Most Australian families couldn’t do without their Aussie BBQ, my family included! My family loves the Australian BBQ not only because everything we cook on it tastes so delicious and mouth watering, but because it is an integral part of our family get-togethers, especially on weekends and other special events.
If you’re in the market for a new BBQ, you’re about to be confronted by a ridiculous amount of choice. It certainly can be rather daunting reading the various BBQ reviews, trying to work out the best BBQ brands and which is the best BBQ to buy.
To help make the search for a BBQ a little easier for you, I have put together this ultimate guide and product reviews.
In this best barbecue reviews guide, I explain the various types of BBQs, the various features to consider when purchasing a BBQ as well as compare some of the best BBQs currently available.
Whether you’re looking for a portable BBQ, an electric BBQ, a gas BBQ, a camping BBQ, a top of the line BBQ, a cheap BBQ, a small BBQ or a big BBQ, I have no doubt in this guide, you will find the best BBQ on the market to meet your needs!
As the name suggests, a charcoal BBQ grill (also referred to as a kettle BBQ or sometimes a bucket BBQ), uses charcoal to fuel and power the fire for cooking. They don’t tend to be very popular as cooking with charcoal is more time consuming and expensive than gas or electricity and disposing of the ashes can be a real pain.
However, the best charcoal BBQ gives food a delicious smoky taste that you just can’t beat!
The gas BBQ is the most common and popular outdoor BBQ which is operated by bottled gas. The gas BBQ heats up quickly and your meal can be ready much quicker than if a charcoal or electric BBQ was used.
Perhaps the worst thing about a gas BBQ is when the gas runs out. If you don’t have a back up, you’ll need to head to the nearest gas bottle supplier to continue cooking on the BBQ which can be a real inconvenience.
If you live in an apartment or small home, an electric BBQ grill is an ideal choice. Powered by electricity, these BBQs don’t require fire and so are perfect for indoor use. Despite their convenience, the disadvantage of an electric indoor BBQ is in the flavour. You just can’t create the same taste as a charcoal or gas BBQ with an electric BBQ.
When it comes to BBQ’s, size really does matter. Purchase a BBQ too small and you’ll need to cook your food in batches. Purchase a BBQ too large and you’ve spent a lot of unnecessary cash, not to mention the extra clean up.
When it comes to purchasing the right size BBQ, consider how many people you are likely to cook for at any given time. I’d recommend considering not just how many people are in your family, but if you entertain often, how many people will you be cooking for.
Portable BBQ – A small portable gas BBQ is perfect for those who want to take their BBQ camping or for BBQs in the park.
Small/Compact BBQ – For couples or small families that don’t entertain regularly, a small compact BBQ will do the trick. Look for a 3 burner BBQ or 4 burner BBQ.
Big-Sized BBQ – For the chef who plans on using their BBQ multiple times per week to cook for their large family or to entertain their friends, a big sized BBQ is the ultimate. Some of the bigger BBQs come with a range of additional extras like a BBQ rotisserie or smokers, which is ideal if you’re looking for the best BBQ smokers too.
The material that the BBQ grill (the surface that you cook your food on) comes in can be from a range of different material. BBQ grills may be made from cast-iron, stainless steel, porcelain or chrome plated and there are pros and cons to each:
Porcelain surfaces are cheaper, but they tend to distribute the heat poorly and the coating tends to chip over time.
Iron is better for cooking but difficult to clean.
Cast-iron is popular as it holds the heat better and gives good grill marks, but the clean up is difficult and regular maintenance is required.
Chrome plated is affordable but over time can chip leaving food sticking to the surface.
A stainless steel BBQ grill is somewhat better than the chrome plated, but is more expensive and can still chip over time, but at a much slower rate than chrome.
Build Quality & Design
For the best outdoor BBQ that will last for years to come, look for BBQs that are built from durable material such as stainless steel barbecue or cast-iron. BBQs made with an aluminum body will rust and corrode if left outside and not taken care off.
You’ll also want to consider how it looks overall. BBQ’s tend to take a prime position on the veranda or patio so you want something that looks good and that isn’t a complete eye sore. You can even get a built in BBQ, customised to your outdoor area. I’d also recommend something with drawers or cupboard so you can hide BBQ tools and the gas bottle.
If you opt for a small, portable barbecue, you’ll want something that is light and easy to carry and set up.
Other BBQ Features
Controls & Ignition – Check for BBQs with clearly labeled high and low settings to easily control temperatures and also give consideration to whether the BBQ has electronic ignition (use of a battery to create a spark) or piezo (push button or turn a knob).
