Outdoor cooking is the best, even here in the UK. Beautiful grilled food cooked to perfection.
But you need a BBQ and with so much choice it can be tricky to find the best gas BBQ to suit all your needs.
You may have a small garden or backyard, you may want a big grill area for large parties, or maybe you just want the very best gas BBQ money can buy in 2017?
Jump straight to our recommendations:
- Best small and portable BBQ
- Best mid-sized and mid-priced BBQ
- Best large and high-end
If you want to get more specific, jump to the most relevant section:
- Best BBQ under £50
- Best BBQ under £100
- Best BBQ under £200
- Best BBQ under £500
- Best £500+ BBQ
- Best 2 burner BBQ
- Best 3 burner BBQ
- Best 4 burner BBQ
- Best 5 burner BBQ
- Best 6 burner BBQ
Where to begin?
To narrow down the choices right from the start you need to have a good idea of what you want your BBQ for. We recommend that you always start with a list (great for crystallizing your thoughts and making the best decisions).
Ask yourself these questions:
- How often will you use it?
- Where will you use it?
- How many people will you cook for?
- What is your budget?
These are the most important questions to ask yourself and as you read through this buyers guide to gas BBQs hopefully it will become clear what type of BBQ is best for you. However, while this guide is more focused on gas BBQs, there is of course another fuel choice, and that is charcoal. So, we’ll begin here with a discussion about gas and charcoal BBQs.
FUEL: What are the different BBQ fuel types?
Actually, this is one of the biggest choices you need to make when purchasing a BBQ. Gas BBQ or Charcoal BBQ?
Which is best, a Gas BBQ or a Charcoal BBQ?
There are two main reasons to choose a charocoal barbecue over a gas barbecue. They are 1. the taste of the cooked food and 2. maneuverability. Oh, and there is price too.
Probably the main reason though is taste. There is continual debate as to whether a gas BBQ still imparts the same smoky flavour as a charcoal BBQ. However, with the availability of smoking chips for gas BBQs, to all but the most demanding of eaters the difference in taste is minimal. So perhaps this is not such a major influencing factor after all?
Why are gas BBQs better?
A gas BBQ is by far the quicker (and easier) option as the heat source is there straightaway, whereas a charcoal BBQ requires a bit of planning to get the coals lit and up to temperature (maybe 30-45 minutes). Phew, that’s quite a long time but some folks are willing to put in the extra effort for the traditional feel (and maybe taste – but as we said the taste difference is debatable when using smoking chips with gas BBQs). You can speed up the heating time of charcoal BBQs by using a chimney starter.
Chimney Starters – What are they and do you need them?
Chimney starters are used with charcoal BBQs to speed up the heating up process by about 15 minutes. A chimney starter is basically a hollow metal cylinder with holes at each end and a wire grate inside. The coals are placed in the chimney and lit from beneath.
The coals will heat up much more quickly than the more traditional method for charcoal barbeques and are then tipped and spread out from the chimney once they’re up to temperature. (Learn more about this on Weber’s website)
A gas BBQ will however give a more controllable heat source – just like a gas hob in the kitchen the burners can be set to the desired temperature and if a multiple hob version is purchased then you can cook your food at different temperatures as well.
So is there even a question? Everything seems to point towards getting a gas BBQ. However, there are a couple of BIG points in favour of a charcoal BBQ. Charcoal BBQs are usually a lot easier to move around and store than gas BBQs (being lighter in design), and they are also the cheaper option – especially if you only want a portable one that you only use occasionally.
So [to repeat], which should you choose, Gas or Charcoal?
Sometimes the choice of fuel comes down to the feel you want when making a BBQ – if it is the theatre of lighting the coals, waiting for the perfect moment and then sizzling your sausages then only a charcoal BBQ will do. Also some say you can only really get that perfect charcoal effect when using a charcoal BBQ.
However, gas BBQs are so much easier to use and you can control temperatures much easier. Some people say you cannot really tell the difference between gas and charcoal in terms of food taste, and the ease of using gas far outweighs any taste differences.
We at BarbequesUK prefer and recommend gas BBQs for most occasions. With that said, lets move on…
Size: How big does your BBQ need to be?
Barbecue size (along with price) is perhaps the most important factor in most peoples buying decision. Ultimately, the decision will hinge on when and how you see yourself BBQing.
