We all love cooking up a storm in the great outdoors – the smoky aroma of a fired-up barbecue, the taste of seared meat and well-grilled veggie skewers.
But a great alfresco meal requires the right barbecue, which is why we’ve rounded up some of the best examples of the current crop. And if burgers, bangers and kebabs aren’t you’re preferred outdoor dining options, we’ve picked out three of the best pizza ovens, too!
And if you enjoy our round-up, check out our other Buyer’s Guides! We’ve got guides to the best garden furniture, best freezers, best power tools, and many more household appliances!
Best for: Family feasts
With 60 x 45cm of grilling space, this charcoal barbecue is just the thing for cooking up a family feast outdoors. To help you get the best possible results, it has a charcoal rack with six levels of height adjustment, all controlled with a handy gear lever. It also has a warming rack to keep your dishes hot and a door to make refilling the charcoal chamber easy.
Tepro Toronto gas three-burner BBQ, £225, Homebase
Best for: Texas-style grilling
With three stainless-steel burners that can all be individually controlled and separate grill inserts that allow you to prepare pizzas and other dishes simultaneously, this BBQ really does have it all.
To help you make sure your meat is never under-seasoned and your utensils and clean plates are always close by, it also has a handy side shelf that collapses once the cooking’s done. Plus, being on wheels means it’s easy to move around.
Best for: Burgers on a budget
Get summer started with this top-value BBQ. It boasts a 32 x 45cm grill tray, so provides plenty of room for cooking all kinds of dishes at the same time. You also get a height-adjustable charcoal tray to help you to control the temperature, an integrated ash catcher, a warming rack and two side tables for condiments and utensils. All this adds up to BBQ that’s under £100 and capable of catering for up to six hungry people.
Best for: Big parties
If you’re after a great all-round BBQ, consider the Blooma Rockwell 400, available at B&Q. This gas barbecue makes grilling a piece of cake (or should that be steak?) and its vast, 43 x 84cm cooking area means it has the capacity to cook for up to 16 people. It also has an integrated ignition system to make lighting it simple – so you can say goodbye to mucking about with matches!
Weber Smokey Joe premium charcoal BBQ, £74.99, Dobbies
Best for: Grilling on the go
Small (just 43 x 36 x 42cm) but perfectly formed, the Weber Smokey Joe charcoal BBQ is portable enough to make it great for days out – even if you’re only going as far as the bottom of the garden. With a lockable lid, a carrying handle and tripod legs, you can take it with you wherever you go and start cooking as soon as you arrive.
Best for: Ultimate smoky flavour
This oil drum BBQ has all you need to whip up a tasty alfresco meal for all the family. It has a conventional charcoal BBQ grill and a side firebox for burning wood and getting that sought-after smoky flavour.
Plus, it’s got wagon-style wheels so you can easily move it around the garden, a chimney to ensure optimum ventilation, and two 26 x 30cm enamel cooking grills which will enable your food to cook evenly.
… And three of the best pizza ovens
Best for: All-round garden entertaining
This little oven is a multi-purpose marvel. As well as rustling up wood-fired, stone-baked pizza, it also works as a conventional BBQ. But if you don’t feel like cooking and would rather relax in the evening air, you can press it into service as a firepit.
Ooni Koda gas-powered outdoor pizza oven, £249, Dobbies
Best for: Authentic Italian pizza
In just 15 minutes you could be enjoying restaurant-quality, stone-baked pizza, with the help of the Ooni Koda oven. This modern-looking model can reach temperatures of up to 500°C, and comes with a 12-inch stone baking board so you can cook large pizzas to perfection. Plus, it only weighs 10kg so you can bring it inside if the weather’s more Newcastle than Naples!
Fan outdoor pizza oven, £329.99, Wayfair
Best for: Serious al fresco chefs
Everybody loves pizza, so why not make your own with this dual-purpose outdoor oven? You can use it specifically
for serving up slices of the traditional Italian dish with the pizza stone base that’s included, or you can use it as a classic barbecue grill.
To top it off, it also has an integrated thermometer, chimney and slatted bottom vent to help you precisely regulate the cooking temperature.