What BBQs should I include in my Outdoor Kitchen

Here at Grillo, one of the most common questions we get asked is – What BBQ – or BBQs – should I include in my outdoor kitchen?

There is no right and wrong answer to this question, as it comes down to what your preferred cooking style is, and what sort of foods you are planning to cook in your outdoor kitchen.

From our experience though, there are clear reasons why certain BBQs are better in different scenarios. So we’ve put together this easy-to-read guide, that helps you choose which BBQs are right for you.

Gas BBQ

In one sentence: 

If you want something that is super convenient and easy to use, a gas BBQ is a great choice.

Overview:

A gas BBQ is very straightforward to light, with a simple turn of the control knob (no charcoal or firelighters needed!) Most gas BBQs will heat up in as quick as 10 minutes, which means you can get cooking very quickly. 

Because each burner can be controlled independently, adjusting and maintaining even cooking temperatures is very easy. You can get the whole BBQ red hot for searing steaks, or you can just use the outer burners if you want a low steady temperature for indirect cooking (i.e. for slow roasts or joints of meat).

Some people say that you don’t get a true ‘BBQ flavour’ from gas grills, but this is largely a myth. It’s true you won’t get charcoal flavoured smoke. Instead, any fats and juices that come out of your meat during cooking will fall onto the hot grills and burners, vapourize and turn into smoke – which in turn flavours your food. 

Another easy way of adding another layer of flavour to your gas BBQ is by using smoking chips. Check out our quick video here with Matthew Hoggard of Hoggy’s BBQ school. 

Should you have a side burner? In the main, they seem to become an unused luxury.

Our kitchens are fitted with Bull gas BBQs, which are very well built American BBQs. Bull grills are available in plumbed-in or bottled gas variants. The 4 burner BBQs are perfectly sized and suit the vast majority of people. They are big enough to cook a family meal, but not so big that it looks like you’re preparing to feed an army.

Upgrading to the Bull Angus BBQ gives you the same great quality from Bull, but with the addition of a rotisserie, rotisserie burner, and internal lights. Please note that, unlike the Bull Outlaw BBQ, if you choose the Bull Angus model, you will need to run power to the kitchen for the rotisserie and lights.

Conclusion:

Often regarded as a must-have in an outdoor kitchen, a gas grill is convenient and a great all-rounder.

 

Charcoal Kamado BBQ

In one sentence: 

Charcoal-fired, with thick ceramic walls that retain heat, smoke and moisture – resulting in incredible flavour, succulence and tenderness. 

Overview: 

It’s a BBQ with a long history. The kamado as a grill originated from a Chinese ceramic cooking device about 3000 years ago. It was imported to Japan during their Kofun period (250–538 A.D.) and they named it a ‘kamado’. 

The secret to the kamado-style of cooking is in the thick ceramic walls of the BBQ that retain the heat and maintain a steady temperature, whilst the enclosed design helps to lock in the smoke and moisture, giving incredibly flavoursome results!

The Gusto is our own premium quality kamado grill, which we designed to match our kitchens. It has a good-sized cooking area and adds some serious presence to your outdoor kitchen. Sitting on a carbon steel base, the Gusto integrates seamlessly with the rest of the kitchen.

Many people think that a kamado-style BBQ is complex to use, however, once you’ve grasped the basic principles, you’ll never look back! 

Controlling the temperature is done using the vents at the top and bottom of the BBQ. It’s very simple – the wider open the vents, the more airflow, the hotter the BBQ. 

Whether you want to smoke, roast, bake or sear, the kamado charcoal-fired barbeque is incredibly versatile and has a huge range of cooking temperatures and styles. The two half-moon heat deflectors can be placed under the grill to slow down the cooking times and protect foods from direct heat. If you want to become ‘Pizzaiolo of the Party’, the Gusto also comes with a critical piece of kit – a pizza stone. The ceramic stone gives very authentic flavours and perfectly crisp pizza bases… just add prosecco!  It also comes with a two-tier rack system, where you can layer foods on top of each other, doubling the cooking capacity.

Our Gusto is supplied with BBQ cover and Gusto Pro Barbecue Accessory Pack, which includes: pizza stone, grate lifter, ash tool, half-moon grates, and heat shields for indirect cooking. Unlike most brands where you have to buy the accessories as additional items, we believe that everyone that has a kamado BBQ needs this kit, so we supply it as standard.

Conclusion:

Many people choose the best of both worlds – a gas BBQ for the convenience, and a charcoal BBQ for a more theatrical experience and that unique smokey flavour.

 

Electric BBQ

In one sentence: 

An alternative to a gas or charcoal BBQ, predominantly designed for roof-terraces and locations where a naked flame is deemed unsafe.

Overview: 

So, you’re wondering about going electric. Is it the right thing for you?  Well, let’s explore. Electric BBQs such as the Grillo Voltiq are:

  1. Safe: Over the last few years, we have been asked more and more for a safer BBQ. There is quite a large perceived danger about having a ‘naked flame’ BBQ on roof terraces, and particularly since the Grenfell Tower disaster, people have been looking for a safe solution for enclosed areas and sky gardens.
  2. Convenient: Does the simplicity of ‘plug and grill’ appeal to you? The thought of never again having the embarrassment of running out of gas or charcoal halfway through a juicy steak sear – in front of friends – is tempting. And what about trying to find a gas canister that fits your BBQ in the height of summer? It can be tricky – we’ve all been there! By comparison, electric BBQs run on a standard three-pin plug. Simply plug it into an outdoor socket, and at the flick of a switch, your BBQ can be pre-heating and getting ready for the action.
  3. Eco-friendly: For many people, sustainability is higher on their agendas than ever before. And when it comes to BBQs, charcoal and natural gas both come from sources that cannot be replenished over time and are thus referred to as non-renewable resources. By comparison, electric BBQs that use electricity from clean, renewable sources produces no greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants.

