There are countless options out there when it comes to choosing a barbecue for your backyard oasis, and it pays to do your homework when shopping for one. But how do you separate one from another?
Well, first you should consider how you’ll be using your new barbecue. If you're the type who loves to host backyard parties, you will likely want to consider a barbecue that has at least 1,000 square inches (0.65 square metres) of cooking space on the grill so you can flip many burgers at one time. This way, you won't have guests going hungry waiting for the next batch of grilled goodies.
However, the grilling area is just one detail — the heating source is also a big consideration. You can go the more-popular propane route, which is generally efficient, affordable and clean. Gas grills are perfect for quickly preparing hot dogs, burgers and chicken breasts for the family or hungry guests. Meanwhile, the more-traditional charcoal barbecue has made a big comeback in recent years and is considered more of the grilling connoisseur’s tool of choice.
Charcoal BBQs take longer to heat up, and are generally more of a slow-cooking method of preparing food. This option may be better for someone who is cooking larger cuts of meat like a rack of ribs — you can also consider a rotisserie-style charcoal grill for pig roasts.
Charcoal units also tend to give off more smoke, which leads to more of that deep charcoal flavour in your meat, which can't be beat with gas. However, keep in mind that more time and cleanup is required for charcoal outdoor cookers.
Also be wary of the construction of the barbecue if you want it to last for many grilling seasons. This means looking for cast iron, cast aluminum or stainless steel. Keep in mind that not all stainless steel units are made the same; there are different grades, so be sure to choose steel that is graded 304 or higher (magnets will stick to higher-quality stainless steel).
Experts also suggest that once you identify the size and type of barbecue you're seeking, you should spend as much as you can afford. It will pay off with quality meals and smiles on the faces of family and friends.