Every year with the arrival of the warm season the Barbecue mania starts: anyone who has a large terrace, or even a beautiful garden, cannot give up the temptation to prepare a tasty barbecue, to be eaten in company with friends or relatives.
The barbecue then is a fundamental piece of furniture to be able to fully enjoy their own external spacesi, but on the market it is possible to find different types of them, which are distinguished from each other by the type of cooking that distinguishes them and therefore you can have gas, electric, wood or charcoal barbecues; or depending on the type of structure it distinguishes them and we find fixed, mobile, or even portable barbecues.
So let’s try to understand together how to find your way in choosing the type and model of barbecue that best do for you, giving a quick look at the best performing products in each category, so that you can get some ideas to guide you in the best purchase.
Table of Contents
- The right barbecue for me: how to choose
- Types of barbecues: advantages and disadvantages
- – The best electric barbecue
- – The best gas barbecue
- – The best American barbecue
- – The best charcoal / wood barbecue
The right barbecue for me: how to choose
Certainly, the moment you are about to buy a barbecue, the first thing you need to evaluate is the type of use you think you want to do. In fact, one thing is if you plan to use it sporadically, perhaps to use it once or twice a year, only in the summer, to grill some steak and sausages in company, but quite another thing is if for you the barbecue, especially in spring and summer, it is an almost weekly and essential rite.
Important then from to understand is if you are used to, at most, invite to consume prepared foods a couple of friends, or if you need a large cooking space, almost like a real outdoor kitchen, because adore setting up long tables, with a lot of people. Not to mention that it is good to come to terms with your own skill as a stoker: if you are completely denied, perhaps better an electric barbecue, definitely easier to manage!
Obviously there is no better type of barbecue than another: everything depends on own needs e, never like this, come on your tastes, because for example if you love that typical embers taste you certainly can’t avoid buying a charcoal or wood burning barbecue, because an electric one would leave you completely dissatisfied!
Before you start looking around you will be well advised if you want an outdoor and fixed barbecue station, rather than a mobile one, maybe to be used in the garden or on the terrace depending on the occasion and if you want to be able to use your barbecue even indoors or in any case indoors.
The market today it is capable of offer different types of barbecues, but it’s good to know what you’re looking for from the start to avoid wasting time in evaluating products that ultimately are not what can really do for you.
If you decide to opt for a fixed barbecue, for example, it is essential to find a suitable place for it, in a sheltered place protected from weather conditions; otherwise if you cannot have a garden, it is better to opt for a portable model, maybe an electric one, to be used also inside the house or in charcoal, if you plan to take it to the park for a picnic with friends!
Do you have a garden or a large terrace, but do you feel like having a barbecue? Do not despair, it is not necessary to move.
There are also barbecues, to be applied directly on the balcony railing, so that everyone can enjoy a barbecue; of course always with an eye on the neighbors, please, maybe invite them to dinner may be the right way to make sure they don’t complain about smoking!
So let’s try to analyze together, very briefly, what are the possibilities in terms of barbecues, so that you can make a decision as conscious as possible.
Types of barbecues: advantages and disadvantages
Choose the barbecue according to the type of installation desired
According to this classification, that is based on the type of installation that characterizes them there are three different types of barbecue: those fixed, usually made of masonry, those furnishings, which are mounted on resealable stands or are equipped with wheels and those portable, which once closed have such small dimensions that they can easily be transported from one place to another.
Let’s quickly analyze the differences between one type and another.
When we talk about fixed barbecues we normally intend to refer to classic masonry barbecues, which may have the typical little house shape, but also very shapes more alternatives, depending on the imagination of the manufacturer and that of his client and can be positioned both in the garden and on balconies or terraces.
If they are already made of them, they must only be installed, or at least partially assembled, or they can be built precisely, or on a precise design drawing. In addition to masonry, these barbecues can also be made of brushed steel, expanded clay, cement, or stone.
Generally these barbecues they are powered by wood or charcoal, but in some cases they can also be electric or gas, or in some situations it is possible that they combine electricity, useful for some specific functions, with another of the two most classic types of cooking, so as to reserve the possibility of making different preparations.
The hobs in these barbecue models are quite large and placed at a height that is considered more comfortable; these are objects destined to last very long and that do not require special maintenance. With these barbecues it is usually possible to carry out practically any type of cooking is desired, all you need is the ad hoc accessory.
The mobile barbecues
The mobile barbecues they can be of different types: charcoal, gas or electric; what unites them all is the possibility of being easily moved from one place to another: for example from the terrace to the garden or even inside the house!
Obviously if they are electric you need to place them where you have a power socket, for gas ones, transport to a place other than the house is much more difficult, while those in charcoal are certainly the most well-versed ones.
