Welcome to our review of the Campingaz 3 Series Premium S, a new gas barbie with a host of tantalising features that will make your al fresco nosh-up go with a swing.
As the brand name suggests, Campingaz is synonymous with camping cookers, lamps, coolers and a load of other outdoor accessories. However, it also produces a range excellent gas barbecues that pushes the envelope of design with a set of innovative features that few other manufacturers provide.
The new Campingaz 3 Series Premium S is one such model and we shall look at it in more detail, like now.
Where to buy the Campingaz 3 Series Premium S
As is the case with almost every home appliance you want to buy, the Campingaz 3 Series Premium S is in pretty short supply in the UK – and little wonder given such a chain of events. But luckily for you we've scouted out a few places where you can buy this cracking model right now.
Campingaz 3 Series Premium S review: Design
There’s something about this three-burner gas barbecue that’s just very pleasing on the eye. Granted, there are no swathes of shiny stainless steel on display and some may even consider its dark grey colour to be a little, er, dull. However, from a design point of view, I think it’s a marvellous looker, especially the low-slung curvy aluminium lid, which looks fab from any angle.
Conversely, it’s also true to say that the materials used in its construction are on the cheap side, even a little bit tinny. Nevertheless, for the price and its surfeit of unique features, the build quality is comparable with most models in its price band – as low as £429 in some online stores.
At first glance the 3 Series Premium S looks like any mid-priced three-burner gas barbecue, with a collapsible side shelf, a separate side burner on the right for warming sauces, frying onions, boiling potatoes etc, a large cupboard underneath for housing a 5kg to 13kg propane gas bottle and four small caster wheels. It’s only when you lift the hood or take a peak under the grill that things start to look quite radically different.
Campingaz 3 Series Premium S review: Features
This model comes with three 10.2kW burners and a small 2.3kW side burner. So far so normal. However, where this model differs from the norm is in the design of the porcelain enamelled cast iron grill grates. Instead of having one large 46cm x 61cm standard grate, Campingaz’s designers have reduced the size of the standard grate to two thirds of the size and made up the difference with a small two-sided Plancha-style griddle plate that can be inverted so one side has ridges while the other side is totally flat.
The brilliant thing about having a flat griddle plate – which incidentally is Spain’s preferred way to barbecue – is that you can fry bacon and eggs for breakfast, make pancakes, omelettes, tortilla de patatas and grill delicate ingredients like fish, veggie burgers and halloumi without pieces of them falling through slats in the grill. Personally, I think all BBQs should be made this way because it adds so much more versatility to the mix. Incidentally, the main grill grate’s centre section can also be removed to accept a variety of cookware inserts from Campingaz’s Weber-like Culinary Modular System.
Whereas most gas barbecues have a system of heat deflector panels positioned directly above each burner, the standard grill grate on this model has solid partitions built into it, and each partition is roughly aligned with a burner below. In a nutshell, the partitions help reduce flareups because the fats aren’t igniting on a piping hot deflector below. Campingaz calls it the Blue Flame Power System and you will come to appreciate its efficiency when grilling fatty foods.
Campingaz 3 Series Premium S review: Cleaning system
Another unique thing about this grill is the way it’s cleaned. Instead of sticky grease gathering in a drip tray like most gas barbies, this one has a clever system comprising a water-filled tray beneath the burners and a series of removable, dishwasher-safe grill parts. Simply fill the tray with a measured amount of water – there’s a plastic water container in the door – and instead of the fats baking onto the various surfaces, they simply float on the water which is then decanted into the plastic container for easy disposal.
Of course, some users won’t bother using the system at all, preferring instead to simply whack the heat up for 15 minutes after every session till all fats are carbonised to a dusty consistency.
Campingaz 3 Series Premium S review: Performance
The best thing about this barbie is the grate design which accommodates any type of ingredients, whether it’s meat, fish or veg. I tried it out using standard fare like chicken legs and sausages and everything grilled perfectly well with no major flare ups. So, no complaints there. However, it’s the smaller griddle plate on the side that impressed the most, simply because it provided so much extra versatility. In fact I managed to whip up a full breakfast the next morning using a couple of eggs, half a dozen rashers of streaky bacon and even some baked beans on the side burner.
Put another way, if your electricity supply were to suffer a sudden power cut (it happens) and you’re left with no indoor cooking facilities, this barbecue will come to the rescue, whether it’s cooking breakfast, dinner or putting the kettle on.
Campingaz 3 Series Premium S review: Verdict
Despite the use of some cheaper materials for the main unit, this barbie performed admirably well at grilling. But it’s the split grate system that really clinched it for me. For the price, this BBQ is a no brainer in my opinion.