Best BBQ 2018 – Buyer’s Guide

There is nothing better than being able to sit out in the garden in Summer and enjoy a feast which you cooked completely on your barbecue.

There is a massive range of these appliances available on the market, and there are also various categories.

Which is best for you depends on the space you have in your outdoor area, how frequently you’d use it and how much you want to spend on the fuel type.

The Best BBQs – Our Top Picks

Best Gas BBQ: everdure by Heston Blumenthal
badge1
everdure by Heston Blumenthal
View Prices
  • Fuel type: Gas
  • Dimensions: H144.7 x W117.5 x D74.3cm
  • Grill Dimensions: 2358cm sq.
  • Weight: 33kg
Best Charcoal BBQ: Landmann Vinson
badge2
Landmann Vinson 4-In-1 Charcoal BBQ Smoker
View Prices
  • Fuel type: Charcoal
  • Dimensions: H117 x W83.5 x L126cm
  • Grill Dimensions: 70.5 x 39.5cm
  • Weight: 50kg
Weber Pulse 1000 Electric BBQ with Stand
badge3
Weber Pulse 1000 Electric BBQ with Stand
View Prices
  • Fuel type: Electricity
  • Dimensions: H101 x W74 x D65cm
  • Grill Dimensions: 41 x 31cm
  • Weight: 28.1kg

Best Gas BBQ

Premium 6 Burner BBQ

This premium barbecue from Argos has six gas burners and drinks storage. The perfect host for your summer parties!

The stunning barbecue not only showcases great functionality with lots of space and settings but it also has a sleek design sure to add to your garden. It comes in black and silver and can be closed after use.

With six burners on the main grill, you can be sure to heat up your succulent dishes outside on this barbecue. But it also displays two side burners for smaller dishes and a place to put your drinks, you can get your party started right away with lots of room to prepare everything that you need!

You can use propane or butane gas with this grill and it also has two wheels meaning it can be moved around easily when not in use. It’s also very simple to setup.

We like

  • Has two wheels making it easy to move
  • A sleek design
  • Six burners
  • Lots of room for side dishes, burgers and drinks

We disike

  • No complaints, it has everything expected plus more at this price

Final Verdict

It’s the perfect outdoor grill - it has six burners and even space for side dishes. If you wish to embrace the role of summer party host then this is the perfect barbecue for you.

+ Specifications

  • Fuel Type: Gas
  • Dimensions: H107.5 x W140 x D56.7cm.
  • Grill Dimensions: 41 x 77cm.
  • Weight: 31.04 kg

everdure by Heston Blumenthal

Available in 3 stylish colours (graphite, red and mint), this Heston Blumenthal Force2 model is the perfect addition to the balcony or the garden of any style-conscious individual.

There is an instant searing function, so it is ready to cook your food in just 5 minutes. The hood is extra-high, so perfect for convection cooking any large meats such as a shoulder of lamb or a whole chicken. There is also full flexibility to cook with the hood up or down, so if there are a few spits of rain, you don’t have to rush to bring everything inside.

The majority of the appliance is die-cast aluminium, so not only will it never rust, but it’s also incredibly sturdy if you would like to keep it outside all year round. With an enamel coating, the hood and grill plates are easily cleaned and won’t be marked or damaged in the process.

Tapered legs give it extra durability, but it can also be removed from these if you’d prefer to use it portable. The legs have castors which are lockable for extra security.

We like

  • Choice of fashionable colours
  • 2 burners
  • Variable flame controls

We disike

  • No drip tray

Final Verdict

Stylish and sleek, this is the perfect model for those who like to use their barbecue for absolutely everything once Summer arrives

+ Specifications

  • Fuel type: Gas
  • Dimensions: H144.7 x W117.5 x D74.3cm
  • Grill Dimensions: 2358cm sq.
  • Weight: 33kg

Outback Meteor Hooded Stainless Steel 4 Burner Gas BBQ

Designed with a 50/50 porcelain coated grill/griddle split which is more durable and harder wearing, this barbecue is incredibly hard-wearing and easy to use and clean.

The four cast iron burners are fired by electronic ignition to make things a bit easier, and a storage area under the burners hidden behind two doors keeps storage a lot cleaner and easier to access, whether it be condiments, plates or some snacks you want to keep safe.

To the left of the cooking area is a side sear burner which reaches even hotter temperatures to seal juices and flavours into meats while the right is a side shelf for preparation. A roasting hood also gives you the option to close the heat in and create an ‘oven’ for the preparation of roasts or bakes, and the thermometer on the lid will help you keep a check on the temperature.

