How to pick the best BBQ: From Weber to Napoleon and George Foreman

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Fresh vegetables grilling on barbecue for social gathering, healthy living, vegetarian, fresh
Get your hands on the best BBQ before summer. Credit: Getty Images

As the weather heats up, our minds are turning to cooking and eating outside. 

As much of the country is still aware of COVID restrictions, cooking and eating outside is one of the best ways to socialise. 

Here's how to get the best barbecue bang for your buck:

Gas barbecues

Gas barbecues are the most popular form of BBQ in Australia. They have an instant heat source and adjustable temperatures, making them really easy to use. 

If you're installing an outdoor kitchen then you could have natural gas plumbed in, otherwise LPG (liquid propane gas) is the way to go. 

All you need to do is attach the gas bottle to the supplied hose, and you're off. Remember to be careful if you're using a gas barbecue. 

Never store more than one gas bottle in the same place, and don't ever keep gas indoors. Don't use gas in an enclosed space, and be careful if you're cooking on a gas barbecue when you're camping.

The Napoleon Rogue, $1049, is a good all-rounder, and their whole range rates well in reviews. This one come with a trolley on wheels, a roasting hood, a built-in thermometer, removable drop tray and a warming rack. It also has a folding prep area, so you can make it more streamlined when you need to. 

Napoleon Rogue, $1049
Napoleon Rogue, $1049. Credit: Appliances Online

The Weber Baby Q, $339, is perfect for small spaces, whether it's on a balcony, in a small garden, or when you go away camping. It has porcelain enamelled cast iron grills, a removable drip tray, and an ignition button. It also has a range of accessories you can add to it, such as a pizza stone, a roasting tray and a frypan.

Weber Baby Q, $339,
Weber Baby Q, $339. Credit: Weber

Charcoal barbecues

Cooking on charcoal can require a bit of patience - and practice - but if you want to persevere, then food tastes great cooked on them. 

They're more effort to use than a gas barbecue, and it can be expensive to buy charcoal. They produce a lot of smoke, and can drip a lot of fat - but some people say they give by far the best flavour. 

The Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Barbecue, $169, is a portable kettle barbecue. It's big enough to roast a whole chicken or leg of lamb, and can be easily moved around if you're going away. There's a lock on the lid, a removable ash catcher, and a heat shield on the handle.

Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Barbecue, $169

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Electric Barbecues

Electric BBQs need a power outlet close by, but can be compact and easy to move. 

They're good for small balconies, and powered camp sites. It means you'll never run out of fuel if you use these - although some people feel the food doesn't quite have the same barbecued taste. 

To get one that works well, make sure you choose a model with a solid chargrill plate that can get to a temperature of around 300degrees.

The George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Electric BBQ with Grill, $149, is perfect if you live in small apartment where you can't store a gas bottle. It has non-stick coating on the dishwasher-safe grill. The dome lid makes it big enough to cook a roast, and there's a built in thermometer too. Because the grill is detachable, you can also put it on your kitchen bench. 

George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Electric BBQ with Grill, $149

The Weber Pulse 1000 Barbecue, $599, combines smart technology with digital performance. It has an electronic temperature control, integrated technology to use with the Weber app, and cast iron cooking grills. 

Weber Pulse 1000 Barbecue, $599,

Pellet Smokers

These are all the rage at the moment, but pretty expensive to buy. 

They use hardwood pellets as fuel, which means your food is infused with a delicious smoky flavour. 

The pellets are put in a hopper and fed through in to the fire box. Then, all you have to do is close the hood, and the barbecue cooks your food. Lots of these are connected to Wi-Fi so you can control the temperature via an app. 

Once you've got the hang of it, they are easy to use, however the pellets can be pricey. 

The Weber SmokeFire Wood Fired Pellet Barbecue, $1999, isn't cheap, but delivers the best wood fired flavour you could ask for. It's great for ribs and pulled pork, sears meats as well as smokes, and is designed to distribute even heat across the cooking area. 

Weber SmokeFire Wood Fired Pellet Barbecue, $1999,

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