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The wood on choosing the perfect barbecue

These days there’s a huge range of barbecues to suit any budget and any style of cooking, whether it be a portable gas grill for a small family, right through to large wood fired pizza ovens or smokers to feed a crowd.

As Port Macquarie foodie and barbecue competitor Adam Roberts explains, choosing the right barbecue for your home comes down to a few key factors, including what you want to cook and how much space you have available.

Gas grills

For gas grills, you really want to look for a barbecue that has the ability to get to a high heat. Not all gas grills are designed to give you maximum grill plate heat and it’s important to research this point in particular.

Some gas barbecues are designed to promote cooking with the lid down to use a convection or oven-like process to cook your meat or vegetables. This is okay for roasting or baking but it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to sear your steaks or quickly grill your chicken to perfection. It’s going to be very tricky to cook the perfect steak on a grill that doesn’t get hot enough to sear.

In short, a good sear equals more flavour and more cooking options. Searing is essentially a type of caramelisation process, which really adds a great flavour boost to your food. Without the ability to sear, you can end up with broiled or baked steaks which already sounds bland.

Charcoal smokers and grills

One of the more traditional charcoal grills is the trusty kettle style barbecue which uses the small pillow-shaped briquets. These have been around forever and most serious charcoal barbecuers are going to have at least one of these amongst their array of grills or smokers.

However, there are a range of smokers on the market these days that have the ability to be multi-purpose which can provide a bit more flexibility and capacity, still coming in at a value price. The bullet-shaped smoker is a great beginner smoker and it can grill, roast or bake, and hot or cold smoke just about any type of meat, fish or vegetable. The bullet-shaped smoker comes in a range of sizes to suit most budgets and can cook anywhere from 8kg to 40kg of meat at one time depending on your specific needs.

Other excellent smokers or grills to check out are the age-old Kamado style smokers which are a little pricier but can grill, roast, bake, smoke and can get hot enough to cook pizzas in just a few minutes.

Specific products

Barbeques Galore have the most extensive range of barbecues, grills and accessories in the local region and the following products would be my tip to take a look at next time you’re thinking of updating your alfresco cooking area.

ProQ – Bullet Shaped Smoker (Under $1000):

Uses small charcoal briquets as the heat source. Bakes, roasts, hot or cold smokes and is very easy to move around or travel with.

Ziegler & Brown – Gas Grill (Under $1000):

Uses gas as its fuel source and depending on the model, produces a great high heat perfect for grilling and general cooking.

Kamado Joe – Ceramic egg shaped smoker (Over $1000):

Uses charcoal pieces or briquets as its heat source. A real show piece with high functionality including smoking, grilling, roasting or baking and can get hot enough to cook pizzas in minutes.

You can catch Adam in action when he hosts hourly wood fired barbecue demonstrations at the Sovereign Hills Display Village Best of Summer open day on Saturday 23 February between 10am and 2pm. 

For more information click here.


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