Which barbecue is best?

  • By
    Katy Greenwood - Food writer

The sun's out and Katy's keen to get barbecuing - but should she go for gas or the authentic charcoal experience?

Barbecued lambWe've had our first spell of really good weather and barbecue season is in full swing. I haven't got a barbecue, but I need one and have been debating for a couple of months now what to buy. I think I've finally decided.

I used to live in a flat that had a gas barbecue. I grew very fond of that barbecue over the summer - not only was it easy to use, as it lit at the push of a button, but it was so convenient because I didn't have to plan my meal ahead of time. I was free to barbecue whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. So all summer I whipped up spicy spatchcocked chickens, simple lamb kebabs and succulent steaks, not to mention all those spur of the moment sausage feasts!

However, no matter how easy, speedy and convenient the gas barbecue may be, it is still lacking that special something that the charcoal barbecue boasts, and that is SMOKE.

BarbecueThe charcoal barbecue seems to be favoured by all those macho men out there who like to become one with the fire and take their barbecuing very seriously. I'm not so serious about it, but I do like a nice smoky flavour. Food cooked on a charcoal barbecue just seems to me to have that extra something; it doesn't just taste like a nicely cooked burger, it is a charcoal-grilled burger redolent of smoke, summer and happy times outdoors. The gas barbecue just can't deliver that.

So I'm getting a nice charcoal barbecue. Yes, I'm going to have to say goodbye to my impromptu barbecued sausages (my waistline thinks this is a good thing though) and I'm going to have to plan my barbecue meals carefully, remembering to get the charcoal on well before we want to eat, but I think it's worth it for that full-on summer experience.

What do you think? Are you a gas gourmand or a charcoal connoisseur, and am I making the right decision?


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