Not much room in your entertaining area? Not so many mouths to feed? Barbecues don’t have to dominate. A compact model can cook quite enough for your needs plus they are often easier to clean, as components may fit in the dishwasher or the laundry tub.
- Cooking fuel Different models use charcoal, LPG gas or electricity to cook your food. You can consider purchasing a hybrid version that incorporates two cooking styles, too. Also useful is a hood, so you can roast food.
- Construction It’s best to choose one either coated in tough vitreous enamel or made from durable stainless steel. If you store your unit outside, a fitted cover is a worthwhile investment.
- Cooking time Charcoal adds a delicious smoky flavour, but needs to be lit well in advance of cooking. With the lid down they are ideal for bigger cuts of meat, creating succulence. LPG gas allows you to cook almost immediately, and cooks more evenly than charcoal. Electric is useful if you live in an apartment and have restrictions on barbecue type.
- Safety first Gas barbecues must be used in a well-ventilated space, and cylinders should never be stored inside. Heat is the key factor in all cooking, so make sure you stay vigilant, whether you are on a balcony, in the backyard or taking a portable barbecue somewhere in the open air.
Read more about what barbecue suits your needs and how to get the most out of eating outdoors over the summer in the January issue of ABC Gardening Australia magazine.