On the bar­bie

BUY­ING A BAR­BE­CUE

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Food In A Flash -

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.

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