If you only expect to BBQ on the couple of days a year that sunshine and weekends combine in the UK then you really only want a smaller kettle shaped charcoal BBQ or just buy disposable BBQs. This means you don’t have a huge unit to store for most of the rest of the year, loads of leftover charcoal, or a really messy big BBQ grill to clean. Oh, and it will be cheaper too.
Smaller and disposable BBQs are also a good option for camping trips for the same reasons – easy to transport and dispose of. Always remember if you are using a BBQ while camping that you should NEVER have it anywhere near or inside your tent – quite apart from the obvious fire risk, even when the BBQ appears to have burnt out it is still releasing noxious gases and can be deadly. Have a look at these websites for advice on preventing BBQ related accidents and the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning from BBQs.
As we move on we are going to focus on Gas BBQs. They tend to be larger in size than the smaller charcoal BBQs (although some charcoal BBQs are larger), but as mentioned gas BBQs are extremely easy to use and are the preferred choice for a lot of households.
Recommended Gas BBQs
In this section we are going to cover a range of BBQ sizes, based of the number of gas burners. 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 burner barbeques are covered and we highlight some particularly good ones for you to check out.
Best 2 burner gas BBQ
2 burner gas barbecues are ideal when space is a little tight and also when you are looking to not spend a fortune. In terms of performance they are equal to larger 3 or 4 burner BBQs with the only difference being their size, or more specifically the size of the cooking area.
Here we feature 3 of the best 2 burner gas barbecues currently available.
Outback Omega 250 Gas BBQ
In addition to this there is a very useful side table that folds down and the cooking area itself is a very respectable 50cm. The Outback Omega has a solid cooking hood / lid that is full weather resistant so it will not rust in the rain that is use to pour on it.
2 burner gas BBQs are equal in performance to larger and more expensive 3, 4, and even 5 burner BBQs. They are however much better suited to smaller gardens and for those not looking to spend several hundred pounds on a gas barbecue.
Best 3 burner gas BBQ
3 burner gas BBQs are probably the most popular on the market because they give a large cooking area while not being too large for most gardens. Because they are so popular there are a lot around so to make things easier we have selected 3 of the best for you to look over.
Fire Mountain 3-Burner Everest Gas BBQ
The flames are controlled via electric piezo ignition turning knobs and there is a grill, hot plates and a cooking hood/lid that allows you to control your cooking experience to ensure your food is done to perfection.
There are 3 high quality cast iron burners (each having a 3.5KW rating), a cast iron griddle (enamelled), and an enamelled cast iron cooking grill. There are two individual flame tamers and the gas ignition is controlled by the electric piezo ignition turning knobs. The stainless steel hood is perfect for roasting or keeping food hot.
3-burner barbeques are a perfect choice for most people because they offer a good cooking area and are not too big for most people’s gardens. On the flip side this means there is a lot of choice so we have hand selected 3 of the best to help you choose the perfect one for you.
Best 4 burner gas BBQ
Fire Mountain Everest 4-burner Gas BBQ
This is a hugely popular BBQ, so much so that it wins our award as the best Mid-Ranged BBQ. Click here to skip to this section to read more about the Fire mountain Everest.
Click here to scroll down to get more information on this fantastic 4 burner BBQ.
Bigger BBQ options
2, 3, and 4 burners are great, but sometimes you want more. If you want something a bit larger there are still choices to make between a medium or a large BBQ. The decision will probably come down to the amount of people you expect to be catering for, the money that you have to spend, and the type of food you’re likely to cook. Oh, and the space you have in your garden.
If you have big parties over regularly to enjoy your cooking or have a large family who demand grilled kebabs most of the year then a large BBQ is probably for you. If you are more likely to be cooking for a few people or a small family with only rarely having to cater for larger numbers then go for a medium sized BBQ.
Also, consider what you are likely to cook on your grill. If you enjoy cooking large pieces of meat or fish then you won’t need as big a grill then if you’re cooking lots of sausages, burgers and kebabs.
Just a side note here, also bear in mind how easy your chosen BBQ is to put together – some will come fully assembled but some of the larger models may require a bit of constructing before they can be used.
