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Juicy steaks, mouthwatering hamburgers and delicious sausages fresh from the grill - there's no need to wait until Australia Day to enjoy a traditional backyard barbie with family and friends. But before you buy a new barbecue, you'll need to work out which one will suit your cooking needs. After all, you'll be using it on a regular basis and everyone has their own way of doing a steak!
Barbecues now come with many features and settings, and it can be difficult to know which model will serve your barbecuing needs best. With our BBQ buying guide, we give you an overview of common features and fuel options of the barbecues on offer at Big W. We even give a few tips on how to maintain your barbecue, so that you can get the best use out of the barbecue model you choose!
Depending on whether you want to sear, smoke, roast, or grill, new barbecue models offer various features and settings that allow you to do all of these things. Today's barbecue can be simple or just like an outdoor kitchen!
A grill or griddle surface is perfect for steaks (meat, fish or poultry), kebabs on skewers and some vegetables. Basically, this surface is perfect for anything big enough to not fall between the gaps on a grill. Cooking on a grill also gives your food those classic "char grill" marks that everyone expects from a barbecued meal!
If you want to use your BBQ for more than just steaks and snags, a barbecue with flat top or hotplate may be the right choice for you. While a flat surface is perfect for hamburgers, wrapped fish, sausages and chopped onions, they can also be used to cook eggs, bacon and pancakes too!
You should choose the size of a barbecue with three things in mind. First, you should consider the cooking load. A smaller barbecue could handle meals for two or four, but will probably be unable to feed a group of eight. If you are cooking for a large family or if you have your mates over regularly to watch a game, invest in a bigger BBQ model.
The second factor to consider is how big your barbecuing space is. There has to be sufficient room in your backyard to fit the barbecue and give users a safe area around the hot grill to cook.
And finally, consider what you plan to cook on the barbecue: do you want to cook the Christmas turkey on the barbie? An entire fish? Fifty sausages at once? If you do, you'll have to make sure your BBQ is big enough to accommodate whatever you want to cook.
Hooded barbecues can turn your grill into something like an outside oven, allowing you to fry, bake, and roast food under the hood. It can even make cooking time quicker than on a BBQ without a hood.
Portable barbecues are ideal for small backyards, picnics and camping. As portable barbecues, they are fairly light and compact, but most are able to handle heavy cooking loads.
Charcoal barbecues are popular with many grill enthusiasts, as they add a smoky flavor to the food. The most common coals used are briquettes, which can burn for hours, and lump charcoal. Lump charcoal is slightly harder to come by, but it burns hotter and faster than briquettes and typically has higher carbon content. Be wary of the amount of smoke and ash a charcoal barbecue can produce, as this can make cooking unpleasant and may upset your neighbours.
The major advantage of gas-fueled barbecues is that you can easily control the temperature and that gas heats the barbecue up a lot quicker than charcoal. Moreover, gas barbecues leave the meat with a clean, non-smoky taste and are generally easier to clean than charcoal grills. Gas barbecues typically run off LPG gas bottles.
Electric grills heat faster than charcoal grills, and you don't have to worry about running out of gas. However, one limitation of the electric grill is that you only can enjoy your barbie if you are close to a power source.
To make sure you can enjoy your barbecue as long as possible, it is important to maintain it carefully. After every use, brush excess food residue off the surface and clean all parts with an appropriate grill brush. Grease remover will help you clean very dirty and greasy parts such as racks.
Use mild soap and warm water to remove ordinary stains from stainless steel, and avoid scratching the surface with harsh brushes. To protect your barbecue from moisture and dust, you should invest in a cover. If you use gas cylinders, it is a good idea to store them off the ground to avoid rusting.
It's safe to say that the BBQ defines the Aussie lifestyle - outdoors, laid back, and sociable. Big W has a large range of barbecues and barbecue equipment available online. Or to get an idea of actual barbecue sizes and to compare the different models directly, come down and see them in-store at your local Big W.
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