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It is that time of the year when people are ready to get the good old barbecue sets out and some people might want a new barbecue to make sure everything turns out okay. This is my barbecue set I got last year.
== The Design ==
The barbecue is made from black steel which has a nice rich colour which looks great in the sunshine. The lid is done in a very deep dome type of effect which makes everything look bigger inside.
The lid opens and can be kept open via a little gadget but this is not always the best idea which is explained further on. On the side is a small table feature which enables you to perhaps place food products or drinks whilst you cook.
Between the four legs of this barbecue is a great shelf which has plenty of storage room to put everything you would want and this is very sturdy and holds plenty of weight. This shelf is also made from steel and has holes there to make you aware it is a shelf. The colour is kind of odd considering the overall colour of this barbecue set.
Both the table on the side and shelf are done in a grey colour with little shine and it makes this barbecue set kind of silly looking in my view. The shelf needed to be the same colour as the barbecue.
There are two wheels on the legs to help you move this item around and the other two legs are there to add a bit of stability overall. The legs do have a fun unique look to them rather than being the dull straight legs they do have a bend to them which I think makes them appeal more to the customer.
You're given a nice stainless steel griddle to place food products onto when cooking and the part I like is underneath the main cooking unit is a little section you open and it can pour all the contents from inside the barbecue into this storage unit to empty. This helps you clean this barbecue out much quicker.
== Stats and Info ==
The cooking area for this barbecue is 50cm x 50cm and it is perhaps smaller then people would think due to the overall size of the whole barbecue. The design has been done to make it appear bigger then it is.
The barbecue weighs around 18 kilograms which sounds a lot as well but when you wish to move this item you can move it very easily with the wheels attached to the legs so this enables you to move this item around very safely.
The product is made from steel so you can pretty much guarantee it has quality and for me that steel is very solid and offers lots of protection for the contents inside.
The size measurements are height 24cms, width 75cms and depth 60cms. These measurements are pretty accurate and rounded to the nearest number.
== My Experience ==
I got this product just over a year ago and at the time I had previously not been a big fan of doing my own barbecues because in all fairness I cannot cook that well.
I got this item when in Tesco and they had it on display and it let you have a good look around and I eventually brought it and in some ways I am glad I did.
This product was easy to assemble with little fuss and perhaps did not need that instruction guide.
I found when I put in the coal and the lighter fluid that everything lit very simply there was no issue with the wind coming in and causing me problems and the biggest reason for this was due to the depth.
When you open up this barbecue it does not look that deep compared to how big the lid is but there is a nice deep gap there for you place lots of coal and to make sure everything is piping hot before use.
The problem I had was the lid and to this day is still the lid. You have a latch you use to make sure the lid stays in place whilst cooking and for me it fails to do that at all. If the wind blows or you accidentally wobble the barbecue unit for any reason you sometimes experience the lid fall down.
The latch is not strong enough and does not even look capable enough to contain the lid in place and this has big issues when you are cooking. I usually place the lid down and let the smoke leave the barbecue via the small opening on the lid which is very useful.
Whilst I was using this item I placed many items on the shelf unit and on the top table which is small and works out the size of someone's arm I would place some drinks and utensils for the cooking. I found the items did heat up very quickly compared to previous barbecues I had been to where people have smaller sets to use.
The other issue was when I nearly had the barbecue disappear on me down the pathway. My garden has this rather odd slope and unfortunately cannot be removed so if something reaches this area it will fall down the steps eventually. I pushed the barbecue slightly and although you should not be able to do this the barbecue did try and roll away.
I have found the lid very irritating as mentioned above but also for marking. If you need to clean the lid for any reason you need to make sure you do not use anything to abrasive otherwise marks do appear as I found out.
Once everything was cooked I removed the griddle in the centre for cleaning which is very easy to do there is no issue there for disconnecting this item at all. You have a small valve which opens up to empty some of the charred coal and this enables quicker cleaning in my view.
Overall experience for me has been the ease to set this item up, how quick the cleaning is to do on this item and finally how quick food is done but this might be down to how much heat I create rather than how great the barbecue set truly is.
== Final Thoughts ==
The lid I will run down all day long even to those people who own this item the lid is terrible and even in the store recently during are good weather the lid on the store demonstration had problems as well.
I appreciate the lid does not need to be rigid and unable to move but you need to be safe when you're dealing with a lot of heat, food and smoke and if the lid did fall down it could cause mayhem. I think the fix is obviously to put in a better latch or something to hold the lid steadier but I doubt that would happen anytime soon.
I found there were no utensils given with this item which would have been beneficial in my view. I had to use my own equipment and yet the box did display images of utensils and never mentioned none were included so that was a big let-down.
I think the final problem might be the price and how Tesco justify this price tag. Currently this item is retailed at £90 which I find quite shocking with the issues I have mentioned above.
This item does cook food and is easy to clean but it is not as durable as some might like and there are better models and brands out there for not much more cash.
Last year I paid just £49.99 for this item so unless the price does decrease I would perhaps think long and hard about this item.