We’ve now had the first glimpse of balmy days, which means I am ready for summer – bring on the barbecue. Ready to get your outdoor cooking sorted?
From the decked out, built-in outdoor kitchens with pro-style appliances to the smaller movable solutions, what are the latest BBQs on the market?
But first, just imagine this scenario: one summer day, you and your closest friends barbecuing delicious food and enjoying cold drinks. Sounds perfect, right?
“Nothing represents a great British summer better than a good old barbecue, and many of us will be looking to enjoy the benefits of outdoor dining with the warmer weather soon approaching,” says Katie Holland, George Foreman’s marketing manager. And we’d have to agree!
“During a heatwave, cooking indoors can be an unpleasant experience as it increases your home’s temperature,” adds Katie. “We recommend embracing al fresco dining for a comfortable and enjoyable cooking experience. Cooking on a BBQ can also further enhance the taste of your food, adding a unique smoky flavour to your dishes.”
So, which BBQ is suitable for you and your garden? Let’s find out…
Outdoor kitchens with barbecues
An outdoor kitchen can be considered a big luxury, especially in the UK. As it can take several months to install, this is the right time to get started if you want to enjoy cooking outdoors. “When creating an outdoor kitchen, it’s essential to consider the key items that will make the space functional and organised, whilst still maintaining a stylish feel,” recommends Reilly Gray, co-founder at Suns Lifestyle.
“The first key consideration is storage. As outdoor kitchens are generally exposed to the elements, you need to ensure you have enough storage to keep utensils, cooking supplies, and equipment dry and protected. Opt for cabinetry made from high-quality materials that are weatherproof such as stainless steel, enamelled steel and weather-resistant FSC-certified premium timber.
“Think about the configuration you want, too. Are you looking for a kitchen that features a grill, work surfaces, and storage? Or do you want to go the extra mile with a sink and fridge included, and other elements such as a pizza oven or an outdoor stove top? These decisions will affect the functionality of your kitchen, so make sure to include everything you need. For an all-season kitchen, consider placing it under a louvred pergola,” he explains.
For more advice on creating an outdoor kitchen, click here and check out our complete guide.
The firepit-barbecue combo uses the aesthetic of a firepit while giving you the functionality of a BBQ. The idea is that the fire is in the middle, heating up the metal around the outside, so it can then be used for cooking. You can also fry your favourites directly over the flames – think mouth-watering s’mores. But make sure to check each brand to see how far away from the furniture you need to place your firepit.
For those who have never heard of this invention (no judging here!), Chris Baines, managing director of Eurostove, gives us the lowdown: “What’s great about the firepit is that you can cook directly on the griddle and grill, as it’s finished in a protective, durable food-grade enamel coating, which provides a safe and hygienic cooking surface. Cast iron offers outstanding heat retention so it’s perfect for browning meat and sealing in goodness. What’s more, although the fire doesn’t directly touch the food, the aroma of the wood fuel adds a delicate flavour to your meal.”
The more traditional option for the UK is the freestanding barbecue – due to our temperamental weather, many of us cannot commit to a complete outdoor kitchen. As a result, most of our BBQs are last-minute flurries, the second we see some clear blue skies.
Whether you need a compact solution for a small garden or want something a bit different, like an egg-shaped barbecue, there are plenty of freestanding models available. And for king of the BBQ – typically someone’s dad – who may desire a more professional setup, there are lots of options, too.
Scroll down to pick your favourite…