Built-in Thermometer – Can be handy for checking the cooking temperature when the hood is closed or for pre heating as you’ll know when the BBQ has reached its optimal cooking temperature.
Hood and Cover – Not all BBQs come with a hood, but a hood is great for keeping the heat and smoke inside. A BBQ cover is also great for putting over your BBQ when not in use in order to keep the BBQ clean from the elements.
Grill and Hotplate Ratio – This refers to how much of the BBQ surface is a grill versus a hot plate. Generally a good ratio is 50:50 as this will give you flexibility to cook a range of foods.
Trolley – A BBQ on wheels is perfect for moving about as required. This means you can tuck it away when not in use and wheel it out and when it’s time to cook up a storm.
Easy maintenance – Look for BBQs with a tray underneath the burners to collect the fat or a hole that drains away to an external pot. This makes your BBQ much easier to clean after cooking.
The Beefeater Discovery 5 burner BBQ will make a great addition to your family’s outdoor area and will be the centre of attention at your next family gathering.
The Beefeater BBQ comes with a range of great features, including 5 burners as well as a side burner, which is perfect for preparing a range of dishes such as stir fries and sauces. It also comes with a roasting hood and built in temperature gauge and warming rack.
The hotplate and grill are made from porcelain enamel coated cast-iron, whilst the BBQ’s rust resistant build is easy to clean and provides easy maintenance. Other great features of this BBQ include integrated quartz start ignition for a hassle free start every time, and the BBQ comes with 4 castor wheels so you can easily move it around as required.
The Beefeater BBQ is designed to last and will provide your family with many years of great BBQ cooked meals.
If you want a stylish, modern, stainless steel 6 burner BBQ that will look fantastic in your outdoor area then look no further than the Gasmate Fortuna.
The Gasmate BBQ is a high quality stainless steel BBQ with a large cooking space perfect for big family gatherings. It features 6 stainless steel burners with individual controls, a side burner, a stainless steel double skin hood with viewing window and a built in temperature gauge which is perfect when roasting.
Built with a tough and durable stainless steel finish for the ultimate in rust protection, this BBQ is built to last. Other great features include the convenient built in storage cabinets which allow you to keep the gas bottle out of sight and you’ll love the easy to light piezo ignition.
If you want a BBQ that not only cooks beautifully but looks fantastic too then the Gasmate Fortuna 6 Burner Stainless Steel BBQ is a great choice.
Beware of cheap imitations of the Weber gas BBQ. There are many Weber type products on the market but only a Weber barbecue or a Weber grill product has the 100% guarantee, manufacturer’s 5 year warranty.
Complete with a super powerful premium stainless steel burner, an Australian Standard ⅜” gas hose, regulator and a bonus DVD and Weber recipe book, the heavy duty premium quality Weber Q1000 BBQ grill is the perfect companion for camping, picnics, beaches and the home.
This portable grill has a rust-resistant, cast iron, split grill which is conveniently smooth, making cleaning easier not to mention the simple easy to access detachable drip tray which also helps stop flare ups. The durable cast aluminium roasting lid and body with titanium coloured lid offsetting a black coloured body also has a super powerful 9.0MJ/h solid stainless steel burner allowing high performance of precision cooking.
With its compact size, the Weber is certainly a great contender for the best portable BBQ. You can buy a bigger Australian BBQ for the same price as this Weber Grill, but the quality and versatility make up for the size.
If you have problems cooking the perfect steak, then you’ll just love the Breville Smart Grill.
With this grill, you will have perfectly cooked steak every single time. There are 5 different meat settings from rare to well done as well as the integrated probe which lets you know your meat is done and also a meat indicator to prevent overcooking. And it’s not just meat you can cook on this grill, with the adjustable electrical temperature controls you can cook everything, from pancakes to sandwiches.
This BBQ has two interchangeable plates (one flat, one ribbed) and when opened flat, this folding BBQ doubles in cooking area. The heating elements are embedded in this grill’s PFOA free titanium infused non stick plates rather than underneath which provides superiors heating and means easy-to-clean plates.
This grill is larger than most comparable grills on the market and built to last which is reflected in its price, but its versatility as a kitchen appliance transforming to an indoor BBQ more than makes up for the hefty price tag.
Want toasties for the kids or an indoor BBQ to cook your steak, then the Tefal Optigrill GC712 is worth checking out.
