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Charcoal Barbecues & Gas Barbecue Grills

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Charcoal Barbecues & Gas Barbecue Grills - FAQ's

Charcoal BarbecuesHere at Big K we are often asked which is best; charcoal barbeques or gas barbecue grills? We have produced the following FAQ section to help you make your own mind up, as to which type of barbecue is best suited to you.

What are the different types of barbecue?

There are a number of different types of barbecue available, including disposable barbecues, traditional charcoal barbecues and gas barbecue grills. Each has its own advantages. Disposable barbecues are easy to use, highly portable and cheap, but they are only for single use and you have very little control over the cooking temperature. Charcoal barbecues create a 'smoky' taste, it is easier to manage the temperature of the coals but you do have to wait for the coals to heat up until they are ready to cook on. Gas barbecue grills are easy to light and you can control the heat easily. They are ready to cook on sooner than charcoal barbecues, and they are cleaner as they do not produce as much soot and smoke.

Which type of bbq is more environmentally friendly, gas or charcoal?

Both gas barbecues and charcoal bbqs are environmentally friendly but with a charcoal barbecue, it is important to burn smokeless fuels. Gas barbecues produce less smoke and soot than charcoal, wood or coal fired barbecues but there are environmental issues with regard the production and transport of the gas.

Why use the barbecue lid when cooking?

Closing the lid when cooking on a barbecue will keep the heat in and keep the barbecue at a constant temperature. This will ensure the food is cooked thoroughly and evenly.

How does a gas barbecue work?

Gas barbecues burn gas from a gas cylinder. This means that gas barbecues are ready to cook more quickly. The burners on a gas barbecue are also evenly spaced giving an all over, even heat. A gas barbecue can also be extinguished immediately by turning off the gas supply and stopping the flow of gas to the burners.

How do I light a gas barbecue?

Lighting a gas barbecue is as simple as lighting a gas hob in the kitchen. Ensure that the gas is flowing and the regulator is switched to the ‘on' position, turn up the burner to a low flow of gas and light it using Big K's big matches or an oven lighter. You can then regulate the amount of heat produced using the gas supply regulators.

How do you clean a gas barbecue?

Wait until the gas barbecue has cooled sufficiently to touch it and then clean the grill using a non-abrasive cleaning material such as a soft sponge or cloth. Combine this with a non-abrasive detergent or soap and rinse with water until the grill is free from food debris and grease.

What food can I cook on a gas barbecue?

You can cook any food on a gas barbecue that you would cook on a charcoal barbecue.

How do I disconnect a gas canister from a barbecue?

Ensure that the barbecue flame is extinguished, close the tap on the gas canister and switch the gas regulator to the 'OFF' position. Then unscrew the pipe from the canister and remove it from the barbecue.

Can I use charcoal in my gas barbecue?

No, they are very different types of barbecue and you are likely to damage the gas burners if you burn charcoal on them.

How does a charcoal barbecue work?

Charcoal barbecues burn charcoal to generate their heat. Charcoal barbecues work in much the same way as fires do; air is drawn up through the coal which helps to breathe life into the flames. When hot enough, the coals will turn white on top whilst glowing red underneath. This is a sign that your charcoal barbeque is ready to cook on.

How do I light a charcoal barbecue?

Use Big K's big matches or Big K's firelighters and kindling to get the charcoal briquettes burning. Once alight, spread them evenly across the face of the barbeque so as to produce as even a flame as possible.

How do I clean a charcoal barbecue?

The best way to clean a charcoal barbeque is to brush the grilling surface down with a wire brush whilst it is still quite hot. Leave the grill surface in place whilst you brush it, that way any food debris or grease can be freed from the grill and left to burn away in the grill pit. Then, when the barbecue grill surface has completely cooled, remove it to the sink and wash it down with a cloth and soapy water, then rinse. Take this opportunity to empty the grill pit of ash and debris, this will ensure trouble free fire lighting for your next barbecue party.

What food can I cook on a charcoal barbecue?

You can cook any food on a charcoal barbecue that you would cook on a gas barbeque and some people prefer the smokier taste that a charcoal barbecue produces.

How do I plan a great barbecue party?

Planning a great barbecue or garden party can be lots of fun. First it's a matter of choosing the right day. The weather plays an important role in the success and enjoyment of a barbeque party so try to choose a day which is likely to be warm and sunny. Invite the right group of people and give them plenty of notice to ensure they'll be able to make it. Then it's all about the catering; the beauty of barbecuing is that you can never have too much food or drink. If you have over catered, simply store the surplus in the fridge or freezer for another time or cook it all up, barbecued food is delicious in sandwiches or as light bites, whatever the weather.