Design advances mean small BBQs can be 2nd kitchens
A new CHOICE report shows smaller barbecues not only give excellent cooking results but, depending on the brand, may save consumers hundreds of dollars as well.
In its most recent review of 23 small and large gas barbecues ranging in price from $179 to $1,259, CHOICE found the Weber family sized barbecue to have the same cooking space as a four burner that, on first glance, appears bigger.
“Before you buy a barbecue, think about the size you really need. A large four burner looks impressive and will do the job but it may be much bigger than you really need and cost you more,” says CHOICE spokesperson, Ingrid Just.
In its testing of close to 200 barbecues over the past 15 years, CHOICE has seen significant improvements in their design and manufacture. In previous testing, the people’s watchdog noted that the twin circular burner innovation¹ has led to better cooking results than those provided by the traditional parallel burners.
“The better positioning of burners and the style of hoods has effectively made the barbecue an outdoor kitchen, with modern barbecues capable of handling many foods that, in the past, could only be cooked in an oven,” says Ms Just.
CHOICE says many Australians may be missing out of the advantages offered by barbecues by limiting them to a few steaks and sausages on the weekend.
“With the even heat generated on hooded barbecues, you can cook a Christmas turkey, bake a large fish and make pizzas and pancakes. Barbecues also eliminate the strong cooking smells that linger around the house when you use the regular stove,” says Ms Just.
To clean a barbecue CHOICE advises scrubbing the plate and grill with a barbecue brush and water while the plate is still warm.
“At this time of year, barbecues can save hours cleaning out a grease-stained oven. If your barbecue is maintained and undercover, it’ll provide you with a second stove 365 days a year,” says Ms Just.
CHOICE’s tips for buying and maintaining barbecues this summer:
- Read the maintenance and safety instructions. For gas bottles, the swap system at outlets like service stations is recommended, as these are continually checked.
- Opt for a hooded model – it’ll reduce cooking time and you’ll get better results.
- Barbeques with side tables attached give you easy access to food and utensils.
- Make sure the fat tray is easy to remove and clean - aluminum foil is the recommended lining but change it after every use to avoid fat build-up.
- Make sure the barbecue can be moved easily, with lockable wheels.
- Before you buy, read independent reviews such as those on choice.com.au.
To buy smart when you’re looking for your next barbecue, read CHOICE’s review.
¹CHOICE’s 2010 barbecue test highlighted the advantages of the circular burner. CHOICE conducts barbecue tests annually.
Ingrid Just, CHOICE, Head of Media and Spokesperson: 0430 172 669