If you love the authenticity and taste of grilling over coals, a Charcoal BBQ is definitely the way to go.
Charcoal BBQs have a lot to offer, from fast temperature adjustments to smoking units on the side.
If you need a little help choosing the best charcoal BBQ for you, check out the following tips to help you make an informed decision.
Why Choose a Charcoal BBQ Over Gas
What is it that makes cooking with a charcoal BBQ such a great experience?
First and foremost, charcoal BBQs give a deliciously smoky, outdoor-cooked, authentic quality to food which gas BBQs just can’t quite replicate.
They allow you a truly versatile cooking experience. Depending on where you place the food, and how you position the grill shelves, you can choose to sear meat, leave it to slow cook, or smoke it. What’s more, charcoal BBQs even allow you the possibility to cook food directly in the hot coals themselves (wrap in foil first!).
Charcoal BBQs really offer a variety of great options for food lovers. You can choose to use different types of wood with your charcoal BBQ to alter the taste when smoking. There are so many possibilities that just aren’t available when cooking with gas.
The best Gas BBQs do have their benefits, of course, and one of their advantages is that they are notoriously easy to light. However, don’t let the charcoal BBQ’s unjust reputation for being difficult to start put you off. With a bit of practise, you’ll be an expert at getting the coals burning, and you’ll never look back!
Choosing the Right Charcoal BBQ Size
As you can imagine, how you wish to use your BBQ will determine what size you should buy.
Do you have a large family or is it just the two of you? Are you frequently hosting parties?
What about food? Are you content just grilling sausages and burgers? Or do you want to smoke racks of ribs and cook a whole chicken?
If you know you want to be able to cook a lot of food for a lot of people, you should look for a BBQ with a large grill (and a warming rack).
However, if the idea of cooking that much food at one time seems unnecessary to you, you’ll probably be happier with something smaller. A lot of great options are available, allowing you to cook for a few people and then easily store the BBQ away.
Charcoal BBQs With Temperature control
Look out for charcoal BBQs which have vents, as these allow more control over the cooking temperature.
For some, this may not be as important, especially if you’re mostly interested in serving up just a couple of sausages and burgers.
However, for cooking bigger items, or larger quantities, it can be helpful to be able to adjust the temperature. Vents are often positioned at the top or bottom of the BBQ, or at both ends.
There may also be an option to adjust the height of your charcoal basin or change the height of the shelves. This brings food closer to, or further away from, the heat source. When the food is closer to the charcoal, the temperature will be higher, and vis versa.
Check it’s Easy to Clean
It can be a bit of a nightmare to clean some old-fashioned BBQs. You may be familiar with the type – you have to lie them down, twist them about, or flip them over completely in order to effectively clean them.
But fear not! This can be avoided. And if you’re going to the effort of buying a new BBQ, I recommend you make your life simpler by checking if it’s easy to clean.
Several BBQs have features to make cleaning easier.
As a starter for ten, look for models which have removable ash trays that can be removed and cleaned separately. For example, the Landmann DIY Charcoal Barbecue or the Landmann Pedestal Charcoal Barbecue.
You should also look out for chrome- or ceramic-plated grills. These have a durable, non-stick surface which should keep them easy to wash down for years.
How to Know it Will Last
You want your BBQ to be a long-term investment, so it’s important to buy one which has got some longevity.
A durable material is a good place to start. Look for steel construction and ceramic-coated grills. This is usually a sign of quality.
It’s also important that the grill itself is relatively thick. Not only does a thicker grill hold heat longer, ultimately cooking more effectively, it is also much more likely to last longer. Cooking grates should be made out of steel or cast iron.
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