Buying a new BBQ can be a daunting experience. There are multiple types, from multiple manufacturers that can make it a little mind-boggling.
As with anything a bit of research is key. However, before you start your research I would highly recommend watching this video from James at Barbechoo.com. It’s a fantastic video, that you should watch before you make any new BBQ purchase.
I have always loved doing a BBQ and for a few years just bought cheap charcoal BBQ’s every year. We were renovating a house and I didn’t want to spend too much, although a new ‘cheap’ BBQ arrived each year for 5 years! In hindsight, a longer-term purchase would have been much wiser.
Once the house and garden were completed I purchased an Outback Combi BBQ. It was my first ‘serious’ BBQ for quite a few years.
Let’s Talk Weber
Weber is such a well-known BBQ brand. I have never owned a Weber until 2016 and what a mistake that has been. Already I am giving the game away about where this review is going but please keep reading to find out why.
As with most things these days there is some self-assembly. The great thing with the Weber is the instructions are really clear and it is easy to put together. The build quality is fantastic, which obviously helps when assembling and it gives you the confidence that you are building something that will last for a few years.
What I love most about this particular BBQ is the versatility. The 57cm size makes it very easy to set-up for direct or indirect cooks. However, the key feature of this BBQ is that the centre of the grill can be removed and replaced with different accessories to help with your cooking. The main grill also has hinged edges, so if you are cooking using an indirect method you can very easily ‘top-up’ your coals.
The BBQ is also very easy to clean. Regardless of whether you are using briquettes which turns to fine ash, or charcoal it works well with both. There is a handle that helps ‘persuade’ the ash into a collection pan that is really easy to remove.
How Does it Cook?
Airflow is critical with any BBQ as it allows you to control the temperature. The GBS has vents at the bottom, which are open and closed using the same lever that you use to brush the ash into the catcher. There is also an air vent in the lid of the BBQ, that again you can open and close to control the airflow.
Also on the lid is a built-in thermometer. I think this is quite an important feature to have on a BBQ. Cooking indirectly is like cooking in an oven. You would not be able to cook very effectively in an oven if you did not have an idea of the temperature. A BBQ is exactly the same. I have not checked it for accuracy but my cooks all seem to come out pretty well. I use a hand-held thermometer to check the internal temp of the meat but the gauge on the top lets me know the overall temperature of the BBQ.
The GBS comes with multiple accessories that you can use to help in your cooking. I own a few of the different accessories and I am sure I will be expanding my collection. There is a searing grill which is great for steaks – very heavy duty and helps cook a great steak. The Weber wok is superb (easy clean) and is great for doing curries, chilli-con-carne, and risotto. There are other attachments such as a griddle, waffle maker, and pizza stone. I will be doing reviews of these accessories in the coming weeks.
I have recently been bought the rotisserie for this BBQ and that adds lots of new cooking opportunities. This will fit any 57cm Weber Kettle BBQ, not just the GBS. It has become one of my favourite BBQ accessories and whilst it is fairly expensive, it gets tonnes of use.
Should I Buy? I Think So!
I spent around £40 a year on cheap BBQ’s. Over 5 years we are talking £200. For that, I could have purchased one of these (and more – I found mine for £169) and it would have been so worth it. That does not include the cooking quality this BBQ helps you achieve. I like this BBQ so much that I now own 2.
I love cooking outside all year round so this purchase has been a no-brainer. However, even if you are not a hardcore BBQ’er and want to cook over a natural flame I could not recommend this BBQ enough. If you never want to do anything but sausages, burgers, and chicken (my aim is to expand your repertoire) this will be a great purchase.
I think the GBS provides a level of future-proofing where the different accessories Weber offer really will help you expand your BBQ skills if you start getting the bug for outdoor cooking.
Used correctly it is an outdoor oven but more versatile. It will last you years with a bit of basic care and maintenance. If you want a ‘natural’ BBQ I cannot recommend this highly enough. I am now a Weber fan – late but not too late!!!
I would love to get my hands on some of the other kettle BBQ’s out there by Napoleon Grills and Outback, in order to do a comparison. Until then I would find it hard to recommend anything this BBQ if you are looking for a large kettle charcoal BBQ.
Buy! Buy! Buy! But before you buy a shop around as there are often great deals to be had!