How to choose your BBQ

Kiwis love a good BBQ and with the right choice you can make it BBQ season all year round. Whether you use it every night or save it just for special occasions, here are a few things to look out for when making your choice.

Where do you want to BBQ?

Wherever you want to cook outdoors there’s a BBQ to match. From lightweight, portable BBQs for camping, to compact sizes for small courtyards, right up to a massive outdoor kitchen for your new deck.

How many are you cooking for?

Whether it’s for family meals or the whole footy team, you can judge how many a BBQ can cater for by the number of burners. Starting small, two burner BBQs will easily cater for four people or you can get serious with up to six burners.

What's on the menu?

Sausages and steak are always a favourite, but you can now find BBQs designed for baking, roasting and smoking, with extra features like side burners and rotisseries. Or you could go for a pizza oven or spit roaster.

Fuel to burn

There are a number of fuel options available when selecting a BBQ. Options include wood, electric, charcoal or gas. Wood and charcoal will give you a great smoky flavour but electric and gas-fuelled BBQs are quick and convenient to use.

What basic features should I look for?

There are two basic BBQ designs – the flat top grill, which cooks using direct heat, or the round kettle, which uses direct and indirect heat. Hooded BBQs are a great choice because they give you a mix of both.

Make sure your BBQ has these basic features:

  • Easy to use and maintain
  • Solid construction - stainless steel or porcelain enamel surfaces
  • Grills that direct grease away from the burners to reduce flare-ups
  • Bench space for preparation
  • Built-in thermometer
  • Side burner or a rotisserie
  • Types of BBQs

    There are two basic BBQ cooking styles – those that cook with direct heat and those that cook with indirect heat. Some also offer the flexibility to switch between direct and indirect cooking. Flat top BBQs and spit roasters cook using direct heat; smokers and pizza ovens cook using indirect heat; while hooded BBQs, outdoor kitchens and kettles offer the flexibility of cooking with both direct and indirect heat.
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    Flat top

    A great choice if you’re cooking for big numbers. Flat tops have a large cooking surface, are easy to move around and fit almost anywhere.
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    Spit roaster

    Cooking with a spit roaster gives your food a delicious slow roasted flavour. Fueled by wood or charcoal, some include a motor that can turn up to 20kgs at a time for more even cooking.
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    Outdoor kitchens

    The perfect BBQ for serious chefs, an outdoor kitchen will have you cooking outside every night. Made for the big occasion, they have everything you find in a kitchen with 6 burners, glass fronted hoods, marble benchtops, storage, sinks, side burners and rotisseries.
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    Hooded BBQ

    You can BBQ however you like, using the grill and hotplate or as an outdoor oven. Great for roasting, baking, steaming or smoking, the hood traps in heat to give your food more flavour. You can get extras like a rotisserie, side burners, built-in thermometer, hood lights and glass windows to check your cooking.
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    Round kettles

    Perfect for roasting, this compact design is one of the most popular charcoal fueled BBQs. The round shape circulates heat to cook the meat in its own juices for better flavour and tenderness.
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    Smokers

    Charcoal grills are a favourite among BBQ enthusiasts because of the tenderness and unique flavour that you can only get from cooking with charcoal. Here are two kinds of smokers you can choose from:

  • Insulated grills are the most versatile and effective type of charcoal grill because the insulated chamber retains heat and moisture more efficiently.
  • The Barrel grill caters for a larger party. It has a hinged lid on top, while charcoal is stored in the bottom half. You can also attach a side fire box to this smoker. A side fire box can also be used as a standalone portable griller.
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