On the barbie
BUYING A BARBECUE
The three key considerations are size, function and price.
• Barbecues come in a variety of sizes. For most families, a four-burner is adequate, while a six-burner will allow you to entertain a crowd.
• Be realistic about how you’re going to use the barbecue most of the time. Just grilling a few steaks or chops mid-week? Avoid the upfront expense and operating costs of a big unit and go for something compact.
• The functions of a barbecue come down to a range of design attributes. A mix of grill and flat plate is useful, as it gives you more flexibility. A hood is essential because it lets you roast and bake with good efficiency. Inside, you always want a resting rack because it’s the key to juicier meats.
• Side burners are optional, but for the avid entertainer, they’re a must.
• Choose your fuel thoughtfully. Coal and charcoal barbecues create the best flavour, but are more expensive and take time to get going. If you’re going for gas, bottles are portable, but if you have natural gas at your home, it’s the cheapest and most reliable choice.
OTHER IMPORTANT NOTES
• A barbecue cover will extend the life of your grill for years.
• Most parts, including grills, ignition switches and even burners, can be easily replaced at very little cost. So, as your barbecue ages, show it some love and get a few more years out of your investment.
• Always switch off the gas and disconnect the bottle after cooking to ensure there are no leaks.