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Barbecue buying tips

Patio or Portable? Is it built to last? How many burners do I need?

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Shopping for a new barbie can be a daunting process, so this year we’ve put together our most comprehensive buying guide yet. Here are our 3 top tips so you don’t get burned barbecue shopping. For more tips, check out the full guide.

Magnet trick

Stainless steel barbecues are the most corrosion-proof, but they’re not all created equal. The best are made from 304 grade stainless steel, which is more resistant to rust than other types of steel. Take along a fridge magnet when shopping – it won’t stick to 304 steel.

Forget BTUs and MJs

British Thermal Units and Megajoules measure heat output, and are commonly quoted by salespeople and manufacturers as a selling point. However, we found higher BTU/MJ burners don’t necessarily give better cooking performance or faster pre-heating. The amount of raw heat generated by each burner is less important than how evenly heat spreads across the cooking surfaces, and how reliably it maintains a constant temperature. See how each barbecue stacked up in our test here.

Stop flare-ups

Unexpected bursts of flame from your gas burners can ruin your perfectly-prepared food in seconds. Flame diffusers are the perforated metal plates that sit above the burners and below cooking surfaces. Look for flame diffusers set closer to the cooking surface than the burners, and angled to prevent fat dripping into the burners.

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Our complete barbecue buying guide

For more tips like this, check out our full buying guide.

You’ll also find our test of 25 barbecues here – we’ve uncovered which models smoke the competition.

Learn more