This is a sponsored post for Barbeques Galore
Sitting around the campfire, enjoying the warmth and waiting for your meal in the coals to be ready is one of the great experiences of going camping.
But come the period November through to April, in many parts of the country, we can’t have campfires due to the risk of bushfire. We have all seen the devastation that fires have caused on our landscape, so its very important we adhere to the rules, but what about the cooking? Are we going to starve?
Just because the open fire way of cooking is not an option for a few months every year, it doesn’t mean we have to go hungry!
Whilst it’s not imperative to cook every meal, I know that my children don’t get too excited about salad for dinner, and having something delicious on the menu is a big part of our camping holidays, especially the desserts.
We take a BBQ that runs on LPG gas. It gives us the ability to cook up a range of meals, from the easy to the elaborate (well, not too elaborate because I am on holidays), and to do so quickly and without a lot of effort. Desserts such as grilled summer fruits with cinnamon cream are hard to beat on the BBQ!
But how do you choose the right sort of BBQ for your camping trip?
There are a lot of BBQs available, and like all camping equipment, we are spoiled for choice.
To help make your purchase a little easier, we have put together 6 things you should look for when purchasing a BBQ to take on your camping trips.
1. Can I carry the BBQ?
This is really important point when choosing a BBQ to take camping. Carrying any gear from your vehicle to the campsite, you have to think about (a) getting it in your car in the first place, and (b) getting it out of the car.
Can you move your BBQ easily?
Will it fit in the space you have in the car?
Does the whole family and other random campers have to help you set it up?
Think about your capabilities and your available space. Look at a BBQ that can sit on a table or ground, but has the option to have a stand should you want to purchase one later (to make it more functional on non-camping holidays).
Bigger is not necessarily better when camping.
2. What sort of Gas BBQ?
As we are looking at options for the fire season, you will find that many sites only allow gas operated BBQs, and that is why we are not discussing charcoal burning BBQs.
Gas operated BBQs come with different number of burners.
I would recommend 2 being the minimum.
You can use one burner for a small meal, or turn on both to get the full heat. The beauty of more burners is ability to control temperature, and cook via indirect cooking methods.
Saving on gas usage is very important when this is your main cooking source. Being able to regulate temperatures not only helps with your cooking but can save unnecessary gas usage. Not a whole lot of fun when you run out of gas (or like us, forgot to check both our gas bottles before leaving, and had no gas for cooking once at the campsite).
Gas BBQs are sometimes more expensive initially, but over time, they are very cost efficient.
3. Features – what to look for
What sort of features do you want in your BBQ?
Do you need separate accessories like- additional hotplates, a wok?
Think about your needs – at the campsite and at home (more on that later).
Work out your style of cooking and choose the BBQ that suits you – but keep in mind, that whilst a simple hotplate might be what you want now, a BBQ with a hood will allow you more options should your cooking improve or you want to try new recipes.
A BBQ with a hood will give you ability to cook roasts, pizzas or cakes (if you are the sort of camper who bakes cakes away from home), plus allow you to do all the basic BBQ cooking as well.
This range of BBQ with hoods at Barbeques Galore, shows you the large variety of BBQs available and how the features vary across styles.
When buying the BBQ, also check what folds up to save space in the car or when the BBQ is put away.
Every little bit of space is important with car camping, so if we can save space, we will always try!
Look at these features too:
- ease of cleaning
- ease of lighting (you want something fast and reliable)
- ability to control temperature easily
4. Can I use it when not camping?
When your camping trip is over, you may not want to consign your BBQ to the garage, but keep on getting use from it.
A BBQ that can work well in the backyard as well as the bush should be something you consider.
With extra add-ons (like a stand for it) or the ability to convert it from LPG to Natural Gas, are features you might want to consider when purchasing.
The features you choose in point 3 will be even more important to consider if you are looking at making this a dual usage BBQ.
5. Durability and Warranty
No-one wants to purchase an item that doesn’t do what it says it will do. And with a BBQ, you are going to want one that will not rust after the first fall of rain, is sturdy and made with quality components.
Does the manufacturer stand behind the product they deliver? If so, there will be a long warranty – check what is and isn’t covered in it.
BBQs come in all price ranges, and the one you choose will depend on your budget. Everyone will have a different idea on how much they want to spend to get the BBQ they need.
But quality does cost, and spending a bit more in the beginning can save you money in the long term.
On our websites, we often mention this point – buy the best you can afford.
Cooking around a campfire is a wonderful way to spend your time, but just because summer is here, doesn’t mean you can’t get out and enjoy that experience…just use a BBQ instead.
Note: Using a BBQ requires safety no matter where you use it. In a camping situation, it is imperative that you follow the rules of the campsite, National Parks or Councils in regards to when and where you may have a gas fire. On days of fire risk or total fire bans, please contact your local fire authority or their website to find out rules and regulations for your area.