Barbecues come in all shapes and sizes, from portable sizzlers and charcoal smokers to six-burner, gas-powered grills. Our expert guide will help you on your way to picking the perfect barbecue that suits your needs, preferences and budget.
To choose the best barbecue for you, it’s worth taking time to think through what you'll be cooking, where, how often and who for. That way you can pick one that's the right size and has all the features you need to fit your style of cooking and entertaining.
Watch our video, below, for our expert tips on how to choose the best barbecue for your needs and budget.
Depending on the style of barbecue you like to have, the time you’re willing to spend and the features you need to ensure your food is cooked the way you like, the type of barbecue you go for is a big decision.
Choosing between gas and charcoal can be tricky, as barbecue traditionalists and those keen to make the most of technology will weigh up the pros and cons of both types very differently – but there are even more barbecue types to choose from than just those two.
Kamados and smokers are also popular choices for barbecue enthusiasts, and electric barbecues could be the choice for you if you don't like messing with fuel, or are short on space.
We do not test disposable barbecues in any shape or form as they are potential fire hazards and also cannot be reused, meaning they are not an environmentally friendly option. We do, however, test portable models that are perfect for taking camping and on other outings as they can be used multiple times, so they're therefore a far more sustainable choice.
There’s a lot more to barbecuing than just grilling. Some models can fry, sauté, boil, bake and roast a whole range of food.
Our barbecue reviews list all the handy features each barbecue has, so you can make sure you have everything you need from the grill you buy. They include:
It’s easy to just daydream of your grill shining in all its glory out on the patio, but before you buy one you’ll need to consider how you plan to move and store it away.
Large barbecues are especially heavy and difficult to move, and some of those we’ve tested have weighed as much as 67kg. If you’re happy to buy a cover for your barbecue and leave it out all year, it’s not so much of an issue, but if you need to store it away in the shed after each use, here are some things to bear in mind:
Some barbecues have collapsible parts and carry handles that help with transportation. Our take these elements into account and rate how manoeuvrable each barbecue is over a specially designed obstacle course.
This all depends on how much you can afford and how durable you want your barbecue to be. Barbecues vary widely in price: disposable grills cost a few pounds, while the priciest multi-grilled outdoor kitchens can set you back thousands.
You’ll often see cheaper barbecues that have some of the features of more expensive ones, but many compromise on build quality. A cheap barbecue will still be a waste of money if the features are shoddily made, as they won't last long and won’t give you the results you want.
Most barbecues we test are around the £300 to £350 mark, but a Best Buy is likely to cost just over £400 on average. As a rule, we find that if you spend more on a barbecue, you can expect to see features such as:
Of course these aren't hard-and-fast rules, and spending more on a barbecue won't necessarily guarantee you better performance. In fact, we've tested a handful of Best Buy models costing under £200, so there's no need to splash out unless you really want to.
For a general guide as to how much you should expect to pay for a good barbecue, check out the table below. It lists the average scores of the barbecues we’ve tested in various price ranges: