What is the Best Barbecue to Buy? BillyOh’s BBQ Buying Guide

Introduction to the Best BBQs

A BBQ is the perfect start to summer, and everyone should have the knowledge of what kind of BBQ best suits their needs, we are here to help pair you with the best BBQ to ensure you have the best experience when cooking.

What’s Your BBQ Budget?

When buying a BBQ you need to consider your budget, as you don’t want to be spending too much money on a BBQ you never use, and regretting getting a BBQ in the first place. That’s why we’ve built a guide on budget based on the BBQs we stock to ensure you’ve come to the right place when looking for the right BBQ for your budget.

Low Budget – Less Than £100

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For low budgets, Small Charcoal BBQs are your friend, these BBQs start at a low price and have quite cheap fuel which can be used for around 2 uses before needing replacement. These BBQs come in various sizes meaning even within a lower budget there is room for choice. However, due to this price point, these BBQs are often lacking in extra features that could make the process of cooking simpler.

BBQs Under £100

Medium Budget – From £100 to £300

A medium budget allows gas BBQs to be considered as the initial investment is higher but the lifetime running costs and usability are better than a charcoal BBQ. With this budget, you will also begin to see BBQs with additional features such as hotplates, dual cooking surfaces and smokers. Pizza ovens are also worth mentioning, as on the lower end, they sit on top of a BBQ and regulate the heat to ensure a consistent temperature for cooking pizza, on the higher end, pizza ovens are a separate smaller oven that has their own fuel source. Due to this, it’s important to view them as an addition to your BBQ arsenal rather than a direct replacement.

BBQs From £100 to £300

High Budget – From £300 to £500

A high budget allows you to buy almost any kind of BBQ you like, this means you are looking towards the higher capacity smokers, and Large Gas BBQs with additional Burners allowing you to cook more types of food at the same time due to the potential of having one burner on a higher temperature than the other, on its own separate grill. High-capacity smokers also fall into this category as they are specially designed for Smoking food low and slow, ensuring the maximum taste and infusion of flavour.

BBQs From – £300 to £500

No Limits

If you have no limit on budget, then you can go all out, but does that mean you should? With no budget A Large Gas BBQ with 6+ burners is the way to go, you maximise the surface area of where to cook, it gives you the option to cook multiple foods at the same time at different temperatures, and most BBQs at this price point will also include other features such as hotplates, storage, trays or plates to catch drippings. The best thing to pair with a large gas BBQ is a smoker, this gives you the flavour you lose out on by using a Gas BBQ, and a higher capacity smoker will further improve its value as more can be smoked throughout the long period of cooking.

 All BBQs

What are you going to use the BBQ for?

Solo or small group cooking

Starting a BBQ and Inviting friends, and family or even cooking alone is a great way to spend your weekends, so a smaller BBQ designed for that is the right way to go.

For solo or small groups, your BBQ should be simple and efficient, from there, we have 2 options, Gas or Charcoal. Gas BBQs are quick to heat and offer a consistent temperature throughout the entire cooking process, however, the gas fuel can be pricey, especially for limited use, overall gas is a great option if you don’t want to spend too much time cooking and is generally better for larger group cooking if needed. Charcoal BBQs are the cheaper, more traditional way to go, offering a classic smoky and robust flavour to the food cooked atop. However their prep time is longer, requiring the embers to be red hot, to ensure there is enough heat, and it’s consistent enough to fully cook your food, which can take upwards of 20 minutes.

If you cook alone, or for small groups of friends & family, then a Small gas or charcoal BBQ is perfect for you.

Cooking for events or large gatherings

Cooking for events means you are in for the long haul, so you need a BBQ that’s going to keep up with a constant demand for food and cleaning.

Finding a BBQ for an event or large gathering can be hard, as it requires some planning and knowledge of what’s going on. There isn’t really a best option for fuel, as once charcoal is ready for cooking, it can stay hot for 2-3 hours while gas is quick to heat. A Gas BBQ is also a good idea but the initial investment of a gas BBQ is higher than most others. The next step is to consider any features you want the BBQ to have, some BBQs have separate smoking compartments so you can keep some food smoking while the other food is served quickly. Other BBQs come with hotplates to keep extra food warm, which is particularly handy if not everyone is coming up to get food at the same time. The only necessary thing we advise is storage, whether, in the form of a bottom tray or cupboards, it’s crucial to keep your cooking space organised so you can have an efficient flow of food.

For large gatherings or events, we advise a Large Gas BBQ with Suitable storage to ensure your cooking goes smoothly.

Regular cooking / Use

If you intend to use a BBQ regularly, weather that rain or shine you need to be equipped with the best and most efficient BBQ for your needs.

For regular use, you need a BBQ that can keep up with day-to-day use, we can’t recommend a charcoal BBQ unless you have a lot of time to spare, as the additional 20+ minutes of waiting time, every time you set the BBQ up can really eat into the time of your day. The best match would be a mid-sized gas BBQ, this is one of the quickest and easier ways to BBQ your food regularly, because gas heats up your grill plate quicker than other options, depending on the size of the grill, and you won’t be spending much time before you are ready to cook. Because of this short warm-up time, you can spend more time cooking, and with most BBQ food cooking for a shorter time, you can be efficient using your gas. Just keep in mind that once your gas does run out, you will be paying a fair amount depending on the size of the tank.

