Buying a BBQ in Canberra?

Holden Caulfield 20 January 2012 35

A quick and hopefully easy question for Rioters. I’m after tips on the best place to buy a BBQ in Canberra. So far my travels have taken me to Barbecues Galore, Burning Log, Harvey Norman, Domayne and Bunnings (all in Fyshwick).

The first two specialist stores have been quite good and I will probably end up buying from them. However, internet research indicates there are heaps of products around but in-store research hasn’t backed that up. I was a little surprised by the lack of products on display at HN and Domayne. Even Bunnings didn’t have a lot.

There must be more than two decent BBQ retailers in Canberra.


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35 Responses to Buying a BBQ in Canberra?
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uacmarine uacmarine 1:05 pm 26 Feb 15

dont buy from a supermarket, one of the other specialized or hardware/dept, stores are fine. make up your mind and get one!

Waiting For Godot Waiting For Godot 5:13 pm 21 Jan 12

I remember back in the 1970s we had an electric barbie and the sausages were called Big Barbie Bangers.

el el 12:48 pm 21 Jan 12

Jordo said :

Buy a webber Q so you can non stop brag about how you have one to everyone you meet, then maybe run into someone else that has one and have a lengthy discussion with them about how much you paid and how it’s the best purchase anyone has ever made in the history of outdoor entertaining. non jealous rant

Haha, I plan on doing this today (buying a Weber Q, not the other stuff).

This forum is worth a look too, if like me you’re a bit of a n00b about figuring out what’s what:

http://www.aussiebbq.info/forum/

Deref Deref 8:13 am 21 Jan 12

I’m in the market too, and this thread’s very informative.

Whirlpool also has some very interesting threads on the subject.

Jordo Jordo 12:13 am 21 Jan 12

Buy a webber Q so you can non stop brag about how you have one to everyone you meet, then maybe run into someone else that has one and have a lengthy discussion with them about how much you paid and how it’s the best purchase anyone has ever made in the history of outdoor entertaining. non jealous rant

dtc dtc 11:34 pm 20 Jan 12

milkman said :

trevar said :

The cooking is always the same, and is entirely inferior to cooking over a wood fire…

Amen.

apart from having to wait at least 1/2 hr before you can start cooking (using gas you have already finished eating by then) and the wind ALWAYS blowing the smoke in your face (just like campfires….) and having smoke scented clothing for the rest of the day (not entirely unpleasant smell but still a smell). And having to collect wood (are you technically allowed to collect from public land?).

But apart from that wood is good

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 11:04 pm 20 Jan 12

Thanks Jack, that’s awesome. Cheers for the tip too Ned.

gooterz gooterz 10:09 pm 20 Jan 12

Wheres the best place to get materials to build a coal unit. I got the $25 kettle from kmart.. bitch to light but works great. Can even do a roast in it. I just need something more manly for australia day!

KB1971 KB1971 9:17 pm 20 Jan 12

milkman said :

trevar said :

The cooking is always the same, and is entirely inferior to cooking over a wood fire…

Amen.

Yup, I agonised over what I should buy & then went the stoogy option & could not be happier.

I used the money I saved on a fire pit…………..

Ned Ned 8:28 pm 20 Jan 12

Go to BBQs Galore at Fyshwick tomorrow and ask for Brydie. She’s the best in the business when it comes to BBQs (she only works Saturdays). You will be guaranteed of getting what you need.

milkman milkman 7:39 pm 20 Jan 12

trevar said :

The cooking is always the same, and is entirely inferior to cooking over a wood fire…

Amen.

Known_only_as_Jack Known_only_as_Jack 7:16 pm 20 Jan 12

As you can see Holden Caulfield, there are a lot of options out there for you. From what I know and what I have read from other rioters, you need to ask yourself some questions.

1. Built in or free standing?
Simple enough. Beefeater are the best for built ins (remember the clearance behind and beside the BBQ).

2. NG (Natural/House Gas) of LPG(Bottle)?
Almost all BBQs are set up for LPG, some can be converted (there will be a sticker somewhere on the BBQ with the valve sizes, pressure and outputs – if it doesn’t have a NG column it cannot be converted). The conversion will cost around $150 – so add that onto the price.
Caution – Some BBQs will not provide the same output once converted (check the sticker).
There are a few that you can buy as NG, but check the paperwork is right when you order it.

3. What are you cooking?
If you are just cooking steaks and snags you probably don’t need a hooded bbq, so you may look at a flat plate BBQ like the the heatlie 700, or beefeater clubman. (remember to oil the plate to prevent rust – stay away from full Stainless steel flat plate BBQs)
If you are going for an all rounder a Weber Gen320 – as Jivrashia stated they have 25years. It is very efficient in its gas consumption and can get up to 300 C (this is what I have).

4. How often are you going to use it?
If you are using it every day please spend the extra to get something decent (even if you need to put it on interest free – remember if they don’t say cash only when they quote you, they can’t up the price if you decide to pay this way). Stay away from Stainless steel unless you are going to clean it each time you use is. Weber don’t sell Stainless steel hood BBQs for a reason.

5. Side Burner?
Most people want them and never use them. If you do want to use it – check is MJ rating (the sticker will have it – don’t trust the salespeople). You want it 15MJ or above to cook well, 21MJ and three rings for woks (check the size of the wok in case it hits the side of the BBQ). I have found BBQs, over $2000 with 7Mj side burners so if you want it – check it.
You can get around it if the burner is shaped well – like the weber Gen series – but it is not a Wok burner.

