Winter is almost over, with Spring around the corner and everyone loves a BBQ. The great Australian BBQ is iconic and with the average new home having an alfresco area as a standard inclusion there are more and more options and types of BBQ’s which are available.
BBQ’s aren’t just great for summer but they are also great for outdoor dining in winter. However, with Summer almost upon us it is time to upgrade your Alfresco, patio or deck with a new stylish and practical BBQ.
WHAT TO BUY
When considering what BBQ to buy you need to think about what you are actually going to be cooking on it. A BBQ that is going to be used for simple hamburgers and sausages does not need the same features that are required if you are thinking of cooking up a storm with gourmet meals such as, roasts, char-grilled seafood and desserts (yeah even desserts).
You also need to consider what facilities you have available because if you are thinking of installing an outdoor kitchen, services such as electricity, water and waste need to be made available and if you don’t already have them available to you in the vicinity it could be costly to install them.
Stacked bricks and a hot plate use to be the basic barbie they then progressed to trolley style BBQ’s maybe with an additional grill and then came along the ‘piece of resistance’ the timber trolley BBQ, pretty flashy. About 10 years ago one of the greatest innovations that barbies had ever seen came to fruition with the inclusion of the roasting hood. Now the backyard barbecue had been transformed into the ultimate roasting machine. The hoods nowadays are usually made from heavy duty stainless steel with a temperature gauge incorporated into the hood. Some even come with viewing windows so you can check on your master piece.
Roasting hoods, rotisserie rods, side burners and warming trays are all a part of the modern barbeque. The features above can usually be found as standard on many barbies however, one of the new innovations is the inclusion of the infrared grilling option. This method of cooking is very efficient as it reaches high temperatures quickly without having to use as much gas as a normal BBQ.
The number of burners can range from 2, 4, 6 and even more on the larger units. The configuration of the cooking surface can also be customised to the user’s preferences. It is important to get the ratio of grill to solid plate right you can buy extra plates and grills to interchange them to suit whatever you are cooking on the barbie.
COST CAN VARY DRAMATICALLY
The type of BBQ you choose will ultimately come down to the features you require and how much you can afford to spend. There are basically four different types of barbeques; kettle barbeques, trolley barbeques, built-in barbeques and the crème of the crop the outdoor kitchen.
The kettle barbie or better known a Weber has a conical-shaped hood can be fuelled by wither charcoal or gas and has the advantage of being compact enough to be able to be folded away when not in use or even packed into the back of the car for a barbie down the beach.
The trolley barbie is great and is the most popular among Aussie backyard barbequers. Most come with hoods and an array of optional extras, catering for sausages and hamburgers to the more extravagant gourmet cooking, for all you Jamie Olivers.
The Holy Grail, known as the outdoor kitchen is the pinnacle and will be the envy of all cooks across this great nation of ours. The features which are available are limited only by your imagination and your budget of cause. The more mod cons you want the deeper your pockets will have to be anywhere upwards of $3000 is where you need to be looking if you want that awesome outdoor kitchen. When designing your outdoor kitchen to keep the cost down initially it is good practice to make provisions for things you may want to include but just can’t at the moment. You need to think of the purchase of your outdoor kitchen not just as buying another barbeque but investing in your family’s lifestyle.
Some really cool mod cons that you may consider to include in your outdoor kitchen are built-in refrigerators with glass doors (very slick), large sinks and bench tops for food preparation, slide away drawers and cupboards and you can’t forget the all-important bottle opener.
STICK IT TO THE POWER COMPANIES
With the degree Aussie families are embracing the outdoor living lifestyle an investment in an outdoor kitchen is exactly that, an investment. Once you have one, it could even become the primary cooking facility for your house. These days the modern barbecues are highly efficient appliances being able to create awesome meals with the use of minimal gas. With the cost of electricity going through the roof the outdoor lifestyle not only embraces what is great about this amazing country of ours but it also reduces our dependence on the power grid and that is never a bad thing.