Everyone loves a barbecue, but not everyone has time for the charcoal to reach optimum temperature. No wonder so many people end up with chicken that’s pink on the inside and black on the outside.
The solution? A gas barbecue. They're ready to cook as soon as you are. On the downside, gas barbecues tend to be more pricey than their charcoal-burning contemporaries. But there are deals to be had and the good ones will last you for many summers to come. We've tried and tested a selection; from Bodum's clever portable Fyrkat to Weber's top-of-the-range Spirit Premium Gourmet, there's something for all outdoor chefs.
1. Cadac Stratos 4 Burner, £460, amazon
Cadac produce a wide range of barbecues, all of which are easy-clean, durable and efficient. Our favourite is this model that’s both good looking and allows you to tailor your barbecuing to the size of the crowd you need to please, thanks to the four independently controlled burners.
2. Mastercook Classic 2 Burner, £287, amazon
A new arrival for this year, this cheap and cheerful two burner is great for alfresco cooking novices or for those with a small outside space. Made from stainless steel and porcelain enamel coating, it’s hardwearing and runs on propane or butane gas. The wheels mean you can easily transport it to where you want to do your cooking.
3. Bodum Fyrkat, £46, johnlewis
Even with gas barbecues, you don’t need to stick to creating feasts in your back garden. Bodum makes two portable barbecues – one charcoal and this gas one, both of which come in a range of funky colours. This one means you’re instantly ready to go, minimising the chance of growling stomachs.
4. MasterChef Contender 2 Burner, £315, amazon
This robust barbecue produces tasty, flavoursome food and is fool proof to use. Including two high control gas burners, plus a side burner and warming rack, it manages to fit in a fair amount in a compact space - easily enough to accommodate small family gatherings. Be prepared: it takes a while to put together.
5. Bondi G450 4 Burner, £300, johnlewis
If you want to rustle up some kebabs or chicken drumsticks on the quick after work, this barbecue is fast and efficient, achieving high temperatures and consistent cooking performance. There’s a side burner for extra dishes and specially designed reflectors and flavouriser bars, and it uses less gas than most models.
6. Weber Go Anywhere, £130, johnlewis
If you’re after a portable barbecue, but can’t be bothered with the faff of charcoal, then you’ll love this transportable gas option. The fold-away legs keep it safely raised off the ground and, as with all the US specialist’s models, the cooking grate is robust and will ensure your food is evenly grilled.
7. Tesco Cream Premium 4 Burner, £165, tesco
This is big, but it’s easy enough to put together if there’s two of you and it heats up quickly, cooks well and is straightforward to clean. It looks a lot more stylish than many of its more humdrum competitors. It’s well built and will see you through many years of summer parties. Also comes in red.
8. Outback Spectrum 3-Burner, £349, johnlewis
A new version of this large and powerful hooded barbecue came out last year. It not only looks great, but is packed with even more top-spec features including enamelled grills, a griddle, warming rack, temperature gauge and lava rocks. Comfortably catering for eight, it heats up quickly and cooks evenly.
9. Weber Spirit Premium Gourmet S320, £899, johnlewis
If barbecuing is more of a way of life than an occasional treat, and you can afford it, this is definitely worth the extra dosh. With three stainless steel gas burners, flavourised bars and a super-fast heat up time, it cooks tasty, succulent, char grilled food evenly is easily the most reliable and durable barbecue around.
10. Landmann 3 Burner Black Cronos, £460, amazon
This smart looking barbecue with a handy built-in cabinet delivers big flavour, thanks to the multiple, adjustable burners that enable you to be more adventurous with your cooking. There’s electric ignition to make lighting easy even when it’s windy and a lid thermometer to ensure you can get the temperature just how you want it.
The name Weber has become synonymous with barbecues and with good reason. We particularly love their Go Anywhere model, one of the few transportable gas barbecues around, while the Spirit Premium Gourmet S320 is as good as it gets for back garden barbecuing. After something more affordable for summer gatherings? The Outback Spectrum 3-Burner is a new model of an old favourite that just gets better and better.