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BBQs review

We test 27 barbecues priced between $179 and $2200 for performance and ease of use.
 
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01 .Introduction

BBQ review - plate of food

We test over 25 portable and balcony barbecues priced between $179 and $2200.

Through our rigorous testing we reveal which barbecues

  • have the best cooking performance, and
  • are the easiest to use.

Video: How we test BBQs

The CHOICE team take a look at the newest range of BBQs to hit the market, and also give insight into some of the best features available.

Compared to an open backyard, barbecuing accidents have greater implications in an apartment block. Before buying a wizz-bang new gas BBQ for your balcony, check the by-laws for your complex and/ or the owners corporation (previously called the body corporate) to see if there are any restrictions on using a gas BBQ on your balcony.

It could be obscurely listed in the storing of hazardous material, i.e. an LPG gas cylinder. Similarly if you’re leasing, you need to check for these restrictions in your contract. And if you are permitted to have a gas BBQ on your balcony, never store more than one gas cylinder and never place these indoors.

For safety reasons, gas barbecues must always be used in very well ventilated space. Barbecuing in an enclosed balcony is not advisable – even those with louvres, café blinds, or a significant amount of privacy screening could be a very risky venture.

If this is your scenario, consider an electric barbecue – unfortunately though, there aren’t many on the market. We included two electric options, the  and the Sunbeam Kettle King HG6600B. We cannot recommend the Sunbeam but the Breville is worth considering, see the profiles

BBQ Xmas turkey anyone?

Consider also roasting your Christmas turkey – accompanied with a delicious and healthy char-grill vegetable salad – outside under a barbecue hood rather than turning your kitchen into a sauna from oven-baking.

These and other recipes can be found at Cook’s CHOICE. You might also want to read our article on barbecue safety. Also see our reliability survey to see how the various barbecue brands rate.

Brands and models tested

Large
  • Beefeater Discovery 1100E
  • Cordon Bleu Deluxe CD4CWWH
  • Discoverer G4DISK
  • Everdure Figura Esee
  • Grilled M135-B-W (SKU 695929)
  • Jumbuck B145-13
  • Masport Elite Grande 210 552765
  • Masport Lifestyle 4 Hooded 552757
  • Matador 4 Burner Grande BBQ
  • Matador Retro 4-BNR 3170423
  • Matador Maverick MBQ1003 (3180549)
  • Tucker S Class
  • Turbo TCQ4CWWJ
  • Weber Genesis E330
  • Weber Spirit E320
  • Weber Q3100
  • Ziegler & Brown Triple Grill ZG3GK
Small/portable
  • Beefeater BUGG on cart
  • Billabong G2BBTJ
  • Breville Smart Grill BGR840BSS (electric)
  • Everdure E2GLPC14R E2GO
  • Masport Raglan 552719
  • Sunbeam Kettle King HG6600B (electric)
  • Weber Q2200
  • Ziegler & Brown ZG1GRK
  • Ziegler & Brown Twin Grill ZGTGK

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How we test

Cooking performance
  • Fiona Mair, home economist from CHOICE's test kitchen, cooks steak with the hood open (unless the manual instructs otherwise), turning them once only. And she cooks sausages with the hood closed. These quite severe tests are to check how evenly the hotplate reaches and maintains a high temperature, and how well it controls flare-ups. At home you may compensate for cool and hot spots by moving the food around.
  • Fiona roasts a whole chicken by placing it on a baking tray in the centre of the plates with the outside burners on medium heat, and the hood down.
  • She cooks marinated wings directly on the hotplate. The wings and roast are only turned once.
  • The roasting assesses the performance at moderate temperatures over a long period, while the marinated wings need a low temperature so the marinade doesn’t burn. Cooking in this way is comparable to cooking in an oven.
Ease of use
  • Fiona looks for easy access when moving and turning the food, and notes any discomfort such as hot smoke blowing into the face. She also looks at moving and cleaning the barbecue, how easy the controls are to use and how easily the gas bottle can be fitted.

For more information on Barbecues, see Backyard.

 
 

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