BBQ master tips to buy your new smoker and grill for the cheapest price and enjoy the best city BBQ.
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What type of grill should I buy?
For that classic taste, try a Weber Charcoal Grill to achieve perfectly grilled steak, chicken, fish or vegetables. Or go modern with a gas grill. This style offers more control with different heat settings. Take the party on the road with a mini grill or a camping grill like the Weber Q Grill. This small, portable grill makes it easy to prepare great food while on the go for events like tailgates and camping trips. Pellet grills like the Weber SmokeFire are another great option. They combine the power and functionality of a grill and a smoker to give you flavorful food every single time.
Which are the best brands, the best smoker for me?
Grill and Smoker Necessities
Once you’ve chosen the grill or smoker that fits your needs, make sure you have all of the grill accessories you need to prepare your meal. From propane tanks for gas grills to charcoal for charcoal grills and wood pellets for pellet grills, we’ll make sure you’re able to get that delicious, smoky flavor you love. For your smoker, shop our selection of wood chips and chunks to smoke your food to perfection. Be sure to pick up a grill cover, too, to keep your grill safe from the damage Mother Nature can cause. If your grill is already damaged, check out our line of replacement parts to get it back in proper working order. Need grilling tools and cleaning supplies? Whether you need an extra spatula or grill brush, we’ve got all of the must-have essentials.
The best tips and reviews of grill, smoker and accessories for barbecue masters.
Summer arrives and with it, the meetings with family and friends, to share hours of sunshine, delicious food and drinks. And nothing better than adelicious barbecue, in its point, for which you will need to know some details that will make you look like a master of the barbecue in front of your guests.
The world of the barbecue is very wide, where so much equipment, tools, accessories, type of meat and even the place where you will prepare it take part. Investing in equipment that guarantees quality, will allow you to enjoy a great result, for which you must know about the different models that you will find in the market.
What kind of barbecues to buy
In the market you will find a great variety of models, adjustable to your requirements, to facilitate your purchase we tell you the most popular ones:
Barbecues according to fuel
One of the most important factors to consider is the type of fuel you will use when preparing your barbecue. With each model you will obtain different results, since they offer cooking degrees that vary according to the heat source, as well as differ in the manner and intensity in terms of cleaning. So you can choose between:
They are the most demanded barbecues, for being the most known and used by the lovers of a good roasted meat, thanks to the characteristic aroma and flavor that the embers give to the food. Another advantage is their portability, with detachable or tabletop models, making them ideal for use outside the home.
Its biggest complication is at the moment of ignition, which often becomes somewhat cumbersome and slow for beginners. But don’t leave them aside for that, since you will find the practical charcoal lighters, to make the task easier.
Barbecues recommended for use when you meet with large numbers of guests in gardens or terraces, being its greatest asset its ease of ignition and handling, as it is very easy to control the desired heat level. That is why it is very sought after by beginners.
Its limitation is given by the size that they occupy, so you must have a wide space for its location, also if you like to make picnics, only some models are portable.
The characteristic flavor and aroma it gives to food, make it another favorite for traditional grilled meats. But they are more oriented to the use of experienced cooks, since it is not easy to control the strong degree of heat with which the food is roasted.
The main advantages are ease of use, size suitable for small spaces and the possibility of using them indoors or outdoors. They are recommended for beginner cooks, thanks to the ease of temperature regulation. You will not get characteristic flavours and aromas, but you will get satisfactory results.
What to consider when buying a barbecue
You’ve already decided what fuel to use, now it’s time to choose how you want it and what you have around you:
Portable or fixed barbecue
You must decide whether to buy it to meet at home or to take with you when you go on a trip. If it is to be used in the house’s garden, you can choose to have barbecues made of volcanic stone, which, although they can be more expensive than traditional steel ones, are easy to maintain, and offer the option of using coal, gas or firewood.
Otherwise, if you prefer contact with nature while enjoying your barbecue, you can choose portable barbecues, made of coal or firewood. Electric barbecues have the limitation of using generators, not recommended for grilled food during a picnic.
