For many Aussies, summer isn’t summer without the backyard barbecue. And with the pandemic, backyard barbecues have become even more popular as outdoor spaces are now our main choice for gatherings, both with immediate family or safely socially distanced. So, the grill is now the main attraction of our yard just like the range anchor is in our kitchen.
If you’re in the market for a new grill to help you create a relaxing backyard setting, chances are you’ll get overwhelmed by the many options available. Many of them seem to have endless entertaining features and appealing gadgets. Don’t let yourself be fooled by that. While some grills may have more features, this doesn’t mean they’re of good quality. To get the best value for your money, you need to figure out exactly what you want. This means deciding on fuel type, material, size and extra features.
Deciding between charcoal and gas grills will largely depend on personal taste. Both options will offer you a whole new world of culinary adventures, filled with new recipes and different techniques to explore. But when it comes to convenience, nothing can beat the gas grill – it’s the easiest and most convenient way to cook outdoors.
Gas grills are more convenient because you simply turn the burns on to start the grill. The speed with which they can be lit and pre-heated as well as the ability they offer to easily adjust the temperature make these grills a precise and predictable way of cooking. Not to mention how quick and easy it’s to clean a gas barbecue. All you have to do to clean the cooking grates is use a grill brush and wipe the outside of the barbecue with a cleaning cloth and a mild cleaner.
If you are worried about the smoky taste, this can also be achieved on a gas barbecue. How? With the Flavorizer bars that sit above the burners. The juices from food smoke and sizzle as they fall onto the Flavorizer bars, giving the food that delicious barbecue flavour.
Size sure matters when grilling and it typically relates to how many burners the grill has. When asking how many burners should a BBQ have, keep in mind that the more burners you have on your grill, the more versatile it will be. More burns mean you can cook more ingredients at the same time or create different temperature zones for different types of ingredients. Depending on how far you want to go, you could choose a 5 burner stainless steel BBQ or even a 6 burner stainless steel BBQ. While these grills may look impressive, you should choose something this size only if you cook regularly for larger groups.
If you like to host parties on holidays and other special occasions, a 5 burner stainless steel BBQ can be a great option to consider. It’ll offer you more heating potential, more zones with different surface temperatures, and more space for indirect cooking. The larger number of burners not only gives you the ability to cook for more guests at the same time but also gives you more freedom to try different cooking methods and ingredients.
If you generally entertain small groups occasionally, a two or three burner grill will be more than enough for your needs. With two burners you’ll be able to cook with indirect heat to get juicy and flavourful results from red meat, game and poultry. With an extra burner, you’ll have more overall control for the times when you want to sear ingredients at high temperatures. On the larger surface of a 3 burner stainless steel BBQ, you can also cook larger ingredients with indirect heat. Cooking a small turkey, a whole chicken or even a large BBQ cut will be no problem on most three-burner BBQs.
The material used to make the gas grill will affect its performance, longevity and price. While gas grills can be made of cast aluminium, cast iron and sheet metal, stainless steel is the best option to consider. Stainless still is not only the best material for heat distribution, but it also resists oxidation, weighs less, is stronger and is virtually streak-free. The other materials may be more affordable, but they’re also more susceptible to scratches, dents and rust.
The most important feature your grill should have is the ability to cook well. However, there are a handful of extra features you can consider to enhance your barbecue experience. For example, some barbecues come with a removable centre section that can be replaced with a number of accessories that you buy separately. This feature allows you to cook your favourite meals on the barbecue – from casseroles to pizzas.
Stainless steel gas grills with side burners offer you the ability to heat up sauces or side dishes without dashing between your kitchen stovetop and patio. And if you would like to move your grill around during the season, make sure your grill comes with wheels on all four legs and an option to lock them.