How to Choose the Right BBQ For Your Backyard to Entertain Family & Friends

How to Choose the Right BBQ For Your Backyard to Entertain Family & Friends


Get excited… barbie season has landed!

Bust out the tongs, season your steaks, throw the cover off your trusty old 4-burner, and…oh, it doesn’t look like you remember it, does it? It’s covered in rust, there’s a wasps nest growing on the frame, and globs of unidentified semi-solid matter on the hot plate.

choose the right bbq - rusty bbqchoose the right bbq -old_BBQ

It sounds like it’s time to buy a new BBQ!

choose the right bbq -brand new bbq

But how do you choose which one? BBQs are no longer the simple machines they once were; there is now a multitude of sizes, types, and optional extras available.

Well fear not; if you follow this simple guide and do a little bit of homework, you can rest assured that you will invest your money wisely in a BBQ that is suited to your specific needs.

Budget & Desired Life Span Vs. Cost

As with any significant purchase, the best place to start is to set a budget. In doing so, however, you also need to consider the old adage: you get what you pay for.

Remember that while most BBQs look similar in the shop front, they certainly won’t a couple of years down the track when the cheaper models are rusting and struggling to fire.

The best way to know how long a BBQ might last is to look at the warranty period.  Generally, if the manufacturers are confident that it will last a certain amount of time, then you can be too. Also, consider the maintenance requirements of the BBQ; if maintained correctly, you should get many more years out of your BBQ than the length of the warranty.


There is nothing that will dictate which BBQ you buy more than the answers to these three questions:

1. How many people will I be cooking for?

2. Where will I be storing and cooking my BBQ?

3. Will I be taking it anywhere?

The number of mouths you’ll be feeding will determine the size of the cooking surface you require, which in the case of a gas BBQ, is often directly related to the number of burners.  Use the following table as a rough guide:

No. of PeopleCooking Area Required (cm2)No. of Gas Burners

Up to 4

Up to 2,000


5 – 6

2,000 – 2,500

2 – 4

7 – 8

2,500 – 3,000


9 +

3,000 +


However, it’s no good buying an entire outdoor kitchen if you live in an apartment or you want to take it camping. Measure up the size of your storage space, cooking area and if relevant, the boot of your car, so that you can select a BBQ to match.

Environment & Exposure

Naturally, you’ll want your BBQ to have a long and happy life, and the biggest threat to that happening is rust. While rust is a greater concern in certain environments, such as within 5 kilometres of the ocean or in humid areas, it can and will take hold almost anywhere.

Precautions such as storing your BBQ in the shed and using a well-fitted cover will help, but nothing is as effective at warding off the rust as a BBQ constructed from a highly rust-resistant material, such as stainless steel.


Ok, so by now we’ve worked out how big our new BBQ is going to be and what it’s going to be made of, but how are we going to fire it up? The three most common types of BBQ are gas, charcoal, and electric – each has its own quirks, advantages, and disadvantages.

Gas BBQs are by far the most commonly bought BBQ in Australia because they are quick and easy to use and maintain.

Charcoal BBQs on the other hand take 2-3 times longer to heat up, require more skill and experience to maintain a constant heat, and more effort to keep them clean. However, many BBQ aficionados would argue that these trade-offs are all worth it for the traditional rich, smoky flavours they infuse the food with.

Electric BBQs are becoming increasingly popular due to their simplicity and portability.  Like gas, they are easy to light, operate, and clean. The downside is that the food cooked on them tastes the least “barbecued”.

You’re Ready… Find It & Buy

So now that you know what to look for and what you want in a BBQ, the only thing left to do is to find it and buy it. In terms of finding it, don’t be overwhelmed by a large number of models available. Don’t be daunted by the optional extras. Just consider what we’ve said above in terms of what is the right BBQ for YOU.

In terms of buying it, remember it’s 2013; if you’re not shopping online, you’re not getting the best price.

Good luck!

No Comments

  • Krisztian says:

    Great post Marian, thank you for sharing your knowledge.
    I wish I knew all this before I got my BBQ, would have made a lot better decision.

  • Nicki says:

    Hi Marian, thanks for that info. Nothing says Summer like a sausage sizzle! Can’t wait to fire up our barbie this weekend. Looking forward to reading your posts about wood fire pizza ovens.

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