The Gumtree Blog

Ready, steady… Grill! Gumtree’s Barbecue buyers’ guide

Tuesday 22 July 2014, by

It’s BBQ season! This summer has been a bit of a scorcher so far, making it the perfect time to get a barbecue for your back garden.

But if you want to get serious about barbecuing this summer, a disposable BBQ just isn’t going to cut it.

A quick search on Gumtree will bring up hundreds of different options with prices starting from around £5 for a basic model all the way up to gas-powered monster grills that will set you back a couple of hundred, so it’s a good idea to do a bit of research before you jump in tongs first.

First of all, it’s a good idea to decide what type of BBQ you’re looking for. The two main types are gas and charcoal with charcoal being the more traditional and generally more affordable of the two.

The most common types of Charcoal BBQ’s are:


Kettle barbecues feature a hood which you can close to trap the heat in, this means they are great for roasting meat, fish or vegetables as they work like an oven when the hood is down.

Kettle barbecues are the most popular due to their size and availability, and you can get hold of very basic models for not much more than a disposable BBQ.

More expensive kettle barbecues are generally more sturdy, and depending on your budget you can even find them featuring advanced ventilation systems and with thermometers to monitor the heat under the hood. The better kettle BBQ’s have air vents on the lid as well as on the bottom. If you can, we’d recommend a kettle barbecue with vents, as opening these will also help when lighting it.


Free standing BBQ’s tend to be grill only with a large basin to hold the charcoal, you can pick these up new from around £10-£20 and they are good if you are cooking for more than a handful of people. If you want to spend a bit more you can find free standing BBQ’s for £50 or more and these will usually feature extra features such as adjustable grills to help control the heat and storage shelves for food.

Some freestanding Barbecues have wheels and this will make them a little more portable, however due to their size they are still less convenient to move around than a kettle barbecue. If you’re planning to keep your barbecue in one place, freestanding may be the way to go.

Freestanding oil drum

Freestanding oil drum or half barrel BBQ’s are catering sized BBQ’s which are great if you’re planning on barbecuing for a big group of people. They are typically more expensive than kettle or smaller freestanding models and you can pick them up from around £50.

The most common types of gas BBQ’s are:

Standard gas

Standard gas barbecues feature a grill and can be used in exactly the same way as a charcoal barbecue, the main difference is the ease with which you can light a gas barbecue and the fact the heat will always be even. The main disadvantage is you lose the classic charcoal taste, however, there’s much less chance of serving sausages that are burnt on the outside and raw in the middle with a gas barbecue

Smaller standard gas barbecues have two burners and these tend to be the cheaper models, they are good for cooking for smaller groups. Bigger gas barbecues will have more burners and will therefore be better if you need to cater for a larger group.

If you decide to go for a gas barbecue it’s important to know the right type of gas you’ll need to run it. The two options you have are propane or butane and your barbecue should be clearly labelled to tell you which it takes.

Propane is the more common of the two and you can generally buy them in cannisters from garden centres and DIY stores. You may also be able to pick them up at caravan retailers. When buying either you pay a refundable deposit for the canister, this will be around £25 – £30 and the price of gas will depend on how much you get, the more gas burners your barbecue has the more gas you’re going to use.

Gas Barbecues with hoods

Gas barbecues with hoods are a great option if you want to roast meat, fish or vegetables in much the same way as charcoal barbecues with hoods. Again you have the choice of how many burners you want.

Gas barbecues with a hot plate

Gas barbecues with hotplates are popular with people looking to cook a wider range of food, you can use the hotplate or griddle for frying meat and veg or even boiling water in a pan. Sorted!

Happy grilling!

The Gumtree team

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