Our family loves entertaining and we’ve come to think of our BBQ as one of the family. But recently, despite our efforts to maintain her, the old girl has started to look like a greasy glob. What’s worse, somehow the food she makes doesn’t taste as good anymore. So, it was off to get a new barbie to go with the new indoor/outdoor setting! But how to choose when there’s so many different types available now?

Gas v Charcoal
Essentially, gas is fast and convenient, plus it’s harder to stuff-up your cooking. Charcoal needs more patience, it’s harder to get the temperature right, creates more mess to clean up later but for many it’s worth it for the tastier, caramelized food it produces.
 
Here’s what I look out for…
 
Gas burners naturally create concentrated spots of heat. Better designed BBQs overcome this using multiple burners and/or lava rocks. Make sure the BBQ burners on the unit you like will produce at least 12,000 BTUs (British Thermal Units) per burner.
 
Charcoal grillers suit anyone who’s into slow food and loves that charred, open flame flavour. Cast iron grill gates are better than stainless steel for heat conduction but stainless steel produces more yummy grill marks on your meat and is easier to clean.
 
Make sure your BBQ plate cooking area is large enough for the entertaining you do, and will accommodate big cuts of meat, like ribs and brisket.
 
Cooking Area
Most families will find a cooking plate of 4000 – 6000 square mm is enough for their needs. If you regularly entertain hordes, you’ll need to buy a BBQ plate of at least 6500 square mm.
 
Construction Material
Stainless steel is the gold standard, but it’s not all created equal. Look for grade 304 stainless, not the cheaper grade 430, which rusts. A magnet will stick to 430, but not to 304.
 
Happy entertaining, and if we’ve missed your top tip let us know in the comments below!
 
 

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