10 Best Gas Barbecues UK 2016
Gas barbecues take all the hassle out of outdoor cooking. You can get going straight away, with most options only taking five to 10 minutes to pre-heat. It’s usually pretty easy to adjust the heat so you don’t burn the food.
Make sure any option you’re considering has all the cooking features you need, but not at the expense of being well-built and robust. There are a lot of shoddy models on the market, which blind you with lists of impressive accessories, but won’t last you more than a few summers at best.
Will you need to move it around? Or take it on camping trips? Will it need to be covered up or stored away in the summer? Consider the weight, size and manoeuvrability, and whether a cover costs extra. Also check if you’ll need to build it yourself or if it comes self-assembled.
Ensure there’s enough cooking space. Even if you’re a couple or family of four, you will need a big one if you regularly entertain. Griddles or hot plates are popular additions to the standard grill – consider if you’ll want one on your barbecue. You might also want to consider the option of infrared cooking – in a conventional gas barbecue, the flame heats the grates directly, but with infrared, there’s an extra element between the grates and flames to give you more control over the temperature and help prevent burning.
Check whether the gas canisters are expensive, and easy to buy – and indeed how long they last. Finally, don’t go on price alone. We’ve found great and not-so-great examples of both cheap and pricey barbecues.
We got out in the garden to put different models to the test to bring you the most efficient.
1. Weber Q 1200
Barbecue on the move with this portable machine that heats up in just five minutes and works with disposable gas canisters that we found last around three hours each. Ideal for camping trips, festivals and visits to the beach, it comes in five funky colours and is easy to carry around and set up on the stand. It’s extremely well-made and the two pull-out side tables are great for tools. Feeds four.
2. Char-Broil Performance T-22G
This stable, well-built barbecue cooks with infrared heat, which gives you more control over your cooking and ultimately leads to juicier fodder. We found there was no flare-up and it was simple to cook on, feeding around four to six people. It takes a long time to assemble, though, and it’s best for those who want to leave their barbecue in one spot as it’s not the easiest to move around.
3. Landmann Grillchef 2 Burner
This compact barbecue is great for alfresco enthusiasts with smaller gardens and those on a budget. It’s a doddle to build and easily feeds a family of four. The glass viewing section in the hood means you can avoid burned food and although it’s flimsier than some, that also makes it more suitable for transportation. Easy to clean.
If you’re fed up of the smoke from dripping fat or serving dried-up meat, both of which conventional barbies can produce, then you’ll love this alternative to cooking on direct flames, which takes just three minutes to heat up. Choose from rolled, enamel or stainless steel for a more griddle-like barbecue experience – and because it can go on the table, it makes outdoor cooking a more communal experience.
4. Weber Genesis E-310
Weber produces some of the best gas grills on the market. Its long-lasting grills are known for their reliability and quality, and our top ten gas grill reviews lists the Weber Genesis E-310, is no exception. This stainless steel grill combines the quality constructions Weber is known for with the convenience of a wide grilling area, excellent heat retention and even cooking to give you a superior grilling experience.
5. Broil King Gem 2 Burner Gas Barbecue
In all the Broil King Gem Super Gas Barbecue is really nice. I have roasted a whole chicken on it and it cooked in no time, not had any bad cooking yet on it. Can have either one or two burners quick and easy to just turn on, we have one burner working for just the two of us. Looking for a rottiserie for it now, and a griddle. Just want to experiment.
6. OutdoorChef City 420
Kettle style barbecues are good for those with limited outside space and this one has a patented funnel system that means you don’t get flare-ups. You can cook, bake or grill, thanks to the use (or not) of the lid, and it’s easy to start up. We didn’t experience any cold spots and the porcelain enamel is easy to clean.
7. Weber Spirit E-320 Gas BBQ
The Weber Spirit E-320 is a higher priced gas BBQ that uses liquid propane as its fuel. There is a large enamel coated cooking hood/lid, 3 stainless steel burners, cast-iron cooking grates, and electric gas ignition.
For the higher price tag you would expect to get an array of fantastic features, and the Spirit E-320 does not disappoint. There is a cooking hood thermometer, stainless steel work surfaces, a front mounted control panel, to name a few. The entire BBQ is heavy duty and built to last.
8. Char-Broil Patio Bistro
Although it’s not quite as good as the portable Weber, this black gizmo can still fit around 12 burgers, and is an impressive on-the-go option. It has a single burner and a warming rack. Using an infrared system, we found it offered strong and even heat, producing tasty, succulent meat. Give yourself an hour to put it together, and each disposable gas canister lasts around three hours.
9. Campingaz 2 Series Compact LZ
Urban dwellers and those with limited outdoor space, including balconies, will love this compact barbecue on wheels. There are pull-out side tables for tools and plates, a handy integrated thermometer and we found it feeds a family of four with ease, heating up quickly and providing an even cooking area.
10. Weber Genesis E330
This handsome machine takes outdoor cooking to the next level. The three burners heat up quickly and get red hot, without a cold spot in sight, and there are loads of great-performing features for the serious barbecue connoisseur, including sear station (for those all-important char marks), side burner, and accessories including wok, Dutch oven, poultry roaster, pizza stone and waffle and sandwich iron. Yes, it’s expensive but it will last years.
We instantly fell in love with the new Weber Genesis 310. For a more mid-range option, the Char-Broil Performance T-22G is a fantastic buy, whilst our favourite portable option is Weber Q 1200.