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6 types of BBQ and 3 questions to choose the right one

6 types of BBQ and 3 questions to choose the right one


The BBQ season is knocking at our doors and with the arrival of good weather also comes the desire to get a new cooking appliance. Before making an impulse purchase, you must first identify your needs. Is smoking something that interests you? Are you ready to spend more time preparing meals? Are you looking for the authentic taste of BBQ? These questions should be answered first before looking for a new grill.

From the book Playing with Fire. Recipes and techniques to master the BBQ and the smokehouse, published by Éditions du Journal.

The versatility of a device is paramount. Some enthusiasts like me have several BBQs at their disposal, but if I had to choose just one, it would undoubtedly be a kettle-type charcoal BBQ. With this type of appliance, it is possible to carry out any type of cooking. From smoking to grilling to slow cooking, this is the BBQ of choice for many professional grillers, like those who utilized the GMG grill parts. The quality/price ratio is unbeatable and it is possible to add a multitude of accessories at low cost.

You have to take the time to choose your BBQ well and take your budget into consideration as well as the desired use. Here is a short guide to guide you in making the decision. Enjoy your BBQ!


Propane BBQs are the most popular because of their ease of operation. In addition, the offer on the market meets all budget ranges. They provide constant heat on demand and require little maintenance. Indirect cooking is simple and hassle-free using the burners. Smoking is also possible by purchasing a smoke maze. However, its efficiency leaves something to be desired in this type of BBQ due to the lack of air circulation. This type of BBQ is perfect for grilling or quick cooking.

Price: 2 to 3 /5

Difficulty: 1 /5

Cooking space: 3 /5

Care: 1/5

Attention, more BTU does not mean more heat!

The power of a propane BBQ is calculated in BTU. The BTU is a unit of measurement that calculates the amount of fuel used. To get an idea of ​​the efficiency of a propane BBQ, divide the number of BTUs by the cooking surface in square inches. The higher the result, the better the grill will perform. In this calculation, do not take into account the side burner if there is one; manufacturers often include the BTUs of this burner, but it must be subtracted when calculating efficiency.


Vertical smokers are ideal when you need a smoker that takes up little space, but still provides plenty of cooking space. They are available with different forms of fuel: coal, pellet, propane and electric. As the name suggests, they are limited to smoking, but with some models it is possible to perform indirect cooking. They consist of two parts, a combustion chamber and a cooking chamber, and their operation is quite simple. The smoke passes from one room to another and comes out through a chimney, leaving its aroma on the food. Depending on the fuel used, its maintenance can be complex; it is therefore very important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions before and after use.

Price: 3/5

Difficulty: 2/5

Cooking Space: 4 /5

Maintenance: 3/5


< p>Charcoal smokers of the Kettle or Kamado type are becoming increasingly popular. It is often the first purchase when you want to move on to another step after the propane BBQ. They can be used as a BBQ, smoker, pizza oven or Argentinian-style grill with the addition of certain accessories. Charcoal fuel brings a distinct and sought-after taste to enthusiasts and the addition of different wood species in the form of chunks creates a more advanced flavor profile. The use of briquettes is also used in this type of smoker for certain cooking that requires a stable temperature.

Price: 2</strong >/5

Difficulty: 3/5

Cooking space: < strong>2/5

Maintenance: 2/5

OFFSET SMOKER< /strong> 

Offset smokers are an attractive choice for those who want more cooking space. The management of heat and smoke is done from the combustion chamber, which is installed on the side of the cooking chamber, from which comes the name of this type of BBQ. They are mainly used as a smokehouse, since direct cooking is impossible due to the distance from the heat source. Its use will require constant supervision and the learning curve will be long. It will be necessary to be patient before obtaining a good result on this type of smoker. However, once the correct technique is mastered, the results achieved offer the greatest sense of accomplishment. It is strongly advised to use hardwood logs to fuel your fire. This option will be less expensive than using conventional charcoal and will provide a more pronounced smoke taste. Beware of cheap smokehouses of this type; too often the material in which it is made is of poor quality and it will be more difficult to keep the heat inside.

Price: < strong>4/5

Difficulty: 5/5

Cooking space  : 5/5

Maintenance: 1/5


Pellet BBQs are both a BBQ, a smoker and an outdoor oven. Very versatile and easy to use, they are a good option for beginners, as temperature management is done electronically. Like a conventional oven, all you have to do is set the BBQ to the desired temperature and the rest is done by itself. There are several models on the market with a wide range of prices, but this peace of mind will make you pay a little more than charcoal BBQs. You also have to be thorough when it comes to cleaning, because poor maintenance can cause damage or lead to error codes during cooking. This type of BBQ runs on electricity, so you need to have a power outlet nearby. Note that this type of smoker offers a less pronounced smoke taste than other conventional smoking methods.

Price: 3/5

Difficulty: 1/5

Cooking Space: 4/5

Maintenance: 4/5


Outdoor fireplaces are a return to basics, since this is how it all started. Just dig a hole, put refractory cement blocks around it, and you’re done! Heat management can be complex, however: finding the right fit to the cooking grate is key. The advantage of this primitive technique is that we can install our cooking space anywhere and adapt the cooking surface according to our needs. Don’t be lured into thinking this is an inexpensive option, as some accessories can drive up the final price of the project skyrocketingly.

Price&nbsp ;: 1/5

Difficulty: 4/5

Cooking space: 3/5

Care: 1/5< /p>

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