If the space destined in house for the barbecue is small, the most recommendable are those that use coal or the electrical ones, by their compact size and characteristics of detachable. But if you have a garden or a large outdoor area, then you can opt for a gas one or a fixed one.
Location of the barbecue
Many times we opt for an outside place that we think is beautiful, but perhaps it is too closed, or close to rooms or neighbors that will be affected by the smoke generated by the barbecue. The best thing is a stone barbecue with a bell, which directs the smoke. Or look for spaces for a portable barbecue that do not generate discomfort or danger.
How much can you invest in your barbecue purchase
If you are looking for something economical, opt for a portable electric or charcoal barbecue. Otherwise, and if you have a good budget, the best is a construction site or a gas one, so you can make different dishes with different types of cooking. They are more durable and practical at the time of cleaning.
Remember that a barbecue of a very high price does not necessarily guarantee the best result since other factors intervene such as the origin of the meat and the quality of the seasonings. But you must be aware that technology also has a lot to contribute and have a budget according to your intentions and aspirations.
How do you prefer the cooking terms of the food in the barbecue
You must bear in mind that depending on the type of barbecue, it will be the source of caloric emission, which affects the final result. Thus, meat cooked on charcoal or firewood is usually a little dry on the outside, but it maintains its juicy consistency on the inside.
While, in gas or electric barbecues, the consistency is similar to preparing them on the stove, but cooked on the grill, which gives them a characteristic flavor, being more cooked on the inside than on the outside.
Other important aspects in a good barbecue: grills, smokers and accessories
Buying a good barbecue will allow you to enjoy cooking a variety of foods, for which you must know some elements that complement the barbecue that will make this an experience of flavor and quality.
They constitute the part where the food is placed on iron bars, with various shapes and sizes, under which the heat-generating material is placed, which heats the grill so that the food cooks gradually.
The round type bar is the most recommended, because it allows the resulting smoke to fill the food being cooked with aromas. Obtaining a gastronomically superior product.
On the other hand, the V-shaped bars are easy to handle, since they take the fatty residues to a fat collector, avoiding high flames, but resulting in less flavored foods. It is recommended for use in restaurants.
The square bar has the same qualities as the round one, but it is not very common to find it in the European market.
Types of grills
According to your requirements you can choose between portable, semi-fixed and fixed grills, so you can take home the one that best suits your requirements and budget. The fixed or construction grills are recommended for open spaces. The semi-fixed ones are prefabricated grills to be embedded in a chosen area. The portable ones offer a variety of sizes and models, being of great versatility and good results.
These are variations of the grills, recently integrated to the barbecues, by adding a cover, which allows the food to be cooked in a closed environment, cooking it through the smoke that is concentrated inside, thus obtaining a result with a peculiar flavor and consistency, truly special.
You can find grill smokers in a variety of models, from those that work with gas, coal or electricity to the traditional brick smokers. All of them have uniform temperatures, which cook slowly and impregnate the meat with aroma and flavor.
How the smokers work
They are designed as a metal cylinder in which the food is kept on a spinning grill or on a traditional grill, directly in contact with the smoke from the brazier. Some have a water tank to control the amount of heat.
A barbecue with a lid that has a grill can serve as a smoker, although the results will not be the same, since the professional smoker has a particular design that allows the food to be cooked by the smoke of the embers.
As a piece of information, you should know that the flavor and aroma of the meats will depend on the type of charcoal or wood you use, the most used by the master grills being cherry, mesquite, alder and hickory.
Preparation of the Smoker
To use it, it is essential to make some preparations before taking the meat to the grill. The preparation of the smoke is a whole ritual that requires certain details to obtain that special flavor, paying attention to the selection of the charcoal or wood to be used. When the right temperature is reached, the cooking is done for a long time, even for a whole day.
Types of smokers
If you opt for this type of barbecue, you will find models made of cast iron or metal that you can attach to the barbecue, as well as brick-smoking ovens, which, although they do not modify the taste of the food, have the advantage of speeding up the cooking process.
