There’s not much better than stepping outside to the delicious aroma of food grilling on the BBQ, but traditional BBQs require a lot of preparation when it comes to loading the coals and waiting for them to preheat.
This is where a gas BBQ really comes into its own! Perfect for spontaneous weeknight dinners and hassle-free weekends, gas BBQs heat up in just 5 – 10 minutes. Gas BBQs are fast gaining in popularity, and there’s a huge number on the market to choose from.
Designed for small households and families, 2-burner gas BBQs offer all the benefits of a gas BBQ packed into a neat and compact unit. You’ll be able to control each burner individually, allowing you to sear steak at high temperature, while simultaneously cooking vegetables, sausages or chicken at a lower heat.
Below, you’ll find some things to bear in mind when considering a 2-burner gas BBQ.
Comparing Gas BBQs and Charcoal BBQs
There are pros and cons to both charcoal and gas BBQs, and the topic of which BBQ to go for can be quite divisive! Let’s take a look at the main advantages and disadvantages of charcoal and gas powered BBQs.
- Quick to heat up and easy to use – many reach their optimum temperature in just 5-10 minutes
- Allow you to precisely set the temperature of each burner using the control valves
- Direct and constant heat
- Some come with side burners which means you can heat a pan or saucepan on the side (this feature might be present in a BBQ with three or more burners)
- You’ll need to buy, store and dispose of gas canisters
- Gas BBQs don’t create a smoky flavour like charcoal BBQs
- Versatile and get extremely hot
- Often cheaper to buy than gas BBQs
- Indirect grilling is easier to achieve
- Food takes on a smoky flavour
- Harder to control the temperature compared to gas BBQs
- Generally takes at least 30 – 40 minutes to be ready to cook on
- Often difficult to light, particularly in windy conditions
Charcoal or Gas – Which is Better?
So, spontaneous people will love the ease of use of a gas BBQ, as you can have a grill that’s ready to cook on in just 10 minutes. If you prioritise flavour over speed, you may prefer a charcoal BBQ, as food will take on that authentic smoky flavour.
Uses For a 2-Burner Gas Grill
You might be wondering about the advantages and disadvantages of buying a 2-burner gas grill over a larger model. There are certainly a lot of sizes of gas BBQ on the market, from two to eight burners.
Generally speaking, the more burners there are, the larger the cooking area. However, the difference in cooking areas between a 2 or 3 burner BBQ may not be as large as you might think. In fact, some 2-burner grills have a cooking area that’s the same size as 3-burner gas grills. The real difference is that a 3-burner grill will offer a bit more flexibility.
The important thing to consider is the amount of temperature control you’ll need. Each burner can be set to a different temperature, so more burners will give you more control over the temperature of the cooking area. Many people won’t need more than two burners when cooking for a family or a few friends. Two burners already gives a lot of flexibility – whilst one burner can be set at a high heat for searing, the other can be used at a lower temperature to cook food slower.
One of the benefits of a 2-burner gas grill is that the fuel consumption is a lot lower. Gas BBQs with more burners will generate more BTUs per hour, costing more in fuel overtime. 2-burner gas BBQs will cost less in fuel, and they usually cost less to purchase outright as well.
Finally, 2-burner grills tend to be a good option for those without a lot of space. The models I’ve recommended on this page have a compact footprint so they can be stored in small areas – gas BBQs with more burners can get pretty difficult to store.
Selecting the Right Size BBQ
2-burner gas BBQs are usually suitable for cooking food for two to six people. Most of the time, their cooking area is between 45 x 45 cm and 50 x 50 cm. For the most part, this is plenty of space for cooking for several people, even if you have to stagger the cooking slightly to accommodate everyone.
If your BBQ has a warming rack (more on that later) you can keep food warm so that it can all be served at the same time. Therefore, this is particularly useful to have on a small BBQ, for those occasions when you’re entertaining a few more guests.
Of course, if you’re someone who frequently holds bigger parties and events in the summer, you’ll benefit from having a larger BBQ. In this instance, you may prefer a BBQ with three or more burners, so you can cook a range of foods at the same time.
If you’ve not got a lot of storage space, or you’ve only got a small area in which to place your BBQ, look for a model with a compact footprint. In these instances, a 2-burner gas BBQ will be a good bet.
It’s worth noting that even small BBQs can be quite heavy which can make them difficult to manoeuvre. If you’ve got a few steps between your storage area and garden, or you’re not going to be able to pull it along using wheels, you should look for a BBQ that you can lift comfortably. Whilst some 2-burner gas BBQs weigh around 10 kg, others can weigh closer to 30 kg. As you can imagine, this will make a sizeable difference in how easy they are to move.
BBQs may have two or four wheels. Four isn’t strictly necessary, but they do allow the BBQ to stay level when it’s being moved around. This could be helpful if there is a sudden rainstorm or if smoke starts blowing over guests due to a change in wind direction.
Castor wheels with brakes are best for hard level surfaces. If you’re going to be taking your BBQ across your lawn or other tougher terrain, opt for larger wheels.
Even 2-burner BBQs can come with a number of extra features which are well worth having if you’re entertaining guests.
Some BBQs come with side shelves which are great for storing bread rolls, condiments, plates and cutlery. Side tables can also be used as a food preparation area, or used to have meat close to hand before you put it onto the BBQ. Many BBQs have a storage space underneath, which is useful on gas BBQs as it offers a good place to put the gas cylinder. If you want to conceal the cylinder, choose a BBQ with a door or fabric cover across this storage area.
Another useful feature to look out for is a BBQ with a built-in thermometer. This makes it a lot easier to know when the BBQ is ready to use, and when food is cooked, without frequently lifting the lid.
2-burner gas BBQs rarely come with side burners, although this is a feature that some BBQs with three or more burners can have. If a BBQ has a side burner, it is often concealed in one of the side tables.
Which Type of Gas to Use
When it comes to gas BBQs, you usually have two fuel choices – butane or propane.
Butane comes in blue cylinders, and propane comes in red.
Propane is a popular choice for those living in colder climates as it continues to burn well in cold temperatures, down to -42°C. This is a great choice for those who like to BBQ year round (yes, including in the winter!).
Butane burns well in temperatures down to -2°C which makes it less suitable for use in colder weather. For most of us, BBQing during the summer in the UK, this won’t make a difference. It’s generally a little bit cheaper than propane and doesn’t burn as fast. This means you’ll need to purchase it less frequently, potentially saving you a little more money in the long run.
Some gas BBQs come with a regulator and hose included, whilst others will require a regulator to be purchased separately.
Regulators control the flow of gas to the BBQ, preventing too much from being used at any one time.
You’ll need a different type of regulator depending on whether you’re using propane or butane gas. If your BBQ comes with a gas regulator included, you may still need to buy one separately if it’s not compatible with the type of gas you want to use.
Another thing to check is whether the regulator is a screw-on or clip-on regulator. This is another factor that alters the type of gas canister that the regulator is compatible with.
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