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B&M’s Ultimate BBQ Buying Guide

09 May 2018

With summer just around the corner and the weather starting to perk up, it might be time to think about making use of the garden by hosting a BBQ! Whether it’s for family, friends or a mixture of both, it doesn’t take much to get your garden BBQ-ready.

Have a look at our Ultimate BBQ Buying Guide and discover which one is right for you, as well as everything else you should think about prior to making a purchase including accessories, storage and maintenance. We have everything you need to host a great BBQ this summer at your local B&M store.

Which BBQ is right for you?

There's a huge range of different barbeques to choose from so picking the right one can be tough, but you can narrow down your options easily enough. The first question: gas or charcoal?

Charcoal BBQ

You’ll instantly notice that charcoal BBQs are much cheaper: all you need is charcoal and a shallow basin! Buying charcoal is also relatively inexpensive, meaning you can spend a lot more on food!

However, charcoal BBQ’s take a lot more time to heat up meaning you will have to put more time aside. You'll need to initially light the BBQ using Lumpwood Charcoal or briquettes and leave it to heat to the desired temperature (this can take up to 40 minutes). Cooking time might also be longer if the fire starts to die down. Charcoal BBQ’s generally require more work to get it up to temperature and might also need to be tended to if you are planning on cooking for a lot of people.

Given how much cheaper and portable they are, charcoal BBQ’s are ideal for those who don’t plan on using it frequently, but would still like to have the option. It might also only be suitable for a small number of people as heating and cooking time can take much longer than a gas BBQ, though you can speed the process up with a squirt of BBQ Lighting Fluid. Charcoal is often seen as a classic BBQ experience, making it ideal for those traditionalists among us!

Why not try our Oval Kettle BBQ or if you would like the option of a smoker as well, try our Tennessee Steel Barrel Charcoal Smoker & BBQ instead?


Despite being more expensive than charcoal, a gas BBQ is easy to light and produces a constant source of heat to cook food easily and thoroughly. This is the easiest and most convenient way to BBQ for a large amount of people at once.

While it is easier and quicker, you will have to dig a little deeper if you want to cook with gas. You'll also have to purchase a gas bottle so you have a safe supply when cooking.

If you’re expecting a lot of guests then a gas BBQ is the most convenient option by far, giving you consistent cooking temperatures and an instant flame meaning you won't have long to wait to start cooking.

Why not try our Texas 2 Burner Gas BBQ next time you are thinking of cooking for friends and family?

Where should I set up my BBQ?

Once you’ve purchased your ideal BBQ, it’s worth picking out a good spot for it in your garden or backyard. A big part of this comes down to health and safety, especially as you'll be cooking with charcoal or gas for an extended period of time. Use the following B&M Top Tips to decide where it should go:

  • Select a level surface - wherever you position your BBQ you should first make sure it's level and that there's no chance of it tipping over. Opt for a flat paving slab rather than grass or gravel if possible
  • Make sure it's well ventilated - as much as you may want to cook under an awning or gazebo, it’s important to make sure the smoke can dissipate as it contains harmful substances such as carbon monoxide. Cook in a clear, open space in the garden and also be mindful of neighbours’ properties so smoke doesn’t drift through open windows
  • Avoid cooking away from flammable objects - it’s best to be cautious and position the BBQ away from trees, foliage or even a garden shed. It should be in a clear area and the BBQ should be able to stand up on its own without leaning on anything
  • Keep it away from where people might be walking - make sure you can easily move around the BBQ and that it's not stood in the middle of a pathway where people have to walk past. This will avoid any possibility of injury for you or any of your guests

Maintaining your BBQ

Another big part of owning a BBQ is looking after it. After using it once it can be easy to let it fall into disrepair; either by not cleaning it properly after use or leaving it open to the elements.


Try to clean your BBQ after every single use, as it will get very dirty even after just an hour of cooking. The grill rack in particular will need to be washed as it will be covered in fats and oil residue from chicken, burgers and sausages that have been cooked on. Try using our 3 in 1 BBQ Brush & Cleaner to scrape off stubborn food residue.

You'll also need to empty the fat or oil drip cup after most uses, and empty the ash collector too, as this can build up when using a charcoal BBQ.


After you’ve used it during warmer months, your BBQ will need to be stored somewhere so that it doesn't succumb to rust or get blown over during high winds. Unless you have a garden shed or an enclosed area of the garden to store it, you'll need to cover it over. Try using our BBQ Cover, making sure to peg it down to stop it from going anywhere.

Have you had your first BBQ of the year yet? Share all your best BBQ pictures over on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for everyone to see!