So you'd like to buy a barbecue and you know the end result you'd like to achieve. Basically, you want to feed a bunch of happy people, without much stress but with great results every time. So where do you start? We've created a short checklist, so you can narrow the choices down.
There are two aspects to size. Firstly, how much space do you have in your outdoor area? If you're pressed for space, then don't get yourself a barrel or offset smoker/barbecue right away, try instead, a compact Kettle, Kamado or Smoker oven.
The next size you need to consider, is your crowd. As a guide, a medium to large grate is 490 square inches which will cook 25 to 30 burger patties at a time. A smaller 350 square inch grate will cook around 15 burger patties. If you're cooking for a few friends and family, then a Kettle is a great choice. Our Corona Kettle has a 56cm (22" diameter or 484 square inches), rack which can hold plenty of meat. It cooks directly and indirectly, so you have a choice of quick sausages or low and slow pulled pork. The best thing though, is the price, Kettles are a great entry-level barbecue and the price can't be beat!
Another choice is the Kamado Ceramic Charcoal BBQ, with a 48cm (18" or 324 square inches) grate, this ceramic barbecue can BBQ, roast, bake and smoke. Due to the vent system this BBQ can cook at low & slow temperatures (225ºF) but also very high "hard and fast" temperature of (700ºF) or anywhere in between. It is extremely economical on the fuel usage due to its thick ceramic walls reflecting and retaining the heat. To save on space It has shelves that fold down to take up less room while being stored.
If you have more mouths to feed but wish to be more involved in the party, then we recommend the Vault30 Digital Electric Smoker, this comes with 4 shelves, but you can add 2 more, making the capacity of this small unit huge. This Smoker lets you set the temperature, the length of smoke time and even will tell you the internal temperature of the food. It runs off electricity, with smoke being generated by the interaction between an electric element and wood chips. It’s extremely easy to use – almost set and forget! And you get a great wood smoke flavour.
If you like the flavour of wood, but find the idea of monitoring an offset barbecue too much, take a look at our new pellet smoker, The Hopper. This unit is also electronically run and uses wood pellets for both heat and flavour. You choose your smoke settings and temperature – you get all the control, without the need to be an expert!
Then we step it up to our bigger barrel/offset barbecue/smokers. These grills are made to feed a crowd (as well as impress them). They take up a bit more space, but it’s space well spent. If you've tried Low n Slow and want to have a go, then jump in! Heat and smoke flow through from the "firebox" into the "cook/smoke" chamber where they infuse and circulate around the food before exiting through the chimney/vents.
Charmate have units to suit most budgets. The versatile Corona Kettle is under $299, with a more entry-level model available for even less! Our Bullet shaped Lawson Jnr Smoker & BBQ is extremely popular, smoke anything from fish to poultry on the 2 layered unit, this retails at around $99.99, and is a great addition to your outdoor dining. We've expanded on this vertical-type drum barrel with our Stack Smoker & BBQ, at only $299 this has flown out the door!
Our new barrel and offset barbecues have been designed to bring great design and great price together, so make sure you take a good look at the range! The simple Cob Barrel is only $399, the impressive Grady smoker, with it’s 900 x 390mm cooking area is only $699. To complete the range we have the ultimate backyard tool – the Wrangler offset smoker, a bigger version of the Grady, with a 990 x 440mm cooking area at $999.
Note: pricing is RRP and may vary from time to time.
3. What would you like to cook?
Do you want to cook directly (grill) or indirectly (smoke), or perhaps you want to do both? There is so much inspiration to be had on the internet. If you've always dreamed of cooking your own pulled pork for your rugby team, or plan to host this year’s Christmas around the smoker, then make sure the Barbecue or Smoker you choose is up to the job!
Hopefully, we've helped you get a little more insight into your exciting purchase of a charcoal BBQ. If you'd like to talk it through with someone, take a look at our Where to Buy. Our retailers know a lot about Charmate and charcoal, and would love to walk you through your next purchase!