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A buyers guide to Blooma barbecues

Along with our great new range of barbecues, we've put together this easy-to-use guide to help you decide which type of barbecue is best for you - gas or charcoal.

Gas barbecues

For speed and convenience, gas barbecues come out on top.

Gas models can be lit in an instant and heat up fast, so you can get cooking quickly. Gas also offers a consistent heat supply, with temperature-control at the touch of a button. Some modern gas barbecues including many in our Blooma range that feature a temperature gauge so you can keep a close eye on the heat.

The grill is easily started by turning on the gas at the cylinder, opening the valve, and clicking the starter ignition. All B&Q gas barbecues come with a hose and propane regulator.

The vast majority of gas barbecues feature side shelves for additional cooking space. The larger models often have side burners too, to help keep food warm after it's cooked. Side burners can also be used for frying pans and saucepans, so you can cook any non-barbecued foods or sauces outside, rather than going in and out of the kitchen.

For the same reason, it's helpful to know that gas barbeques heat to cooking temperature quickly especially the new Blooma range, which has enhanced air and heat circulation so that the heat is directed straight at your food, instead of a large amount escaping from the vents. The range is also available with a built in thermostat so you don,t need to spend time worrying and checking that it's ready to cook on.

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New Features

Most of our gas barbeques have a built in 'flavouriser bar'. This directs smoke through the food to give it a traditional BBQ smoky taste, and also catches any dripping fat, making your barbeque easy to keep clean for the next use.

Gas barbeques are typically larger; our latest range comes with multiple grilling racks great when you,re cooking for a hungry group who want different things. We also have raised the height of our warming rack which keeps food warm and not over cooks it.

Within our new ranges, most gas barbeques come with a large amount of storage compartments, for everything from storing your tools and barbeque cover while they,re not being used, to laying out the plates to get food to your family and friends quicker. Some barbeques in the new Blooma range even come with a built in spice rank and preparation table, and a hidden away gas tank.

Gas barbecue buying tips

When looking at the size of a gas barbecue consider the cooking area and number of gas burners it has. Smaller barbecues have 2 gas burners, whereas the largest barbecues can have up to 6. Look out for barbecues with a large cooking area and 5-6 burners if you are entertaining a large party of people.

Charcoal barbecues

For that traditional barbecue experience, it has to be charcoal. Charcoal barbecues give your food that authentic char-grilled taste and mouth-watering flame-grilled look.

To ensure a high cooking temperature, you'll need to light your charcoal about 45 minutes before cooking. However, some instant-light charcoal is ready for cooking in 15�20 minutes.

Some charcoal barbecues feature folding side tables with tool hooks for additional space when you need it. Taking convenience even further, folding or portable charcoal barbecues are great for easy storage; or if you want to pack up your barbecue and take it with you on your travels � off camping or down to the beach.

And it's worth noting that charcoal barbecues tend to be cheaper than their gas counterparts, so they suit any budget.

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Charcoal barbecue buying tips

Charcoal kettle barbecues feature a lid, a funnel, and a cooking grid. All parts are porcelain-enamelled, making them incredibly easy to clean. With the lid on, hot air is circulated and can be regulated � as with a conventional oven. This makes kettle barbecues perfect for cooking large pieces of meat. The funnel channels the warm air circulation in the kettle and prevents food from being burnt. Most of the drippings vaporize and give the food the typical barbecue flavour.

Starting a charcoal barbecue

A gas grill is easily started by turning on the gas at the cylinder, opening the valve and clicking the starter ignition. Charcoal takes a little longer to get going, and to ensure a high cooking temperature, it's recommended that the charcoal is lit about 45 minutes before cooking.

However, there are now many quick-lighting varieties of charcoal that are ready for cooking in 15�20 minutes.

Stacking charcoal in pyramids will speed up the lighting time, as the air will circulate � encouraging the flames. Placing firelighters at the base of the charcoal pyramids will help ignite fuel, but always remember to let these go out completely before you start cooking. To judge the temperature of a charcoal barbecue, check the colour of the coals; they will begin to turn ash-grey when hot enough for you to start cooking.

Cooking methods

  • Barbecued meat and fish

    Believe it or not, there are many different ways to cook on a barbecue. Some people just use their barbecues to cook small cuts of meat like burgers and sausages. But if you have a closed-top barbecue and enough room in the grill to use indirect heat, you could cook large pieces of lamb or pork � or even a whole chicken. Barbecuing is also a particularly healthy way to cook meat and fish, as it requires very little fat.

    Tips for barbecuing meat

    To cook large pieces of meat, light the charcoal on the outside edges of the barbecue with a drip pan in the middle. When it's hot, set the meat over the pan and close the grill. If you have a gas barbecue with two heat controls, you can achieve the same effect by turning off the flames on one half of the grill. Most meats will benefit from a pre-grill marinade, which will add terrific flavour and help to tenderise the meat and keep it moist.

  • Barbecued vegetables

    Grilling is the ideal cooking method for vegetables; they retain their colour and flavour, and peppers and tomatoes release their natural sugars.