You can find from customized offset type smokers, made of ceramic for outdoor environments to smokers that can be packaged to take on a picnic. They are also divided according to the heat source: direct with the heat source located under the grill and indirect like the offset ones.
All are fully functional and equipped with heat control. In the case of smokers with direct heat, it is important that there are separations between the food and the heat source to prevent them from coming into contact.
Another way to classify the smokers
Smokers are also classified by the material used to generate heat in the burners:
When using this heat source, great care must be taken in the cooking process and it requires some expertise from the operator.
It is the medium used by bullet shaped, drum shaped and kamado smokers. They are characterized by not demanding as much attention as a wood-based one. When the ember is lit, the temperature is adjusted with the dampers that regulate the air intake.
In these models, the smoke comes mainly from the charcoal, and selected wood chips can be added to add aroma and flavor.
Its operation is under thermostatic control, similar to a conventional oven. You only have to plug it in, adjust the temperature and the smoker is ready to do the job: it will light the granulated sawdust located in a container, to generate heat as required for the smoke and heat to cook the food.
These are easy to use, but carefully handled. They are not recommended for those who want an active fire smoker.
With them you will obtain constant cooking heat, but without producing smoke, so you will have to add pieces of wood for barbecue results. In most cases it requires several gas cylinders to achieve full cooking.
They are powered by an electric power source, and produce the smoke by adding wood, water and a heating medium. As a result, the resulting taste varies greatly from that expected by lovers of good traditional grilled food.
Accessories to facilitate the barbecue
There are plenty of accessories you can use to facilitate and optimize the result of your barbecue, from basics, to intensify the flavor or for lighting. You will also find accessories to help in the cooking and personal protection. Among them, it stands out:
It is a must for a traditional barbecue, and it has its details when acquiring one of excellent quality and best results. These are classified in vegetables, minerals and rocks of volcanic origin. At present, charcoal is not widely used because of its high level of pollution.
This was replaced by charcoal, does not pollute and allows the enhancement of the flavor of the products and maintains a quality grill.
Vocal rock charcoal retains more heat and the ember is maintained for a longer time, minimizing exposure to smoke and grilling time. They are restricted in those barbecues with a grill over the embers.
They are then classified according to:
- The use we will make of them:
- Obligatory accessories: the grills, the grates and the utensils are located.
- Cooking accessories: grills, skewers and thermometers.
- Safety and preventive maintenance accessories: brushes, covers, for cleaning.
- Other accessories to light the flame: fuels and tablets.
- The food to be taken to the barbecue:
- Accessories for vegetables
- Meat accessories
- Fish accessories
- Smoking accessories
- Accessories for other foods.
The purpose of them is to provide comfort, cleanliness and safety when using the barbecue, essential elements that will make this experience pleasant.
- Implements for personal and general use
- Stainless Steel Clamp
- Silicone brushes
- Grill or adjustable grid
- Cutting board
- Oil and waste collection table
- Ceramic trays
- Fork Thermometer
- Stainless steel skewers
Types of woods for your smoker and which foods to use them with
It is mandatory to use appropriate woods that ensure the correct smoking, avoid woods that are not natural, as well as those containing resins such as pine, because the smoke can be toxic and dense. The most recommended shavings are:
They bring a touch of sweetness, which goes very well with poultry, lamb and pork.
Suitable for game and poultry.
Robust consistency that does not overlap beef or lamb flavors. Accompanied by cheese and a variety of vegetables.
For pork, beef and fish.
With a strong aroma, it accompanies fish, lamb, ox and vegetables.
It brings a touch of sweetness to chicken and pork.
It provides strong flavor, accompanies the cooking of pork and its by-products, as well as game.
Orange or lemon tree
Fruity and citrus aroma, recommended for poultry, fish and pork.
Due to its powerful flavor it is suitable to enhance red meat.
The result of mixing wood with a variety of shavings that have been dipped in liquor.
