BBQ Reviews & Ratings

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Canstar Blue’s 2019 BBQ review has seen Weber, Gasmate, Ziegler & Brown, Jumbuck, Beefeater, Billabong and Beefmaster compared on their cooking performance, ease of use, ease of cleaning, durability, value for money, extra features and overall satisfaction.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | Weber

Weber is back on top as the best-rated barbecue brand in Australia, leading the way with five stars on cooking performance, ease of use, ease of cleaning, durability, design and overall satisfaction.

Weber grills the competition in BBQ ratings

One of the best things about Australia is that you can enjoy a barbecue with friends and family almost all year round. Enjoying the outdoors while cooking a few snags on the barbie is a classic Aussie summer pastime, and it’s easy to see why. Who doesn’t enjoy the chance to get their grill on instead of staying cooped up indoors? So which barbecues are best at the job? To find out, Canstar Blue annually surveys hundreds of Aussie households that have recently purchased and used a new BBQ, with their feedback reflected by the star ratings table above.

The idea is to give you as much helpful information as possible before you decide on the best barbecue for your tastes and budget, with brands compared on factors including their cooking performance, ease of use, ease of cleaning and extra features. Think of it as like asking hundreds of your mates about their backyard barbecuing experiences. After all, who doesn’t have an opinion about their and their mate’s barbecue! So, what did we find this year?

Weber has dominated this year’s ratings, achieving five stars for overall customer satisfaction, cooking performance, ease of use, ease of cleaning, durability and design. In the third year of our annual review, Weber returns to the top of the table after a year away when it was replaced by Ziegler & Brown. But it has once again been rated the best barbecue brand in Australia.

Best-Rated BBQs

weber-baby-q-large

Canstar Blue’s 2019 BBQ review saw seven major brands compared and rated in the following order for overall customer satisfaction:

  • 1st Weber
  • 2nd Gasmate
  • 3rd Ziegler & Brown
  • 4th Jumbuck
  • 5th BeefEater
  • 6th Billabong
  • 7th Beefmaster

Gasmate, Ziegler & Brown and Jumbuck all received four stars overall, while BeefEater, Billabong and Beefmaster had to settle for three stars apiece. While Weber cooked up a storm again this year, there were a few other results of note, including Gasmate scoring five stars for ease of cleaning, along with this year’s winner. Jumbuck was the only brand to get five stars for value for money, while Beefeater was the only one with top marks for extra features.

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.

BBQs Compared

Our review features seven brands, and while there are others out there, looking at these first may be a good starting point to help you decide which might be best for you.

Weber

Weber has four main categories of BBQ – electric, charcoal, premium gas, and the famed Weber Q range. The electric range is its latest addition, featuring electronic temperature control and smart technology such as monitoring food from your smartphone. The charcoal range 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 series cost in excess of $5,400, while Weber Qs start at around $340.

Reclaiming its top spot from Ziegler & Brown, Weber achieved five stars for overall satisfaction in 2019. It was also rated five stars on cooking performance, ease of use, ease of cleaning, durability and design, with four stars for value for money and three stars for extra features.

Weber’s range of BBQs includes:

  • Weber Baby Q Premium (Q1200) Gas Barbecue: $349*
  • Weber Q Premium (Q2200) Gas Barbecue: $479*
  • Weber Pulse 2000 Barbecue: $699*
  • Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker 57cm: $999*
  • Weber Summit E-660 Built-In Gas Barbecue: $5,399*

Check Latest Prices at Appliances Online^

Gasmate

gasmate-bbq

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 the ‘bees 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, with portable barbecues generally cheaper, while the built-in, outdoor kitchen barbecues start at about $3,000 but also require professional installation.

Gasmate was rated four stars overall in our review but did get top marks for ease of cleaning. It got four stars in all other research categories, including cooking performance and ease of use.

Gasmate’s BBQ line up features:

  • Gasmate Adventurer Deluxe Single Burner Portable BBQ: $249.99*
  • Gasmate Odyssey 1 Single Burner: $299*
  • Gasmate Adventurer Deluxe Double Burner Portable BBQ: $299.99*
  • Gasmate Odyssey 2 Burner BBQ with Trolley – Red / Black: $569*
  • Gasmate Odyssey 3 Burner BBQ with Trolley – Red: $669*

Check Latest Prices at Appliances Online^

Ziegler & Brown

ziggy_by_ziegler_and_brown

Ziegler & Brown is an Aussie brand that offers gas BBQs, with the number of burners ranging from one to six. There is 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 increase radiant heat and minimises flare-ups. For small spaces and grilling on the go, you might like to consider the portable one 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 start from $349 for its 1-burner models and go up to $6,400 for a 6-Burner Grand Turbo model.

Ziegler & Brown received a respectable four stars for overall satisfaction, cooking performance, ease of use and cleaning, design and extra features. It rated three stars for two other variables – durability and value for money.

Ziegler & Brown’s BBQ range includes:

  • Ziegler & Brown Portable Grill in Chilli Red: $349*
  • Ziegler & Brown Portable Grill in Gunmetal Grey on Stand: $448*
  • Ziegler & Brown Turbo Classic Range Module: $1,349*
  • Ziegler & Brown Turbo Classic 2 Burner Barbeque with Side Burner: $1,649*
  • Ziegler & Brown Turbo Elite 5 Burner Barbeque with Side Burner: $3,199*

Check BBQ Prices at Appliances Online^

Jumbuck

jumbuck-large-grill

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 $60, 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.

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 has a range of models to handle all types of snags and roasts depending on what you’re craving for dinner.

Rated five stars for value for money, Jumbuck got four stars for cooking performance, ease of use, durability and overall satisfaction. However, it got three stars for ease of cleaning, design and extra features.

