BBQ Guide

BBQ Guide

Vanette Mendoza

Outdoor cooking at its most convenient. The BBQ is essential when the weather gets hot. They are great for cooking food in large quantities hosting garden parties, and the taste is second to none, but how do you know the best BBQ to go for? Which is the best between gas and charcoal barbecues

What is a BBQ?

A BBQ is an outdoor cooking accessory to cook the most amazing foods. You know summer is close when you can smell food cooking on neighbours BBQs drifting in the air. BBQs are simple to set up, too, making them the perfect accessory to add to your garden this summer.

Why is it called a BBQ?

It’s called a BBQ as an abbreviation from Barbecue (also sometimes spelt barbeque). The origin comes from a language used by the Caribbean and Indian tribe, who were named the Taino. They Taino tried to use the word “Barbacoa” to describe a method of grilling food on a raised wooden grate.

Why is it called a BBQ?

It’s called a BBQ as an abbreviation from Barbecue (also sometimes spelt barbeque). The origin comes from a language used by the Caribbean and Indian tribe, who were named the Taino. They Taino tried to use the word “Barbacoa” to describe a method of grilling food on a raised wooden grate.

What’s the difference between a gas Barbecue & a charcoal Barbecue?

Having a BBQ in the garden is a game-changer. There are two main types of BBQ which are gas and charcoal. Both cook up great food, but there are a few minor differences about how this is achieved.

You can look forward to getting home and creating epic meals, but how do you know what type of BBQ to choose a charcoal or gas barbecue? It’s a personal choice. There’s no solid answer here, but you don’t want to buy one without knowing the benefits and disadvantages of each one.



Gas BBQs

The king of convenience and easy to set up, gas BBQs are the most popular. They are cheaper and easier to set up, you’ve just got to buy the gas to get it going.

Charcoal BBQs

Some say it provides a more authentic taste, charcoal BBQs can be more difficult to set up and get a consistent fire going but once you learn how to do it, you’ll love them.

What’re the benefits of using a gas BBQ?

  • Set up speed
  • Gas is generally cheaper than charcoal.
  • Gas BBQs produce steam which can add moisture to the food.
  • Using a smoke box can add flavour.
  • Simple to use

The set-up speed is one of the most significant benefits of choosing a gas barbecue. You don’t need to be waiting for the charcoal to ignite and get going, making it much more convenient when you want to get eating.

Benefits of using charcoal BBQs

  • Hotter cooking
  • Easier to move around (more choice of portable barbecue)
  • Get that BBQ smokey flavour

One of the most incredible things about a charcoal BBQ is the Price. You can get some bargains in and out of the sales, and if you only want one for one time use, you can easily do it. The cooking temperature is hotter than a gas BBQ, and there’s the minor flare-up from charcoals vs gas.

You’ll find charcoal BBQs much easier to move around, even more so if you’ve got one with wheels.

Disadvantages of using a gas BBQ

  • Generally more expensive than charcoal BBQs
  • Difficult to move around (harder to find a portable gas bbq)
  • Gas doesn’t burn as hot as charcoal.
  • Emit odours when getting started

One negative point about gas barbecues is that they emit odours at first when getting ready. The initial set-up can be a hassle, and getting new gas and hauling that around can be inconvenient. However, any fresh smell emitted should soon disappear, leaving nothing but foody scented air.

Also, some people prefer the taste of food cooked using charcoal rather than propane gas.

It is a matter of personal opinion whether this is true or not; however, some people do prefer the taste of food cooked using charcoal over gas as they claim that if food is grilled using propane, then it lacks in the true bbq flavour, and this makes the meat lose its natural juices so, therefore, making it dry.

Drawbacks to using charcoal BBQs

  • A charcoal bbq takes longer to get going
  • Flare-ups can occur
  • There’s more to clean up after cooking
  • Ash can get in your food
  • Harder to control the temperature

As great as they are, they are pretty inflexible. The time it takes to get started puts a lot of people and difficulty maintaining a set temperature, leading to your food being potentially being under or overcooked.

It’s also important to know how to evenly distribute the coals and have enough to last the duration of the cooking process. The last thing you want in the final 5 minutes of cooking is the charcoal to run out; the twenty-minute wait for them to fire back up will feel like forever.


What is a wood pellet BBQ?

A wood pellet grill is a barbecue that uses small renewable wooden pellets made from compressed sawdust to create smoke and flavour. This gives it a similar taste to cooking with charcoal, but without the hassle, and it’s also more eco-friendly than using charcoal.

Some higher-end models have auto ignition to light the pellets, but this is something you need to check before buying. The pellets are usually loaded into a hopper at the top of the grill, which feeds them down into the firepot below, where they burn and produce smoke giving your food its delicious barbecue flavour.

Look out for models with a smoke box to produce an even more smoky flavour. Some higher-end models also come with a built-in thermostat so you can set it and leave it, freeing up your time to enjoy yourself.

Some even come with a smartphone app that lets you control your barbecue from your smartphone. That’s pretty impressive.

What’re the advantages of a wood pellet grill?

There are several advantages to using a wood pellet grill over other types.

  • It uses renewable, sustainable wood pellets made from compressed sawdust, which is more eco-friendly than charcoal or gas.
  • Easily adjust the temperature.
  • Some use a built-in thermostat so you can set it and leave it, freeing up your time to enjoy yourself.
  • It uses real wood smoke to give your meat the delicious barbecue flavour you’d expect from charcoal.

