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We put the Weber Q1200 portable barbecue to the test – read on for our verdict. This model is a great option for cosy gatherings of up to four.
This is an easy to use, portable gas barbecue that's quick to assemble and cooks efficiently. Featuring handy side shelves, a gas cartridge metal holder and built-in temperature probe, it allows you to enjoy impromptu BBQs at home or away.
This BBQ looks great, with smooth curves and its simple but stylish Weber aesthetic. Overall, it’s made using quality materials, with a cast aluminium lid and body and porcelain-enamelled cast iron grills. However, the side tables are plastic and at risk of melting if accidentally folded onto the grill before it has cooled down.
A combination of clear instructions and good-quality pieces that fit together well means this BBQ takes about 30 minutes to assemble with a crosshead screwdriver. We found the fiddliest part was attaching the perforated plastic screen on the front of the stand, but this appears to be aesthetic rather than an essential element of the BBQ.
In terms of size and weight (14kg), this is a very portable BBQ, especially as it uses a small C500 butane/propane gas cartridge rather than a bulky 6kg or 11kg gas cylinder. However, the stand isn’t on wheels, so it’s a case of carrying – rather than wheeling – it into position. The scissor-style stand collapses down, so it can be stowed in the boot if you want to use it away from home, but you may prefer to leave the stand behind and simply place the BBQ on the ground or a table. The side tables fold onto the lid, which makes it a compact unit.
The Q1200 barbecue uses a small C500 threaded butane/propane gas cartridge, which simply screws onto the hose connector – perfectly manageable if you’re new to barbecuing or nervous about using gas. Once it’s attached, press the ignition switch to fire up the grill and twist the large, plastic knob to adjust the temperature. This Weber BBQ heats to around 230C efficiently when the hood is down, but does loose heat fairly quickly once the lid is lifted and takes a little while to recover – especially when there is food on the grill.
The grill area is surprisingly generous, measuring 43 x 32cm. However, the grill is a combination of slats and solid areas, so if you want to achieve char lines, you’re limited to where you can place food.
The built-in lid thermometer is a useful feature that offers good control. The side tables provide handy spaces for utensils and plates of food, and the grills clean well. There's a removable grease tray too, but the position of the gas ring makes it tricky to clean the inside of the body.
While this BBQ copes with enough food to feed a small gathering of friends (a maximum of four at a time), aficionados might be frustrated with the limited grilling area resulting due to the part-slatted, part-solid grill. The slatted areas created good char lines on courgettes, halloumi and chicken. It distributes heat evenly at the centre of the grill, slightly cooling at the outer edges. If you're not trying to barbecue a lot of food all in one go, these edges can be used as a warming plate. The porcelain-enamelled cast iron is not especially non-stick when marinades are involved, which is disappointing. But, the flavour was clean and all textures crisp and caramelised.
This barbecue came with a lot of plastic and polystyrene packaging, which felt unnecessary. It also features side tables that are made using plastic, rather than a more durable and sustainable material.
Given this is a relatively small, compact BBQ, the price puts it in the top end of what you’d expect to pay, especially as there’s only a five-year warranty. That said, the Weber brand means it’s made using good-quality materials, and you can be confident it will give a solid performance.
While this model doesn’t come with bells and whistles, it looks stylish and is ideal for couples or small families. It offers all the fun and freedom of cooking al fresco without the hassle or mess of charcoal or a larger, more cumbersome gas barbecue.
Dimensions (cm): H: 120 x W: 104 x D: 69
Materials: cast aluminium
Warranty: five years
Gas needed: butane/propane C500 gas cartridge
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