As the warmer months of the year roll around for residents of the UK, more and more people continue to flock to the shops in search of barbecues. They go there with money in hand and not a clue what to buy; all they know is that they have a budget and they want a barbecue – sound familiar? If so, we can help you and best of all, you don’t even have to step out of the house!
There comes a time in everyone’s life where a barbecue is required; whether it’s for a party, celebration or simply because there’s a bit of sun (which is technically celebrated in the UK, due to the rarity). Basically, you’ll need one at some point, it’s pretty much inevitable.
Of course, there are different sorts of people when it comes to buying barbecues and there’s a good chance you’ll be able to relate to one of these groups. First of all we have the ‘disposable’ BBQ group, commonly associated with a group of youngsters camping in a field and having a good time. Secondly, we have the ‘yearly’ group that purchase a fairly cheap barbecue just to see them through the year. Last but not least, there’s the ‘big spender’ group, also known as ‘investors’ who buy a barbecue that will stand the test of time and be used for many years to come.
If you’ve purchased a barbecue in the past, you’ll probably relate to one of these groups. But before you go off and buy another (and for those who have never purchased one before), have a quick read of our buying guide below. We’ve put together a selection of barbecues ordered by budget; so you can quickly assess what you can afford and if it meets your requirements – simple, huh?
A Budget-Based Guide to Buying Barbecues
A barbecue budget can range from as little as £10 all the way to several hundred pound if you’re after something top-end. As such, we’ve tried to pull out the main pricing-categories that people will likely be in and provide a list of products that you can expect to buy in the designated price range
Please note that none of these prices include consumables such as charcoal, gas, food or any other accessories you associate with grilling. The prices are for the barbecues only and are accurate as of April 2013 (therefore, if you’re reading this in 2020, prices might have changed just a little bit… barbecuing might even be extinct – crazy, right?)
Barbecues Under £20
Whilst limiting yourself to less than £20 for a barbecue isn’t going to provide you top-end models, it will certainly be a surprise when you see what’s available…
Kingfisher Basic BBQ 14” – Potentially one of the simplest BBQ’s that money can buy, but it does what it needs to and it will certainly leave you with a good bit of cash leftover for some decent meat! This little tripod barby comes with a removable grill and as it weighs just 1kg, it’s pretty ideal to move around wherever you want. You and your mates fancy a BBQ in a field, this is the one for you (just make sure you clear up after yourselves).
Kingfisher Portable Barrel BBQ – Made from stainless steel this barrel BBQ represents great value for money. With added side-handles to make this a portable purchase along with all the fittings & grills, this is certainly a contender for the under £20 category. The only downside is that it looks pretty low-set to the ground and may cause some back problems if you’re hunched over it for hours; of course that’s just a word of caution from an oldie.
Bar-Be-Quick Kettle Barbecue 17” – This is without doubt the pick of the bunch for the sub-£20 category. It has a generous 17 inch grill which should be enough to accommodate a fair few burgers and sausages; it might even have room for a bit of steak, which is always good. On top of this there are also 4 leg stands for ultimate sturdiness and even a pair of wheels to aid you in moving this beauty around your patio. This is certainly a good BBQ for the price – in fact, I’m willing to bet nobody will be disappointed with this for less than £20.
Barbecues: £20 – £50
Upping your budget from the under £20 range will open you up to a few more barbecues as well as some other grills you might not have considered. You’ll likely find barbecues of better quality or bigger sizes in this category; so pick carefully and keep your requirements in mind.
Landmann Charcoal Wagon BBQ – Landmann is an extremely well known name in the BBQ market and as such this product represents great value for money. The BBQ is intuitively designed to with useful storage areas to the side and underneath for ingredients, seasoning and plating up. As well as this, there’s even a wind deflector (shield) to protect your precious flames and food from harsh gusts, which is pretty common in the UK. To top it all off, it’s easy to move around due to wheels (just don’t move it around when you’re cooking stuff, it never ends well).
Bar-Be-Quick Kittle Barbecue 22” – This is the big brother of the Bar-Be-Quick 17” mentioned in the category below this. As you might have guessed, it retains the same features as its smaller sibling (4-legs for sturdiness, wheels for easier manoeuvrability plus and a catch tray), but comes with a grilling area that is 5 inches larger. As such, this is the better buy if you’ll be cooking a lot of food at once; however, if you’re only planning on grilling a couple of burgers and sausages, the smaller one might be just as efficient.
La Hacienda Firebasket & Grill – Not your conventional barbecue by any means, but this fire basket with combined grill offers both a cooking platform and a source of heat for those chilly nights outside. Not only do you get to see the gorgeous flames rise up the basket, but you can also put them to use by slapping a bit of food on the top and with a cooking area of over 15” it should be enough for a few burgers.