Disadvantages of wood pellet grills

  • They’re more expensive than traditional barbecues, especially the higher-end models with an app or built-in thermostat.
  • You may need to buy special pellets to use in your grill as not all brands support every model.
  • The smokebox can get messy if not kept clean after use.

Barbecue features to look out for

Although there seem to be no vast differences between BBQs, some have more features than others, which become essential as you get used to them. These can include;

Hoods: Look for a removable hood to make it easier to get an eye on what’s cooking underneath. The more adjustable the hood, the better because you can adjust it according to how hot or cool your barbecue is cooking, which will affect things like smoking times, frying times and baking time.

Temperature gauge: Check for a heat-resistant temperature gauge, if possible, right in the hood.

Adjustable grilling height: Look for BBQs that let you adjust the size of the grill racks or plates to allow for different cuts of meat, thicknesses and types of food and gives more cooking space.

Fat drip tray: look for a fat drip tray at the bottom of the BBQ to catch any excess fats or oils from cooking food. This can be easily removed and emptied when full—the more easily accessible, the better.

Ash collector: look for a detachable or easily removable ash collector to eliminate the ash that builds up during cooking. The more accessible, the better.

Removable grill plates/coals – look for bars with removable plates and grids to make it easier to clean after use. Look for ones with detachable parts such as handles, legs and wheels.

Shelve storage: You might want a place to store your BBQ tools and cooking accessories, like a tray or a table underneath the grill. The more accessible it is, the better because you can keep your utensils close by while grilling.

Tool hooks: look for a place to hang your cooking utensils and tools without contaminating surfaces. This can be useful when grilling over charcoal, so you don’t have to hold them in between grilling.

Griddle: check that the BBQ comes with a griddle. If not, one can be bought separately. This is useful for things like bacon, sausages and bread.

Smokebox: some gas barbecues come with a built-in smokebox that can be filled with wood chips or chunks to give the meat an even smokey taste.
Lava rocks and vapouriser: good gas barbecues will have lava rocks or vapouriser bars to help create that smoky barbecue taste.
 Wheels: look for barbecue models with wheels to make them easier to transport when not in use. The more mobile, the better
Air vents: look for vents at the bottom near the hood that can be opened or closed to control airflow to change the heat level and affects the speed the coal burns at
BBQing food made simple  

Allow the Meat to Sear

To find out when the meat is ready for cooking, you can use the tongs. Then flip it. It heats up quicker than gas-powered BBQs, making them perfect for a hot dinner.

Don’t burn food!

Add food to the grill if the fire starts glowing in dark grey colours and consider buying a BBQ with an integrated thermostat for monitoring cooking temperatures.

Oil the grill

Always use a little olive oil on your grill before cooking any foods. Get the food lubricated so the food doesn’t stick to the surface for quick cleaning?

Turn up the heat

In the grilling process, the first consideration must be its temperatures. It’s best to heat the barbecue grill for 15 minutes before cooking.


Don’t forget the vegan guests

Make sure to make some meals to satisfy all vegan needs. It can be prepared on a griddle with potato salads, bean burgers and kebabs.

Hygiene and food safety for the BBQ

Before you start cooking on the BBQ it’s best to give it a clean first. Let it warm – this will help remove the hard parts before using wire brush.

Keep raw and cooked foods separate.

Keep the plates or roasting dishes handy to remove cooked foods from the grill and ensure it does not touch raw foods.

Hand washing is incredibly important if touching meats.

Maybe you’re outside of your garden but wash your face thoroughly when working with raw ingredients. The temperature can vary depending upon where the dish is cooked or cut up, or you can use the thermometer to measure how much it’s cooked.


How long does a bbq take to cool down?

They should cool down fairly quickly. There may be some residual warmth in the grates, but for gas BBQs, if you wait for about 30 to 60 minutes after it has finished cooking, then you shouldn’t burn yourself when handling the grill. Don’t forget to clean the grill plates before storage – this will ensure they don’t rust and stay in tip-top condition for your subsequent use.

Charcoal BBQs can take significantly longer to cool down, with suggested ranges from four to eight hours; please be careful whenever handling any BBQ you think could still be hot.

Ten safety tips when using a bbq

Protect your eyes from flying food or charcoal ash by wearing protective eyeglasses when grilling Keep children and pets away from the grill area when cooking food items outdoors to prevent accidents such as burns or carbon monoxide poisoning

Use natural hardwood charcoal instead of lighter fluid if possible because they emit better flavours than other energy sources.

Store hot coals at least 20 feet away from shrubbery and other combustible materials to avoid fire hazards.

Always turn the main power switch off after cooking; never leave your grill unattended while it is still on.

Make sure to clean grease and residue left behind by food items or in burners before storing an outdoor gas grill for winter since they may not function properly once used again next summer. When lighting charcoal, keep all flammable materials away from the cooker so that strange embers do not set grass clippings or anything else on fire.  Use high heat resistant gloves when touching hot parts of a grilling machine such as grills, barbecue machines and cookers since bare hands can get burned

Place foods the right way up on the grilling surface of gas or charcoal barbecues to ensure that juices and other flavours do not fall out.

Keep a fire extinguisher around to extinguish flames if they reach nearby combustible materials such as wood, grass or house walls.

Do not light a grill if you are under the influence of alcohol since this can negatively affect your preparations and increase the risk of accidents.