BBQ Buying Guide | Argos

Barbecue Buying Guide

Nothing beats sizzlingly delicious, freshly-grilled food but what is the right barbecue for you?

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What size BBQ do I need?

Every barbecue has a cooking area which is measured in square centimetres (cm2).

Family Size Cooking area
Up to 4 people Up to 1800cm2
Up to 6 people Up to 2000cm2
Up to 8 people 2500cm2 and over

What are the different types of BBQ?

The biggest choice when buying a barbecue is between charcoal or gas. Both have their fans and it will certainly affect the way you cook and enjoy your food.

Charcoal BBQ Shop charcoal BBQ

Charcoal provides a classic barbecue experience from lighting the coals and stoking the fire, to the unique flavour created by glowing embers.
Small, inexpensive models are great for casual cooks or beginners, but large models are also available for the passionate barbecue chef.

  • A more portable option for camping or simply moving around your garden.
  • You'll need to light the barbecue roughly 40 minutes before you start cooking.
  • There are two charcoal types - lumpwood and briquettes. Lumpwood gets hot quicker and burns at a higher temperature. Briquettes burn for longer.

Gas BBQ Shop gas BBQ

Gas barbecues deliver convenience and flexibility - they're ready to cook in moments. And you can control the heat, giving you more choice of how and what to cook.

  • Many models have multiple burners, so you can cook at different heats simultaneously.
  • Although less portable, their bigger size allow them to cater for larger numbers.
  • Gas is more expensive to buy. Most models use either propane or butane. On average a 13kg bottle will last for 15 cooking hours.

BBQ Smoker Shop BBQ smoker

A blue, black and white handheld clothes steamer.

BBQ Smokers circulate warm air around your food, cooking it slowly over a long period of time. This infuses your food with the flavour of wood chips for extra smokey succulance.
There are two types of smoker barbecues: Vertical and Horizontal.

  • Vertical smokers have their grill plates and racks located above the heat source. These can be adjusted up or down so you can easily control the cooking temperature.
  • By holding their heat source in seperate chamber, horizontal smokers provide greater space so you can cook more food.

Key features

Grill types

Chrome and stainless steel are the most common grill racks, although steel is easier to look after and more durable. Cast iron holds heat very well, but will require more care. Porcelain-coated grills are found on more expensive models.


If choosing a charcoal barbecue, having a lid with air vents will help you control the temperature. The heat will reduce if no new air can get in, but will rise if you open the vents.


A griddling area provides a place to fry, braise or sauté items that would fall through a grill, such as eggs, small vegetables or prawns.

Side burners

Gas barbecues sometimes come with additional side burners, which are useful for cooking extras and keeping foods warm.

Warming rack

Many barbecues provide space for you to keep food warm while it waits to be served.

Ash collectors and fat drip trays

These catch the ash and fat generated by cooking, so you can easily get rid of it without cleaning the base of your barbecue.


BBQ Safety

Barbecues are for outdoor use only. Never use them in enclosed spaces such as buildings, garages or tents, as toxic fumes will build up and cause injury or even death.

Care and maintenance


Once cold, the grill rack will need scrubbing with a wire brush to remove burnt on fat, before washing in the sink.
You should try to remove the ash as soon as possible after cooking, as it quickly becomes damp and much harder to remove. The rest of the barbecue will require cleaning with an oven cleaner periodically to get rid of burnt-on deposits.


The rack, lid, drip trays and burners should all be cleaned after use. If you turn on the burners, you can burn away residues - turn off once all the smoke has cleared.
The burners should be removed periodically for a detailed clean. Oven cleaner should never be used on a gas barbecue because it could damage surfaces.

Here to help

Want to know more? Here's some advice and information that you may find useful.

Why buy at Argos?

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