Our advice for making a good purchase of a barbecue

As the good weather arrives, you want to find a barbecue to enjoy all sorts of grilled delicacies and to share your meals with friends. Faced with the bewildering number of models on the market, start by considering what you need: how often you will use it, how many people will be eating, your budget, space available for installing it, the food you will be cooking, maintenance... Then find out about the advantages and disadvantages of the different models and choose a traditional or modern design.

Charcoal barbecue

The most popular model, costing from 15 to several hundred Euros, there are models to suit every taste, in all shapes and colours. The purists, fans of the aroma of a wood fire, will choose this type of barbecue for its authenticity. However, it requires a certain skill to use, particularly in the lighting stage and the smoke which results puts off some consumers. Cooking requires a little patience and regular checking, for the heat is regulated by moving the grill towards or away from the embers. A cast iron grill, which is rather heavy, will remain more resistant over time. The enamelled steel grills are not resistant to sudden changes in temperature and will not be weather-resistant, if you store your barbecue outdoors, unlike those made from stainless steel which will not succumb to rust.

Gas barbecue

Modern and sophisticated, but also more expensive, the gas models use propane or butane and will bring you comfort and ease of use. The heat increases as soon as the barbecue is lit and cooking is perfectly regulated by a thermostat system. There are several types of burners (lava stone, enamelled or cast iron plate) which preserve the flavours of the food by preventing it becoming burnt; some models offer different types of cooking such as stone plate, grill, wok, plancha, oven... Apart from being more expensive, this type of barbecue is usually impossible to transport and has the disadvantage of being cumbersome.

Electric barbecue

Accessible in terms of price, this model is the ideal alternative for those who are not lucky enough to have a garden, since it can be used indoors in places such as on the balcony. Of course, the authenticity and the aromas are somewhat missing, but some consumers enjoy the regulated cooking, its lightness, its ease of use and maintenance. (The parts can be cleaned in the dish-washer.) For barbecue fans who like to eat grills in summer and in winter it could be additional to an outdoors model.

Other features

Depending on your life-style and eating habits, you will choose a compact barbecue or a barbecue with a wide cooking surface, a fixed or mobile model, on feet or wheels. The models fitted with a lid make cooking safe and extend cooking time by preserving the tenderness and the juice of the meat. There are also models fitted with a bellows mechanism, which makes lighting easier and rekindles the embers. Prices are also dependent on the number and suitability of the accessories provided with the barbecue, on whether instructions from using or storing it have been included.

In conclusion

Whereas some buyers remain faithful to the charcoal barbecue, traditional and never out of fashion, others are tempted by a gas barbecue, offering many possibilities and easy and quick to use. The important thing is to enjoy time with friends, while observing the safety rules, so that the party is not ruined.

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