Built-In Barbecues – The two selections here are from Landmann and Bar-Be-Quick and both offer a built-in grilling solution. Essentially they are DIY barbecue solutions, ideal if you’re putting up a wall and want to make the most of space on the patio. One comes with the standard grilling equipment whilst the more expensive model has an additional ‘oven’ which can be used in conjunction whilst grilling on the main grid above.
Barbecues: £50 – £100
Moving your budget up to this range really opens your options up and gives you the choice of gas and charcoal grilling which the previous budgets would not allow (or if you could find one, the quality would certainly be questionable). As such, this is one of the most popular spending categories, so it’s worth taking a bit of time to research this area if this is your budget.
La Hacienda Chiminea / BBQ Grill – La Hacienda specialise in outdoor heating solutions and this stunning looking chiminea has a removable top which reveals a cooking grill. This is a 2-in-1 product that can provide heat outdoors whilst also doubling as a char-griller when you or your guests get a bit peckish.
Cadac Safari Chef 30cm – The CADAC is one of the most popular of the bunch due to the portability and grilling options it offers the user. Weighing in at just 4kg, it’s arguably the best camping BBQ of all time since it even comes with a convenient carry bag and a decent sized grilling area. If this isn’t enough, the Safari Chef comes with a variety of (easily) interchangeable cooking surfaces to suit whatever food you have available.
Outback Omega 150 Gas BBQ – This is the entry level gas barbecue from Outback, but by no means does that mean quality is sacrificed. The BBQ includes a dual control burner which heats the generously sized 50x36cm grill and to ensure even cooking throughout the food a lid/hood is also provided. Usability has also been thought of with the addition of a side shelf and wheels for portability. Considering this currently comes with a free cover & regulator, it’s a bargain!
Landmann 2-Burner Gas Barbecue – Landmann also have put out an entry level gas barbecue with 2-burners and it is definitely one of the best buys in this category. The feature list on this piece of equipment is truly impressive; 2 adjustable burners, 2 side-trays, a bottom catch-all tray and wheels for portability. That’s not it, there’s also a viewing window on the lid to check how your food is doing without even opening it – pretty neat!
Brinkmann Barrel Charcoal BBQ / Smoker – This Brinkmann BBQ combines the features of a traditional charcoal barby and a food smoker into one; thus allowing food to be smoked, cooked slowly or grilled like regular. The main cooking area is extremely generous in size, measuring 47 x 41cm and the additional warming rack is just half the width of the main area. Adjustable vents and grates allow for greater control over heating and air-flow to ensure food is cooked exactly how you want. On top of this, there’s also a good amount of storage area underneath and large wheels to assist you in moving it; overall, an extremely good buy for any patio.
Barbecues: £100 – £200
Now we’re starting to get into the bigger budgets, the range of barbecues continues to expand. In this category you’re likely to find some big-brand names with their flagship models and even combination grills with several burners and optional smoking facilities. If you’re looking for a BBQ that will stand the test of time, this is definitely one of the best price ranges to find the one to suit your requirements.
Outback Excel 300 Gas BBQ – The Excel 300 is extremely popular, especially in the UK. As can be seen from the reviews on this model, it’s certainly a people pleaser and this is down to the user-friendly design. Having a main and side burner gives the cook an option of grilling priority food on the main grill and cooking up extras (beans, onions & veg) in a pan on the side. On the opposite side is a foldable table for prepping or plating up food and underneath yet another storage area can be found. Whilst the picture doesn’t do it much justice, everyone reports that the Excel 300 looks the part in the flesh and that’s why it’s up there with the best £100+ BBQ’s.
Landmann Tennessee Smoker – This is without doubt one of Landmann’s most popular barbecue smokers as it provides the user the option of direct or indirect cooking. These two areas are completely separate to each other so it’s possible to cook a juicy steak on the main grill whilst smoking some fish (insert your food of choice here) in the other chamber. Due to the design you can avoid fat burning and better yet, you can be assured of perfectly cooked food due to a temperature gauge built into the lid. This is one of our favourite buys and we’d thoroughly recommend it to anyone – just pay attention to the dimensions, it’s usually bigger than people expect!
