Canstar Blue’s 2021 BBQ review has seen BeefEater, Ziegler & Brown, Weber, Matador, Jumbuck, Beefmaster, Bull, and Gasmate compared on cooking performance, ease of use, ease of cleaning, extra features, durability, design, value for money and overall satisfaction.
See our Ratings Methodology.
Enjoying the outdoors while cooking a few snags on the barbie is a classic Aussie summer pastime, so it’s easy to see why many of us want to find the right BBQ.
To find out what cooks best, we grilled more than 700 Australian consumers on the gas or electric barbecue(s) they’ve purchased and used in the last two years. Respondents reviewed brands on cooking performance, ease of use, ease of cleaning, extra features, durability, design, value for money and overall satisfaction. Those that received the minimum required survey sample size of 30 responses are compared in our latest report.
This year, BeefEater and Ziegler & Brown were both rated best for barbecues, after receiving five stars for overall satisfaction and in other areas.
Here are the best brands of BBQs in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s 2021 review:
BeefEater and Ziegler & Brown burned the competition with five stars for durability and overall satisfaction. BeefEater was also rated best for extra features and Ziegler & Brown for ease of use. Runner-up Weber scooped top marks for cooking performance and design, alongside Matador. For the best bang for buck, Aussies rated Jumbuck five stars and Bull took the lead for ease of cleaning.
Before we jump into what to consider when buying a new BBQ, let’s first take a closer look at each brand in our ratings.
BeefEater sports a solid range of both freestanding and built-in barbecues, most with shiny chrome designs resembling a premium option for your home. In the freestanding BBQ range, BeefEater packs between three to five burners, which makes it a strong candidate for cooking, and eating, that beef. In the built-in range, you’ll find a range of styles to seamlessly complement all outdoor areas, according to the brand. Certain models additionally come with a side burner. BeefEater also has a variety of BBQ islands to let you create your perfect outdoor kitchen. The brand’s outdoor line also includes BBQ rangehoods and outdoor refrigeration products.
Most BeefEater BBQs are gas-powered and feature roasting hoods with an onboard temperature gauge and warming racks. The BeefEater mobile barbecues start at about $1,800 for a basic LPG five-burner unit, while portable units are available from around $500, with the built-in systems starting at just over $2,000.
Ziegler & Brown is an Aussie brand that offers gas BBQs, with the number of burners ranging from two to six. Some collections to choose from include the Grill range (portable), Turbo series and built-in gas BBQs. Whether you’re looking for a BBQ to take with you camping, or you’re thinking a little bigger to impress the neighbours, Ziegler & Brown is likely to have you covered.
Its Turbo classic BBQ incorporates a ceramic burner and quartz dome that’s claimed to increase radiant heat and minimise flare-ups. For small spaces and grilling on the go, you might like to consider the portable two-burner range, featuring a number of colour options. Despite the smaller size, the Grill burners are stated to have high dome roasting hoods for additional capacity. Prices usually start from $469 for its two-burner models and go up to the $6,000 mark for the six-burner Grand Turbo model. Certain models are exclusively available from Barbeques Galore.
Weber has four main categories of BBQs – electric, charcoal, premium gas, and a wood pellet range. The electric series is one of the latest additions, featuring electronic temperature control and smart technology such as monitoring food from your smartphone. The charcoal line is claimed to offer authentic coal grilling for that unique smoky flavour, and if ashes are a concern, these beauties come with a cleaning system to make the clean-up easier.
Weber’s premium gas range will see you get a more traditional ‘barbie’, with the Genesis II Series stated to have upgraded features and stainless-steel components for grilling versatility and premium looks. The Weber Q is arguably the most popular series, suitable for small-time grilling, with many grills able to be placed in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. Prices for the top-range Weber Summit models start in excess of $5,000, while Weber Qs start at around $349.
Matador serves up a fairly bite-sized line of barbecues, ranging in size from two to six burners. They’re either standalone or built-in for those outdoor kitchen enthusiasts. Most Matador BBQs are gas-powered, with the brand sold exclusively in Bunnings Warehouse hardware stores, making it easy to pop in and get your spanner and walk out with a BBQ. Two-burner BBQs start around $450, while the top-of-the-range six-burner units go from $799 and up to $1,099.
Jumbuck’s range mainly focuses on barbecues with at least two burners, though some come with up to six. In the range is a series of portable, kettle and charcoal barbecues that start at around $65, ideal for those on a budget. Flat top BBQs come with a minimum of two burners, and while they might have basic designs many feature hoods to promote roasting. Jumbuck also has a few wood-fired and gas pizza ovens to deck out your outdoor area even more.
For the more serious grill enthusiasts, six-burner BBQs are on offer, starting from about $300. Expect powder-coated steel frames, castors wheels for easy movability, and easy-access oil collection cups. Jumbuck was one of the cheaper brands to be featured in our ratings, but still has a range of models to handle all types of snags and roasts depending on what you’re craving for dinner.
Whether you’re a master chef or not, Beefmaster might just have the right BBQ for you. There’s an option to suit a variety of budgets. It produces a relatively concise range of both built-in and mobile BBQs, with two, four and six burners being the standard across the range. Prices for a Beefmaster Classic four-burner BBQ on wheels start from $899 and go up to $1,259 for a six-burner unit, which is not too shabby. Most are finished with an attractive black and stainless-steel design if you’re looking for something to stand out or blend into your décor. All Beefmaster BBQs are gas-powered with LPG as standard, but natural gas conversions are also available. This requires a licensed plumber to install the conversion.
For a serious BBQ transformation, Bull has a few hefty pieces to deck your outdoor kitchen out. The brand mainly offers larger barbecues with six or eight burners, with fridge coolers and drawer modules to give a bit more convenience. You can also get accessories like an exhaust fan extractor, plus eight-burner plates to replace the grill on your Bull BBQ.
