Types of Barbeque

Whilst there are many different types of barbeque, they can broadly be separated into two groups: those that cook the food by wood or charcoal, and those that cook by gas.

1. Wood or Charcoal Burning Barbeques

The traditional charcoal or wood BBQ is the most popular choice for households up and down the country and are available in a range of styles and prices; from lightweight picnic models to built-in brick barbies.

Picnic Barbeque

A compact rectangular or round grill, made of lightweight metal that can be easily packed for travel. A good choice when travelling or for camping trips.

Brazier

A brazier is a round or square tray set on short legs or wheels. Their primary function is to provide an attractive looking firepit for decks, patios and terraces, although they may also be used for barbecuing. However, their low height (approximately 20-30 cm or 8-12 in high) usually makes them too low to cook on comfortably.

Chiminea

Spanish for 'fireplace', a chiminea is a large rounded pot with an opening in its side and a chimney, used as a charcoal-burning stove for barbecues and for outdoor heating. Traditionally made from clay, chimineas may now be found in cast-iron, aluminium or copper.

Kettle Barbeque

This type of BBQ has a hinged lid that may be closed during cooking so that it reflects the heat like an oven, allowing even joints of meat and whole chickens to be barbecued. Made from enamelled steel or cast aluminium, kettle barbecues are ideal for a windy garden.

Built In Barbeques

For those with enough space in their gardens, a built-in brick barbecue may be worth considering; it enables you to design the exact shape and size BBQ for your needs, along with additional storage, preparation surfaces and warming cupboards. Learn how to build your own barbecue here in InterGardening.co.uk.

2. Gas Barbeques

Although many barbeque aficionados do not see gas powered grills as the 'true' way to barbeque, this type of grill is quick to light and heat. As these models are so easy to start and use, you may find that you use them far more often than a charcoal grill; barbequing may become a mid-week norm, rather than a weekend treat.

Gas barbeques also have easy to use temperature controls, enabling you to set separate parts of your grill to different temperatures. These controls also allow you to blast the grill surface after you have finished cooking, turning any food into a charred residue that may easily be brushed off after cooling.

However, a gas grill can never give the authentic smoky flavour that the radiant heat of a charcoal grill can.

Choosing a BBQ

Select a model with cast-iron or heavy-gauge metal grills, as these are less likely to become misshapen than lightweight chrome-plated or nickel-plated versions. However, these lighter grills do have the advantage of being rustproof. Make sure that the grill rods are fairly close together to make it easier to cook smaller food, such as chicken pieces or sausages.

You should also ensure that your BBQ has a deep firebox, as this will generate enough heat to cook prime cuts of meat.