It’s important to note that compared to gas or charcoal options, an electric BBQ won’t give you the same amount of sheer heat output, therefore increasing the cooking time. In the main though, barbecuing is a relaxed affair, free of time pressure – some people joke that a BBQ that takes a bit longer to cook is just an excuse for another pre-dinner beverage! 

At Grillo, we designed the Grillo Voltiq Electric BBQ Station to be the safe, convenient, and eco-friendly option that people are asking for. Built to last, the Voltiq grill has a neat streamlined design and is perfect for those looking for an easy-to-use green solution. It’s been designed to be very simple to clean and maintain, also making it ideal for BTR schemes and shared roof terraces.

Conclusion: 

It may not have the sheer grunt of a high powered gas BBQ, but if tinkering around with charcoal, fire and air vents just isn’t your thing, an electric BBQ could be a good alternative. And if you are on a roof terrace, it’s likely that an electric BBQ is your only option.

Chefs Anvil

In one sentence: 

For lovers of theatre, smoke and real fire – a unique and versatile BBQ. 

Overview:

The Chef’s Anvil is the perfect theatrical centrepiece for any outdoor kitchen. A BBQ with a real fire in its belly, its unique circular shape invites hosts and guests to gather around, all involved in the cooking and socialising. 

And why the “Chef’s Anvil”? Picture the blacksmith’s anvil, which is central to his work. Over this simple yet vital centrepiece, the craftsman hammers out metal heated by the embers with skill and gusto. Inspired by the blacksmith, the Chef’s Anvil is central to shaping and creating unforgettable meals. 

To get it fired up, build a large fire from logs, light it in the middle of the fire bowl, and let it burn for 45 minutes. Once the logs have burnt down to coals, push them under the heavy-gauge steel cooking ring, and start cooking directly on the steel hotplate. It’s really straightforward to use – the closer the food is to the centre of the fire, the hotter the cooking surface will be. Keep the fire going for as long as you want by adding more logs as you cook. 

The Chefs Anvil’s large cooking surface and high heat output make it equally suited to entertaining a few friends or catering for a crowd. It can also double as a fire pit, ideal for chatting around at a cocktail party, or for roasting marshmallows at the end of the evening.

Get creative! The smooth steel hotplate of the Chef’s Anvil is perfect for barbecuing anything from sirloin steak, anchovies and asparagus, to fried breakfast with a grilled fruit dessert. It also comes with a Churrasco Skewer – try your hand at the gaucho style of cooking! Skewer meat or vegetables kebab style, and cook directly over the coals. Outdoor cooking has progressed well beyond the basic burgers and sausages that we used to know, and people are starting to discover a whole plethora of creative recipes that can be cooked outside. 

Conclusion: 

We believe the Chef’s Anvil should be in the centre of every outdoor kitchen! It is immensely theatrical and probably the most fun BBQ you’ll ever use.

 

Pizza Oven

In one sentence: 

If you are big on pizzas, you’ll know that only a wood-fired pizza oven can give authentic results.

Overview:

A wood-fired oven is not a grill, it is not a kamado, but it compliments the rest of the BBQs in your outdoor kitchen.

Perfect for families, foodies, and fire lovers, the DeliVita pizza oven punches well above its weight: It’s ready to cook in just 25 minutes, and can cook a large pizza in just 90 seconds. The wood fire and stone base gives true Neapolitan crusts and authentic smokey flavours.

And having a pizza oven is so much more than the pizza it creates, or the 90 seconds where the pizza is in the oven… Making pizzas is one of the most inclusive social activities out there – it brings friends and family together around dancing flames, sweet smoke and pizzas to rival the finest Pizzaiolo!

Cooking and preparing pizzas goes hand in hand with outdoor kitchens. We all know that the journey to creating a Margarita Masterpiece can get messy, with flour, dough and tomato sauce over your worktops – especially when there are young children or family involved! However, with all of this happening outdoors, your worktops can be quickly and easily hosed down after the party, taking the stress out of cleaning up.

DeliVita’s stylish, compact, wood-fired pizza ovens are handmade in Yorkshire and can be placed on any Grillo kitchen cabinet, bar table, or fridge cabinet. 

The oven comes complete with everything needed for cooking perfect pizza’s – pizza peel, cutter, dough scraper, prodder and blower, and a weatherproof cover.

Conclusion:

Mozzarella, Flames, Theatre… A wood-fired pizza oven gives an incredibly authentic result, every time. Coupled with your favourite Prosecco, what more could you want?  More prosecco?

 

Closing Words

In conclusion, the more cooking appliances you have, the more creative you can get. The more creative, the more variety, and variety is the spice of life! 

The next decision in your journey to having an outdoor kitchen is simply to decide how you want your BBQs and kitchen laid out. Check out our online configurator that allows you to design your own Grillo outdoor kitchen just how you like it – from the comfort of your own home!

Ready to move forward?

Head to our online shop to browse the pre-designed Vantage layouts, or to build your own!

Food & Flames: Visit the Grillo Inspiration Hub

 

Projects for the Inspiration Hub