How to choose the right gas barbecue? Choosing the Right Gas Barbecue: 16 Questions to Ask Yourself.
It is a question that everyone asks when summer comes to the fore.
We then think of grilled meats, the friendly atmosphere of these outdoor meals, with friends, etc.
For all this to be possible, it is essential to have the right barbecue and to know a little better about its technical details.
Several burners, type of gas, ignition system, quality of cooking grids, value for money, features.
Together, let’s discover the 16 questions to ask yourself before buying a gas barbecue and to be able to enjoy outdoor meals fully.
1. Which barbecue to choose according to your needs?
This type of barbecue is the one that we find the most on sale and the most popular.
Its ease and speed of execution make it an ideal cooking appliance for making large meals and improvised lunches or dinners.
If you want to cook outside but don’t want to spend hours lighting and cooking, this is the perfect equipment. Pay attention to the direction of the wind, however.
In addition, it is the ideal model if you want to extend the pleasure of a good barbecue all year round!
2. How many burners to cook efficiently on the barbecue?
Gas barbecues generally have 1 to 6 burners.
Their number determines the cooking space you have: the more burners you have, the more preparations you can cook simultaneously.
If you are used to having many guests at home, choosing a medium/large gas barbecue model may be a good idea (about 4 to 6 burners).
You will have more space for your cooking and the possibility of preparing several dishes simultaneously.
It’s up to you to save time, with guests served very quickly!
On the contrary, if you use your device occasionally or during a more intimate meal with a few people, then a 1 or 2-burner model can satisfy you.
3. Which shape to choose for its independent burners?
The distribution plate, located directly under the burners, distributes the heat in the barbecue bowl and the cooking surface.
The burners can be independent, allowing food to be cooked simultaneously at different temperatures.
It is ideal when you want to cook fairly thick meats and delicate vegetables simultaneously.
When we talk about the shape of the burner, it is essential since it is he who distributes the heat.
There are H-shaped, 8-shaped, “Serpentine” or even “Butterfly” type burners.
With the right burner shape, your barbecue has every chance of succeeding!
For example, the eight shapes distribute heat very well. It offers very even cooking, while the Super 8™ allows you to reach a temperature of 315°C in just a few minutes!
Hop, the meat is already cooked!
But there are also tubular burners of the Dual-Tube TM type, made from very high-quality steel and offering a uniform flame distributed effectively under the entire cooking surface.
Finally, infrared burners also achieve the feat of reaching a temperature of 1,800°C in a few seconds.
It’s great for thick meats that need to be seared quickly, but watch out for vegetables and fish that could burn quickly.
4. Should I buy a barbecue equipped with a side and rear burner?
Some models of barbecues have a side burner (or side burner), which allows you to prepare and keep hot sauces or side dishes while saving you counter space.
It is an exciting feature, especially if you bet on meals with several preparations.
Plus, you’ll stop juggling between the kitchen and the outdoors and spend more time with your guests.
The rear burner is often removable and offers the possibility of cooking like a rotisserie.
You can quickly cook a chicken on the rotisserie, minimizing flames and gas consumption.
5. How many BTUs are for optimal power for your barbecue?
The power is expressed in BTU (British Thermal Unit).
It is the heat capacity of the appliance per hour when all burners are on at total capacity.
These days, ultra-powerful gas barbecues have a BTU/h number of between 25,000 and 60,000 BTU/h.
The higher this value, the shorter and more efficient the cooking time will be for serving many guests.
To determine how much power you need, divide the number of BTUs by the total cooking area in square inches.
Ideally, we are looking to obtain approximately 110 BTU per in2 per person.
6. How to determine the cooking surface of your barbecue?
The more a barbecue has a large cooking surface, the more powerful it is and allows you to receive guests and cook a large quantity of food simultaneously. However, your electricity consumption may also take a big hit!
It is therefore essential to choose a cooking surface that meets your needs. The cooking surface varies between 273 sq. in. and 1,000 sq. in.
To determine the ideal cooking surface for your needs, first assess the number of people you cook for regularly.
Then multiply by the area required for one serving, approximately 60 sq. in.
7. What type of gas to choose to make the best gas barbecue?
We always advise owners of gas barbecues to use propane gas rather than butane gas.
It does not freeze in winter and can withstand temperatures down to -40°C.
Suffice to say that it is ideal when you live in Quebec!
In addition, this natural gas has a more interesting calorific value and offers more beautiful flames during your cooking.
Always make sure you have a second tank on hand if you run out of food while grilling.
Attention, it is strictly forbidden to store propane gas inside a house or a garage; you must leave it outside.
8. Which material to choose for a better solidity of your gas barbecue?
It is an essential question since the material used to manufacture your device will directly impact its lifespan.
Stainless steel (inox) is the most robust material than cast iron, aluminum, or steel but costs a little more.
If your budget is somewhat limited, do not hesitate to turn to enameled cast iron.
It is a good alternative, even if it is less resistant to shocks and temperature variations and more prone to rust.
9. Which grids have the best barbecue cooking?
There are several types of cooking grids, which differ according to their material of manufacture and their solidity:
- Porcelain-coated steel grills: instead of entry-level barbecue models, they are easy to maintain but tend to rust. In addition, steel retains heat less well, so the intensity of the burners must be high to maintain a suitable temperature throughout cooking.
