The enticing aroma of sizzling steaks, the exotic taste of delicious seafood, even the smell of the humble snag on the barbie — it’s enough to make your mouth water. With modern barbecues, the backyard chef can now serve up restaurant-quality food outdoors.
“There is almost nothing you can’t cook,” says John McGran from Lifestyle BBQs. “When I was a kid, I remember going to barbecues and all we ate were sausages and chops but now it’s different — people want a dining experience instead of the stock-standard barbecue fare.
“With the hood up, you’ve got your open fire plate and grill for snags, steaks, and hamburgers. When the hood’s down, it’s an oven, so you can cook pizzas, cakes, lasagne, pancakes for breakfast on Sunday, even a butterflied lamb on a rotisserie. Basically, anything you can cook in your kitchen, you can cook on the barbecue.”
A FEAST OF FEATURES
With some of the latest innovations in backyard barbecues, there are many in-built features and possible additions. Single- and double-wok burners, removable warming racks, rotisseries, rangehoods, see-through glass covers (to keep an eye on what’s cooking without letting the heat escape), racks for spices and sauces and so much more.
If you want a “you beaut” model with all the bells and whistles, of course you’ll pay more.
The trick is to think about what you’d like to serve up. Does the idea of a teppanyaki bar appeal? How about a barbecue pizza oven hood?
After you decide how many burners you’ll need, depending on how many dishes you’ll be serving up at once, and how many people you’ll be cooking for, you can think about extras such as side burners. Some fit snugly into the chassis of your barbecue; some are recessed to allow a wok to fit in with ease.
Your barbecue could be fuelled by LPG, natural gas, charcoal bricks or electricity. It really is a matter of personal preference, but arguably the most popular option is gas as it’s inexpensive and plentiful. If you have natural gas nearby, hooking up to it will prevent you from needing to run out and replace the bottle halfway through a cook-up. Electric barbecues are great for small spaces (all you need is a power point) and if you want something really cost-effective, consider a charcoal grill.
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