How to choose your new barbecue

Long hot summers and cooking al fresco go hand in hand, so it’s time to get that barbecue cranking! But, if you’ve noticed yours is looking a little worse for wear it might be time to invest in a new one. A natural gas option offers a whole host of cooking benefits, like providing instant heat, an uninterrupted supply of energy and an extra degree of controllability to ensure a tasty finish every time.

So what are the top considerations you need to take into account when you’re shopping for a new natural gas barbie?

The essentials

When it comes to barbecues, there are a few must-haves no outdoor chef should be without. Firstly, your new barbie needs to be easy to use and to clean - make sure you go for stainless steel or enamel surfaces. Plus, you can make your life easier with a built-in thermometer and bench or prep space.

Your available space

Whether you need a compact size for a small backyard, or you’ve got the room to fit a fully equipped outdoor kitchen, space will be a major consideration factor in your choice of barbecue.

Who’s coming over?

How many people you plan to cook for will guide how many burners you’ll need - two will feed a cosy four people, but any more than that and you’ll want to choose up to six.

Flat top or hooded?

The difference between flat top and hooded barbecues is that the first cooks with a traditional, direct BBQ heat, while the second offers the option of indirect heat, too. According to Blue Flame kitchen chef Dale Sniffen, “a hood is essential”, because it allows you to trap in the heat and flavour to roast, bake, steam, smoke or slow cook.

What are you cooking?

A natural gas barbecue can work wonders with the standard barbecue fare: burgers, snags, chicken, steaks… even fish and veggies. But for those who want to step it up a notch, there are a whole heap of extras you can choose, like side burners and rotisseries. And if you invest in an outdoor kitchen, the sky’s the limit - think sinks, storage and extra work surfaces. Take a look at our Pinterest and Houzz boards for inspiration.

Converting your existing barbecue

Brands like Rinnai, Everdure and BeefEater offer natural gas-ready barbecues (check them out in our Appliance guide), but it’s possible to convert many LPG barbecues to natural gas using specialised kits. Check with your manufacturer for details about a specific model.