    Tips for barbecuing veg

    Most vegetables have no natural fats, so they'll need to be brushed with a little oil or marinated. While harder vegetables like potatoes and broccoli can be grilled, they need to be part-cooked beforehand.

  • Barbecued desserts

    Delicious grilled fruits can be dressed with cream and fresh berries, served over ice cream, or dished up with meringues and thick cream.

    Tips for barbecuing bananas

    For a really decadent treat, cut a lengthwise slit in an unpeeled banana, insert pieces of dark chocolate, wrap the banana in foil, barbecue, and serve with a little cr�me fraiche or ice cream. Yum!


  • Beer Can Chicken

    • 1 4 lb whole chicken
    • 2 tbsp olive oil or other vegetable oil
    • 1 opened, half-full can of beer, room temperature
    • ½ tsp chilli powder
    • ½ tsp English mustard powder
    • ½ tsp crushed garlic
    • ½ tsp smoked paprika
    • ½ tsp brown sugar
    • Pinch salt
    • 1 tbsp black pepper
    • Meat thermometer
    • 1. On the barbecue, the chicken will need to be grilled with indirect heat. If using charcoal, move the coals to one side of the grill, leaving another side free. If you are using a gas grill, use only half.
    • 2. For the chicken, mix a little of the beer with chilli powder, mustard, garlic, smoked paprika and sugar together in a bowl to make a paste. Rub over the entire chicken.
    • 3. Making sure the beer can is open, and only half-filled with beer, lower the chicken on to the open can, so that the chicken is sitting upright, with the can in its cavity. Place the chicken on the cool side of the grill, keeping upright. The alcohol will burn off during the cooking process, leaving a super-moist and tasty chicken. B&Q sell beer can chicken holders that will support your can and chicken for east cooking. Ask in-store for more details. Find nearest store.
    • 4. After an hour, check the chicken and that the cooking heat is consistent. Keep checking the chicken every 15 minutes until the meat reaches 160°F - 165°F, or the juices run clear. The total cooking time will vary depending on the size of your chicken and the temperature of the barbecue.
    • 5. Carefully transfer the chicken to a cool tray and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Lift the chicken off of the can - use tongs and oven gloves as this will be hot!
    • 6. Serve!
  • Lemon Paprika Marinade (Ideal with chicken or lamb)

    • 3 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
    • 1 garlic clove, crushed
    • Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
    • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or thyme
    • Salt & Black Pepper
    • 1. Mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a shallow dish
    • 2. Add the meat you wish to marinate and turn to coat
    • 3. Set this dish aside for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer (overnight) in the fridge
    • 4. When ready to cook, light the barbecue and wait until heated up
    • 5. Shake off any excess marinade from the meat
    • 6. Heat on the barbeque until the meat is thoroughly cooked then serve
  • Med-Style Tomatoes

    • 4 Tomatoes
    • 2 Teaspoon Olive Oil
    • 1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
    • 1 Teaspoon Chopped Garlic
    • Salt and Black Pepper
    • 1. Cut tomatoes in half
    • 2. Mix olive oil, basil, garlic, salt and pepper
    • 3. Brush over the tomatoes
    • 4. Cook on a low - medium heat on each side for 5 minutes

Charcoal barbecue care guide

  • When you've finished cooking, put the lid back on the barbecue and close all the air vents. This will burn excess food off of the grill and lid.
  • Once the coals have died out and the grill is warm, remove it and clean it using barbecue cleaner and the 3 in 1 brush and dry with a paper towel.
  • Remove cold ashes from the bottom of the barbecue.
  • Clean the inside of the bowl and lid with barbecue cleaner and a cloth. Where necessary the 3-in-1 brush can be used. Dry with a paper towel.
  • Cover your barbecue with the correct cover to keep it protected until your next use.
  • Don't wax or paint the barbecue; it is coated in porcelain enamel, which is glossier and more durable than paint or wax.

Gas barbecue care guide

  • When you've finished cooking, put the hood back on the barbecue and turn the burners on high. This will burn food off of the grill, lid and flavourizer bars.
  • Once the burners are off and the grill is warm, remove and clean using barbecue-cleaner and the 3-in-1 brush and dry with a paper towel.
  • Remove and empty the fat tray and bottom tray cleaning with barbecue-cleaner and cloth.

Essential tools

Important safety information

  • Barbeques should never be used in an enclosed space such as a tent, caravan or garage as carbon monoxide fumes can build up causing poisoning
  • Choose a suitable location for your barbecue in the open air and away from materials that could catch fire
  • With gas barbecues check that the hose is properly connected to the gas bottle, and isn't cracked or perished
  • Only ever light your barbecue with firelighters and fuels specially made for the purpose. Read the manufacturer instructions carefully. Never use petrol or other flammable products
  • Keep matches, firelighters and fuels well away from lit barbecues
  • Never leave a lit barbecue unattended; ensure children and pets are supervised at all times
  • Never attempt to move a barbecue once lit
  • Always leave your barbecue to cool down completely before cleaning, covering and storing