Lighting a barbecue without generating smoke
Preparing your grilled food is an experience that offers you excellent moments with your guests. The annoying detail is the smoke that is generated and envelops the environment. To avoid this unpleasant situation, try the following:
Use a quality charcoal
It is important to choose very well the charcoal to be used in your barbecue, since the amount of smoke generated will depend on it. Prefer vegetable coals, especially coconut, which are highly effective and emit almost no smoke.
Use electrical alternatives as a charcoal lighter
Electric starter guns are an excellent alternative, which you should use to slowly heat the charcoal for about 10 minutes. When it reaches a very hot point, you should remove the electric gun, allowing the remaining coal to burn.
Wait for the charcoal to reach its optimum point
To start cooking your food, it is necessary that the charcoal acquires a gray color, covered by material that has reached the appropriate degree of heat. To do this you must wait approximately half an hour, which is well worth the wait to get the results of food cooked with an excellent grill.
Acquiring a smoke-free barbecue
In the market you will find the so-called smokeless charcoal barbecues, which work by preventing the fats of the food from coming into contact with the embers, so they do not emanate smoke. As well as by the electric ignition, which eliminates the smoke generated by waiting for the embers to reach the proper heat. There are also electric barbecues.
Find out which is the best cut of meat for your barbecue
This is a very important point, since the cut you choose for your special barbecue will depend on the result being a juicy and tasty meat. So when you go to the supermarket to buy it, follow these tips:
It is the most sought after for barbecues, due to its qualities and the variety of cuts, which allows for juicy results with a lot of flavor. Being the favorite, the cut type churrasco or strip of rib. But you also have other equally good options, so don’t hesitate to bring your sirloin, steak or entrecôte.
Excellent results will be obtained when making barbecued pork, which, in addition to being economical, takes time and you can choose between bacon, chistorra, secreto or chorizo which, due to their fat content, offers very juicy roast meat. For that reason you should avoid pork fillet or loin.
Among its virtues is that it cooks in a short time, has a tender texture and is easily digested. For a guaranteed success, it chooses pieces such as wings, counter-thighs and thighs, avoiding the breast which, due to its low presence of fat, results in a dry meat. It is the preferred meat for those who follow dietary regimes.
The most recommended cut is the chops, the ribs or the legs. Thanks to its fat content you will get a very juicy, tender and tasty barbecue.
Now that you know which are the best cuts for your first class barbecue, we will tell you the amount you should buy, in case of meat with bone it is estimated 500 g per person, in case of meat without bone 300 g. Although remember that there are always those who ask for a second round.
Advice from the master grill
To obtain a great result in your barbecue, with aromatic meats, and always in its point, we offer you the following and easy advices:
- Choose a good quality charcoal or firewood, since the taste, aroma and duration of the flame depends on them.
- Do not use fossil fuels to light the fire.
- Start the fire using an old bread soaked in ethyl alcohol.
- Control the temperature, otherwise the products can burn.
- The meat must be at room temperature, refrain from marinating the meat before taking it to the grill, since the seasonings and salt will burn, make the meat bitter and dry, and not with. It is advisable to place the aromatic herbs on the sides of the barbecue so that the meat acquires this aroma.
- Wait until the embers are ripe, that is, when they have a whitish or grayish tone, the grill should not be placed too close to the embers.
- The meat is not placed all at once, there are portions of greater thickness and fat, therefore, the cooking times are not equal. In the areas farthest from the heat, you can place the pieces you are going to grill so that they take on heat.
- The order to roast the meats is, first the chorizos and pancetas, then the chicken wings or the thighs. As they are made, place the larger pieces that require more time. This allows the guests to go chopping, while they wait for the main cut.
- Do not move the meat continuously, you must allow it to take its time and point of cooking. These should be roasted slowly, to avoid burning on the outside and leaving them raw on the inside.
- Take care of your safety, use long tongs, to turn the food without pricking it. Gloves to protect your hands from the heat of the grill and a suitable accessory to move the coals. Keep a vaporizer handy to extinguish any out-of-control flames.
- Once the barbecue is over, it is important to turn off the embers well, and then proceed to clean the grill with a metallic sponge.