- Cast iron grills: they are trendy because they retain heat very well. It is an advantage because they can compensate for a relatively weak burner, cook very well, and offer gas savings. However, it is then rather challenging to lower the heat of this type of grill.
- The stainless steel grids: are very resistant; they do not rust and offer excellent cooking quality. If you have the opportunity to have this type of grid, they are the best!
10. What accessories and features do take full advantage of your barbecue?
You will undoubtedly want to look into the various accessories included or not when purchasing your barbecue.
These are in no way essential to the use of your device but will provide a much more pleasant user experience.
A cover is essential if you want to leave your device outside and protect it from the weather.
Preferably, it covers the entire barbecue, down to the feet.
The side shelves
They allow you to place your dishes, plates, and utensils safely on the side of the grids.
Even if it increases the space taken up, it is, in our opinion, an option that makes life easier!
A roasting pan or a spit
What could be better than tasting a delicious, juicy piece of meat cooked for long hours?
With spit or rotisserie cooking, your food is not attacked by over-cooking. It has plenty of time to release its authentic flavor.
This accessory attaches to your gas barbecue and promises an entirely new culinary experience!
The smoking room
Suppose you’ve always dreamed of cooking beautiful pieces of meat with that authentic smoky taste. In that case, it’s still possible with a gas barbecue!
It could not be easier!
It would help if you had a stainless steel smoker box that sits directly on the grill.
Inside, we install special smoking chips, previously soaked in water for an hour.
In contact with the heat, the chips give off a flavored smoke, which permeates the food cooked in the closed barbecue.
This combination of flavors developed during cooking gives the food a delicious smoked and braised taste.
The utensils allow an even more immersive barbecue experience and make your life easier, both for the maintenance of your appliance and during cooking.
Among the essentials, we strongly recommend investing in a cleaning brush for grills, utensils for grilling (whose grip is non-slip and whose long handle prevents you from burns), and cleaning products sold by the manufacturers in a protective manner cover, etc.
For more “extra” accessories, we love pizza stones, tier cooking systems, rotisserie spits, etc.
If you’ve ever struggled to choose between a barbecue and a plancha, know that some brands (Weber, for example) combine the two to offer a wider variety of foods to cook.
11. Which brands to choose for your gas barbecue?
To benefit from the full potential of your device, we advise you to invest in a reliable, recognized brand whose customer service will undoubtedly be impeccable.
Indeed, a barbecue represents a financial investment, and having the guarantee of assistance in the event of a problem is very appreciable!
For this, the world-famous brand Weber remains unbeatable, as much on the quality of its products, on its pedagogy towards beginners, as on its after-sales service.
Other good quality manufacturers include Broil-Mate, Dyna Glo, Napoleon, and NexGrill, which offer barbecues for all budgets and needs.
12. What price to invest in a good model of barbecue?
As stated above, a gas barbecue is more expensive than all other barbecues.
However, it is the one with the lowest operating costs over the long term.
Suppose you don’t need to invest in a sophisticated device, and your bbq practice remains occasional. In that case, entry-level products are around $120 to $200.
The possibilities are pretty limited for this price, and the quality is not apparent.
But it helps!
Then, for slightly more comfortable models, there is an extensive range of good barbecues between $500 and $700.
You can already extensively indulge yourself and delight your guests for this price!
Finally, for grilling enthusiasts and those who are used to entertaining, the best barbecue models are around $3,000 to $4,000.
For this price, you get 6 burners and high-performance features: built-in cupboards, stainless steel cooking grids, a thermometer built into the lid, stainless steel worktops, removable grease tray, etc.
Top-of-the-range models that are revolutionizing the world of barbecues.
13. Which ignition system for an efficient gas barbecue?
There are two forms of ignition system on barbecue models:
- A push-button, which produces a single spark when the button is pressed;
- Rotary or electronic controls have several sparks and light your device more quickly and easily.
To ensure the long life of your ignition system, we recommend that you maintain the controls regularly.
Greasy residues and rust are the two causes that can lead to a malfunction of your appliance!
14. Should you choose a barbecue with an open or closed cart?
It all depends on your preference since it is not a primary criterion in choosing your gas barbecue.
However, suppose you prefer that your utensils and equipment remain out of sight and well protected from the rain. In that case, an enclosed trolley will best meet your expectations.
All your accessories remain close at hand during cooking; it’s also convenient.
15. What to choose between a portable or static gas barbecue?
Suppose the traveler in you can’t do without a good grill. In that case, we strongly advise him to get a portable, ultra-practical, and ergonomic gas barbecue.
It accompanies you everywhere, takes up little space, and allows you to make your favorite dishes as if you were in the comfort of your outdoors!
However, a few regulations apply to these devices, so you should familiarise yourself with them well in advance.
16. Is lighting useful for my barbecue?
Some models of gas barbecues allow you to cook in the evening since they are equipped with an LED lamp at the device’s handle.
Often clever, it lights up when the barbecue’s lid is open and goes out when it is closed.
If your model is not equipped with one, it is always possible to obtain one.
In general, the lamps are compatible with all models of handles.
What to remember for beautiful outdoor cooking
Cooking on a gas barbecue should, above all, be an absolute pleasure.
Having the best grill model that best suits your needs is essential.
We will, therefore, always start by asking the first question, “For what use, and for how many people?” “before wondering about more technical details.