We like

  • Great storage options
  • Easy to light

We disike

  • Assembling is complicated

Final Verdict

Packed with space and easy to use, this is a barbecue which can easily be used all year round and every single day without fail

+ Specifications

  • Fuel Type: Gas
  • Dimensions: 125.3 x 55.9 x 129.5cm
  • Grill Dimensions: 64 x 42cm
  • Weight: 72.5kg

+ Downloads

Outback Meteor Hooded Stainless Steel 4 Burner Gas BBQ User Manual

Download

Landmann Rexon 4 Burner Gas

This barbecue is ideal as your new summer gathering host and will be sure to last you for years to come!

With the option of red or black, this barbecue is perfect for the summer. It has a sleek design and will enhance your garden décor. It has lots of space and is easy to use.

Use it as your party’s centrepiece as you host all of your friends and family. They have an instant function that can sear immediately meaning that your food will be ready to go within five minutes. It’s great for your vegetables, big legs of meat or other burgers. You can double up your cooking with lots of space to store on the side of product.

It has two burners, variable flame settings and controls, lockable leg castors and is part of a sturdy frame. It is mostly made from cast aluminium keeping it free from rust. As well as being easy to assemble, it is also easy to clean with its enamel coating.

We like

  • It’s sleek design and two colours with Bordeaux red and black
  • Room for side dishes
  • It is durable
  • Two burners

We disike

  • It is small for the price

Final Verdict

This barbecue merges style and functionality with side burners, a lower basket and a sturdy frame. It has everything - it’s not the biggest available but you are paying for great quality.

+ Specifications

  • Fuel Type: Gas
  • Dimensions: H120, W135, D52cm.
  • Grill Dimensions: 40 x 69cm.
  • Weight: 38 kg

Best Charcoal BBQ

Big Green Egg Medium Ceramic BBQ

The Big Green Egg is a favourite among seasoned grillers and professional chefs alike. So, why not bring a touch of this luxury into your own home?

It combines old tradition and know-how with modern touches to make life easier. Within minutes it is well on it’s way to being fully heated. Thanks to the airflow technology, the temperature can be manually controlled to within a few degrees.

Because of the high levels of insulation, it doesn’t seem to get as hot as other metallic barbecue models. Much safer to use, especially if your family of all generations are round for a big event and there are little ones running about.

The outer glaze is completed to a high quality with a lifetime guarantee. It is also the racing car green colour which has made Big Green Egg so noticeable. It wipes clean after use, and the residual heat of the inner chamber will solidify any dirt so it can be brushed away; no need to be put off barbecuing because of the looming clean up.

We have picked this particular option over the standard medium egg because there is the addition of some side shelving which we think makes all the difference.

We like

  • Shelving
  • Holds the heat very well
  • Excellent ventilation for better control

We disike

  • Price is rather a lot (but worth it if you’ll get the use out of it)

Final Verdict

Any seasoned barbecuer will probably point you towards Big Green Egg as one of their top options when you ask for their advice. The price may be higher than some alternatives, but this little appliance will see you grilling for years to come.

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: H72 x W46.5 x D46.5 cm
  • Grill Dimensions: 15in/38 cm

+ Downloads

Big Green Egg Medium Instructions and Service Instructions User Manual

Download

Weber Performer Deluxe Charcoal BBQ

For an authentic cooking experience but with so much more ease and simplicity, Weber has produced the Performer Deluxe.

Touch ‘n’ Go ignition lights the charcoal with ease in a fraction of the usual time, to save you faffing about and giving it a million and one attempts, thanks to the addition of a propane bottle. Just leave to heat for about ten minutes, spread the coals out and turn off the gas to get grilling.

There is a thermometer so you can keep an eye on the heating up process and how everything is coming along without holding it open at all times.

Thanks to the four wheels on the base of the stand, you can move it to wherever it needs to be with ease. Whether you are storing it for winter or moving around the garden to chase the sun/avoid the wind, there is no heavy lifting and disturbing the cooking.

This cart makes your barbecue an entire cooking station. There is space at the side for storing your meat and veg before it goes onto the heat, and a wire shelf underneath can keep the plates and cutlery in one place before use.

A timer function is present too, but this is a simple egg-type timer which goes on for a maximum of 99 minutes so we wouldn’t recommend taking your eye off the ball.

If you want a permanent charcoal barbecue, but the thought of lighting it all is putting you off, and it seems a bit impractical for your setup, then this Weber will surely change your mind.

