Gas bbq's offer the convenience of a traditional barbecue with none of the hassle involved in getting it started. Our compact but carefully selected range from some of the best barbecue suppliers offer a little bit of something for everyone. Turn your family barbecues into something to remember and make the most of the British summer this year.
There’s the age old debate on whether food cooked on a gas barbecue is as tasty and succulent as food cooked over charcoal. These days it’s hard to say, with advances in gas barbecue technology food can be heated in alternative ways to create more of an authentic barbecue taste.
It’s a common misconception that grills and griddles are the same thing but they do in fact use two different types of cooking surface.
A grill produces those exquisite lined markings thanks to raised edges and the slots between them. They’re ideal for cooking steak, burgers, sausages and lamb-chops because they suspend the food above the grease which either evaporates or falls between the raised edges.
Griddles on the other hand are flat metal plates which are heated to high temperatures for cooking. You can use them for things like stir-fry, eggs, standard frying, various fish and leaner meats.
Far collectors were an ingenious addition to the gas barbecue. You’ll find either a hole in the grill/griddle or you’ll have a removable tray which can be easily cleaned separately.
Some gas barbecues (usually the higher priced) will feature lava rocks or vapourisers to improve the barbecue taste. They work by creating smoke from the juices and fat which evaporate when they drip onto the vapourisers or lava rocks. The smoke helps with producing that delicious chargrilled flavour.
Side burners can be used to whip up a sauce, boil a pan of water or fry some onions. The only disadvantage is that they can be knocked off easily.
A warming rack is effectively a smaller grill that sits above the main cooking grill. It’s useful for foods which cook quickly as you can pop them on the warming rack to stay hot while other food finishes.
It is advised that chicken needs to be as close to room temperature as possible before cooking.
A medium to hot fire is required.
Marinade or season the chicken before placing it on the grill.
Allow it to start browning over before flipping (remember, just one flip is required!). You’ll know if the temperature is right as the chicken should unstick itself from the grill when it’s ready to be turned.
Once it reaches about 75 degrees centigrade (use a thermometer if you’re unsure) you’ll have delicious, tender chicken to much on.
Like chicken use a medium to hot fire and the chops should be about room temperature before cooking.
When the temperature hits 65 degrees centigrade your pork should be done and ready to eat (again use a thermometer if you’re unsure).
Anything over 70 degrees will be overcooked.
Steak should always be cooked over a hot fire.
Aim for thick cuts of meat to allow for a charred exterior and tasty, juicy interior. If you can only get thinner steaks then cool them before cooking to allow the outside to char correctly.
Cook fish on a medium fire (a lot of people will use their warming racks instead for a slower cook).
Fish does cook very quickly so keep an eye on it. When it easily flakes apart you’re ready to eat.
As with any cooked food ensure it has cooled enough so you don’t burn your mouth.
Did you know that a barbecue is one of the best ways to reheat leftover pizza? Follow the steps below for perfect pizza:
Step one: Make sure you’re grill is clean.
Step two: Set the burners to a medium/high heat and let it warm for about 5 minutes.
Step three: Chuck your leftovers on and leave for another 5 minutes.
Step four: When the cheese starts to bubble and the crust feels crisp you can remove.
Step five: Wait a few minutes for it to cool, (molten cheese burns!) and enjoy your tasty reheated pizza.
Forks in particular should be avoided as holes in the meat let out all the natural juices which in turn dries the meat out. Try using a spatula or some long handled tongs instead.
Don’t use the spatula to press down on the meat either. Again this dries the meat out by draining all the natural juices.
Once cooked to perfection leave the meat for 5 minutes to rest and cool down slightly. Cover it loosely with foil to retain some heat and keep the bugs away.
More delicate meats, vegetables and fish don’t require a direct heat source underneath.
Preheat the grill using all the burners and turn one side off when the grill is hot. Move any slow cooking food to the side with the unlit burners and close the lid.
Closing the lid effectively turns your barbecue into an oven. It should cook the meat evenly while keeping it tender and juicy.
For more information on direct and indirect cooking on a gas grill please watch the following video:
As most people know aluminium foil is a real time saver in the kitchen. So why not use it in the same way for barbecues too!
Use the foil to make little pouches for cooking delicate food like fish. Again you would use the off the burner technique or even just a warming rack if you have one.
You will need to be careful when removing the pouch though as a split could spell disaster.
The purpose of a propane regulator is to lower the pressure from the tank to the barbecue and control the flow of gas in the system.
Fitting a propane regulator:
Ensure that the barbecue is serviced regularly including pressure testing of the gas cylinder. Make sure all of the hoses are in good working order and not blocked.
Make sure the cylinders are free from rust and their connections are fitted correctly and clean.
Check for gas leaks. If you can’t smell it try using a spray bottle of soapy water as the leaking gas should blow bubbles. Avoid anything with ammonia as this will damage any brass fittings.
The barbecue should always be positioned on a solid, level ground which is sheltered from the weather. They should also be away from anything flammable like dry vegetation, sheds or fences.
Ensure there is a supply of water like a hose and an adult to supervise at all times.
Barbecues give off fumes and gases that may be harmful so only use one in a well ventilated area.
NEVER PUT FLAMMABLE SUBSTANCES ON A BARBECUE AND KEEP CHILDREN AWAY WHILE COOKING AND COOLING!
LPG is very dangerous and the smallest flame or even spark can cause an explosion. If you think you have a gas leak then follow these steps:
Step one: Extinguish all flames. REPEAT ALL FLAMES! This includes people smoking or using lighters.
Step two: Close the propane regulator and put the safety cap in place on the cylinder.
Step three: Do not use any electrical appliances or switches. This means turning appliances off too!
Step four: Make sure the area is full ventilated.
Step five: Call the fire brigade.