With the use of coloured LED lights, this grill will tell you when it is preheating, cooking and at which stage of cooking it’s at with an audible beep, so you’ll know when your meat is rare, medium or well done. It also has six built in programs, whilst the automatic sensor cooking adjusts the time and temperature to the number of items cooking and their thickness, so you’ll have perfectly cooked meat every time every time.
This grill is made with non-stick die-cast aluminium plates which are tilted, ensuring unwanted oil/fat drips off into a tray. The plates can also be removed with a press of a button and are dishwasher safe so cleaning is simple.
This indoor BBQ enters the market at the lower end of the price bracket, yet still offers many similar features of its more expensive competition. It also comes with a 1 year warranty.
For those who love to entertain, the Bigg Bugg Amber Mobile Barbecue, with it’s extra-large versatile plate grill, is the perfect entertaining companion.
This gas BBQ’s ergonomic design, is built to last and comes with a robust trolley, sturdy metal handle and easy-clean vitreous hood. Storage and easy access of your condiments is by a large tray, with side trays locking in for extra preparation space and when done, they simply store away.
The BBQ comes with a rust resistant enamelled cast iron cooking surface as well as a BBQ hood with an integrated thermometer. Other features include the dual temperature control for even heat, two powerful, independently controlled burners and Quartz Startiginition.
This portable gas BBQ is at the higher end of the BBQ market but its 2 year warranty + additional 3 year warranty on aluminium castings makes it a grill not to walk past.
Perfect for the campground, park, home, caravan or boat, the Gasmate Voyager Portable BBQ is definitely worth considering.
This portable fold-up gas BBQ will fit easily into even the smallest car. The satin enamel coated cast iron cooking plate grill is designed and made for durability and easy, fast cleaning. The electronic piezo ignition will start the BBQ every time.
This BBQ comes with a large cooking surface including a cast iron BBQ plate and half grill, so there is plenty of room to cook a range of things at once. It also includes a roasting hood with temperature gauge perfect for roasting or as a barbecue smoker.
For rust resistance, this BBQ is covered in a heavy duty dimple enamel, powder coated finish. Other great inclusions include the Australian standard LPG regulator and hose which can fit most gas bottles and the optional hose with a bayonet fitting, so you can also use it inside your caravan too.
This is the perfect option for those on the go or those with limited space. Priced at the lower end so perfect if you’re after a cheap gas BBQ, it is one of the more affordable options for those on a budget.
Come rain or shine, the George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Grill is an electric BBQ that, as its name suggests, can be used indoors or outdoors and is an all round contender worth your attention.
This grill has a removable stand for benchtop cooking, so you can easily cook in the outdoors or move it inside and put the grill on your kitchen benchtop.
Coming with an enclosed lid and 5 temperature controls, you’ll be able to BBQ all your favourite meats. There is plenty of cooking space, with this grill able to cook up to 13 serves at once. For easy cleaning, you’ll love the non-stick plates that are removable and, as they are sloping, the fat drains away to the tray beneath. This is perfect for those that are health conscious as well!
With a 3 year limited warranty and the versatility of indoor/outdoor use, the grill is priced at the lower end of the market for the budget conscience.
For those that love entertaining a small group of friends, you’ll love the Davis & Waddell’s 8-person Electric Party Grill. With it’s low price, it also makes a great gift for that foodie friend.
Featuring a thermostat control and two tiers, this BBQ enables you to prepare all sorts of different foods. The upper tier features a grill plate comprised of half natural grill stone and half reversible non-stick die-cast aluminium. The lower tier features 8 non-stick mini pans perfect for cooking individual portions or keeping food warm.
It is super compact, weighs only 2 kg and is ideal for cooking for up to 8 people at a time. With its size, this is ideal for grilling directly at the table. You’ll also love how this party grill comes with delicious themed recipes and a 12 month warranty.
Priced at the lower end of the grill & BBQ market and with the ability to cook directly at the table, this grill is hard to pass by.
Short on space but still want to be able to BBQ your favourite meats? Then Sunbeam’s Electric BBQ Kettle could just what you’ve been looking for.
This BBQ oven has a high domed kettle-style lid for convection cooking (great for roasting). The domed lid is perfect for sealing in heat, moisture and that BBQ flavour. The combination grill plate has the element cast into it for quicker, even cooking as well as the added benefit of longer life.
This BBQ is light, weighing only 10.5 kg, and is easy to assemble. There are some who have reviewed this product and said the stand is unstable or a bit flimsy, but others have not found this to be an issue.
Priced in the lower end and having dishwasher safe grill plates for easy cleaning, the Sunbeam Electric BBQ Kettle is a great choice for those after a small BBQ.