As far as size and shapes are concerned, you can really find barbecues of all types: extra-large or super-compact; round, rectangular, semicircular, elliptical, etc … There is really no embarrassment of choice!
There are some among the mobile barbecues particularly compact, defined as portable, precisely because they can be brought to their place anywhere, so much so that in some cases they are even equipped with a special case which facilitates transport.
In this case we are dealing with charcoal or electric barbecue, the former however are decidedly more widespread than the latter since they have the constraint of needing a power outlet always at hand, so for example they are not suitable for a barbecue at the park!
Choose the barbecue according to the type of feed
It’s possible However choose the barbecue also according to how it is fed and consequently of the accessories with which it is equipped.
It’s easy to say barbecue, but with it you can cook in many different ways, depending on the type of barbecue that we use, but also according to the accessories it is equipped with and that from time to time we decide to use.
You can therefore cook to the plate, with the help of a shelf placed above the embers; grilled, using just a special grilled instrumentation that can be made in cast iron or in stainless steel; to losa, or by placing the dishes directly on a stone slab heated by the embers; on the spit, if your barbecue is equipped with a rotisserie; with oven effect, using a lid that uses the heat of the barbecue to create a homogeneous cooking inside; or again American, with a barbecue also equipped with a smoker. It all depends on what you want to cook, how you want to do it and what barbecue you have and what accessories you have.
So let’s quickly analyze the various types of barbecues based on the type of feed that distinguishes them.
Charcoal or wood burning barbecue
The ultimate barbecue is charcoal or wood burning: with it grilled foods take that unmistakable and characteristic flavor of the embers, since the live fire actually burns the food being cooked.
An undoubted disadvantage should be noted in the fact that barbecues of this type they can only be used outdoors, as they produce a lot of smoke; Moreover turning them on is a rather complex operation, which takes time and a certain experience and skill: difficult to improvise stokers!
To start cooking it is necessary to wait for the embers to form and if wood is used to feed the barbecue, it must be borne in mind that the wood must always be dry and seasoned, so that it catches fire more easily, and that to light it you must wait for the moment right and sometimes you need to wait a long time.
Very important in these cases also the wood you choose: the ideal, if possible, would be to prefer hardwoods such as beech, olive, oak or fruit trees, since they burn slowly, so in addition to saving fuel, they reduce the time needed for managing the fire, while they are avoid resinous woods like pine and fir, which tend to generate annoying fumes.
Not to mention that the wood can also be used to give the meat a special aroma during cooking; for example it is not unusual to burn small cherry wood sticks, which can give a particular taste to the meat.
Self However the charcoal is used, which is sold already beautiful and ready, you will still get good results but with a much greater practicality and speed in ignition and cooking.
The direct cooking on flame is the most common with this type of barbecue, which however can also cook indirectly, thanks to some models equipped with a lid, which allow you to exploit the heat of the embers with the oven effect.
The gas barbecues, as the name suggests, are powered by a rechargeable gas cylinder, that is positioned below the hob. The heat emanated it is quite strong, but, just like the fires of the plan of the kitchen of home, it is can adjust it.
With this type of barbecue, depending on the accessories you have, it is possible to realize different types of cooking: grilled, grilled or with a naked flame; the greatest advantage, however, is that the gas barbecue is revealed very practical and quick to turn on: his grill is ready in just a quarter of an hour.
Some models are also equipped with a side fire to be used to cook other foods simultaneously inside a saucepan.
Compared to charcoal, the disadvantage of these types of barbecues lies in the fact that gas is much more expensive to buy; Moreover the system needs maintenance annual and it is advisable to always have a spare cylinder and check that the one you are using is not going to remain empty.
When dealing with gas there is always the danger of explosiontherefore it is necessary to always pay close attention and even gas barbecues would be advisable to use them only outside.
The electric barbecue is certainly the most practical of all the models analyzed so far: just an electrical outlet or a generator and you’re done!
Not to mention that times, necessary both to heat the grill and to cook, they are reduced to a minimum, that it is possible to adjust the cooking power, but above all that it is a barbecue that you can safely use it even at home, or in closed environments, thanks to the presence of particular systems that prevent the formation of fumes and fats.
On the other hand, however, the fact that i consumption of energy they are quite high and the flavor of the food will never match that of a classic charcoal barbecue, on the other hand the flame here is not there, it leaves in place a grid heated by a coil.
To safely use this type of barbecue, it is important to always remember to use suitable power outlets and extensions, taking care not to overload the domestic electrical system.
The American barbecue, as can be seen from the name it is actually above all a cooking method originating in the United States of America, where the meat cooked in this way is a real Sunday ritual, an art that has been handed down from generation to generation and dates back to the early 1900s.
