking

The Getprice team breaks down exactly what you need to know to choose the right Australian barbeque or smoker in 2019.

When you think summer in Australia, what do you picture? If you’re like us, you probably picture a clear blue sunny day, cooking some snags on your BBQ with a cold bevvie in your hand, chatting with your mates as you wave a set of tongs around like an out of control magic wand. Of course, if you’re reading this article and seeking to replicate this scenario, we’re going to assume there’s one key ingredient that’s missing: the barbeque (or, at the very least, you’re at least looking to upgrade from an old one). 

The backyard barbie is an important component to the Australian summer equation, so if you want it to be a sizzler in more ways that one, read on to discover everything you need to know when choosing a BBQ.

 

Australian Summer Equation:

BBQ = Mates2

- Albert Weberstien

 

What to consider when purchasing a BBQ

Buying a BBQ is like preparing to season your meat. Before you even consider putting that big juicy steak onto the grill, you’re going to need to think about SALT:

 

Space

Amount

Lifestyle

Taste

 

Lets break each of those down:

 

Space. How much space you have to store your BBQ will greatly influence your decision. If you’re a person living in an apartment, a four-burner gas BBQ is probably not for you.

 

Amount. With ‘amount’, you actually need to consider two things:

1. Budget – How much are you willing to spend on your BBQ

2. How many people do you intend to cater for

 

Lifestyle. Do you want a BBQ you can take anywhere (like a family camping trip or even down to your local park)? Or are you more of an entertainer, wanting to dazzle your family and friends with your impressive cooking skills? Are you willing to cook a piece of meat that may take hours, or do you want something that’s just hot, fast and effective? You want your BBQ to fit into your lifestyle, so mobility and time will both play a factor into your decision-making.

 

Taste. Do you crave the taste of a classic charcoal BBQ? Are you a fan of American-style beef brisket and desperately want to replicate your own version? Do you need a barbeque that can smoke alongside the usual grilling functions? Are you not overly fussed when it comes to specialised features, and want something that simply just cooks, letting your marinade speak for itself, rather than the cooking method? The answer to these questions will affect your buying decision.

Once you’ve sorted out your SALT, you’re ready to make the next important decision – what type of BBQ best suits your needs. There are three main types on offer and they differ based on the fuel they use. 

 

Types of fuel

Electric. Electric BBQs’ main advantage is that they don’t require a steady supply of fuel to start or run them – so you’ll never encounter the dreaded “Oh no, we’re out of gas!” scenario – which usually occurs while you’ve got a plate full of meat in one hand, and a salivating mouth. Heating up an electric BBQ is easy; you just plug it in and turn it on. It’s great if you’re time conscious and don’t want the hassle of fiddling around with coal/wood, or arguing with your partner over whose turn it is to refill the gas bottle. The downside is that electric barbeques can’t be left outside in the elements, as any water could ruin the electrical circuits. The fact that electric models don’t produce any flame also means they have difficulty producing the great BBQ taste that gas (and especially charcoal/wood) options offer.

 

Gas. Ah, the classic gas BBQ. Who hasn’t seen the good ol’ Swap'n'Go and your local 7-Eleven? If you’ve ever wondered, “What are those people doing?” while carrying their filled gas bottles to their car, quickly followed by the thought of “Who am I?” you’re definitely a person without a gas BBQ, that’s who you are! Gas is popular and convenient because it makes for BBQs that are easy to use and quick to heat up – a series of gas burners heat up cast-iron plates or grills, just like a gas stove – and you’ll often find that gas BBQs can be fitted with handy optional extras, such as side burner or rotisserie.

 

Charcoal or wood. Whether you’re smoking your meat or simply grilling over some coals, there’s really no debate over the superior quality that a kettle BBQ or smoker will produce. Charcoal BBQs are run by heated coals (and woodchips) that are ignited by another fuel source, such as lighter fluid or fire starters. Once the coals reach a certain temperature, you can begin to cook either through smoking or grilling.

 

We’re sure eating meat that’s come off a charcoal grill taps into some kind of primal, caveman-era genetic memory. However, like with anything good, cooking with a kettle BBQ or smoker does take time. 

