Barbeques – get it right and you’ll have a super-smoky-summer!


Barbeques – get it right and you’ll have a super-smoky-summer!

It’s summer – check! It’s a Sunday afternoon – check! You’ve got your mates, or family, round for an afternoon of sun-bathing – check! What’s missing? A barbeque of course. Who can resist the waft of sizzling burgers and succulent sausages? Or, if you’re a bit posher, marinated belly pork and scallops cooked in their shells. Whatever you like to eat, you simply can’t beat tucking into freshly cooked, smoky-flavoured barbeque food – it’s delicious! And adding a barbeque to your garden is not just about having great food, cooked outdoors – it can also add value to your home.  

So, what kind of barbeque should you get

There are some questions you should ask yourself before you start shopping for your sparkly new barbeque. Once you’ve answered these, truthfully, you should be left with a pretty solid wish list for choosing your barbeque, which should make it much easier to pick one from the vast array available.

What space do you have – the first clue to what kind of barbeque you’ll choose is the amount of space you have available. There are barbeques to suit all sizes of space – itty-bitty little ones, like this small charcoal bucket barbeque, right up to massive great big ones, like this stainless steel professional set-up. So, measure the space you’ve got and see what can fit in it. Also bear in mind any connections you may need to have plumbed in, like gas.

How often are you going to us it – be honest with yourself. We know you’ll probably see yourself out there every weekend, apron on, tongues in hand, flipping your beef patties. But, are you really going to do that? It might be worth adding up all the potential times you’ll be able to use the barbeque to see what the total comes to. If you have a busy social life, you may find that your weekends are taken up with other things, such as taking the kids to football or visiting relatives. And, there are going to be a certain number of weekends where it’s not going to be suitable weather for barbeques anyway, like though the winter (and, let’s face it, the British summer!) Once you have a provisional figure to work with, it might help inform the next part off your journey in barbeques – cost! 

What’s your budget – how much you have to spend will be a real big influence on what you’re going to buy. After all, if you’ve worked out that you’ll only have about 6 occasions to use the barbeque, you may not want to spend all that much on it. But if you realise that you’ll be able to use it every weekend though June, July and August – weather permitting, of course – you may be more inclined to spend a bit more.

If you’re a DIY-er, you may decide to have a go at building something, like this brick built barbeque from Daves DIY tips, with step-by-step photos and helpful instructions. He also details the cost of a barbeque starter kit, minus the bricks, from the almighty Amazon – it sells for a penny short of £25 quid.

If you are using a home improvement loan to update your garden, you could maybe afford to get something a little more extravagant built, like this fancy set-up, which is more like an outdoor kitchen area than a barbeque. As we know, outdoor rooms are all the rage at the moment and can add extra value to your home, but don’t forget you’re creating this area for you to use and enjoy, first and foremost. If it also adds to the value of your property, great! 

What about your neighbours – when you’re thinking about getting a barbeque, it’s vital that you consider your neighbours. You can’t, for instance, put the barbeque where the smoke can enter into a neighbour’s doors and windows. If you do, you could find yourself slapped with a smoke abatement notice from the local council. So, before you start deciding on the location of your barbeque, it might be worth considering what’ll happen when the smoke is coming thick and fast. It would be a good idea to let your neighbours know your plans too, that way they can raise any concerns they may have with you before any changes begin. This is the best way to come to an amicable solution.  

Stay safe – Not only does cooking on a barbeque create a whole raft of potential safety issues around the use of gas or coals and fire (especially important if you are likely to have children roaming around whilst you are cooking), there’s also the issue of whether the food is cooked correctly or not. So, here’s ROSPAs tips on the safe way to use a barbeque, and here are some tips from the NHS on making sure you cook the food well, so you can avoid barbi-belly!