We like

  • Cooking station
  • Easy to move
  • Thermometer

We disike

  • Timer is a bit pointless for those big barbecue tasks

Final Verdict

We loved how easy it was to light. Charcoal is the real authentic option but can be a pain - this makes it much better to use and cope with.

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: H125 x W128 x D74cm
  • Grill Dimensions: Dia.57cm

Weber Master-Touch Gourmet System Grate Charcoal BBQ

With a classic look, this Weber model is the perfect sleek addition to your garden. The heavy-duty grilling area and exterior ensure that it will never look worn as they are rust and chip-resistant. The One-Touch cleaning system with removable ash catcher makes cleaning and waste disposal easy.

For full flexibility, the removable central grilling grate ring can be used with a wok, griddle or searing grate, so there’s no more running between the barbecue and your indoor cooker to check on multiple dishes. These are available separately.

The locking lid puts safety first and is fitted with a thermometer, so you will know when the best exact time comes to start cooking your food. The aluminium vents control the temperature and can shut the lid to leave your food to cook if the weather takes a turn for the worst.

For easy transportation either around your garden or just into storage, the Weber Master-Touch is fitted with all-weather wheels.

We like

  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Added thermometer
  • Wheels for transporting

We disike

  • Grill spacing is quite large so small food can easily slip down

Final Verdict

A fantastic investment that no doubt will last for all of its 10-year guarantee - at the very least

+ Specifications

  • Fuel type: Charcoal
  • Dimensions: H109 x W63 x D74cm
  • Grill Dimensions: 2552cm sq.
  • Weight: 16kg

+ Downloads

Weber Master-Touch user manual

Download

Landmann Vinson 4-In-1 Charcoal BBQ Smoker

The popularity of BBQ smokers is sharply on the rise because of the enhanced flavour they give to your food, by smoking it over a long period. This Landmann comes in a traditional shape with a chimney, and there is plenty of cooking area to prepare food for up to 10 people.

With a 4-in-1 cooking function, you can directly cook smaller foods which take little time and can be placed straight over the coals, indirectly barbecue food which requires heat circulation and slow cooking, or smoke and cure it for an added taste boost. There’s a lower rack to store your cooked food and keep it warm until all of your guests are ready.

It is very heavy, but there are wheels so you can move it around a level surface with ease. The rounded cooking chamber ensures full heat and air circulation, so you don’t have to worry about any of your food being undercooked or burnt. The chimney and air vents also ensure full control over cooking temperature. There is also a built-in thermometer to make life easier.

We like

  • 4-in-1 cooking function
  • Steel body is durable

We disike

  • High price tag

Final Verdict

The perfect barbecuing appliance if you are a food connoisseur cooking for a large gathering

+ Specifications

  • Fuel type: Charcoal
  • Dimensions: H117 x W83.5 x L126cm
  • Grill Dimensions: 70.5 x 39.5cm
  • Weight: 50kg

LotusGrill Standard Smokeless Charcoal Grill BBQ

Incredibly light, this BBQ comes with a specially-designed carry bag so you can easily take it with you should you fancy going camping or for a picnic one weekend. Intended for use on top of an ordinary outdoor table, the outside of the appliance stays cool so you won’t risk damaging the table surface or burning your fingers.

The design is eye-catching and perfect for adding a bit of colour and vibrancy to your outdoor space. It is available in red, green or grey, so there is something for every garden. Uniquely, it is powered by 4 AA batteries for an extra power boost, with the electronic ignition ensuring it is ready in just under 5 minutes. The charcoal container will hold up to 250g of fuel, so there is plenty of power to provide food for up to 5 people.

The grill grid, charcoal container and inner bowl are all securely attached to the outer bowl by latches, so you can safely use and transport the appliance without worrying about anything getting lost or damaged. The grill grid and inner bowl are also perfectly safe to use in your dishwasher, so there’s no need to get the scrubbing brush out to remove tough burnt-on stains.

We like

  • Fun design
  • Effortless transportation
  • Electronic ignition is excellent for last minute BBQ’s
  • Available in Red, Lime Green and Grey

We disike

  • Needing batteries may be a hassle

Final Verdict

If you hate the smoke which is a natural by-product of most barbecues, then this is a fantastic option and alternative

+ Specifications

  • Fuel type: Charcoal
  • Dimensions: H23.4 x W35 x D36.8cm
  • Weight: 3.7kg

+ Downloads

LotusGrill Standard Smokeless Charcoal Grill BBQ user manual

Download

Best Electric BBQ

Weber Pulse 1000 Electric BBQ with Stand

Love barbecuing but it has your neighbours complaining that the smoke drifts over to their drying clothes? Not allowed to use gas or charcoal on your balcony? If you’re after something a bit different and ultra-modern, this is the model for you. Electric barbecues provide you with the authentic BBQ taste without all the hassle.

