“ Brand: Jamie Oliver / Fuel Type: Coal / Type: Barbecue „
This review is of the Jamie Oliver Portable Charcoal Grill Small BBQ.
This BBQ uses charcoal to heat the food, which is my personal favourite as it does in my opinion provide for a better taste for the food with the smokiness. This does however have the disadvantage of being harder and more fiddly to light, and being harder to clean, so it's worth considering in advance which would be most suitable.
I purchased this from a friend who decided they'd rather have the flexibility of a gas powered BBQ, but I've found that the food cooked on this Jamie Oliver Portable Grill is very good, hence my choice. Food I've cooked on this always seems to taste great, cook well and evenly and doesn't produce the problems I've had with some BBQs where the design seems to produce uneven cooking.
One of the reasons for this even cooking is that the unit does allow you to move the grill section away from the source of the heat by swinging it across. That means some food can be cooked whilst other food is away from the heat, and it allows food to be near the heat without being right on top of it. Other BBQs I've had sometimes make such flexibility harder, so that you have to actually remove the food from the BBQ as the grill section can't be moved.
On a more negative note, I didn't feel that the unit was as robust as I'd perhaps like, and sometimes felt as though it might fall over. I'd have preferred more support between the three legs, as it doesn't take much to knock the whole unit over. So I'd personally suggest that this unit is much more suitable for using in a back garden or area with a secure base, rather than in a field when camping for example.
Cleaning the unit isn't the easiest, but this is more of a problem with charcoal BBQs than this one in particular. However I felt more could have been done, there is a tray which collects the ash, but this could have been larger to make collection more effective. Really the best way to clean this is to wait until the BBQ cools and clean it as soon as possible to try and keep the unit in good condition.
Although the BBQ is branded and sold as "small" this more refers to the amount of space available for cooking rather than the weight of the unit itself. The unit is actually quite heavy at just under 20 kilograms, and not the easiest contraption to move, especially as there are no wheels on the unit. There are also some metal hooks on the outside of the unit to allow tongs to be placed and the material used is stainless steel. My unit is in black, which I understand is the only colour available.
The BBQ retails for around 99 pounds, but can be found selling on a few web-sites for around 50 pounds including delivery, but I've noted it's becoming much harder to find this unit on-line. This seems a fair price, and although there are other alternatives which might be better value, this would be worth looking if your maximum budget is 50 pounds. The unit measures 38 cms in length, 48 cms in height and 31 cms in width.
Also, it's important to note that you order the right item. This particular BBQ doesn't have a hood, as can be seen from the Dooyoo photo, but there is a similarly named Jamie Oliver Portable BBQ which does have a hood, and looks more stylish. They are also similarly priced, so make sure that you get the model that you wanted. The unit I'm reviewing certainly isn't as stylish.
Just to make matters more complex, there is also a larger version of this model available, which doesn't cost much more, and does allow for much more cooking space. Homebase currently sell this model, although their pricing is a bit confusing as they're charging much less for the larger model than the smaller model. Careful shopping around is certainly needed on this!
Overall, I found this is an average unit which could have been much improved by some better design features, even just another shelf which would have made the unit more robust and also providing extra space. Food cooked on the unit tastes great though, giving the advantages of the charcoal cooking and smoky flavour, helped by the moveable grill unit. However, the unit is reasonably priced, and overall isn't bad value, but I feel there are better options available for not much more money.