In this case wood is used for cooking, but the fundamental difference between a barbecue as we understand it Italians and one instead in pure American style is that with the latter i foods, moreover put to cook whole or in very large pieces, they are separated from fire and smoke and cooking takes place very slowly, so much to be able need several hours, but the meat at the end of the operation it will be very tasty and cooked very homogeneously, while in the local grill often they find burnt pieces and others maybe still raw.
For this reason the American barbecue is definitely healthier than ours, because we will not find carbonized foods that contain toxic substances, which in the long run can have a carcinogenic effect.
Obviously if you already find it boring and tiring to be in front of the barbecue that half hour necessary to grill some steak and sausage certainly the American method is not the one for you, but if on the contrary you think that a barbecue is an art and a pleasure , a convivial moment to share with family or friends, then be able to think of it, taking into account very long cooking times!
To prepare an American barbecue, you can use a wood-fired barbecue, equipped with a grill and a medium size; the meat should be placed in special trays which are then placed on the grill, normally interposing also a plate or a pan, so as to completely separate the meat from the fire.
The embers that are formed must be gradually, always shifted laterally with respect to the grid because the fire must burn laterally and the smoke should not be mixed with the food to leave the flavor unaltered, but at the same time rising, smokes them, flavoring them and giving them a very tasty and particular taste, also thanks to the use of particular wood essences. So much so that, often, this type of barbecue is also called barbecue with smoker or smoker.
In reality, in practice, it is only a question of having a wood-burning barbecue with a divided compartment: on the one hand you will find wood for smoking and on the other hand you will have meat.
Both Americans and Germans, both peoples who are very fond of this type of cooking over the years, have engaged in the production of barbecues with integrated smoker, so today it is not impossible to have in one go both a great barbecue and a great smoker. .
The best Garden BBQs: Our ranking
– The best electric barbecue
* Severin PG 2792 – 2500W
This Severin electric barbecue, from 2500 Watts of power, is sold at a great price and has a fairly large cooking grill, chrome-plated and adjustable in height on two different positions, therefore it will allow you, without any problem, to prepare barbecues even for several people!
The grille and the resistance are removable to ensure easier cleaning, there is a safety microswitch, a control light, a thermostat to regulate the temperature and the heating elements turn off automatically if they are removed; thanks to the presence of a fat collection tray, where water can be inserted, you can grill anywhere reducing the presence of smoke and bad smells.
The body of the barbecue is in black enamelled steel, it is equipped with a detachable screen and supporting legs with a practical shelf to support what can be used during cooking, such as food or condiments.
* De’Longhi BQ80
This electric barbecue by De Longhi it is definitely more expensive than the previous one and also more compact and with less cooking space (it is the classic portable barbecue who can come with you on vacation!), but it turns out decidedly practical and functional both for external use and at home, where it is easily possible to place it on the work surface, considering its overall dimensions of 61.5 × 40 cm and the weight of only 5.4 kg.
You can choose between three different power levels absorbed 1000/1450/2450 W, as there is one resistance usable even partially (if you don’t want to use the whole hob, but only a part, you can do it saving energy!) and an exclusive double grill 100% made in stainless steel, swivel, so as to be able to grill even the most delicate foods, on both sides, without risking ruining them and with adjustable height, for always perfect results.
The non-stick plate is easy to clean, resistant to scratches and abrasion; there is a removable aluminum tray for collecting fats and putting water in it prevents the spread of fumes and odors.
The handles and the shell are made of heat-insulating material; there is an on / off switch with operating indicator and a safety microswitch that interrupts the power supply if the control panel is not properly inserted in its seat; finally we find a practical cable reel.
– The best gas barbecue
* Campingaz, Adelaide 3 Woody
This Australian-type gas barbecue, presents an excellent quality / price ratio, is versatile, practical and simple to use but also to clean, also thanks to the presence of a removable tray to collect the fats and it is equipped with 3 cast iron “curtain” burners.
It is also very beautiful and elegant to look at with its wooden trolley.
The Australian system, or rather the one with burners and curtain diffuser, allows you to cook various foods with extreme ease, in large quantities, also thanks to the generous cooking surfaces of 2800 square centimeters and the power that generates large flames, reaching high temperatures for maximum performance, worthy of the best chefs.
Also the presence of a double cooking surface with grill and plate it allows you to cook meat, fish, but also vegetables and cheeses at the same time, and the curtain heat diffuser increases the optimal heat distribution on the cooking surface.
We find two cast iron side plates, three cast-iron stoves with heat diffuser, a covered plate with handles, which can be used as a protective screen and a fabric cylinder cover.
The only flaw of this is the somewhat cumbersome initial assembly, which requires some time and manual skill.
