Barbecue Buying Guide

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What is a Barbecue?

A Barbecue,abbreviated as BBQ, is a metal unit used for cooking meat, chicken, fish, or vegetables over a fire.It is not only a popular tool for cooking outdoors but also a useful kitchen product.

Why should you buy a Barbecue?

Everybody would agree that food tastes much better when barbecued.This reason would be sufficient enough to get a barbecue, but there are many more reasons why you should own a barbecue.

  1. A barbecue is portable and can be carried around easily for outdoor vacations, camping, hiking, etc.
  2. It gives you the joy of cooking on fire in a traditional way.
  3. A barbecue enriches the taste of food when roasted directly on fire.

What are the different types of Barbecues?

There are four different types of barbecues.

In Charcoal barbecue, charcoal is used as a source of fuel.As a result, charcoal barbecues take more time to heat up.The embers need to be very hot to start the cooking process.Complementing the barbecue with a chimney starter can speed up the heating process and you can start barbecuing within 10-15 minutes.Self-lighting charcoal can also be used for a quick burning process; however, these charcoals are covered with chemicals and tend to die out as quickly as they light up.Charcoal barbecues are mainly preferred for the rich, smoky taste they impart to the cooked food.Food gets cooked slowly on charcoal thereby retaining all the moisture and flavors inside, making it soft and juicy.

Gas barbecues tend to use gas as a source of fuel.It is easy to light up.You do not have to wait for the embers to burn as in the case of charcoal barbeque.You can start the cooking process instantaneously.By using wood chips in foils and pricking holes in it, you can imitate the same flavor as when cooked with charcoal barbecue.Nonetheless, there remains some difference in taste when compared to charcoal.

On the positive side, in gas barbecues, you can regulate the temperature which allows for more uniform cooking, as opposed to charcoal barbecues.Some barbeques have multiple burners allowing you to cook at different temperatures at the same time.This is one of the most useful features as different foods require different heat intensities.Side burners allow increased cooking options.

An Electric Barbecue is powered by electricity and allows for cleaner cooking than charcoal.It is portable with removable parts.The biggest advantage of an electric grill is it can be used both indoors as well outdoors.When cooking indoors, there is no hassle of smoke or hazards of fire.It is low maintenance, easy to clean.It comes with a lot of additional features such as an oil tray, adjustable temperature, flexible grill rack height, and an ergonomically-designed handle, making the grilling process easy and fun.The electric barbeque is reliable and durable.

Portable barbecues are small, compact, and easy to carry units ideal for an impromptu get-together in the backyard, or for camping and picnics in the mountains.They are not very extravagant and can serve the purpose of having a low key barbecue party.They can be either charcoal based, gas fired, or electric.

What should you look for when buying a Barbecue?

If you are a regular camper or you like to throw parties for your friends and family, a barbecue will be of great importance to you.For a frequent barbecue user, it is critical to investin the right kind of barbecue in order to make the most out of your cooking experience.You can choose the barbecue based on the following factors:

Different types of barbecues can give you a different cooking experience.Depending on how you wish to cook your food – whether over charcoal, gas or electricity — you can make your choice.If you are looking for a traditional feel of cooking, charcoal barbecue is the best option for you.While a gas barbecue can give you the advantage of instant and shorter cooking time.Electric and portable barbecues are preferred mainly because of their ease of use.

Another important question you need to ask yourself when buying a barbecue is how many people on average would you be cooking for?Based on that, you need to select the right size of barbecue.

For a large group of people, you need to cook a large feast.In that case a small-sized or a two burner barbeque may not be realistic.You will need something larger in size or with a 4-burner unit.Many barbecue units come with foldable side tables that can be folded when the unit is not in use.Foldable side tables help in saving space.

Prices of a barbecue can vary. Prices are low for compact, portable barbeque gas grills while sleek electric units are priced higher.Charcoal barbeques are much cheaper than the gas and electrically powered models.The cost of the model changes depending upon the type of unit, size, the number of features it offers, and the quality of parts it uses.

Features such as electronic gas ignition and foldable side tables add to the cost.Your budget can help you decide which is the right kind of barbecue you want to buy.However, bear in mind, that price tag is not the only guide to determine the quality of the product.Check for the material that the barbecue unit is made of.Barbecue units made of stainless steel are durable and worth the price.

Also, you should look at the cost of operating a gas-powered barbecue would include the cost of gas cylinder and added electricity costs in the case of an electric barbeque.Charcoal is the least expensive source of fuel, thus charcoal barbeques have comparatively low operating cost.

A barbecue shopper has to look at a list of other additional features that each model has to offer.

Many models provide you with an additional rotisserie unit.But you need to really consider whether you are actually going to use one, because a rotisserie unit can add significantly to your cost.Most people buy a unit with rear burners, but hardly use them.

Some barbecue models have a hood.Hooded models are more versatile than non-hooded ones.The hood helps to control the heat transfer as opposed to an open grill.In gas burners with a hood, you can control cooking by switching off the burner and leaving the food inside so that it gets properly done from the inside without getting burnt.Similarly, with charcoal, you can put charcoal on one side of the barbecue, roast the food, then move it over to the non-charcoal portion, close the lid, and leave the food inside the unit until it is properly done.

Some barbecue models have a cover to protect it from dust and dirt when not in use.A cover is particularly useful if you are planning to store the barbecue outside the house.

What brands are reliable and available in the market?

Some leading brands offering different types of barbecues at affordable prices are:

Glossary of Terms:

Pre-assembled means parts of barbecue are already assembled and are ready to use.Small-sized barbecues are pre-assembled and all you have to do is mount the unit on a trolley and start barbecuing.

A griddle is a flat plate made of iron that is heated and used for barbecuing.Some food items are smaller in size and tend to slip through the grill.Griddle is used to cook such foods items.

A chimney is a metallic cylinder through which newspaper or other fuel is inserted to light the fire for burning charcoal.

A grill topper is a pan that has holes in it.It is similar to a griddle.It prevents smaller items from failing through the grill.

Lump charcoal is charcoal with no additional fillers.

A liquid rub or mustard paste applied to food items before or while cooking.

A rub is a mixture of salt, herbs, sugar that is put on the food before barbecuing.

Planking is the process of using wood chips to add a peculiar taste to the food.It is generally used in the case of gas barbecue.

Hot plate provides you a greater surface area for cooking.Hot plates are made of cast iron, stainless steel or enamel.

Rotisserie is a cooking method where meat pieces are skewered on a rod and placed over a fire.Large barbecue models have an integrated rotisserie in the unit.

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