Summer means outdoor dining and that means barbecues. With a bit of research, you’ll find the best barbecue for your backyard to help you achieve summer style you’ll love.
Budget is the basis for many people’s BBQ preferences and the good news is that you can find a barbecue to suit. If you’re planning a bigger backyard makeover, though, you can design a stunning outdoor entertaining area – complete with a built-in barbecue to last a lifetime. Not sure you have the funds available right now? If you own your own home, you can refinance for renovation to give you access to the money you need to turn your home into a fantastic summer hub for food, family, friends and fun – and add value to your property too.
Choosing A Barbecue That’s Best For You
Barbecues are such a personal thing. People swear by their smokers, their flame-grilled beauties, or their hot plate models.
What’s the best one for your average Australian backyard?
It really depends on your available budget. And how much you are willing to spend on your outdoor cooking tools depends on how much you are likely to use it, what types of foods you enjoy cooking the most, and how many people you need to cook for regularly.
If you’re renting, you’ll be looking at models that are portable – perfect for moving around your back yard and something you can move on with to your next rental property adventure. Home-owners who are there to stay for a while, though, have other options available – including the luxury of a built-in barbecue that, bought wisely, may add style to your outdoor entertaining area, as well as extra value to your home.
Types of BBQs
1. Gas BBQ
The most popular backyard barbie? Gas. This type of BBQ can run on bottled or natural gas from your utility supplier.
Best for? Chefs in a hurry! Want to fire up quickly and cook without the hassle of charcoal? Then this might be the BBQ for you.
Cons: Price (expensive) and flavour (not smoky). Some gas grills do have small smoker boxes, but the smoke flavour will be delivered with a hint, rather than a punch. Smoky meat can’t be achieved without a charcoal grill. It’s like the convenience of cooking inside – but outdoors.
Stainless steel is best but even painted aluminium can last – and if you cover it and protect it, it will last longer, rust-free.
High-quality iron grates are good but remember they need to be removed and cleaned by hand. For the ultimate grilling surface, look for stainless steel bars that are durable. You’ll be able to keep them clean with a wire brush and they make great grill marks for that fresh BBQ look.
Price: Can range from low in cost up to $1000 of dollars, depending on quality and size.
2. Charcoal BBQ
The fuel for cooking in these BBQs is charcoal briquettes – something more time-consuming and expensive to cook with but something that adds a unique BBQ flavour. Charcoal made from natural wood gives the best flavour. Because charcoal burns at a higher temperature, skilled BBQ chefs can sear meat and then cook slowly – for maximum flavour and tenderness. For purist BBQ fanatics, it’s the only way to cook.
Cons: Cooking this way takes extra time – and extra expense.
Lighting coals and heating the BBQ can require as long as 45 minutes – plus cleaning takes extra time and care to dispose of the ashes. The charcoal itself is also more expensive than gas.
The classic charcoal grill is the kettle-style grill, original designed by Weber. These days, the Weber range is huge and many others have copied the design to offer a variety of charcoal grills on the market. Just be aware that you do get what you pay for and the difference between expensive and cheaper barbecues is most likely lifespan – with many cheaper models faster to rust and fall apart, when compared with the sturdier models on offer.
Barrel-shaped charcoal grills are also good to cook with. Many of the horizontal barrel grills have the added benefit of an adjustable charcoal tray that can be moved to control the intensity of the heat close to the food – something kettle grills don’t offer.
Steel-plated or porcelain-coated steel bars are standard for charcoal grills. You get the look of grill marks and they can be kept clean with a wire brush.
Stainless steel bars are always best but can be hard to find in charcoal BBQs.
Price: Charcoal grill BBQs can range from under $100 or a couple of thousand dollars, typically.
3. Electric Grills
Heated grill plates powered by electricity cook the food – something you can use inside or out for smoke-less, clean cooking. Strictly speaking, it’s not a BBQ but can be ideal for anyone in a small apartment who just wants the feeling of cooking outside on their balcony.
If your property has issues around fire restrictions, then an electric grill BBQ might be best for you.
Cons: Flavour. Sure, that electric grill can produce results that look similar to flame-style BBQs but the reality is that the flavour is far from it.
If smoky BBQ flavour is your favourite, this is not the BBQ you’ll crave.
Price: Depending on the model and size, you can pick up electric grills from between $100 – $500.
4. Portable BBQ
These BBQs are powered by gas or charcoal. The one common thing? They are portable – perfect for people in rental homes, or anyone who loves camping and taking their barbecue on holidays.
Portable BBQs come in all shapes and sizes – the choice is yours, based on how many you need to cook for and how much room you have to house it/transport it.
Disadvantages: Size. Although there are different sizes available – they usually aren’t large enough to cook for a crowd. Think about how many people you need to cook for regularly and make sure you get one that can accommodate that without having to keep food warm, while you cook a second round.
Price: Shop around and you might be able to find one for as little as $30 – or splurge a bit and spend up to a few hundred dollars..
Comparing BBQs? The Choice Is Yours…
In October 2016, Choice magazine released a very helpful guide to some of the best barbecues on the market currently, as well as some tips about which ones might be best avoided.
The article compares named brands based on cost and performance and is a must-read for anyone keen to make an investment in outdoor summer cooking.
You can read more here:
Here’s to a happy summer cooking season – and many more barbecues to come.
If you need advice for a personal loan, home loan, business or commercial loan, self-managed super fund loan, or an investment home loan, speak to a broker at Lending Specialists. We have a wealth of experience under our belt and a robust network to connect you to the right industry professional for the loan you need.