Barbecues review 2007

With summer here, it's the perfect time to get sizzling.
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  • Updated:2 Nov 2007



What to buy
Brand Price
Beefmaster BMH4CS $599
Sunbeam Innovo GB5100 # $999
Beefeater Discovery Package 19845 $999

 # Discontinued. Replaced by GB5100M.

About the rest

Most of the other barbecues scored similarly to the models in the What to buy list for ease of use, but were all let down by uneven cooking in the sausage or steak tests.

In the other cooking tests:

  • The Jumbuck was very good at cooking steak and roast chicken.
  • The Let’s Live Outdoors was very good at roasting a chicken and good at cooking steak.
  • The Cordon Bleu was excellent at roasting chicken, but only scored 60% for cooking steak.
  • The Jackeroo was the worst at cooking steak — the result was uneven and scored only 40% — and not quite as good at roasting chicken as the others.

Common points for all the barbecues:

  • All have a cupboard in the trolley
  • All have comprehensive instructions
  • They all require effort to lift the gas bottle onto the hook and for the Cordon Bleu, Jumbuck, and the Sunbeam, it also takes effort to lift and place the bottle in the cupboard.
  • All have side burners except the Cordon Bleu.
  • Their hoods all get very hot while cooking.

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Results table

Full results for all models are shown in the table below.

  Performance Features Specifications
Brand / model (in rank order) Overall score (%) Cooking score (%) Ease of use score (%) Contact Price ($) Ignition type Warming rack Side burner Reversible cooking plate Glass viewing panel in hood Dimensions (cm, W x D x H)*
Beefmaster BMH4CS 82 88 74 Barbeques Galore
1300 227 237
599 Piezo (A) 168 x 64 x 118 (88)
Sunbeam Innovo GB5100 # 82 93 66 Sunbeam
02 9695 9999
999 Electronic 172 x 62 x 116 (92)
BeefEater Discovery Package 19845 78 83 70 Woodland Home Products
02 97248872
999 Piezo (A) 150 x 59 x 115 (80)
Jumbuck B38 Endevour 4 MK II # 67 67 68 Bunnings
03 88319812
399 Piezo (A) 177 x 68 x 121 (94)
Let's Live Outdoors Classic M55 # 67 68 66 Mitre 10
03 9703 4200;
449 Piezo 175 x 64 x 121 (92)
Cordon Bleu CDH4C 65 63 68 Barbeques Galore
1300 227 237
899 Piezo 178 x 59 x 121 (90)
Jackeroo Professional 4 Titanium # 59 52 70 Kmart
03 9829 3111
599 Piezo 161 x 69 x 118 (90)

 Table notes
* Dimensions are with the hood closed and include knobs, wheels and handles. The height from the floor to the hotplate is shown in brackets.
# Discontinued.
(A) With jet/pilot flame.

Overall score:
The overall score is a combination of:

  • Cooking performance 60%
  • Ease of use 40%

Cooking performance:
Our home economist rated the performance of each model cooking:

  • Sausages
  • Steak
  • Roast chicken

Ease of use
Our tester rated the models on the following:

  • Ease of cooking: 20%
  • Mobility: 20%
  • Ease of using controls: 20%
  • Ease of cleaning: 20%
  • Ease of fitting gas bottle: 20%

How we tested

Cooking tests: Our tester cooked steak and sausages with the hood open, and turned them only once while cooking. This fairly severe test is to check how evenly the cooking surface is heated; at home you’d probably compensate for uneven hotter and cooler spots by moving the food around.

She cooked the whole chicken with the hood down, on a rack in the centre of the plates, and again turned it only once. Cooking in this way is comparable to cooking in an oven and is also suitable for fish and larger cuts of meat, such as roasts.

Ease of use: Ease of cooking is the most important factor, mainly including ease of access when moving and turning the food, and any discomfort, such as smoke blowing into your face. Our tester also looked at moving and cleaning the barbecue, how easy the controls are to use, and how easy it is to fit the gas bottle.