Nothing suggests the changing of the seasons like the enticing smell of BBQ in the air. On one of those rare sunny turn-of-spring weekends, even the bad ones bring a glimmer of smoky hope to what has up until that point been dull weather and rain.
If there’s one skill you need to master during a lockdown summer, it’s barbecuing – and you’re only going to do that with a premium setup. Here’s our roundup of the best grills you can buy.
You can’t do a barbecue list without Weber. Time and time again its grills are championed in the barbecue world for their simplicity, build quality and ease of use. The kettle-style free-standing charcoal barbecue is ideal for beginners and if cared for will last decades. Weber’s standalone portable options are also some of the best available for camping trips and more modest occasions.
Everdure by Heston Blumenthal
If a three Michelin-starred chef brings out a barbecue range, you’re technically talking about a three Michelin-starred barbecue range. That’s what is on offer from Heston Blumenthal’s stylish range of gas and charcoal grills. With products ranging from the pared-back Cube to the frankly awe-inspiring HUB, which comes complete with a spit that allows for hog-roasting at home, Heston’s injected a dose of style and ease into the barbecue scene with mouth-watering results.
One of the true OG wood pellet grill purveyors, Traeger make grilling, smoking and slow-roasting a cinch thanks to their unique designs and an emphasis on simple cooking. With its locomotive looks, the Pro D2 575 Pellet Grill is not only sturdy and well built, but almost foolproof: a temperature probe and wireless connectivity make cooking a doddle. BBQ heads swear by wood pellet cooking for the best in smoky flavours and Traeger is the leading name in the sector.
Big Green Egg
Another big brand with professional connotations. Big Green Egg has real pedigree, offering NASA-inspired ceramics and vegan-friendly all-weather use, with the iconic shape ensuring perfectly even cooking. With a Big Green Egg you can do it all: smoke, bake, sears, grill, pan cook, slow cook and roast. They’re not bad looking either. A large version will set you back but trust us, it’s worth the investment.
Canadian brand Napoleon rival Weber with their kettle-shaped charcoal grills, but they’re also an industry leader when it comes to gas. For example, the Rogue RSE 425 is a dynamic, robust, high-quality three-burner grill. A rust-proof lid will see it through the harsher months and when it’s ready to fire up in spring, the steak-searing side burner will quickly remind you why it was such a great investment.
It’s not barbecue season without a spot of Scandinavian cool. Step up Dancook, offering the perfect kettle barbecues for back gardens with Grand Designs potential. The Dancook 1501 is the perfect blend of minimal Scandi style and easy functionality, offering a pared-back charcoal grill and sturdy stainless steel worktop wrapped up in an aesthetically-pleasing package. A unique kettle liner means reduced cooking times too.
When it comes to hardcore grill specialists, trust the Americans. Char-broil has an illustrious professional history stateside and their Gas2Coal Hybrid Grill exemplifies the brand’s barbecue know-how in one powerful package. Three gas-powered burners are there for instant cooking but if you want to slow things down to get that true smoked flavour, all you need to do is add some coals to the burner trays and put them on top of the hobs. The coals go up in no time and you’ll get results worth waiting for.