From purchase to performance, here’s how we find the best models.
Don’t let a dodgy barbecue undermine your culinary prowess. Our independent testing scorches the poor performers so you can grill with confidence.
We aim to test brands and models you’re likely to see when you head to the shops, plus some you might not be aware of.
Before we buy anything, we do our research: we visit stores, both online and physical; we talk to experts and consumers; and we ask manufacturers about their range of models. We want to capture new developments in the market and make sure the products we test will be available after we publish our results.
We then compile a list of models and head out to purchase them, just as any consumer would.
We pre-heat the barbecue for 10 minutes, then get to work. We’ll test barbecues according to a standard test method, but change our method if the manufacturer’s instructions dictate a certain way of cooking.
We cover the entire grill with steaks, then cook them for six to eight minutes each side, with all burners set to the same level. This shows how evenly each model maintains a constant heat across the grilling surface.
We then grill sausages on a medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes each side, with the entire cooking surface covered and the hood closed (unless the manufacturer states otherwise). This is a tough test as fat drips on to the burners: it also shows how well the barbecue controls flare-ups. We cook marinated chicken wings on the hotplate over a low heat, so the marinade doesn’t burn, for about 10 minutes each side.
The final test involves roasting a whole chicken (if possible ), with the outer burners set on high and the inner burners low, and the hood closed. This shows the barbecue’s indirect cooking performance over a long period.
Our top-scoring barbecues cook everything evenly throughout, resulting in consistently tender and juicy meat. This also means the barbecue’s temperature is easy to control, and its heat evenly distributes across the cooking surface.