Below we recommend some of the best larger BBQs:
Best 5 burner gas BBQ
Charles Bentley 5 burner gas BBQ
The Charles Bentley BBQ has 4 main stainless steel gas burners that are all independently ignited. This gives you fantastic control over your cooking. There is also a side burner with lid for extra cooking options. The full length chrome warming rack is very convenient.
While pretty large the BBQ sits on 4 x castor wheels so it is very manoeuvrable. Also, this BBQ has a cooking hood that has a built in thermometer so you can easily see the cooking temperature to ensure the perfect cooking of your food.
The Bentley comes in both titanium grey or black, and has plenty of storage with a built in double cupboard and utensil hooks.
This really is a great BBQ. Check out more photos here
Best 6 burner BBQ
Fire Mountain Premier 6 Burner Barbecue
All 6 of the main stainless steel burners have 12,000 BTU each, plus there is even an additional side burner. The actual cooking area is big at 97cm x 50cm, with a porcelain-enameled cast iron griddle and grill. Not only this but there is a [battery powered] rotisserie, a temperature gauge and of course there is lots of storage.
This really is a quality BBQ and if you want one of the best on the market then you need to consider it.
Covered or not?
Many BBQs come without a hood; however, if you are able to store and afford one with a lid or hood it is worthwhile. The hood will protect your BBQ when it’s being stored and will also control the heat inside the BBQ so you can be more confident in your food being cooked through or cooked at a consistent temperature for that amazing ‘fall off the bone’ result.
What are grills made of?
Your BBQ can be made of different materials that will reflect in the cost, cleaning and cooking ability. A cast iron or a porcelain coated grill is likely to be at the higher price end of the market but will store and transfer heat really well. Stainless steel and chrome plated grills are more likely to have a cheaper or mid-range price tag, and while they may not be quite as good for cooking on they are still really good options and nearly everyone who buys one will be happy with the cooking results.
The running costs will come down to which fuel you have chosen.
A gas BBQ requires you to ‘rent’ a gas cylinder and then refill this at gas stockists or the retail chain that you purchased the cylinder from. The cylinders come in a number of different sizes so factor in how much you are likely to use and how heavy the full cylinder will be!
In general, if you purchase your cylinder from a DIY store (such as B&Q or Homebase) you will probably have to refill it there. Using a Calor gas cylinder (for example) means you can refill it at a large number of stockists.
There will be an initial cost of around £30 for the cylinder (empty) that you may recoup part of depending on how old it is when you return it. If you buy a 13kg cylinder then it will cost around another £30 to fill with gas. This should give about 12 hours cooking time.
Charcoal can be purchased from a lot of stockists including DIY shops, supermarkets, garages and of course online. As with most things, prices vary depending on where you purchase. Look to pay about £10 for a 7kg bag which will last for three medium BBQs.
One of the most important accessories if you’re not storing your BBQ in a shed or garage is a cover. Make sure you buy one that will be completely weatherproof and can fully cover your barbecue grill.
It is also a good idea to consider a meat thermometer. This will remove any of the guess work out of cooking meat and will give you peace of mind when feeding all your friends and family. If you take a look here on the bbcgoodfood website you will find internal temperatures for different types of cooked meat.
Rotisseries – what are they?
A rotisserie is a very popular barbecue accessory. It lets you spit-roast meat on a barbecue.
It is normally the higher end and bigger BBQs that come with a rotisserie and we think the [Premier] Fire Mountain 4 burner gas BBQ is one of the best on the market. The standard Fire Mountain 4 burner is hugely popular and is our recommended mid-range BBQ is a very popular BBQ, and it is the Premier version we recommend for the rotisseries.
Premier Fire Mountain 4 Burner Gas Barbecue with Rotisserie
Fire Mountain have a strong reputation for making fantastic BBQs, and the Premier version of the hugely popular 4 burner is no exception. Made from heavy-duty premium 430 stainless steel, this is a very robust BBQ with plenty of features and storage.
The cooking area is large and covers two main areas. There is a grill and there is a griddle area. Both of these are made from porcelain-coated cast iron that adds strength and durability. Also there is of course 4 main stainless steel burners, but in addition to this there is an infrared rotisserie burner [that is battery powered], and an extra burner to one side shelf. Oh, and it even comes with a protective cover to keep your BBQ is protected from the elements when not in use.
Smokers do exactly what their names suggests, they smoke. This gives your BBQ’d food an intense smokey flavour and you can add smoking chips of different smells and types to fine turn your foods taste.
