Looking for a barbecue? You have come to the right place
Whether it's a gas or charcoal barbecue you're after, or maybe even a pizza oven or smoker, we've got what you need to perk up the great British summer: T3's pick of the greatest grilling machines out there.
The coast is clear to don the shades and start stocking up on grill-friendly grub to singe in the sunshine, with all levels and types of al fresco cooking catered for, from high-end smoking to, basically, setting fire to a bucket.
Patio the size of a Subbuteo table? No problem, nab one of the portable charcoal grillers on the first four pages of this gallery and get busy with the tweezers. Got a large and agreeable decking area? We've got altogether more serious barbecues starting from page 7.
Of course, you don't want all of the gear with no idea -- luckily T3 are here to help with expert advice from two of the best grillers in our midst - OH!
Forget faffing about with hairdryers to fan the flames. This award-winning barbie uses a built-in battery-powered fan to get the whole thing up to cooking temperature in three and a half minutes flat, and with no choking smoke in the process. What’s more, it’ll go on grilling for up to an hour on only a small handful of charcoal.
It works by creating a bellows effect that forces cool air over the charcoal, turning it into a raging inferno, albeit a safe one. The Lotus Grill is available in seven cheerful colours and is ideal for small patios, balconies, campsites, picnics and boats. Its 32cm grill is good for up to four hungry gannets.
£ 129 | Lotus
This is one of the most versatile charcoal-fired mini barbecues on the market and one of the most efficient. Invented in South Africa, the sturdy, kettle-style Compact Cobb is a small, portable cylindrical unit that can grill, fry, bake and even roast a whole chicken, albeit a small one. Its secret lies in a controlled ventilation system that keeps the briquettes (or Cobb’s own proprietary Cobblestones) up to fiery temperature for more than three hours and without any heat being transferred to the BBQ’s outer casing.
This particular model comes packaged with an overly slippery Teflon-coated griddle – whoops there goes another sausage – but there are plenty more grilling accessories available. A top buy for alfresco feasters, boaters and glampers.
£89.99 | Cobb
This elegant two- to four-person patio barbie grill brings steak-on-the-stone style personal alfresco cooking to the table top. There's no treachery on board -- it uses just a simple charcoal tray, a 26cm stainless steel grill and a cup of water to save the table from scorching -- but it cooks food perfectly well.
The Joya's attractive ceramic base remains cool to the touch while guests slap on their own kebabs and steak cuts using the supplied bamboo tongs. And it even comes preloaded with a handful of charcoal to get you started.
£92.95 | Barbecook
Jamie Oliver Park
Weber’s kettle-style BBQs have spawned a swathe of imitators but this snazzy model is way better than most. Elderly-and-fat-tongued-lad-chef Jamie Oliver knows his steak and onions so he’s applied his culinary knowledge to a budget-priced own-brand model that sports quite a few unique design features, including a curved grill tray that prevents food from slipping into the inferno, an internal heat deflector, grippy lid holders for easy transport and a chunky rubberised lid handle.
Mind, there’s a fair bit of fiddly building to do before the inviting smell of juicy meat gets to waft across the garden fences but follow the instructions carefully and you’ll have it roaring in no time. The Park is available in six tantalising colours.
£50 | Jamie Oliver
Bodum Fyrkat Mini
Another cheap, portable barbie that runs on manly charcoal rather than metrosexual gas, this is available in black, red and lime green. It’s just 30cm in diameter – “small enough to fit on a bike but large enough for two steaks,” it says here.
£40 | Bodum
And now some bigger BBQs starting with the Weber Mastertouch
Weber’s tried-and-trusted ‘kettle’ system is one of the most efficient, fuss-free and reliable ways to charcoal-grill food without scorching it to a cinder. The enamelled bowl-shaped lid is not only a cover against the elements, it’s part of the barbecue’s indirect cooking process. Just follow the golden rule ‘if you’re lookin’, it ain’t cookin’ and leave the lid on as much as you can; trust us, your food will cook to perfection.
This classy 57cm model incorporates a lid holder and ash catcher, and accommodates Weber’s ‘Gourmet’ system of cooking accessories: simply remove the centre of the heavy-duty grill and replace it with a wok, pizza stone, poultry roaster or griddle. Webers are renowned for their durability so you can safely expect this one to last at least ten winters.
£186 | Weber
Big Green Egg
This prestigious brand has become the first choice of a million chefs. It grills, bakes, smokes and seers and stays hot for 10hrs on a single load of lumpwood charcoal. Depending on size, these ceramic bulbous beauties will cook and/or smoke anything from sausages, fish and kebabs to rib racks and whole legs of lamb and pork.
Like the Weber, this heavyweight griller is designed to be used with the lid on so that the food is cooked indirectly; the lid also prevents unexpected flare-ups and scorching. Right now there probably isn’t a better, more forgiving barbecue on the planet. However, its premium price range (from £399 to £3,745) is a genuine obstacle to all but the most discerning – and flushed – barbecuists.
From £399 I Big Green Egg
Granted, it took us nearly three hours of fiddling to get this manly budget-priced monster assembled but the results were worth it. The charcoal-fired Kinley is the only model here to come with an adjustable-height grill (very handy for controlling the heat hitting the food), an integrated bottle opener, chopping stone and bin.
Clearly inspired by the Weber system, the Kinley produced a fine feast for four but don’t expect it to last as long since there are quite a few areas on the unit where rust will inevitably settle. But, hey, at less than £150, who's complaining?
£97 | B&Q
Grand Hall X Series 2
Built in conjunction with Porsche Design Studio, this costs more than some kitchens. It uses Crossray infrared burner tech, which is 40 per cent more efficient than gas, ensures even heat distribution, locks moisture into food and nom nom nom nom nom, frankly. You also get a built-in rotisserie, electronic instruments and gauges and a counterbalanced hood for some seriously satisfying lid action.
Fornetto Pizza Oven
Take your alfresco cooking to a whole other level with a wood fired oven. The Fornetto can cook pretty much anything your indoor oven can but thanks to the removable woodchip smoker box you can infuse meals – whether you’re doing pulled pork, pizza or frozen Chicken Kiev – with authentic smoky flavour. Cheap it ain't.
£895 I BigFire
For great bark – the awesome, caramelised crust on the outside of barbecued meat – melting inner tenderness and ultimate taste, a smoker can’t be beat. This porcelain coated artillery shell of a thing has a meat/ fish hanger, and easily topped up water and fuel pans. Also doubles as a standard kettle barbecue.
£259 | Food Smokers
Char-Broil Performance T-22G
Turn your patio into a Texan yard with this best-selling 47cm, two-burner gas model from the America’s barbecue brand of choice. The stainless steel-clad Performance uses unique ‘infrared’ technology to ensure an even cooking temperature across the entire grill. It sears steaks to restaurant perfection and guarantees an extremely moist, succulent result. And being gas-driven, it’s ready to cook in minutes. The Performance is superbly built but figure in a couple of hours to assemble it. A 5kg bottle of Patio Gas tucks neatly away beneath the grill and provides around 15 touch-of-a-button alfresco feasts. Pass the mustard.
£300 | Char-broil