6. Don’t get it from overseas!
It may be cheaper – but it is not certified under the australian standards. Not certified means that gas fitters cannot repair it (should something go wrong), your insurance will not cover any damages if it explodes/flares up, or injuries that it may cause. You will also have trouble claiming anything on warranty.
Secondly the world doesn’t have a uniform gas pressures / fittings. This means that BBQs bought in the states won’t work on our gas bottles / use our regulator hoses.

7. You get what you pay for – generally.
Look for long warranties (look at the breakdown as it is usually limited – 25 years but the plates are only 2). Cheaper BBQs tend to have hot and cold spots (the Everdure BBQ at work has this).

8. How are you going to clean it?
The weber have deep angled drip trays, most have near flat trays (get some fat catch) an some have strange set ups. Make sure that you can access them (the tray on some gasmates can only be removed from the back). Check the plates can be removed, as can the anti flares, heat reflectors etc.

9. Shop it around.
Find on you like, then look online – if you can get it cheaper, print it out (showing shipping) and take it in to the retailer that stocks the brand see if they can match it. It is easier to get it fixed if it local.

Hope this helps.

Deref Deref 7:00 pm 20 Jan 12

Choice recently did a review on barbies. The Webber won pretty convincingly IIRC, followed by the Beefeater.

trevar trevar 6:18 pm 20 Jan 12

Best barbecue I’ve ever had is the wire rack from an old fridge that I picked up from revolve for $1. It’s propped up on two stacks of bricks. A wood fire reduced to embers under it produces the most scrumptious T-bone ever.

Second best barbecue is on the other side of the patio. It’s a six burner gas number from Bunnings that cost about $300, which I use when I’m in a hurry or have a lot of people to feed. I’ve used a lot of other people’s gas BBQs and have never detected any difference between the pricey ones and the cheap ones, except in lighting. The cooking is always the same, and is entirely inferior to cooking over a wood fire, but just as good as frying in a pan on an electric stove, with slightly less control.

I also have a friend’s spit rotisserie in the yard at the moment, which is also great for a crowd if you’ve got a whole pig to put on it. I think she paid $200 for it. It’s just a very large basin for a wood fire with two uprights for the rotisserie and of course the rotisserie itself. Perfectly satisfactory.

I have one more outdoor cooking desire, which is a wood fired stone oven for bread and pizza, but I think that will have to wait until I retire…

dungfungus dungfungus 3:57 pm 20 Jan 12

I have “The Charnwood” model. It starts as an abandonded shopping trolley.

rosscoact rosscoact 3:17 pm 20 Jan 12

tommy said :

If you can somehow get one from the US, they are heaps cheaper over there (about half the price)…

That’s true but doesn’t work for propane as they have different fittings and changing them over is extraordinarily difficult. I bought a smoker cabinet from the states and ended up ditching the whole burner assembly and installing a wok burner which is a good deal for Canmberra winters.

It still ended up cheaper thank local though.

tommy tommy 1:10 pm 20 Jan 12

We got our Weber Genesis Gold from Burning Log. The pricing seems to be set by Weber themselves as I haven’t seen much variation in pricing in Australia. It’s been really good as a product though.

If you can somehow get one from the US, they are heaps cheaper over there (about half the price)…

niknak niknak 12:53 pm 20 Jan 12

We recently bought our Weber Q200 from BBQs Galore in Fyshwick to replace our old KMart Jackeroo.

Very happy with it indeed.

The only minus was getting the hard sell from the BBQs Galore guy for a brand we’d never heard of and didn’t want. Heaps better than the Weber, apparently. Was a bit upset when we insisted on the Weber.

dtc dtc 12:49 pm 20 Jan 12

If you do buy a Webber keep in mind that the method of cooking (top down) is very different to the usual BBQ. In particular things cook MUCH more quickly and the first few steaks will probably over cooked (unless that is just me…). Also they need cleaning more often as they dont use ‘hot rocks’.

My previous BBQ was a Beefmeaster and it lasted 15 years outside with no maintenance, until various parts started to rust and replacements cost more than the BBQ.

Keep in mind a marketing trick very prevalent amongst BBQ manufacturers. They make high end ones with everything and then some, dials and knobs and turning bits and side burners, not because they expect you will pay $2000+ for a BBQ but because you will then look at their $400 version and believe you are missing out of lots of essentials. You then look at their $800 – $1500 version and go for that. Of course, 95% of the time you just need a hot flame and a hot grill (or hotplate), and the cheapest models usually do that just as well as the mid/upper level models (give or take a roast, in which case you need a hood and a thermostat).

So consider carefully your actual needs and dont get seduced (too much…). My biggest tip is to look at the coverage provided by the burners – many burners heat up say 15cm directly above them, but that can results in cool spots in between the burners as they are 20cm apart (which may or may not be useful to you)

I’m personally not convinced about side burners – does anyone actually use them? (well, if you have an electric stove I can see the benefit, but if you have a gas stove then I dont see the benefit)

EvanJames EvanJames 12:48 pm 20 Jan 12

Be wary of the cheaper gas barbies from Bunnings/Magnet Mart et al. They work fine, right until the salt and fat in the food rots the metal of burner assemblies. I’m not sure how you ensure you get one that doesn’t do this, I guess buying from a proper BBQ shop and keeping your receipt just in case. Or talking to the sales guy and seeing if he knows about it. It’s bloody annoying!

Costco had a fantastic range of barbeques at the start of the warm season, from a Kamado Egg through the smaller gas ones right up to a full outdoor kitchen with a sink, but they’re letting the summer range dwindle before they bring in their next range of “seasonal items”.

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