Barbecue in other countries
The barbecue is very common in different parts of the world, where with other names also friends and family gather around a brazier to celebrate important events or simply to share. Being ancestrally related to processes of steam cooking under the earth, as in Polynesian cultures. In the American continent it presents identifying characteristics, known since the time of colonization. Next, we will know how to prepare barbecue in some countries:
It is not related to roasting, grilling or smoking. It refers to the process of roasting in an earth oven, almost a meter and a half long and with an elongated shape, in which a charcoal or lumber is used as a grill.
On top of this, a network of still green branches, called tapezco, is placed where a clay or metal container is placed to collect the juices of the food located on another bower.
All this is covered with maguey leaves, previous to the stone attack and to seal the edges with mud, to avoid that, enters oxygen, cooking the foods with steam and heat. Cooking takes about 5 hours.
This tradition of barbecue cooking can be done with lamb, goat, beef or cow.
Faithful to the Polynesian tradition, these islands prepare barbecue dishes, but with their distinctive touch. Thus they use the imu an oven in the ground where they place to cook diverse foods after burying them and covering them with volcanic stones and lit pieces of wood. They are typical of the parties called luau where everyone gathers to dance, sing and enjoy delicious typical dishes, especially based on pork roasted for more than three hours, which with this method remains tender and juicy.
Here the barbecues are churrasco style, which means placing pieces of meat along skewers or pieces of wood, add sea salt and take cooking, on a grill near the embers. It is done with different cuts of meat, and it has become very popular a whole culinary specialization in the food stores, which offer the rodizio style, in which the diner chooses directly from the skewer the cut he wants most.
Korean barbecues are prepared indoors, with a grill located in the center of the table, where each participant can roast their piece of meat and season it with the sauce of their choice. It is called Samgyeopsal, and it constitutes a whole ritual and gastronomic experience. They use a variety of meats, the preferred one being pork belly. For Koreans, while the cut has more fat content, the flavor is much better and intense, in which the cut that simulates layers as in the bacon stands out. This is accompanied by kimchi and vegetables, because for some it can be a very heavy meal.
Another type of barbecue, vegetarian barbecue
Whenever we think of barbecue, a good, perfect, golden piece of meat comes to mind, but vegetarian barbecue also has its followers, although for many it could be a gastronomic negation.
However, it is interesting to know that there are other food options to prepare in your barbecue, to reduce the intake of meat products and their derivatives. Allow vegetables to take up space on the grill, in a creative and flavorful way. It is not necessary to be vegetarian to enjoy a good dish of green ingredients.
Some of these dishes can be based on stuffed mushrooms, varied skewers of vegetables, stuffed peppers, tomatoes in various forms, zucchini stuffed with cheese and an endless number of legumes, vegetables and greens. Dare to discover a wide range of options in your next vegetarian barbecue.
One of the favorites in the vegetable barbecues is the skewer, with which you can make combinations according to your imagination. But you can also prepare the vegetables previously marinated or stuffed directly on the grill.
Or in papillotes, wrapped in aluminum foil to prevent them from getting dirty with the ashes. Potatoes dipped in olive oil are perfect and delicious with this method. Try the roasted vegetables with feta cheese, it will make your vegetarian barbecue unforgettable.
Another great option is the vegetarian burgers, where the meat is replaced with cereal and legume preparations, such as chickpeas or lentils. Seasoned with an avocado, oil and onion based sauce.
If you like salads you can’t stop making them on the grill, it’s very easy. Just spread olive oil on the lettuce to make it crunchy and tender at the same time, to which you add the ingredients you want. The cucumbers with salt and oil cut in slices should be taken to the grill for 1 minute, the tomatoes turned quickly.
You can make them at home or on your next trip to your portable barbecue. Easy, healthy, delicious and different.
Cleaning and maintenance of the barbecue
It is a very important step to enjoy your barbecue for a long time, since you made a good investment in it. Now that the summer is coming, it is appropriate to perform maintenance to the barbecue, so that it is ready.
It is always important to do the correct cleaning after each use:
- Ashes: wait until the flame is well extinguished, use a brush or a brush and a hand shovel. Avoid using water to remove the ashes from your barbecue, as they will become mud that will be difficult to remove.
