Cooking with barbecues
has gained a more important meaning today, as it mainly represents an opportunity to enjoy time with family and friends. This is why the market offers a large selection of appliances able to serve this goal. In the first place, barbecue models differ from one another for their power source. This can be either direct (or internal) in the case of charcoal or wood-burning barbecues
, or indirect (or external) in the case of gas
or electric barbecues
. In directly powered barbecues
food cooks thanks to its proximity to the embers, which infuse it with a smoky flavor; indirectly powered barbecues
cook similarly to a kitchen burner by means of gas or electrically operated plates.
Barbecue design: types and models
The space available, the furnishing style and the fuel source are all factors to be contemplated when choosing between a directly or indirectly powered barbecue. The most classic models are masonry barbecues
or made of concrete
, installed as fixed elements in a dedicated space of the backyard that is identified during the outdoor design phase. Obviously the needs have changed over the course of time, leading the market to come up with models that can be best tolerated in the context of apartments building where smoke emissions can be an issue. This is the case of electric barbecues
that do not need charcoal to operate, but only need an electric outlet. This system also allows to comfortably enjoy the barbecue in winter time. In any case, it is advisable to get informed on the specific characteristics of each model before opting for one or the other. Those who envision to use the barbecue for many people should opt for models where the grill has an adequate size to enable cooking more food simultaneously. Some design barbecues
are smaller and easy to move, often provided with wheels so to be carried where needed.
Wood and charcoal barbecues
Among directly powered barbecues there are wood-fired barbecues
normally made of a brazier at the bottom where to accommodate coal and a metal grill over it where to put the food to be cooked. There is also the most popular activated charcoal barbecue
, an extremely base level solution that meets all needs. Compared to wood-fired barbecues where the grill takes longer to achieve the right temperature, this model reaches lower cooking temperatures, as charcoal does not burn. A barbecue of this kind is normally made of stainless steel
and conceived to be moved, due to its small size.
Electric, gas-powered barbecues and quick ignition systems
If you would rather opt for a quick ignition system in the place of charcoal, gas-activated barbecues are an option. This models feature a large gas-powered burner that heats up the lava stones allowing to quickly reach very high temperatures. Gas barbecues
are normally supplied with a cover to close and allow to check from the outside the temperature reached in the inside. They use a gas tank placed under the cooking area in a specific cabinet with doors or in an open unit hidden by curtains. The cooking area can be provided with griddles and plates in cast iron, lava or natural stone. Electric barbecues
, on the other hand are a ready-to-use solution, suitable to any kind of outdoor environment, powered with electric energy and with a compact and versatile design. Their functioning is made possible by an electric resistor placed beneath the griddle or plate. These are also very appreciated for the limited smokes and smells emission.
Barbecues: functionality and ease-of-use
Alongside with the power source, the size of a barbecue is something to be considered. If the barbecue is though to be used with many people, a large model with a generous cooking surface and possibly one or two extra side stoves to prepare sauces and side dishes will be better. If, on the other hand, the barbecue has to take up a small amount of space, or be carried along while camping or on a day trip, it is advisable to choose a folding model
. To be sure, if the quality of the materials and their capability to stand high temperatures and atmospheric agents matter, the barbecue handiness and ease-of-use should not be underestimated either.