There are an LED temperature display and status indicator lights, perfect for anyone who has got so used to the modernity of appliances that anything not digital is a bit too much. iGrill technology also allows you to check the food temperature through your smartphone on a dedicated app, so you can leave it to do its job while socialising with your guests. Control knobs can be set to low, medium and high.

Most of the components are removable for cleaning, and there is grease management to prevent any nasty flare-ups. The grill grates are porcelain-cast which allows you to retain optimum heat, and also gives you the sear marks every pro barbecuer dreams about.

It comes with a stand but can also be removed from this for easy transportation or if you’d instead use it on an outdoor table top.

We like

  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Professional barbecuing in the comfort of your garden

We disike

  • iGrill probes for use with the mobile app are sold separately
  • Very expensive

Final Verdict

Fans of traditional barbecuing may be sceptical, but it is very much the way forward

+ Specifications

  • Fuel type: Electricity
  • Dimensions: H101 x W74 x D65cm
  • Grill Dimensions: 41 x 31cm
  • Weight: 28.1kg

+ Downloads

Weber Pulse 1000 Electric BBQ user manual

Download

Best Budget BBQ

G3 Ferrari G10006

Love the idea of pizza ovens, but hate the idea of them taking up so much space or having to trail out to the garden to use it?

This G3 Ferrari Delizia is a personal indoor maker (not really an oven, as such), which is small enough to sit on your worktops yet still as effective as huge outdoor ovens. If you’re wondering why it is any different from just buying a pizza stone for your conventional oven, it is because it can reach 390C – the only indoor oven to be able to do so. This is the optimum temperature for pizza making, resulting in a crisp base yet perfectly cooked toppings.

The refractory stone hot-plate warms within 10 minutes, so it is ready to use without waiting around for ages if you fancy a quick treat. There is a timer, so you can do some experimenting as to how long to cook the pizzas for, and then leave it to its own devices. It generally takes on average seven minutes for something on setting 2.5.

Just like a traditional pizza oven, it isn’t only pizzas you can make. Try cakes, pancakes, chestnuts, tortillas and sweetbreads. As long as the product isn’t too thick, the settings make it possible.

We like

  • Indoor
  • Good design
  • Three pre-set temperatures for ease

We disike

  • Can only do one pizza at a time

Final Verdict

Pizza anytime, even anywhere, without hassle - a winner for us

+ Specifications

  • Power: Electric 1200W
  • Dimensions: 32cm x 38cm x 25cm
  • Temperature range: 190 to 390°C

+ Downloads

G3 Ferrari G10006

Download

Charcoal Oil Drum BBQ

This traditional barbecue comes at a great price and will be sure to help you bring your friends and family together.

Although this doesn’t have any bright lights or crazy mod cons, it is one of our favourite picks due to its old school design and easy-to-use features. In all black, you can easily set this up anywhere in your garden, it doesn’t take up too much room but there’s lots of space for your delicious food on the grill.

It has two tiers, one you can use to queue up your upcoming burgers and one where you cook. It has an adjustable height for the grill meaning that you can control the temperature that the burgers are cooked at.

The unobtrusive design means it fits into any garden and you can move it from place to place with ease. It has wheels on the bottom meaning you can move it around accordingly.

It is easy to set up and is constructed from steel. It weighs just over 15kg but can be moved around with ease.

 

We like

  • Has wheels making it easy to move
  • A timeless traditional design
  • Easy to assemble
  • Easy to use
  • The price

We disike

  • It’s not made to be a premium bbq

Final Verdict

It’s exactly what it says on the tin, an easy to use barbecue with lots of space. Its simple design makes it so desirable, you can start hosting your parties with this product, charcoal and oil, get your guests to bring the food!

+ Specifications

  • Fuel Type: Charcoal Oil
  • Dimensions: H90 x W93 x D64cm.
  • Grill Dimensions: 35 x 71cm.
  • Weight: 15.06 kg

Dancook 7100 Charcoal Box BBQ

The cheapest barbecue of all the models we have reviewed, but that doesn’t take away from the power of this small appliance.

It is a lot sturdier than the photos suggest, with an anthracite enamel coating and added Teflon for easy cleaning and maintenance. The tray is heat-resistant and sturdy due to being coated with aluminium.

The grill can be placed on four different levels depending on what you’re cooking and how much heat the food requires. Vertical barbecuing is also possible if you purchase the extra spit and electric motor, available directly from Dancook.

