One of the rites of spring is dragging out the barbecue grill and firing it up for another season of outdoor cooking.
"The results that you get from cooking over fire can be really special"
BBQ expert Rich Harris, chef and author of Fire & Smoke, says that whether you’re a seasoned pitmaster or out to buy your first grill, the greatest joy is the simplicity of the cooking.
"For me, barbecuing is about getting everyone around for a good time, having a feed and enjoying yourself without slaving over the grill the whole time," he says. "The results that you get from cooking over fire can be really special – those lovely smoky flavours that permeate meat, fish or vegetables.
"If you tend to stick to burgers and sausages but want to try something a bit more adventurous, I’d suggest a butterflied leg of lamb," he says. "Use a handful of ingredients to marinate (such as oregano, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice) and slap it on the barbecue, then you just have to tend to that one piece of meat and it works out as good value for money to feed a crowd, too."
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Best for slow cooking
This heavy-duty classic grill, The Big American Barrel Grill, can be used for slow-cooked dishes, like succulent pulled pork, with the lid down, or burgers with it up. Perfect for foodies and families alike, there’s enough space to cook for 15. Use the warming rack to keep food hot without it burning or drying out.
Best for feeding a crowd
The ultimate party showstopper, this, Uniflame Classic 82cm American Grill, can cater for large gatherings of up to 30 people, with enough space to cook meat, fish and veg all at once. For added authentic flavour, leave the food gently smouldering over smoke chips.
Best for multitasking
Mix things up with this versatile grill. With a 28-burger capacity, four independently controlled stainless steel gas burners, plus one for searing meat at high temperatures, this has it all. It even features a side-burner for pans, if you like to rustle up homemade BBQ sauces.
Best for last minute plans
Sunny afternoon? This no-fuss grill and side-burner has everything you need to pull off a spur-of-the-moment, family-sized feast in style. There’s lots of storage space for accessories and condiments and it even has a built-in bottle opener!