As the warmer months of the year roll around for residents of the UK, more and more people continue to flock to the shops in search of barbecues. They go there with money in hand and not a clue what to buy; all they know is that they have a budget and they want a barbecue – sound familiar? If so, we can help you and best of all, you don’t even have to step out of the house!
There comes a time in everyone’s life where a barbecue is required; whether it’s for a party, celebration or simply because there’s a bit of sun (which is technically celebrated in the UK, due to the rarity). Basically, you’ll need one at some point, it’s pretty much inevitable.
A Barbecue to Suit EVERY Budget
Of course, there are different sorts of people when it comes to buying barbecues and there’s a good chance you’ll be able to relate to one of these groups. First of all we have the ‘disposable’ BBQ group, commonly associated with a group of youngsters camping in a field and having a good time. Secondly, we have the ‘yearly’ group that purchase a fairly cheap barbecue just to see them through the year. Last but not least, there’s the ‘big spender’ group, also known as ‘investors’ who buy a barbecue that will stand the test of time and be used for many years to come.
If you’ve purchased a barbecue in the past, you’ll probably relate to one of these groups. But before you go off and buy another (and for those who have never purchased one before), have a quick read of our buying guide below. We’ve put together a selection of barbecues ordered by budget; so you can quickly assess what you can afford and if it meets your requirements – simple, huh?
A Budget-Based Guide to Buying Barbecues
A barbecue budget can range from as little as £10 all the way to several hundred pound if you’re after something top-end. As such, we’ve tried to pull out the main pricing-categories that people will likely be in and provide a list of products that you can expect to buy in the designated price range
Please note that none of these prices include consumables such as charcoal, gas, food or any other accessories you associate with grilling. The prices are for the barbecues only and are accurate as of April 2013 (therefore, if you’re reading this in 2020, prices might have changed just a little bit… barbecuing might even be extinct – crazy, right?)
Barbecues Under £20
Whilst limiting yourself to less than £20 for a barbecue isn’t going to provide you top-end models, it will certainly be a surprise when you see what’s available…
Kingfisher Basic BBQ 14” – Potentially one of the simplest BBQ’s that money can buy, but it does what it needs to and it will certainly leave you with a good bit of cash leftover for some decent meat! This little tripod barby comes with a removable grill and as it weighs just 1kg, it’s pretty ideal to move around wherever you want. You and your mates fancy a BBQ in a field, this is the one for you (just make sure you clear up after yourselves).
Kingfisher Portable Barrel BBQ – Made from stainless steel this barrel BBQ represents great value for money. With added side-handles to make this a portable purchase along with all the fittings & grills, this is certainly a contender for the under £20 category. The only downside is that it looks pretty low-set to the ground and may cause some back problems if you’re hunched over it for hours; of course that’s just a word of caution from an oldie.
Bar-Be-Quick Kettle Barbecue 17” – This is without doubt the pick of the bunch for the sub-£20 category. It has a generous 17 inch grill which should be enough to accommodate a fair few burgers and sausages; it might even have room for a bit of steak, which is always good. On top of this there are also 4 leg stands for ultimate sturdiness and even a pair of wheels to aid you in moving this beauty around your patio. This is certainly a good BBQ for the price – in fact, I’m willing to bet nobody will be disappointed with this for less than £20.
Barbecues: £20 – £50
Upping your budget from the under £20 range will open you up to a few more barbecues as well as some other grills you might not have considered. You’ll likely find barbecues of better quality or bigger sizes in this category; so pick carefully and keep your requirements in mind.
Landmann Charcoal Wagon BBQ – Landmann is an extremely well known name in the BBQ market and as such this product represents great value for money. The BBQ is intuitively designed to with useful storage areas to the side and underneath for ingredients, seasoning and plating up. As well as this, there’s even a wind deflector (shield) to protect your precious flames and food from harsh gusts, which is pretty common in the UK. To top it all off, it’s easy to move around due to wheels (just don’t move it around when you’re cooking stuff, it never ends well).
Bar-Be-Quick Kittle Barbecue 22” – This is the big brother of the Bar-Be-Quick 17” mentioned in the category below this. As you might have guessed, it retains the same features as its smaller sibling (4-legs for sturdiness, wheels for easier manoeuvrability plus and a catch tray), but comes with a grilling area that is 5 inches larger. As such, this is the better buy if you’ll be cooking a lot of food at once; however, if you’re only planning on grilling a couple of burgers and sausages, the smaller one might be just as efficient.
La Hacienda Firebasket & Grill – Not your conventional barbecue by any means, but this fire basket with combined grill offers both a cooking platform and a source of heat for those chilly nights outside. Not only do you get to see the gorgeous flames rise up the basket, but you can also put them to use by slapping a bit of food on the top and with a cooking area of over 15” it should be enough for a few burgers.
Built-In Barbecues – The two selections here are from Landmann and Bar-Be-Quick and both offer a built-in grilling solution. Essentially they are DIY barbecue solutions, ideal if you’re putting up a wall and want to make the most of space on the patio. One comes with the standard grilling equipment whilst the more expensive model has an additional ‘oven’ which can be used in conjunction whilst grilling on the main grid above.
Barbecues: £50 – £100
Moving your budget up to this range really opens your options up and gives you the choice of gas and charcoal grilling which the previous budgets would not allow (or if you could find one, the quality would certainly be questionable). As such, this is one of the most popular spending categories, so it’s worth taking a bit of time to research this area if this is your budget.
La Hacienda Chiminea / BBQ Grill – La Hacienda specialise in outdoor heating solutions and this stunning looking chiminea has a removable top which reveals a cooking grill. This is a 2-in-1 product that can provide heat outdoors whilst also doubling as a char-griller when you or your guests get a bit peckish.
Cadac Safari Chef 30cm – The CADAC is one of the most popular of the bunch due to the portability and grilling options it offers the user. Weighing in at just 4kg, it’s arguably the best camping BBQ of all time since it even comes with a convenient carry bag and a decent sized grilling area. If this isn’t enough, the Safari Chef comes with a variety of (easily) interchangeable cooking surfaces to suit whatever food you have available.
Outback Omega 150 Gas BBQ – This is the entry level gas barbecue from Outback, but by no means does that mean quality is sacrificed. The BBQ includes a dual control burner which heats the generously sized 50x36cm grill and to ensure even cooking throughout the food a lid/hood is also provided. Usability has also been thought of with the addition of a side shelf and wheels for portability. Considering this currently comes with a free cover & regulator, it’s a bargain!
Landmann 2-Burner Gas Barbecue – Landmann also have put out an entry level gas barbecue with 2-burners and it is definitely one of the best buys in this category. The feature list on this piece of equipment is truly impressive; 2 adjustable burners, 2 side-trays, a bottom catch-all tray and wheels for portability. That’s not it, there’s also a viewing window on the lid to check how your food is doing without even opening it – pretty neat!
Brinkmann Barrel Charcoal BBQ / Smoker – This Brinkmann BBQ combines the features of a traditional charcoal barby and a food smoker into one; thus allowing food to be smoked, cooked slowly or grilled like regular. The main cooking area is extremely generous in size, measuring 47 x 41cm and the additional warming rack is just half the width of the main area. Adjustable vents and grates allow for greater control over heating and air-flow to ensure food is cooked exactly how you want. On top of this, there’s also a good amount of storage area underneath and large wheels to assist you in moving it; overall, an extremely good buy for any patio.