If you regularly set up your BBQ and don’t have time for charcoals to heat, a Mid Sized Gas Grill is perfect for you

Portable Cooking

A portable BBQ will often make a lot of sacrifices for their portability, however having the option to bring a BBQ with you will never be a bad thing.

Portable BBQs come in a variety of builds and models, but for the sake of simplicity, we will cover 2 types, Super Portable BBQs and BBQs that can be portable. Super portable BBQs are the ones that sacrifice everything for their portability, often being smaller and burning colder than larger BBQs, however, the ability to pack them into a bag or carry them like hand luggage is simply nothing other BBQs can do, meaning they are perfect for Camping, Hiking and Space Efficiency. On the other side, some BBQs can be packed up potentially allowing legs and grills to be self-contained, these BBQs won’t be small enough to take on the go but will likely fit in the boot of your car, and will still be large enough to have a proper cookout.

Portable BBQs are for you if you still want cooked comfort food on the move and aren’t worried about the smaller size

Specialist Cooking (Smoking / Pizza Oven)

Every home cook thinks about how they can bring their food to the next level, introducing specialist cooking BBQs, these help you cook food to a higher standard with new levels of flavour and texture.

Smoking BBQs are designed to burn either wood or seasoned wood chips, that infuse the food with a smoky flavour. Cooking food with a smoker BBQ is a definite time sink, but the results will be worth it, so keep in mind that you might be waiting several hours before the food is finished in a smoker rather than around 30 minutes on a regular grill, it’s up to you to consider if the significant improvement in flavour and texture is worth your time.  Some BBQs come with separate smoking and grilling chambers, allowing you to grill food as normal, while also smoking something on the side. 

A Smoker BBQ is for you if you want to take your BBQ food to the next level, but don’t mind the long wait.

Pizza ovens do exactly what they say, they act as a controlled environment to cook the perfect pizza. They either sit on top of a BBQ to redirect heat from the embers or have their own fuel receptacle, which is most commonly charcoal or gas. You might be thinking buying an oven just for pizza is too specialist, however, a pizza oven is just controlling the airflow and heat distribution, meaning as long as you have a suitable pan or tray, you can cook almost anything. On the other hand, pizza ovens offer you the ability to make a pizza like never before, ensuring the base is crisp and cooked through, the cheese is melted, and the toppings are properly roasted.

A Pizza oven is for you if you want to cook pizzas to perfection, and like to experiment with cooking in the same environment.

Aesthetics (Fire pit / Chiminea)

If your first focus isn’t cooking but aesthetics, then you should either look for a BBQ that matches your current garden style or go for a functional statement piece. 

A chiminea is the perfect example of this, as they come in a variety of designs and materials and will sometimes come with a grill insert so you can use them as a small charcoal grill. However, if your chiminea doesn’t have the capacity to be a BBQ, it can still be a fun way for kids to roast marshmallows on the heat of the wood or coals below. And don’t forget, foods like potatoes can be wrapped in foil and roasted on the embers.

A Chiminea is perfect for you if you need a bold garden centrepiece that can also help with some light roasting, heating & entertainment.

Fire Pit BBQs are on the opposite side of the spectrum, as a lot of centrepiece fire pits also function as a table, allowing for your garden seating to be positioned around this spectacular source of heat. Most firepits like this are multifunctional, as the ‘fire-pit’ is simply just a basin that the coals or wood can sit in, if you fill the basin with ice and drinks, it can act as an icebox, keeping drinks cold during the daytime heat, or by adding a grill over the top of the basin, food can be cooked in the centre of the table.

A fire pit is for you if you need a simple way to keep a fire contained, with some models offering multifunctional options for cooking and cooling drinks

BBQ Fuel Types

Now We’ve covered what your use will be, it’s important to learn the difference between each of the fuel types a BBQ could use.


Gas BBQs are easy to use as they act very similarly to countertop gas burners. Gas BBQs can heat up quickly allowing you to start the cooking process quicker than almost any other type of BBQ, Gas BBQs are also great as they are easier to clean and maintain. They often feature protective plates around the burners to help with runoff fat and food drippings, trays that catch the runoff, and removable grill plates. While the initial investment of a gas BBQ could be higher than most others, the total running cost will be cheaper


Charcoal is the most common type of fuel used for BBQs, it’s simple to set up but can take at least 20 minutes to reach the optimal consistent cooking temperature. Charcoal BBQs are loved for the smoky taste they give to food cooked atop them, which is not present with smokeless BBQs like Gas & Electric. Charcoal BBQs do require more maintenance than other types, as they should be replaced every other use. Food can also stick to the grill or drop down to the coals, burning and becoming hard to clean.

Wood Pellets

While wood pellets aren’t a traditional fuel source, they are rising in popularity due to them being able to infuse food cooked with unique flavours. While mostly used by Specialist Smoking BBQs they can also be used as an eco-friendly alternative to charcoal. They offer a flavour like no other BBQ, using them in a smoker can extend the cooking time, which can lead to some cuts of meat taking 8+ hours to fully incorporate the flavour and cook all the way through.


We’ve educated you on everything you need to know about purchasing the best BBQ for you, now what’s stopping you from buying one? Take a look at our full list of BBQs for Sale and use your newfound knowledge to run the best BBQ you can this summer.

Want to know what you need to host a BBQ Party? Check out our Barbeque Party Checklist