“ Brand: Jamie Oliver / Fuel Type: Coal / Type: Barbecue „
Firstly I hate Jamie Oliver with a passion and can say without a doubt that this was not bought because of his name in anyway shape or form. We had a small square BBQ and although there is only two adults and two children, we didn't really need a larger one. My fiancé works for Homebase and using his staff discount, we were able to buy this BBQ when the display model was reduced. It was on sale for £99 but we paid in the region of £40 for it in total.
It is quite a cumbersome thing and does take up a fair amount of room however it is a great BBQ. It comes flat packed with an instruction book that is easy to read and understand. There is a fair amount of putting together required but two adults and my daughter managed it in roughly 20 minutes. You need a couple of screwdrivers to actually put it together; we used a spanner as well as you need to be able to turn one screw without it moving the other side. It is quite straightforward to assemble and once together you are left with a one half drum shaped BBQ that is divided into three sections. There are little air vents in the bottom of each section so you can regulate the temperature within. Also having three sections, you only have to light one or two of them which gives a better heat distribution as you only have to keep a small area alight not the whole barrel. You also have grills that you can put over the main grill to keep your food warm once it has been cooked, a good feature that our old BBQ did not have. There is a tray underneath for holding plates, etc and a handy handle at the side that allows you to attach your utensils to.
The only problem we have had with this BBQ is emptying it this is a little tricky as you can't really tip the whole thing up as it is too big. We are using a scoop but it doesn't get all the bits of coal out. Also there is no lid, so when it rains, there is nothing to cover the coals already inside. Bit of a design flaw but I knew that before we bought it. We have covered ours in tarpaulin so it gives it a little bit of protection as long as the wind isn't too strong anyway.
I recently got this BBQ after I got sick of using a gas BBQ; after all, it's only a BBQ if it's cooked on charcoal! This was on special offer when I bought mine, but that wasn't the only consideration.
This BBQ is pretty big. It's called the 'Party Barrell' and it could easily handle a party of 50 without waiting around for more food to cook! OK, I may be exaggrating slightly; the most I've cooked for is 15 and I didn't even use all 3 cooking sections!
As you can see from the picture, there are three seperate cooking sections. Each section is about 35cm wide and about 60cm deep. These are very generous proportions, and allow you to cook a lot of food at once. Each section's height can be varied by 3 stages, depending on how close to the coals you want to cook. Special tongs are provided to enable you to make adjustments whilst cooking.You'll need to line the base of the barrell with tin foil (also helps with cleaning) and you light the charcoal on another grill placed in the barrell itself (all supplied).
The best thing about the three section set-up is that you can choose how many to use. When I cooked for 15 people, I left one section 'unlit'. This not only gave me a place to 'rest' the freshly cooked meat, but also meant that I didn't waste charcoal lighting and heating unnecessary sections. Basically, each section is sectioned off right through the barrell. So you only use enough charcoal to light the sections you'll need. This means heat can be more concentrated and the food will cook more evenly.
Another great thing with this BBQ is that I found that the heat distribution is perfect, and you don't end up with 'cool' areas where food doesn't cook very well. There are vents which can be opened and closed during cooking to aid heat distribution and circulation. You also have some handy 'hangers' for hanging your utensils on. Plus, the tray below the barrell can be used for storage.
There are only two downsides to this BBQ. Firstly, it is fairly big. If you don't regularly have BBQs with more than 3/4 people, it's probably not worth the effort. Buy a smaller one. Secondly, there's no lid. I do like a lid to get a really smoky flavour on the meat, and also the speed up cooking a little. However, this isn't a major concern. Overall, it's a pretty decent BBQ; albeit a little pricy.