You basically have two choices. You can buy a BBQ with an integrated smoker unit (i.e. a combo BBQ), or you can buy a small smoker box that fits in your standard BBQ.
BBQ Smoker Combos
There are a few decent smoker combo barbecues around, but the Charles Jacobs Charcoal Barrel BBQ is right up there as one of the best. It is generally the charcoal BBQs that come with a smoker combined.
The Charles Jacobs barbeque is a very large cooking area and you can use it as a normal BBQ grill, but of course you have the added option of using the smoker to fill the cooking chamber with amazing smokey flavours.
Add-on BBQ Smokers
A great option for those with gas bbqs (although they are also very popluar with traditional charcoal too) is to use a small but effective smoker box. These are simply a metal box in which you put smoker chips (wood chips). You then place this smoker box in your barbecue, on top for your burners (or coals) and below your grill. The metal box heats up, the wood chips burn, and then beautiful smoke passes over your cooking food.
There are lots around but the Kitchen Craft Stainless Steel BBQ Smoker Box is particular popular.
How much do BBQs cost?
As you will now realise, BBQs come in all sizes and types, and they also range widely in price. For a small, basic bucket BBQ you won’t have to pay more than £5; disposal bbqs are even cheaper than this for the smaller sizes.
However, you can spend £1,000’s for a top end, large gas BBQ. I would advise to consider all the options above, deciding on fuel type and size then have a budget in mind when you start to look at the options with the features you want.
I would never advise to spend more than you can afford, however if you are going to be using your BBQ a lot and have the luxury of a healthy budget then going for one of the better makes (e.g. Weber, Landmann etc.) makes sense as you will have more confidence that it will be well made and will bring you many hours of happy BBQing. However, this does not mean brands you are not as familiar with do not offer quality build quality too.
Below we have recommendations for all budgets:
Best BBQ under £50
For this price level you are looking for a small and compact BBQ to use when out and about. Or you would want to place the BBQ on a table top of small surface while cooking at home. For example on a small balcony.
These small table top BBQs are great for camping or day at the beach. Just hook up your gas and you are ready to go. There is a lot of choice but we recommend the highly rated BBQ below that cost as little as £26.
Table Top Gas BBQ with Lava Rock
At around £26.00, this is the cheapest and best gas BBQ under £50 that you will find on the market. Similar to other BBQ’s in it’s class, the cooking surface is 42cm x 27 cm, which will handle any small party in the park.
The grill is butane and propane connectable, constructed out of stain glass steel and is easy to clean. For the price, this barbecue, if well maintained, can grill up meals in the park, beach or at home for years to come. It should also be pointed out that the legs of the unit are collapsible, which make the unit easy to store and easy to transport.
Best BBQ under £100
Best BBQ under £200
Best BBQ under £500
Best £500+ BBQ
Best BBQs for small gardens
Best BBQs for large gardens
Here we look at 3 fantastic BBQs to cover most demands and budgets. Each of these BBQs is top of its class for 2017. The first we review is a smaller more mobile BBQ for compact spaces or travelling. Then we discuss a mid-ranged BBQ that will appeal to the majority of people who want a good all round BBQ for tasty summer time dinners. And finally, we finish with an all bells and whistles option for those who are happy splashing the cash and need the reassurance of top quality performance every time.
We recommend this BBQ quite a lot on our site, and that is because it is great little BBQ offering multiple cooking options and is really easy to store and transport. If you have limited room or want to be more mobile then the Cadac Safari Chef Deluxe BBQ is the one for you.
The simple design means for easy set up and use, just what you want on a camping holiday or for a quick dinner when the weather gets sunny. Attach the refillable gas cylinder (not included) to the burner and you can instantly start cooking. As with all gas BBQs the heat can be controlled for a more varied range of cooking. The Safari Chef comes with a griddle cooking plate for traditional BBQ cooking such as burgers or steaks. There is also a baking tray that can be used for your fry-up after a night camping. The lid doubles as a cooking pot/ wok for tasty stir fries and can also be used as a cooking hood.
If you want the Safari Chef for your camping or caravan holiday, it comes with a handy carry bag for easy transport. Obviously, thhis BBQ isn’t the biggest on the market so look at one of the other options we recommend if you have bigger needs. This grill, however, is perfect for two and you will be sure to use it regularly due to it’s quick set up and versatile cooking options.