Bull’s barbecues are typically larger and built with a ‘premium’ design in mind, with each unit likely to resemble a BBQ island more than a regular grill. So, expect to see higher prices, although many come with a lifetime warranty. The brand’s entry-level Patio Q outdoor kitchen retails for $5,039, while the Gourmet Q would set you back a cool $10,399.
Gasmate splits its BBQs into two key categories – outdoor living and camping. The outdoor living BBQs range from the compact ‘Odyssey’ style, to the full-blown outdoor kitchen units. Traditional barbecues are also on offer, most being powered by gas. The Odyssey range represents a convenient and portable grilling option, while the outdoor kitchen range is described as being the ‘bee’s knees’ when it comes to outdoor cooking, and would be suitable for a comprehensive outdoor setup for the modern home.
Camping barbecues are available, which usually feature only one burner. The range is designed to be compact and lightweight, making it easy to take with you for your time in the great outdoors. Traditional Gasmate barbecues are available from around $600. Portable barbecues are generally cheaper, while built-in outdoor kitchen barbecues start at about $3,000. But keep in mind that outdoor kitchens also require professional installation.
The eight bands featured above are certainly some of the most prominent in the market, but there are others worth keeping an eye out for.
Everdure offers a number of products from heaters to kitchen appliances and indeed BBQs. It covers the full spectrum, producing portable, charcoal and freestanding BBQs. It even features an electric ignition charcoal model, which is stated to allow you to get your charcoal burning to the right temperature in 10 minutes. Expect a range of bright colours with prices ranging between $200 and $1,800.
Napoleon’s range features gas, charcoal and portable grills, plus built-in barbecues. Napoleon’s prices start from just under $400 for a charcoal kettle grill with a temperature gauge, and go up to $2,995 for a stainless-steel LPG BBQ. Certain built-in models come with an infrared rotisserie burner and are designed to cater to people who love slow spit roasting or prefer to cook on high heat settings.
Billabong offers a small range of BBQs at affordable prices, ideal for beginners. Its range features kettle models, an offset smoker BBQ, and a two-burner on trolley BBQ. While its range isn’t extensive, expect features such as an integrated warming rack to increase cooking volume or for roasting.
The brand’s offset smoker model – pictured courtesy of Barbeques Galore – is boasted for a durable steel lid and firebox, enamelled steel grills and a temperature gauge. It also has a warming rack, a side shelf and a temperature gauge to help you with the cooking process. Billabong BBQs come with a price tag of between $70 and $300.
With many factors to consider, the following guide breaks up the process into each aspect to help you find the right BBQ for your budget, needs, size and taste. Read on for all the details.
Our survey indicates that Aussies spend an average of $498 on new BBQs, a slight decrease from the $515 respondents were paying last year. This is obviously a big hit to the hip pocket, so it’s worth doing your homework on what type of unit will suit you.
Factors that usually affect the price of BBQs include:
With the price of barbecues ranging anywhere from around $100, to more than $5,000, it’s also useful to check out which brands offer Afterpay to help manage the cost.
Aside from cooking some snags and steaks, BBQs can also be somewhat of a ‘social statement’. Almost one in five (19%) survey respondents said they don’t use their barbecue as much as they thought they would, so that $500-odd price tag could in fact be going to waste.
There are a few questions you’ll need to ask yourself to make sure you choose the right barbecue and don’t end up wasting money on something you don’t need. Our survey indicated some key drivers of satisfaction, listed in order of importance:
Below is a list of considerations you may want to run through before purchasing a new BBQ.
There are three main types of BBQs to choose from:
The debate over which produces the better flavour – charcoal or gas – has been ongoing ever since both types existed. If you want to be able to grill without getting a smoky flavour, go with gas.
Aside from price, cooking capacity and brand, our survey found that some people also chose their BBQ based on its features, so it’s certainly something to consider thoroughly. These are some you might come across:
You can grill pretty much anything that won’t fall, melt or disintegrate through the bars or mesh. Vegetables grilled on a BBQ have a different taste and texture, particularly those that go very well with smoky flavours, such as mushrooms and eggplant. Pineapple is a classic barbecue staple, as the flames caramelise the sugars for a fresh, sweet and juicy addition to your burgers or kebabs.
We asked our survey respondents about what foods they generally cook on their BBQ and they reported:
Despite the stereotype about shrimp, steaks and snags are what Aussies prefer to chuck on the barbie! It’s certainly an easy BBQ choice in backyards and on decks across the country, and all you need is some bread, sauce and onions, and you’ve got the lunch of champions.
Save some for us!
This report was written by Canstar Blue’s Home & Lifestyle Content Lead, Megan Birot. She’s an expert on household appliances, health & beauty products, as well as all things grocery and shopping. When she’s not writing up our research-based ratings reports, Megan spends her time helping consumers make better purchase decisions, whether it’s at the supermarket, other retailers, or online, highlighting the best deals and flagging anything you need to be aware of.
Picture credits: Alexander Raths/Shutterstock.com, Hadrian/Shutterstock.com, ronstik/Shutterstock.com, Arina P Habich/Shutterstock.com, Sergey Spritnyuk/Shutterstock.com, Alexander Raths/Shutterstock.com.
*Prices are taken from respective retailers, correct as of September 2021.
Here is a list of BBQ brands available to buy in Australia:
There are plenty of retailers that sell BBQs either in-store or online. These include:
Canstar Blue surveyed 6,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased a new gas or electric barbecue in the last two years – in this case, 721 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
Here are the previous winning brands from Canstar Blue’s BBQ ratings:
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*Prices correct as of publication date.