Your Questions Answered

If you’re considering buying a BBQ you’ve probably got lots of questions – how do I clean it? Where will I store it?

Well you’re in the right place. You’ll find all the answers below!

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How much does a BBQ cost to run?

This is not an exact science however it is thought that a Gas BBQ is cheaper to run than charcoal and is also more efficient.

When you have finished your cook you can simply shut the Gas off and there is no wastage.  With Charcoal, you may have finished your cook but there may be plenty life left in the burning coals.

BBQ is popular for long cooks such as Pulled Pork, you may spend up-to 16 hours on this type of cooking known as “Low & Slow” (Low heat, Slow Cook) which would involve topping up the charcoal frequently.

Which is better: Charcoal or Gas?

One of the biggest decisions when purchasing a BBQ is whether to choose a charcoal or gas BBQ.

There are benefits of both, the main ones being:

Charcoal – 

  • More BBQ flavour
  • Burns hotter than gas
  • Get to cook with real fire

Gas – 

  • Less time to preheat
  • More convenient
  • Easy to control temperature

Does my BBQ need a deep clean after each use?

All Barbecues require cleaning however the frequency and how thorough this is done varies on the type of BBQ.

Some people argue that a charcoal grill should not be cleaned as thorough because it adds even more BBQ flavour to future cooks but I guess this is personal opinion and I would always recommend at least a basic clean after each use. 

If you are a frequent griller grease, carbon, and other carcinogenic deposits build up over time. Regular deep cleaning will prevent “Flare ups” in both Gas and Charcoal grills.  

Can I BBQ in Winter?

Barbecuing is often thought of as a summer hobby.

However these days there is nothing stopping year round barbecuing with DIY BBQ shacks becoming more and more popular offering a suitable shelter to enjoy grilled food year round.

It is not uncommon to cook up a Christmas feast on the BBQ, this offers many benefits, such as freeing up space in your kitchen on Christmas day.  This has now become a tradition in our house.

How long does a BBQ take to heat up?

Different types of BBQ will take different times to pre heat but generally between 10 minutes to 30 minutes.

Gas- Usually takes 10-15 minutes to preheat.

Charcoal- Usually takes 25-30 minutes before coals are ready to cook on however with accessories such as a “Chimney Starter” this time can be reduced.

Electric- Usually takes around 10 minutes

Pellet Grills- Usually takes around 10-15 minutes

How do I store my BBQ when not in use?

If you are not going to be using your BBQ for some time it is important to give it a deep clean.

If you do not have room in the shed or the garage to store your BBQ then it is important to invest in a purpose made weather proof BBQ cover.

If you have an outdoor BBQ Shack with a shelter it would still be important to use a cover to protect it from the elements.

Besides the BBQ itself, if you have left over charcoal briquettes or lumpwood its important to keep them stored in a dry location.

If you have a Gas BBQ then you will have the Gas Canister to think about as-well.  The main thing to consider is storing these out of direct sunlight, switching off the gas valve on the regulator and removing the regulator so that it is disconnected from the BBQ.  This will prevent the gas from being turned on accidently.

Can I take my BBQ Camping?

Of course!  Cooking outdoors is all part of the fun of camping.

Nowadays there are many camping specific BBQ’s for you to choose from.

One thing to bare in mind are any restrictions in the area you are camping.  In many local authorities and camp sites disposable BBQ’s are often banned due to the risk of wild fires and littering so a portable gas BBQ is usually the favourite choice for your camping adventures!

Can I cook Pizza on a BBQ?

Definitely, cooking Pizzas on a BBQ, especially a charcoal grill adds an authentic flavour to the pizza.  You can now buy many Pizza accessories for the BBQ such as a Pizza stone, and Pizza ring.

If you want to take your Pizza game to the next level then you should consider a purpose made Pizza oven such as the Ooni Koda 16, this would be an excellent addition to your BBQ shack!

When is charcoal ready to cook on?

After lighting, the flames will subside.  You will gradually notice the coals turning grey from the edges.  After approximately 15 – 20 minutes maybe less if you are using a chimney starter, there will be almost a full covering of grey ash over the top of the coals.  They are now ready to cook on.

Should the lid of my BBQ be open or closed when lighting?

The answer for both a Gas and a Charcoal grill remain the same but for different reasons.

No matter which grill you have the lid should be open when lighting and only once the fire is well established should the lid be closed.

Gas – Igniting a gas grill with the lid closed is extremely dangerous.  It is highly likely that a build up of gas will form under the lid causing an outburst of flames when you ignite.

Charcoal – Obviously lighting a charcoal barbecue with a match or lighter is almost impossible with the lid closed.  Light the coals with the lid open and once the coals are ready to cook, close the lid and open the vents to pre-heat the grill.

Can I use any wood for smoking meat?

I would only choose hardwood or fruitwood smoking woods such as Oak, Hickory, Pecan, Cherry, Mesquite. If you are using your own supplies make sure the wood is seasoned and avoid softwoods, treated or engineered cut-offs which may be contaminated.