There’s nothing quite like celebrating summer with a tasty BBQ out in the garden or on the patio. It’s a great opportunity for you to entertain friends and family, too. For many people, traditional gas BBQ systems provide quick, tasty results no matter what’s cooking. But what exactly should you be looking for when shopping for the ideal gas BBQ for your own back garden?
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It can be tempting to look for alternative power sources when it comes to setting up a BBQ. However, gas systems are often the most common, and may even be the most affordable long-term. Chances are, the BBQs you may have seen in other people’s gardens will be running on clean, reliable gas.
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Gas BBQs: A Buying Guide For 2021
Let’s take a look at all of the important things you’ll need to bear in mind when shopping for a gas BBQ. At the end, we will also look at a few common queries you may have already asked while shopping around.
Why Use a Gas BBQ?
The two main choices in home BBQ systems will either run on gas or charcoal. Both have their merits, but for the purpose of this buying guide, we are obviously going to be looking at the benefits of gas.
Many people prefer gas BBQs as they are very easy to use. All you ever need to do is plug in a gas canister and spark up once you’ve decided how much you need to flow through. Preheating, too, is a breeze, which means you should have a grill ready to go within a quarter of an hour. Burning charcoal can, sometimes, result in you having to hang around for heat to really get going.
Gas BBQ users will also argue that it is easier for you to control your cooking. Charcoal grilling is a little more trial and error. Those who miss the taste of charcoal-grilled meat, however, can still get this fantastic flavour from a number of gas grills with various add-ons.
Things to Bear in Mind
If you’ve decided that a gas grill or BBQ is going to be the best option for your cooking, there are of course going to be a few factors which you’ll need to compare while shopping around. Generally, the more you pay, the more features and add-ons you’ll receive. This doesn’t always follow, however, as you may be able to find a great bargain online.
In any case, let’s take a look at some of the factors you are going to need to compare while shopping.
The more burners your gas BBQ has, the more people you’ll be able to feed! You may be able to cook for a couple of people with two burners, but more advanced and accommodating systems will offer three or more. There are, however, plenty of compact BBQ models out there which offer two burners and plenty of capacity for you to cook up a fair stack of meat! Burner quantity should really be observed as a guide, though actual BBQ capability may vary from unit to unit.
If you’re cooking for a lot of people on a regular basis, it of course makes sense to look for bigger, wider grills. Cheaper models will have less space, generally, but you should be looking for at least 400 square inches to cook for a good family group. Experts also suggest that, naturally, the more burners you use, the more grill space you are going to require. It’s just basic maths!
Do also think about the type of gas burner you’d like to invest in. Not all gas BBQs will do the same thing! For example, stainless steel burners offer years of use and ease of cleaning. Generally, you will also find burners made of tin or cast iron. These, while effective at helping meat get to the temperature you desire, can be at risk of rusting or seriously disintegrating as the years go by. Do be careful about the construction and material used in your gas BBQ before buying.
Yes, the type of grates used in gas BBQs can vary, too. For our money, your best bet will actually be iron grating for heat distribution, though stainless steel may be a more preferential option as they are very easy to keep clean – which is always a plus.
Weight and Portability
If you are likely to want to move your BBQ around, you’re obviously going to need to think about size, weight and ease of transport. Some gas BBQ systems are big and bulky, and therefore need to be permanently installed. The bigger the unit, generally, the more you’ll be able to grill. However, this doesn’t always follow! Take a look at what’s available online and see what users have to say.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s time to take a look at a few of the most common queries people have to make when it comes to buying gas BBQs.
Why Should I Buy a Gas BBQ Over a Charcoal Burner?
It’s all about ease of use. While some gas BBQs can cost more upfront, charcoal grills are harder to control. Gas units allow you to cook your meat more carefully, and what’s more, these units are often much easier to clean and maintain.
How Much Should I Pay for a Gas BBQ?
Larger and more capable burners will likely set you back anywhere between £150 and £250. However, simple gas burners can be found as cheaply as £80-£100 online, possibly even less.
Is There a Taste Difference?
Many people believe the taste of meat cooked with gas is different to that cooked with charcoal. It’s open to debate! You can buy gas BBQs and grills which have special filters and boxes you can fit to create charcoal-style cooking, however.
A gas BBQ unit is a fantastic investment. However, do always consider how many people you are cooking for, and how often you are likely to make use of it!