- Grills: if you can remove them with the food that is not too cold, wash them with water, a sponge and a dishwasher. In case they are not removed, clean them on site. Mix water and bicarbonate, wet a hard bristle brush, with which you will proceed to perform the cleaning. In the case of gas barbecues with a lid, remove the remains, lower the lid, bring the temperature to its maximum value and leave it for fifteen minutes, in this way the remains will be calcined and you will be able to remove them with a kitchen paper.
As a general advice, remember to brush the grills with olive oil to prevent the food from sticking and making cleaning difficult.
- Other parts of the barbecue: each piece is made with materials that require specific cleaning, for example, plastic pieces, should be washed with water, soap and cloth; porcelain pieces should be washed with glass cleaner or specific products; painted sheets should be washed with a cloth; stainless steel should be washed with a specific cleaner or, failing that, should be washed in a dishwasher.
These are generally grouped into five steps:
- Start by checking the state of the barbecue, if it has been protected with blankets there will not be much to do. Otherwise, if your barbecue is based on coal, check the absence of rust, if it is gas, the rubbers. If it was electric, it is very likely that it has been damaged by being outdoors.
- Check the ignition system, and that it has accumulated grease, for an efficient operation.
- Now, depending on the type of barbecue, start the maintenance, in case of charcoal barbecue, heat it and brush all its surfaces with a special metal barbecue brush. Do not use products for ovens.
For gas barbecues, previously remove the electrical parts that can be damaged by water. In addition to cleaning all its parts, as well as the charcoal part, you should clean the thermometer probe. For burners, use a sponge without excess soap and water.
If your barbecue is of the grill type, use only a sponge that has been well moistened with cleaning liquid for enamelled surfaces, especially for this equipment.
For the external areas of the barbecue, use a sponge soaked in water and soap.
- Eliminate rust, if this fearsome element appears, remove it using fine grain sandpaper, especially for metal. Then repaint the grid with a heat resistant paint.
- Don’t forget to take a look at the brushes, spatulas and other cleaning implements, necessary to keep the barbecue clean.
Books that will help you prepare the best barbecues
If you are a practitioner of barbecue culture, you may be interested in the extensive literature on the subject. They are a very useful tool to renew the dishes you present, with new recipes and combinations.
As a piece of advice we tell you that a recipe book for barbecues should be versatile, providing numerous recipes, which you can combine and adapt to what you want to offer your guests, as well as a clear list of ingredients and their proportions, tips for practical application, types of marinade, seasonings and above all indicate specific cuts. As well as clear preparation techniques, to optimize your skills as a griller.
The literature available is very broad, and also varies according to the preferences or intentions of the cook. But there are some examples that can serve as a guide to start your journey through the exciting world of barbecue, investing in books to acquire new skills throughout the process of making a barbecue.
The Weber Bible
You will find everything related to the elaboration of high level barbecues, it contains many recommendations about the selection of the product, combinations between foods and techniques adjusted for each preparation in a clear and meticulous way, as well as tricks and tips about the adequate maintenance of your grill. With which you will acquire knowledge and experience.
The Grilling Book
You will find a variety of recipes, with illustrations, tips and step-by-step details to achieve a grilled category menu.
Perfect for lovers of this dish, with innovative combinations that extraordinarily expand the tasting range of this coveted and in many cases unbeatable dish.
For fans of meat products, with contributions that will allow you to identify and know the different cuts, as well as the procedures to be used in the correct preparation. You will find three hundred recipes explained in a precise way, so that you can demonstrate the acquired skills.
At home with Jamie
The chef Jamie Oliver gives us this issue, where you will find a chapter dedicated to grilled dishes, with innovative recipes and full of flavor, which will pleasantly surprise your guests.
But it is not only important to have equipment, tools, techniques and ingredients, you must also have the right look, which makes you feel and stand out as a host and connoisseur of the arts of the barbecue. To do this you must have aprons and gloves, which besides giving you a good look are essential for safety and hygiene.