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Longacres Garden Centres - Barbecue Buying Guide

Gas vs Charcoal vs Pellet vs Hybrid

Gas powered barbecues are a quick and easy cooking method, perfect for in the garden or camping. Powered by a gas canister, these outdoor grills can be used to cook a wide variety of foods, and are available in a wide range of sizes to suit everyone. The gas canister can be easily attached or removed, making for easy storage or transport. With the fuel source being gas, there is very little to clean up after use.

Charcoal barbecues are the most popular and traditional way to barbecue food outdoors. Powered by lump wood charcoal or briquettes, this method of barbecuing will enhance your food with the well known smokey BBQ flavour. There are a range of cooking styles you can use when using a charcoal barbecue (such as indirect, flash frying, grilling or smoking) and all kinds of meat and vegetables can be cooked using these methods too.

Pellet barbecues, often referred to as an outdoor cooker, are a great way to cook food outdoors without having to tend over them constantly. This type of barbecue is powered by lighting wood pellets to create heat and smoke. They have the ability to be set at a specific temperature, and the machine will feed wood chips into the flame to maintain the heat during the whole cooking process.

Hybrid barbecues are powered by a combination of gas and charcoal. They use both types of fuel to give the user a wide range of methods and techniques when barbecuing. This style of barbecuing is becoming increasingly popular due to the ability to give a traditional smokey BBQ flavour, with the ease and convenience of cooking on gas.


Shop the full range of barbecues at Longacres, here.

Shop charcoal barbecues at Longacres, here.

Shop gas barbecues at Longacres, here.


The importance of barbecue size

Barbecues are available in a wide selection of sizes, and how you plan on using your barbecue could affect which size would be right for you. One sure fire way to know which size BBQ to purchase, is to know roughly how many people you plan on cooking for.

Gas Barbecues

Up to four people – 2 to 3 burners

Between four and six people – 3 to 4 burners

More than six people – 4 to 6 burners

Charcoal Barbecues

Up to four people – 47 cm diameter

Between four and six people – 57 cm diameter

More than six people – 61 cm diameter


Where to use different barbecues

Barbecues are a fantastic cooking tool, great for getting out into the garden during summer. Knowing how to safely use your barbecue will help you get the most from it, and will enable you to feel more confident when cooking a variety of foods. There are many places you can use your barbecue, as long as it is outdoors and in a well-ventilated and open area, safe from other flammable materials. Barbecues can be a great way to enhance your garden, patio, balcony or to take on a camping trip with you!


Popular barbecue features and accessories

Side Burners – a feature on some gas barbecues. Great for keeping sauces warm on the side, or cooking food separately from the main grilling area. Can be swapped out for a side griddle attachment to give a different style of grilling.

Side trays – movable side trays which can be put down for easy storage, or lifted to add extra work space. These can be great to rest tools, sauces, seasonings or plates making it easy to have everything you need at an arm’s reach while cooking.

Smoking chambers and smoking chips – add an extra smokey flavour to your food with easy-to-use smoking chambers. Simply soak a handful of wood chips until damp, and place into the smoking chamber. When placed inside the barbecue, the burning of the wood will begin to release flavour packed smoke to enhance your food.

Grilling tools – popular styles include tongs, basting brushes, spatula, skewers, thermometers and pizza wheels. Using these tools you can easily move food around the grill, check meat temperatures, cut even pizza slices and improve your overall barbecue experience.

Rib racks – maximise the space on your barbecue with the help of rib racks. This product holds the ribs upright, allowing you to stack the ribs side by side and fit more onto your grill, without compromising flavour or quality.

Roasting trays – cook a wide variety of meat and vegetables in roasting baskets. These are great for allowing you to cook smaller, more delicate ingredients without risk of losing anything between the grill bars.


Shop barbecue accessories at Longacres, here.

Shop barbecue fuel at Longacres, here.


How to clean and store your barbecue

Keeping your barbecue clean between uses will help you cook better tasting food, and ensure your barbecue lasts through multiple seasons. Knowing how to efficiently clean your barbecue will reduce the risk of causing damage and guarantee you get a perfect clean every time. We recommend using cleaning tools and products to make your barbecue shine and make the job a little bit easier!

Barbecue cleaning products

To keep your barbecue protected during the time you are not using it, we advise it stays covered with a weatherproof barbecue cover. This will ensure the barbecue stays dry during wet seasons and clean from fallings leaves or animal dirt.

Shop Weber barbecue covers at Longacres, here.