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A guide to choosing the best grill for your outdoor kitchen

When it comes to al fresco cooking, a superior grill will ensure BBQ success every time. However, there are some important considerations to make before making your choice of equipment.

Fuel your fire…

You would be forgiven for thinking that it’s the charcoal that gives your grilled food its distinct BBQ flavour. In actual fact, it’s the heat source that gives the flavour. As you grill, juices and fat drips onto the heat source (whether that be the coals of a charcoal fire or the ‘flavouriser’ bars/stones of a gas grill), it’s those fluids that vapourise and smoke, flavouring the food above. If you want to create a true ‘smokey’ flavour then you can add wood chips that will encircle your food with fragrant smoke. For example, BeefEater’s Signature® 3000 grills have stainless steel, anti-flare vaporisers and heat reflectors to promote power and control the flame for maximum flavour.

Natural or propane…

If gas is your fuel of choice, then you have two options; Propane (LPG) which needs to be stored in bottles or Natural Gas (NG) from a mains supply. Not everyone has access to a mains gas and so LPG will be your only option and grills can take both sources. You will need to be mindful if you opt for NG as it will need be piped to your outdoor kitchen, so will cost a little extra to install, but it does come with the benefit that you’ll never run out and it’s a slightly greener option than LPG. Wolf grills run on both LPG and NG and come as both freestanding or built-in options.

Freestanding or built-in…

There are benefits to both and there are a range of manufacturers whose aesthetics and build quality will mean your outdoor kitchen will not only look good but will also stand the test of time. Fire Magic grills come with a life-time warranty and are the epitome of luxury outdoor living. Both the Echelon and Aurora range are available as built-in or cart BBQs. The cart versions come with premium stainless-steel cabinetry and lockable wheel castors, so once in place they are safe and secure. The built-in versions sit neatly within your chosen housing and come with detailed fitting dimensions.

What size grill do I need...?

When it comes to size, this very much depends on the number of guests and whether you are serving up a help-yourself BBQ feast or a sit-down dinner in courses. If you opt for a larger grill with multiple burners, this will give you the option of using just one or two of them if you only have a small number to cook for (which will mean you won’t waste gas), and has the added versatility of being able to fire them all up when you’re entertaining for many. As a guide, a 1500cm² cooking area is ideal for two people; add an additional 500cm² for every additional two people you want to cater for and for groups of eight or more gas BBQs with cooking areas of over 4000cm² are available. For example, the Fire Magic Aurora 790 Built-In BBQ with rotisserie and backburner has a whopping 5110cm² of cooking surface!

To grill or roast, that is the question…

Modern BBQs have the capacity to both grill and roast food depending on how you use the heat source. Grilling comes from a heat source that is directly beneath the food, while roasting comes from indirect heat as food is cooked by convection from surrounding burners. Three-burners and above are ideal for roasting as you can create different heat at different levels; you could be searing a steak in one area while roasting vegetables in another. Many gas BBQs come with additional cooking elements such as Wolf’s OG36 which has an infrared sear zone to seal in juices and a two-position rotisserie system for a succulent roast.

Whichever grill you opt for, cooking outside is a fantastic experience. Not only does it make the most of your outdoor space it is a great way to bring together family and friends over some delicious food. If you’re not sure which grill to go for, our experts are happy to advise on what would brand and size would best suit your outdoor space and lifestyle.

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