The price of the Cadac Safari Chef Deluxe is also lower than other gas BBQ’s, coming in at under £80.
We’re not the only ones who love this BBQ, purchasers on Amazon have high praise:
Bought this for our motor home but so far we’ve used it almost daily at home! Variable heat means your food doesn’t burn. The lid makes a great paella pan! Love it!
Just used on one trip but it is superb. Definitely recommend, very functional, versatile. Did steaks, chicken, heated up pre made food. Boiled water, didnt use that much gas either.
It is hard to look past the Everest 4-burner Gas BBQ made by Fire Mountain when you want quality and value for money. At less than £200 this really is a great BBQ and comes in at similar spec to other brands of 4 burner BBQs with a smaller price tag. The Everest is likely to be a showpiece in your garden for grilling during good weather for your family with enough space to cater for larger parties during the long weekends and holidays.
The Everest has a simple, sleek look about it with a winning combination of stainless steel hood, drip tray and side shelves and cast iron burners, grill plate and griddle. Cast iron is long lasting on a gas BBQ if kept in good condition. We always advise that you use the correct cleaning techniques to prolong the lifetime of your BBQ.
The Everest gas BBQ has electronic piezo ignition to safely and quickly light the 4 powerful gas burners every time. The cooking area provided is a generous 77 x 42 cm with both a griddle and a grill area depending on the type of food you are cooking. The side shelves are a good touch, providing ample space for utensils and some extra prep if needed. Hanging bars mean you can hook on tongs or a cloth. Behind the fabric front panel is a shelf intended for the storage of the gas bottle when it is not in use.
The hood has a temperature gauge built in for fuss free roasting of larger joints of meat. There is also a warming rack so you can easily grill bigger batches of food and keep them warm until everything is ready.
Storage wheels on the BBQ allow for moving your BBQ if needed and are particularly useful if you plan to store it away in a garage or shed.
One thing to note is that the Everest Gas BBQ comes flat packed so you will need to spend a bit of time assembling it before using it for the first time.
Amazon customers are happy with their purchase as these reviews show:
Very study BBQ, works very well, does take arond an hour to put together but probably the same as most BBQ’s. Highly recomend.
Bought for my husband after hours of research. Great size, great quality, great price. He likes the griddle section, which was something i wasn’t sure about when buying. Even has hooks for utensils. Easy to build.
If you have a big budget to buy the best high-end gas BBQ on the market then it would be hard to find a better BBQ than the Outback Meteor 6 Burner Gas BBQ. Outback is a well-known BBQ manufacturer that has been delivering high quality and innovative approaches to BBQ design for over 30 years. All Outback BBQs are designed in Britain and as a big bonus, spare parts can be purchased for them making them a solid investment piece for years to come.
Obviously, the Meteor 6 Burner Gas BBQ comes at a high price of around £500, but for this money you get a super large BBQ with high design and performance values.
Made of stainless steel, the Meteor is easy to keep looking brand new and will always look sleek in your garden. This model has 6 heavy duty porcelain coated cast iron burners that can easily be regulated to deliver the desired heat for whatever meal you are cooking. A large cooking area (78 x 42 cm) provides ample space for cooking of multiple items. Ideal for a family or if you enjoy catering for large parties during the summer months.
The cooking area is split 2/3 grill to 1/4 griddle (both porcelain coated) depending on the type of cooking you need to do. This BBQ also has a handy side searer so you can quickly sear and seal your meat before placing it on the grill. The Meteor also has a prep table to the other side so you can store utensils and get your food ready for the BBQ.
Please note once again that this BBQ will require full assembly. From reviews, this may take a while so be prepared to leave enough time to set everything up properly.
Customers are very happy with the quality of the Meteor 6 Burner Gas BBQ:
Greatly appreciated birthday present from family. Great product and highly recommended.
Excellent powerful BBQ with masses of cooking space,very helpful when doing mixed foods.
Best Gas BBQ Round-Up
There is a lot of choice when it comes to gas BBQs, with cooking outside in a social environment becoming more and more popular. Here we have highlighted 3 fantastic BBQs that will appeal to different types of people who have differing criteria. Check them out and see which is best for you.