Heat beads and wood chips are relatively inexpensive (ranging from $6 to $15 a bag) however, if you’re thinking of using your charcoal/smoker BBQ regularly, you’ll need to factor that into your budget.

After you’ve decided on what type of BBQ you want to buy, now comes the fun bit – choosing an actual model. To help you get started, we’ve collated a list of five of the most-popular  BBQs in Australia – there’s something here that will cater to any needs: 


George Foreman Indoor & Outdoor BBQ Grill (GGR201RAU)

RRP: $139.95 | More info: Official George Foreman product page

If you’re a person with limited space and looking for a simple electric BBQ, look no further than the George Foreman Indoor & Outdoor BBQ Grill. As the name suggests, this BBQ can be used both inside and out, can serve up to 13 people and if you’re a tad health conscious, has the classic George Foreman fat reducing sloped design.

In addition, this is one of the least-expensive electric BBQs on offer, and it's often available for less than $90 from Aussie retailers.

Click here to find the best GGR201RAU prices in Australia


Weber Baby Q (Q1000)

RRP: $339.00 | More info: Official Weber product page

Looking for a gas BBQ that gives you the flexibility of cooking a great meal anywhere? The Weber Baby Q BBQ ticks all the boxes – you can take it camping, to the park or beach… or potentially, even along with you as you embark on a spiritual journey!

As it’s quite compact, it can easily fit into any vehicle – however the caveat to that small size is that it can only cater for around six people at one time. If you love the sound of the Weber Baby Q BBQ but need something a little bigger, its brother, the Weber Q, can cook for up to 10. Whichever you choose, both come with some amazing additional features. This BBQ is great for anyone looking for a portable barbie that’s both  flexible and reliable.

Click here to find the best Weber Baby Q prices in Australia


Weber Kettle K134 

RRP: $329.00 | More info: Official Weber product page 

An Australian classic, the Weber Kettle BBQ has been a staple in many Australian backyards for decades. This charcoal BBQ comes with transport wheels so it can easily be navigated through your backyard.

Located on the hood is an impressive thermometer and the Weber Air Vent System, allowing fresh air in and smoke out, allowing you to make on-the-fly adjustments and ensure your food is being cooked to perfection. 

This BBQ has a 57cm grill; capable of cooking a large piece of meat and veggies at the same time, so it can essentially feed a small crowd. You can’t go past this favorite if you’re looking for a charcoal BBQ.

Click here to find the best Weber Kettle K134 prices in Australia


BeefEater Discovery 1000E 4 Burner (BDMG424BA)

RRP $827.00 | More info: Official BeefEater product page

The BeefEater Discovery is the quintessential gas BBQ for anybody looking for a larger grill to compliment their home’s outside living space.

This sleek and imposing BBQ can roast, grill or bake. Hosting a family get together? This BBQ is sure to amaze and makes cooking a breeze, featuring four powerful burners and integrated temperature gauge, ensuring your food is evenly cooked.

This BBQ also comes with a rust-resistant cast iron cooktop, making it extremely durable. The BeefEater Discovery 1000E is an impressive larger gas BBQ for those who love to entertain.

Click here to find the best BeefEater Discovery 1000E prices in Australia


Masterbuilt MPS 250|S XL Gas Smoker (MB20053418)

RRP $749.00 | More info: Official Masterbuilt product page

Been watching ‘BBQ with Franklin’ lately and want to try out some smoked recipes yourself? The Masterbuilt is your BBQ; It features an impressive gas smoker with four chrome-coated smoking racks, and is capable of cooking multiple pieces of meat as well as any other additional food items. Critically, there’s also an inbuilt air damper for moisture, temperature and smoke control.

It’s easy to use, too, thanks to  a push-button ignition, and the rear handle with wheels enables you to effortlessly maneuver it around your backyard. Perfect for any professional or beginner, and anyone wanting to experiment and produce some tasty smoked goodness.

Click here to find the best Masterbuilt MPS Gas Smoker prices in Australia


See all of Getprice's BBQs, smokers and grills at the category homepage