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The Ultimate BBQ Buyer’s Guide: Picking the Perfect Grill for Your Summer Feasts

Whether you’re a die-hard BBQ enthusiast, a summer griller, or someone just getting into the world of outdoor cooking, choosing the right BBQ can make all the difference. With a smorgasbord of features, styles, and price ranges available, the task can seem as daunting as a 2kg brisket. Fear not, as we’ve chargrilled the competition to serve you up with the ultimate BBQ buyer’s guide.

Getting the Grills Straight: Types of BBQs

Before you throw another shrimp on the ‘barbie,’ it’s crucial to understand the different types of grills and their core features.

Charcoal Grills: For the Purists

Charcoal grills are the darlings of pitmasters who swear by the flavour that only charcoal can impart. They require a little patience and a gentle hand to manage the temperature, making the act of grilling a craft. The resulting smoky and slightly charred taste is something propane just can’t replicate.


Superior flavour

High-temperature grilling for excellent sears

Inexpensive fuel source


Longer preheating times

More skill required for temperature control

Clean-up can be more involved

Gas Grills: The Convenient Champs

Gas grills define convenience. With the flick of a switch, your grill is ready to cook, no messy charcoal or waiting required. They’re perfect for the quick weekend BBQ in your backyard.


Quick, controllable heat

Easy to use and maintain

Versatile for various cooking styles


Less smoky flavour

More expensive to operate than charcoal

High initial purchase cost

Pellet Grills: The Best of Both Worlds

Pellets are the Goldilocks of grilling—combining the convenience of gas with the flavour of charcoal. These grills use wood pellets as a fuel source, offering a consistent, wood-smoked taste without the guesswork of traditional charcoal grills.


Versatile temperature control

Distinct wood-smoked flavours

Some models can be controlled via smartphone apps


Generally more expensive than gas or charcoal grills

Can be bulkier and heavier

May require more maintenance due to the automated features

Electric Grills: The Urbanite’s Answer

Electric grills are perfect for city dwellers with limited outdoor space. They’re also incredibly easy to use and maintain, making them a go-to for those who prefer a more straightforward grilling experience.


Quick start-up

Consistent temperature control

No fuel required other than electricity


Limited flavour compared to other grill types

Your cooking area is tied to an electric outlet

Not suitable for thick cuts of meat that benefit from a smokier profile

Sizing Up Your BBQ Needs

Size matters, especially when it comes to buying a BBQ. Consider the following factors to ensure you land the right grill for your space and needs.

How Much Space Do You Have?

Before browsing any grills, measure your space. Account for the BBQ’s footprint, clearance on all sides for safety, and the path you’ll use to get the grill where it needs to go.

Family Size and Grilling Frequency

If you’re regularly cooking for a large group or have a big family, you’ll need a larger grill to keep up with the demand. Conversely, smaller gatherings and less frequent grilling suggest a more modest-sized grill.

Storage and Mobility

Will you need to store the grill in a garage or shed? Or are you looking for a more mobile option like a compact wood pellet grill that can be easily rolled into place?

The ‘Extras’ Space

Don’t forget to consider the space for all the extra grilling gear you’ll need, from tools to fuel.

BBQ Features

With grill types and sizes under your belt, it’s time to check out the bells and whistles that could be sizzling when you shop for your BBQ.

Material Matters

Consider the material of the grill and its resistance to rust and warping. Stainless steel is a popular choice for its durability and heat retention, while cast iron may require more care but can provide excellent searing capabilities.

Cooktop Configuration

Chances are, you’ll cook more than one item at a time. Multi-level cooking surfaces can help maintain proper cooking temperatures for different foods without any flavour transference.

Warming Racks and Side Burners

Having a warming rack on the grill is great for keeping sides warm while you finish up the main course. Side burners can be handy for simmering sauces without going back and forth to your indoor kitchen.

Ignition Systems

The type of ignition can affect the grill’s start-up time and convenience. Piezo-electric ignitions are common and dependable, while more advanced grills might feature hot surface or electronic ignitions for a one-touch start.

Temperature Gauges

Accurate temperature monitoring is essential for successful grilling. Check the visibility and location of the temperature gauge on any grill you’re considering.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Nobody enjoys cleaning up after a BBQ, but some grills make it easier with removable grates, trays, and even self-cleaning systems.

Brand Reputation and Warranty

Lastly, keep an eye out for brands with a strong reputation for quality grills. A good warranty is also crucial as it provides peace of mind should any issues arise.

Making the Purchase

Ready to take the plunge? Here’s a quick checklist before you roll that grill out of the store.

Compare Prices and Models

Shop around and read reviews. Sometimes a slightly more expensive model is worth the investment if it means better quality and features.

Ask About Assembly

Some stores offer assembly services. Ask about this, especially for larger or more complex grills.

Grill Accessories

See what accessories the store offers. Sometimes, purchasing a grill package with additional tools and equipment can save you money.

Sizzle with the Right Selection

Selecting the perfect BBQ is an enjoyable task when armed with the right information. With this guide, you’re now equipped to make an informed decision that will have you grilling up a storm this summer and for many to come. Whether you opt for the smoky allure of charcoal, the convenience of gas, or the versatility of pellets, remember, the best BBQ is the one that fits your lifestyle and preferences. Happy Grilling!

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