Perfect if you after something which is great value for money and modestly sized, or want to kick off your barbecuing hobby.

We like

  • Compact
  • Budget-friendly
  • Simple to use

We disike

  • Only available in silver
  • No hood

Final Verdict

The best bet by far if you are short on space or want to go back to basics

+ Specifications

  • Fuel type: Charcoal
  • Dimensions: H79 x W65 x D32cm
  • Grill Dimensions: 50 x 25cm
  • Weight: 7.2kg

BBQ Buying Guide

Barbecues aren’t an appliance you will use all year round but, if anything, this makes them even more of an investment piece. You don’t want to be buying a new one every year, but you’ll want to be getting as much use of it as possible while the weather is suitable.

Different Types of Barbecue

The three main fuel types for BBQ’s are charcoal, gas and electric. The first two are the most common, as they can be placed anywhere in the garden as their fuel source is portable.

Charcoal barbecues are the most traditional, too, as they give you the classic BBQ experience with the smoke and stoking the fire. They come in two broad design types, kettle and smoker. Smaller than gas versions, they are therefore more portable. They do take longer to heat up, so require planning and preparation. Charcoal comes in two types, briquette and lumpwood. The former burns for longer, while the latter heats faster, and some barbecues may only work with one particular type.

Gas barbecues heat up a lot faster than charcoal, making them a lot more convenient, and they often have multiple burners so you can cook a variety of food all at once. They provide the option to control the temperature and power of the heaters, so you have full flexibility over the food you prepare. They’re a lot bulkier than their charcoal counterparts, and therefore less easy to move around your garden. Gas is also more expensive than charcoal. There is propane and butane gas available, and some BBQ’s only work with one type.

Electric barbecues aren’t as widely available as the other options but are the most revolutionary choice. Best suited to urban environments, they are flameless, so you don’t have to worry about being overcome with smoke while you’re trying to enjoy the last of the evening sun. Nor will you ever run out of fuel. Think of these as bringing your oven outside, as they often have LED lighting and are up to date with all the newest technology. There’s usually a price tag to suit this, though.

Grill Rack Types

Chrome and stainless-steel grilling racks in modern barbecues and steel is a lot easier to look after. Cast iron and porcelain-coated grill racks are in more expensive models and hold the heat better but are a lot harder to care for. Grill racks should always be cleaned straight after use once they have sufficiently cooled, as they will have burnt-on fat residue.

Which Brands Make the Best Barbecues?

Weber and Outback are the two biggest names in the barbecuing industry, and each has a wide range of appliances available. A lot of general appliance makers, such as those who specialise in ovens and cookers, have also branched into the barbecue industry over the past few years. Most large retailers who sell barbecues also have ranges.

FAQ’s

Which Size Barbecue Do I Need?

Charcoal barbecues are usually smaller than gas or electric, so best suited for a small family rather than frequent large gatherings. Every BBQ has a cooking area that is measured in cm², and the recommended size limitations are:

Up to 4 people – 1800cm²

Up to 6 people – 2000cm²

Up to 8 people – 2500cm²+

Think about how much space you have and where you would store the barbecue when not in use. Most are stored outside all year round or in a shed/garage if transportable enough to do so. If you only have a small outdoor area and no storage space, it isn’t ideal to purchase a large gas barbecue which will take up most of your garden.

How Expensive Are Gas and Charcoal?

Electric barbecues are the only type which requires a fuel source which you don’t have to go out and purchase.

Gas is more expensive than charcoal, and how much you spend on gas depends on how much you use it. There are also two types, propane and butane. A 13kg bottle will typically last for 15 cooking hours. Gas is also not as readily available as charcoal, so check there is somewhere accessible to you which sells it before investing in the appliance.

Charcoal is available in lumpwood and briquette. A large bag of around 8-10kg will cost about £12.

As with anything, all items depend on where you buy them, which size you buy and which make you choose.

Which Extras Do I Have to Buy?

For food safety, always buy a thermometer. Even if your barbecue features a thermostat, this only monitors the general temperature inside the appliance and not the temperature of your food.

If your barbecue is going to be stored away over winter months, especially if it is kept outside, you will need a cover. All have suitable ones available, and some even come with the correct cover included in the price.

Most barbecues will need regular cleaning to prevent grease build-up so you may need dedicated cleaning tools.

You may also choose to purchase a chimney if you have a charcoal BBQ, which will heat the coals up quicker and regulate temperature easier.

You will also probably want to purchase dedicated BBQ tongs and other safety products, such as oven mitts and drip trays (if they are necessary).