Ideal for … grilling after work

1. Cobb Premier charcoal grill and carry bag (£ 139.99, Lakeland)

A bowl barbecue, the charcoal is kept in a central chamber with a ditch around which can be filled with liquid for a slower cooking which gives extra flavor.

→ Implementation

You can use regular charcoal, but it’s worth buying the Cobb ‘Pavers’ (£ 15.99, Lakeland), which fit perfectly on the grill and light easily, ready to cook in 15 minutes . Assembly was easy (no screwdriver needed), although the picture in the instruction manual didn’t exactly match the Cobb; watch the videos on YouTube instead.

→ Cooking

The flat grill plate will not give your food charred streaks (you can buy a ridged griddle) but, since the heat is concentrated in the center, it gave surprisingly even and powerful heat. The little genius is the lid: lift the grill plate, throw some wood chips on the charcoal and place the lid on the food for a fantastic smoky flavor.

→ Security

The body stays cool on the outside (although the cover does heat up) and its feet grip well, so it is unlikely to slip.

→ Disorder factor

Another area where the Cobb excels. Charcoal sits in an easy-lift basket for cooling, while the bowl, lid, and griddle are machine washable.

→ Portability

Large but not heavy (3.7 kg), and delivered with a carrying bag.

Ideal for … wild camping

2. EcoGrill (from £ 7.99, Ecogrill)

Regular disposable barbecues are a major waste problem (Brighton and Hove Council recently announced plans to ban them from the seafront). This all-wood alternative is completely combustible or biodegradable, without the addition of chemical accelerators.

→ Implementation

The charcoal and starter resin are contained in a slice of Latvian alder, so it’s just a matter of removing the recyclable film. You will need your own grill grate and a scorch-proof piece of soil or a heat-resistant tray. It can also be used inside a larger barbecue drum.

→ Cooking

Without anything to lift the grill above the charcoal, there is a risk of the food charring. My vegetables were pungent with smoke and the 8 inch diameter cooking area on my medium EcoGrill was too small for more than two people. To be used preferably in a barbecue with a raised grid (which increases the cooking surface but eliminates the advantage of being disposable), or to heat a pan.

→ Security

The wooden frame is supposed to hold on until the charcoal ran out, but mine quickly had flames licking the sides and started to burn seriously before all of the charcoal was fully lit.

→ Disorder factor

You should only have a pile of ashes left.

→ Portability

A neat package (2kg), but you will still need a grill. Best as a low stress bonfire kit, and great fun in Bear Grylls style.

Ideal for … a no-frills alternative to disposables

3. Asda Festival Grill (£ 15, Asda)

This simple grill is a steal (I’ve seen similar models advertised for twice the price) and will last until next summer and beyond.

→ Implementation

A basic oblong barbecue with no installation required. The folding legs are a bit stiff but avoid sitting it on bricks (it holds up well). The construction looks solid for the price, and a handle for lifting the grill is included.

→ Cooking

The design is quite shallow, so it is best to keep the charcoal level low enough, but the sausages cook perfectly and have a decent area for cooking. You may need to reload the charcoal. There is no option to cook “lid down”.

→ Security

Gets very hot, but is reasonably stable.

→ Disorder factor

The container cools down quickly after the charcoal runs out (there is no insulation), but folding the legs back after using it can get a little dirty.

→ Portability

There is no carrying case, but it fits neatly into a carry bag or tote and weighs just 1.9kg. A voucher for festivals.

Ideal for … serious chefs

4. B-4 Full Metal Jacket Dual Chamber Konro (£ 250, chef’s locker)

Japanese Konro grills cost over £ 500, so this home cooking version is a steal. It has the same rock coating of diatomite (the fossilized remains of aquatic algae) which retains heat well.

→ Implementation

Instructions are in Japanese but there are English online; it’s just a slot in the racks. Pliers are included. Bintochan charcoal is recommended, but I have used regular charcoal with success. You have to light the charcoal completely before adding it – I used a fireplace starter.

→ Cooking

The vegetables ended up with plates of a crisp, ethereal crust that I ate in restaurants in Japan. It is recommended for kebabs rather than larger cuts, but I cooked chicken pieces and a steak and they were deliciously browned with a caramel and smoky taste, although no wood chips were added.

→ Security

The outside has become hot, but not hot enough to burn you; the grill stand slides out, so strictly for adults to handle.

→ Disorder factor

Little ash remains in the bottom and the high heat means the stone liner stays clean and white. You can buy a special pot for hot coals, but it transfers them gently.

→ Portability

Heavy (5.9 kg), although the sturdy handles make it easy to lift. The fragile liner could break if dropped. It can also crack if water gets on the hot surface, so sand is your only option if you want to put out the charcoal.

Ideal for … versatile cooks

5. Gusta Mini Smoker (£ 79, Sous Chef)

This cute miniature version of an oil drum smoker means you can have a good American style barbecue, slow and slow cooked pieces of meat, with the lid down. There’s even a thermometer to check the temperature inside, and you can also use it as a regular barbecue with the lid up.

→ Implementation

Takes about 20 minutes to assemble with a screwdriver but is fairly straightforward. After that, you can light some wood or charcoal in the base, popping fire starters (wood, wool and wax ones work well) under the stand.

→ Cooking

The removable divider makes it easy to distribute the coals to create hotter and cooler sections, and the heat spreads well. The vents help regulate the heat, but slow cooking takes practice, and you’ll likely need to adjust the charcoal levels often. I cooked chicken thighs adding wood chips for a fantastic smoky flavor.

→ Security

The drum gets very hot, but being able to put a lid on it reduces the risk of sparks.

→ Disorder factor

It cools pretty quickly with the lid and vents closed (which puts out the rest of the charcoal), and the handle allows it to be carried while still slightly warm. The ledge around the edge of the base makes it difficult to tip over the last piece of ash.

→ Portability

With a sturdy carry handle and an attached cover, it’s perfect to put in the boot or transport to the park. Weighs 4.9 kg.

Ideal for … purists on the move

6. Everdure Cube by Heston (£ 159, Kettler)

Made by the Australian company Everdure, this simple box has a plastic and bamboo lid, which doubles as storage and a cutting board.

→ Implementation

The sturdy “cube” contains a square charcoal bowl, which is difficult to get in and out of, although the two stands are easy to lay on top.

→ Cooking

Its depth means that the food is well raised from the heat and that the vegetables and meat are well cooked without scorching (no attractive charred stripes). But without vents, there is no way to regulate the heat.

More seriously, there is no handle or lifting tool to turn the grill on and off, so it’s hard to add or move charcoal around to create hotter or cooler areas, let alone. the inevitable slice of vegetables that slips between the bars.

→ Security

The exterior has gotten surprisingly warm, but the carrying handles are designed to make it safe to carry even halfway through cooking. Deep sides limit flying sparks. But the grill is difficult to lift without a handle.

→ Disorder factor

Takes awhile to cool, but wipes clean quite well after spilling ashes.

→ Portability

Sturdy handles, but you’ll have to wait until it gets really cold before putting on the plastic cover. The heaviest at 7.3 kg.

Practical gadgets

More about this article: Read More
Source: www.telegraph.co.uk
This notice was published: 2021-07-29 09:16:22

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