5 Amazing BBQ's for Summer 2019

21st April 2019

What better way to enjoy and make the most of your outdoor space, be it a large garden with a patio or a small terrace, than with a BBQ.

Whether you want to entertain family and friends or whether you just enjoy cooking your family meal outside, a BBQ is the ideal way to make cooking in the garden easy, tasty and fun and help us to make the most of our long summer days.

Now is the perfect time to decide which type of BBQ will best suit your needs, whether you prefer a gas or a charcoal BBQ, want a portable BBQ or perhaps prefer one that is to become a permanent fixture in your garden? Either way, it's time to stock up on your favourite grill friendly food.

There are plenty of brands that offer excellent and interesting takes on the outdoor cooking game and every one of these will look amazing alongside your garden furniture.

Napoleon Pro 22K LEG

This BBQ is considered to be ‘the best bar none’. This well designed and engineered charcoal kettle has a heavyweight wavy-shaped cast iron grill that can be placed at three different heights - ideal if you are cooking steaks and just want to sear them at a high temperature.

It is very easy to use - just lower the grill to an inch or two above the heat when the coals are nearing the end of their life and you still have perhaps kebabs or halloumi to grill.

This BBQ has 4 sturdy legs, a porcelain-enamelled steel lid with offset hinges for fuss-free lifting, and a lid mounted thermometer is also incorporated.

Specifications

  • Grill size - 22 inches
  • Type- charcoal
  • Size -large
  • Adjustable height grill
  • Hinge lid
  • Great build quality

The ‘kettle’ system is one of the most efficient and reliable ways to charcoal-grill food without scorching it to a cinder. The bowl shaped lid is not only a cover against the elements its part of the barbecues indirect cooking progress.

There is a saying that goes “if you’re looking at it, it ain’t cooking” so leave the lid on as much as possible and your food will cook to perfection.

Char-Broil Kamander BBQ

A distinctly Big Green Egg-style ‘Komado’ BBQ, the Kamander from US barbecue king Char-Broil comes with a porcelain-coated 20 inch cast iron grill, a raised, swing-out 13 inch warming rack and a stainless steel fold-out shelf.

It also features an excellent, easy to use air intake system that incorporates a steel pipe that runs from the bottom of the unit to a waist-height dial with big numbers on it. This means you can adjust the air coming in below without having to fumble about in a crouched position.

The similarly large numbered dial on the top is used for controlling the amount of heat and smoke leaving the barbecue. Depending on which method of cooking you are using, all you have to do is match the numbers, seal the lid and wait. Even with a small amount of charcoal and with both dampers nearly wide open, the Kamander remains at a searing 300’C for about three hours.

This means that with the dampers set in a nearly closed position you could safely expect it to remain at a slow-cooking temperature of around 110’C for four or five hours and possibly longer. And that’s using just a small amount of charcoal!

As with most Komado's, there’s a bit of a learning curve involved regarding the dampers and it has been found to have more consistent results using briquettes instead of charcoal. This is a solid and thoughtfully designed barbecue that weighs a ton and cooks amazingly well, whether its direct grilling, slow cooking or smoking.

It is considered to be “ A top choice for fairly flushed alfresco fiends”

A bit of background

Big Green Egg was the brand name that popularised the ancient Japanese method of Komado cooking in ceramic egg-shaped kettles. Komado barbeques can reach extreme temperatures and are brilliant for grilling, smoking and slow cooking.

Big Green Eggs are a tad expensive by contrast this one provides a similar cooking experience for less than half the price, by eschewing expensive delicate ceramic in favour of cleverly-designed double-walled insulation and a ‘clipped’ oven-like seal to keep the heat in.

Lotusgrill XXL BBQ

If you have neighbours that get annoyed by the smoke everytime you barbecue then perhaps this could be the barbecue for you.

This near smokeless charcoal barbecue uses two fans to speed up the charcoal ignition process, taking only a few minutes for the charcoal to reach cooking temperature and creates no smoke in the process.

Even during the cooking process this barbecue creates less smoke than other models and does so with a unique charcoal loading method and a huge 57cm grill with integrated steel shield to stop fats from dripping directly on to the coals below.

The downside to this unusual barbecuing method is that food isn’t really infused with a properly smoky flavour, although some people prefer this style of cooking.

There is a glass lid available at a heavy cost that will contain the small amount of smoke it produces and the batteries for the fans need changing from time to time.

The upside to this barbecue is rapid heating and almost smokeless cooking, making this an ideal choice for balconies and urban patios.

Weber Pulse 1000

Designed for people who want to BBQ on the balcony without breaking the terms of their lease, or for those who don’t want to annoy their neighbours with lots of smoke.

At 1.8 kilowatts this huge barbecue has a bright temperature display, instant control over heat - the precision is far greater than you could ever achieve with charcoal, and a plug-in probe for monitoring the internal temperature of food.

This is not done on the main display but via an App, but it works well.

Everything from chicken to a side of salmon comes out perfectly done, as long as you properly pre-heat the grill. As well as being perfectly cooked every time, food cooked on this barbecue does seem to have more barbecue taste to it than food you would get from a standard electric grill.

It is true to say that there are no charcoal smoke or gas canisters involved, but due to science, smoke and fumes coming off your food is pretty much unavoidable, but we're sure will only make any neighbour very hungry and envious!

The Webber Pulse 1000 is easy to clean and all the electric / electronic elements can be easily removed and stored safely from the extreme weather elements. Perfect if you are looking for something to sit atop a garden table surrounded by your favourite Rattan garden furniture.

Traeger Pro 575 Pellet Grill

This innovative new Barbecue is quite unlike any other model.

Instead of charcoal or gas, the tech-laden Pro 575 uses compressed wood pellets that are transported from a large hopper to an electric powered furnace by a motorised auger ( basically a large corkscrew ).

Many barbecue aficionados swear by pellet grilling because it infuses food with a truly authentic wood smoke flavour that is difficult to attain using charcoal let alone gas.

At low temperature, the Traeger (which looks like a mini steam engine ) smokes meat phenomenally well. However the Traeger isn’t just brilliant for smoking, it’s also one of the best barbecues for slow cooking - eight hours or more with occasional pellet top-ups and is equally brilliant at conventional indirect grilling, with the lid on. It also bakes, roasts and braises.

What more do you need!

Where charcoal and/or gas barbecues are notorious for burning food very quickly if you take your eye off the ball, with this one there is little chance of scorching anything and that’s because it works like an electric oven keeping the heat at a constant temperature with hardly any fluctuations.

It does this with the aid of an electronic controller that ensures the temperature you set on its LCD interface remains consistent throughout the grilling process. The higher or lower you set the temperature, the faster or slower the auger delivers the pellets.

Traeger’s nailed it’s algorithm so well that a temperature of say 200’C stays like that for as long as required or until the meat probe it comes with, signals the end of the cooking process.

Just tap the ‘ignite’ button, put on the meat, leave the lid shut and chat to your guests, returning once or twice to turn the food over.

The subtle wood smoke infused food it produces is as succulent and tender as you could wish for. Granted the built-in fan and burning wood pellets make it sound like a quieter version of an industrial blow heater, but is not too loud to disturb the conversation, and indeed could be a conversation topic.

The Traeger Pro 575 excels at smoking, slow cooking and is a reliable way to grill conventionally without ever scorching meat, fish and vegetables to a cinder. For incompetent barbecuists and those who’d like to spend more time with the guests rather than being chained to a BBQ, this could be the one for you.

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