La Hacienda Cordoba BBQ / Firepit – As mentioned already, outdoor heating is La Hacienda’s speciality so you know anything they produce is going to be both beautiful and useful… The Cordoba certainly doesn’t disappoint on either of these points. With 2 swing-out grilling platforms, you can easily
cook foods at different intensities thanks to varied heights (this also provides better timing coordination). However, if you don’t feel like food and you just want to relax outdoors, the Cordoba also doubles as an elegant firepit which throws out a good amount of heat. If your focus is more on barbecuing as opposed to aesthetics and heat, then this might not be the best option…
CADAC 2-Burner Entré Deluxe – Although this is at the high end of the price bracket, when buying a CADAC product you are assured of high-end build quality and reliability. If the brand name doesn’t sell you on this alone, then perhaps the stainless steel 2-burner main grill with automatic ignition will? A huge and we mean huge cooking area is one of the biggest features of this model, sizing up at 50x48cm – you can’t even begin to imagine how many slabs of steak you could fit on there (my mouth’s watering just thinking about it). 2 fold down side tables accompany a fold down hood with built-in thermometer and a cabinet which can be used for storing a whole host of items. Fitted with 2 main wheels and 2 castors, the CADAC Entré can be moved around with ease, so even if you’re a bit on the weak side, pushing it around the patio won’t be a problem at all. If you’re willing to go to the high-end of this price range, this should definitely be in with a shout!
Barbecues Over £200
Nothing you like for less than £200? Well, you’ve come to the right place. If you have more than £200 to spend on a barbecue, chances are you know what you want and you have the money to buy a quality piece of equipment which will fulfil all of your requirements and last for many years. You’re undoubtedly going to be shopping for the big-name brands which offer a pretty comprehensive warranty, so take your time and have a read through our choice-picks below.
Outback Hunter 3-Burner BBQ – The Hunter is easily one of the most popular Outback models and has been making an appearance in gardens and patio areas for many years. With a large grilling area featuring 3 stainless steel burners and a whole host of storage, this BBQ is great for big events and cooking for friends. A heat indicator can also tell you the exact temperature you’re cooking at and even at the highest heat setting the wooden handle will remain cool to the touch. As well as these innovative features, the Hunter also features corrosion resistant properties on the hood, cooking surfaces and exterior. As such, it’s definitely a worthwhile investment that will provide you with many years of barbecuing happiness.
Landmann Stainless Steel 3-Burner BBQ – One of Landmann’s flagship models, this offers the user 3 burners with a fantastic output of 3.5kW each. The cooking area is spread out over 2 equally sized spaces (30x45cm each) and is suitable to cook food for up to 10 people. The interface of the grill is designed for ease of use and a large storage area is featured underneath the front panel to make access even simpler; everything is easily within reach. Thankfully the barbecue includes 2 wheels & 2 castors which enable easy movement around the patio; of course, the castors feature locking mechanisms so it doesn’t roll around whilst you’re grilling (unless you fancy a challenge). For a safe, quality purchase from a top BBQ brand, this Landmann is a great buy.
Landmann Grand Tennessee BBQ / Smoker – This is the bigger brother of the regular Tennessee smoker, both in size and looks. The GTS is traditional in its styling and operation since both the main grill and side-smoking compartment are fuelled by charcoal. Both compartments are separate and fitted with an adjustable air-vent for maximum customisability when grilling and smoking food. For those who don’t have experience with smoking food before, it’s advisable to try some out before committing to such a big purchase that is focused around traditional cooking methods. The GTS is also fitted with two old-school wheels which actually serve a functional purpose; pushing around 50kg’s worth of BBQ. Therefore, if you really want an eye-catching, usable BBQ which is capable of producing fantastic tasting food, this should certainly be top of your list if you can stretch to the price range.
Outback Meteor 4-Burner BBQ – This is one of Outback’s top models and with 4-burners it’s easy to see why. If you like hosting big garden parties where you’re cooking for a good number of people, you can’t go far wrong with the Meteor. The main cooking area is similar in size to a small South African country (61 x 44.5cm) and an additional two cast iron grills with a warming rack also increase the space on offer even further. If that’s not enough, there’s even a front panel storage area with a slide out tray… I know, you’re thinking this barbecue has more storage space than your shed and you’re probably right. If you’re all about entertaining and cooking for big numbers, go for this – it’s truly a beast.
As you can see, we’ve attempted to pick out the best buys in each category, but obviously we’ve had to look at them in a general sense and pick them based on the average barbecue user and their requirements. As everyone has different requirements we strongly recommend that you do further research into your budget area if none of these BBQ’s have ticked all of your boxes; rest assured, there’s a barbecue out there for everyone!
Anyway, we just want to wish you a hearty congratulations on making it this far, we hope that you’ve enjoyed reading even if you haven’t decided on the barbecue of your dreams just yet. Remember, whether you’re spending £50 or £500, the only thing that matters is that you’re happy with the purchase. Therefore it’s wise to hang on and not rush into anything if you aren’t 100%.
Whatever you’ve taken from this article, we wish you the best of luck in all of your future barbecuing endeavours. Stay safe and grill some mean food, which you can also do on a budget with these great ideas for budget meal makers.