If you can transport yourself away from the current cold weather and remember the unseasonably hot period we had last October you will understand our need for a barbeque late last year. We are not frequent barbeque hosts, however having done our house up to a reasonable standard we were in need of a good old shin dig to let everyone see the results of months of hard work. As such I browsed the internet looking for a reasonable and easy to use barbeque that would do the job but not set me back a fortune in doing so.
I settled on the Landmann 0566 Charcoal Wagon. It looked relatively easy to use, only needed coals to cook and was transportable plus it was made by Landmann who are reputable for producing quality barbeques and accessories.
------Price and Availability------
I bought our barbeque online and paid around £40 for it. However, I have done a bit of research and it can currently be bought for £35.85 from Amazon including shipping. When you do buy this barbeque it is important to factor in the cost of buying a bag of coal to fuel it which will usually set you back a few quid from your local DIY store, in my case B&Q.
I consider the price of this appliance a bargain, given that it will hopefully be around for many years to come and will therefore produce a good amount of cooking in its lifetime.
As with all things that you purchase online, they can only do so much in setting it up before shipping it to you. That is most definitely the case with this barbeque which upon delivery does require a certain amount of putting the pieces together. Although I must admit that I did not put up our barbeque myself (leaving this to the other half) this barbeque does come with an instruction leaflet which I understand meant that it was relatively easy to assemble and only took a matter of minutes for it to be standing tall in our back garden.
Upon being set up the barbeque was rather sturdy in construction and did not have that flimsy feel that so many DIY accessories give. It was also an added bonus that it was fuelled with coal as this meant that none of the fastening the gas canister to the hose was required.
------Looks and Appearance------
In my opinion this barbeque looks simple and functional with its predominantly black body, chrome cooking grill and red screen. It certainly wouldn't be in competition with some of the flashier and more high tech options available, however for the price paid you could hardly expect it to be.
The barbeque is supported by four metal legs, two of which are simply metal posts and the other two built with rather large wheels attached to them for easy manoeuvrability. Between these four posts is a good sized wooden slat shelf which serves not only to store food on when you are on the go but can also be used to tuck the coal under when it is not in use. This shelf only adds to the stability of these legs meaning that it is unlikely to topple over.
On top of these four legs is the body of the barbeque. That being a fire bowl base which is backed with a burgundy red metal shield, referred to as the 'windshield' by Landmann. The shield encircles three sides of the fire bowl to prevent the heat being blown by the wind and it also gives a base to the cooking grill which can be slotted into one of them many slots given depending on how close or far you want the meat to be cooked away from the coals.
To the left of the body is another wooden slatted shelf, which we find very useful to put the cooking tongs on top of while cooking and to the right a wooden rail for pulling the barbeque around the garden or patio areas.
This barbeque measures in at 84cm wide by 87.5cm high x 44.5cm deep. The chrome metal grill measures in at around 49cm by 27cm meaning that you have an adequate sized area for cooking.
Although Landmann recommend this barbeque is used for cooking for up to six people, we have used our barbeque for cooking for around 10 people. However, I must admit that we did use our oven for much storage of the meat once cooked to ensure that all the meat was ready in one lot. Once the coals were ready it was simply the case of laying out the meat on the grill and turning at regular intervals until it was cooked through. The size of the cooking grill meant that it was easily capable of cooking a standard sized packet of sausages plus a couple of burgers in one go.
The only trickiness we found was getting the coals to the right temperature and maintaining the heat throughout. This was done with a series of fire starting blocks and a regular supply of blowing. It also inevitably became the subject of conversation for the blokes at our barbeque as each compared their fire starting techniques.
As with the majority of barbeques, they start their life being shiny clean and after the first use they are blackened and dirty, however I console myself by saying this is all part of the outdoors eating experience. This barbeque is no different requiring a liberal sweeping out of the fire bowl after use to get rid of all the dust and sticky fat drippings and a wipe down or much needed hot soak of the chrome grill.
The beauty of this barbeque is that it is completely transportable and is lightweight enough to be lifted out of sight into your nearest shed. Being that our shed is quite small we have tended to leave ours outside in the garden.
It is worth noting that the finishes on this barbeque make it not the best at surviving the elements. The wooden handles and slatted shelves being prone to get damp and filthy with regular rain fall. To solve this we have painted an oil designed for external wood treatment over our wooden areas to protect them from the rain. In addition, I did purchase a plastic housing sheet for the barbeque to prevent it from rusting and this cost in the region of an extra £10. However in my opinion this is well the investment it to prolong the life of the barbeque.
All in all I would say that this is a particularly useful barbeque for those occasions when you want to enjoy outdoor living without a high price tag and delivers cooked food both quickly and easily. It is let down slightly by the fact that it only has the one cooking shelf which limits the amount of people you can realistically cater for however being that it only costs £35 you can easily buy more than one if this is going to be a problem.
I would recommend this barbeque, particularly for people who enjoy cooking outdoors without paying a premium and who enjoy, as we do, a simple means of cooking meat.
This product is scored a well deserved four stars out of five from me.
Thanks for reading! x
This review is also posted on Ciao under the same user name
Short name: Landmann 0566