* Blacktop 360 “Party-Grill”
The Blacktop360 is a portable grill really perfect not only for parties in the garden or on the terrace, but also to come with you on vacation or camping.
With a simple and essential design, it is configured as a pRound cooking placed on 4 folding legs; comes with a practical bag provided, which allows you to carry it nimbly everywhere, also because once closed it is substantially a circle of 70 cm of diameter for a thickness of about 30 cm.
Also with regard to cooking however it turns out to be a decidedly versatile and efficient barbecue. He indeed three independent cooking areas, on which it is possible to cook everything; Moreover also acts as a fryer, so much so that it has a practical insulated container for oil recovery and a double ceramic coating of the hob for easy cleaning.
Thanks to the Infrared Ceramic Hellfire burner heats up to 180 ° C for perfect cooking e definitely fast; not to mention that it is also equipped with a food warmer and delicate cooking, so that you can differentiate the type of cooking according to the food you are handling.
Finally it is easy to assemble, but also to open and close each time it is used and cleaned and maintained, so if you are thinking of something practical, versatile and not too expensive this barbecue could be the one for you.
– The best American barbecue
* OneConcept GQ5-Beef Butler Smoker
This charcoal barbecue allows you to cook meat American style, that is it can not only grill, but also smoke food and in both cases he can do it both directly and indirectly, so you can get not only excellent and tasty Ribs, but also a more classic and typical Florentine!
It is a barbecue easily transportable from one place to another of the garden or even of the terrace, thanks to presence of trolley wheels and carrying handle, dimensionally has a size of 100 × 55 cm for a height of 95 cm from the ground and a weight of 19 kg.
It features three chrome grills with different heights and of four ventilation channels can be used separately and has a clamp with lever system, wooden handles and two large wooden shelves, very useful for supporting food or condiments.
It comes in an assembly set, but be careful, with an instruction manual written in English.
* TecTake 3in1 BBQ
In this case we are dealing with a charcoal or wood burning barbecue, equipped with a smoker, particularly compact, light (weighs only 6.5 kg) and economic, but that despite everything has a good quality / price ratio and for this it receives an excellent market response.
Visually, it appears as a cylinder of 41 cm in diameter and 80 cm in height, with two 37 cm grids each allowing you to cook discrete quantities of food to eat with friends.
The TecTake is equipped with 3 different tops for grilling, cooking and smoking, which makes this grill an exceptionally versatile tool, perfect for all barbecue lovers.
On the lid there are a thermostat, which indicates the temperature and a top fireplace which allows you to adjust it; then there are two side ventilation doors and a water container that guarantees perfect smoking.
Even in this case, the only small drawback is in the difficulties that can be encountered during the initial assembly!
– The best charcoal / wood barbecue
* Tepro 1037 “Detroit”
This TEPRO barbecue, Detroit model, in steel painted with heat-resistant paint (up to 600 ° C), is very classic both in appearance and functioning and has a good quality / price ratio.
It is equipped with two 37 x 39 cm chromed grids, both with handles, for easy grip; has a brazier made of lacquered steel, also with a handle; two plastic wheels that allow you to move it easily and use it where you prefer; a background plan; a windbreak and an adjustable worktop height at 77, 83 or 89 cm in order to please everyone, regardless of the size of the stoker on duty.
* Weber, 1321004
Weber is undoubtedly one of the most famous brands for barbecue lovers, for whom the name already represents a synonym of quality; obviously it is also a bit more expensive than the others!
The Weber 61579 Compact Kettle grill from 57 cm is perfect for every situation as much compact and equipped with wheels therefore easily transportable, but at the same time absolutely performing and practical.
The cauldron and the lid are made in steel coated in black porcelain, so as to prevent the formation of rust and remain efficient, functional and in perfect condition for many years and to be also visually appealing and elegant.
There grid it is 57 cm in diameter, it is coated with three layers of nickel and is equipped with curved handles so that it can be hung easily; it is able to maintain heat and is easy to clean.
THE handles in are made in Duroplast and fiberglass reinforced, therefore they are resistant to atmospheric agents and do not require particular maintenance.
There ventilation grille in stainless steel allows perfect air circulation and ash box, also in stainless steel, it allows to recover the ash being cooked and then throw it comfortably later.
The two wheels of which this barbecue is equipped are extremely resistant and unbreakable, they can remain outdoors in all seasons, as they are able to withstand the most extreme temperatures.
Now that you have a more precise idea of what the market offers, all you have to do is assess your needs and buy the perfect barbecue for you, so that you can start organizing tasty barbecues with friends right away!
But be careful because not enough to prepare excellent grills have at your disposal available a good barbecue, but must also know how to use it in the best way, choosing the right accessories, always cleaning and maintaining everything to perfection!