Jumbuck range includes:

  • Jumbuck Portable Round Hotplate BBQ: $59.90*
  • Jumbuck 2 Burner Hooded BBQ with Side Burner: $249*
  • Jumbuck 6 Burner Solid Top Club BBQ: $298*
  • Jumbuck 4 Burner Hooded Comet Plus BBQ with Side Burner: $399*
  • Jumbuck 6 Burner Hooded Comet Plus BBQ: $449*

Check BBQ Prices at Appliances Online^

BeefEater

electrolux-large-grill

BeefEater sports a solid range of both mobile and built-in barbecues, most with shiny chrome designs resembling a premium option for your home. In the mobile BBQ range, BeefEater packs in three burners at a minimum, 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.

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 $1,700 for the basic LPG five-burner units, while portable units are available from around $500, with the built-in systems start at about $900.

In 2019, BeefEater was rated five stars for extra features, but three stars in all other areas, including overall satisfaction.

BeefEater’s line up features:

  • Beefeater BB722AA Bigg Bugg Amber Mobile LPG BBQ: $799*
  • Beefeater BD16232 Discovery 1100E 3 Burner Built-In LPG BBQ: $899*
  • Beefeater BD16350 Discovery 1100S 5 Burner Built-In LPG BBQ: $1,599*
  • Beefeater BS12840 Signature 3000S 4 Burner Built-In LPG BBQ: $1,999*
  • Beefeater BS31550 Signature SL4000 4 Burner Built-In LPG BBQ: $3,399*

Check Latest Prices at Appliances Online^

Billabong

Billabong-grill-large

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 temperature gauge to help you with the cooking process. Billabong BBQs come with a price tag of between $70 and $300.

Billabong received a four-star rating on ease of cleaning but just three stars for overall satisfaction and all other categories in this year’s review.

Billabong’s BBQ range includes:

  • Billabong Offset Smoker: $199*
  • Billabong Offset Smoker Package Deal: $277.80*
  • Billabong 2 Burner BBQ on Trolley: $279*

Check BBQ Prices at Appliances Online^

Beefmaster

beefmaker-large-grill

Whether you’re a masterchef or not, Beefmaster likely has a barbecue for you. It produces a relatively concise range of both built-in and mobile BBQs, with four burners being the standard across the range. However, you’ll also find a few Beefmaster BBQs boasting six burners if you’re after some extra cooking power. Most are finished in attractive black and stainless-steel designs 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. Its four burner BBQ – pictured courtesy of Barbeques Galore – can be accompanied by optional accessories, such as a cast iron wok for stir fries. Beefmaster mobile barbecues start from about $800, while built-in units start at around $600.

Beefmaster was rated three stars for overall satisfaction and most other categories, except for durability and design where it achieved four stars.

Beefmaster’s line up includes:

  • Beefmaster 4 Burner BBQ – Build In: $599*
  • Beefmaster 4 Burner BBQ with Side Burner: $799*
  • Beefmaster Premium 4 Burner BBQ – Roll In: $849*
  • Beefmaster Premium 6 Burner BBQ – Build In: $999*
  • Beefmaster Premium 6 Burner BBQ with Side Burner: $1,299*

Check BBQ Prices at Appliances Online^

Other BBQ Brands

The seven brands featured above are certainly some of the most prominent in market, but there are others worth keeping an eye out for.

  • Everdure: Offers a number of products from heaters to kitchen appliances and BBQs. Its BBQ range 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: Napoleon’s range features gas, charcoal and portable grills, plus built-in barbecues. Napoleon BBQs cost as little as $350 for a charcoal kettle grill with a temperature gauge, and go up to $2,895 for its built-in model, designed with infrared rotisserie burner for high heat settings and slow spit roasting.
  • Matador: Produces a fairly concise range 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 from Bunnings Warehouse hardware stores, making it easy to pop in and get your spanner and walk out with a BBQ. Two burner units start at about $500, while the top-of-the-range six burner units start at around $900.

What to consider when buying a BBQ

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.

How much do BBQs cost?

Our survey indicates that Aussies spend an average of $475 on new BBQs. This is obviously a fair hit to the hip pocket, so it pays to get your purchase right. Factors that will affect the price of BBQs include:

  • Number of burners
  • Size of barbecue
  • Quality of build materials
  • Extra features (such as storage shelves and hooks, tiered shelves, and side grills)

Aside from cooking some snags and steaks, BBQs are as much of a ‘social statement’ as they are about cooking food. One in five (22%) 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.

How do I choose the right BBQ?

customers buying goods, selecting the best tools

There are a few questions you’ll need to ask yourself to make sure you choose the right barbecue for you, 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:

  • Cooking performance: 24%
  • Ease of use: 21%
  • Ease of cleaning: 16%
  • Durability: 16%
  • Value for money: 13%
  • Design: 8%
  • Extra features: 2%

Above all, cooking performance is the most important factor in driving BBQ satisfaction, followed by ease of use and ease of cleaning. This is understandable given that no one enjoys spending too much time cleaning up all that greasy mess! More than half (53%) of consumers clean their BBQ regularly, so having a well-designed model without any hard to reach compartments might help with this.

Below is a list of considerations you may want to run through before purchasing a new BBQ.

Portable, freestanding or built-in barbecues

There are three main types of BBQs to choose from:

  • Portable BBQ: portable BBQs are great for camping, beach trips, or for those with very limited storage space.
  • Freestanding BBQ: can range from the traditional kettle BBQ to a great big heavy-duty grill that takes two people to pick up. Some have two or four wheels for manoeuvrability, while some just sit on castors, so there’s variable ability to move it around. That means you’re not trapped with your BBQ in just one place if you like being able to change things around or want to take it with you if you move house.
  • Built-in BBQ: are designed to be permanently built into your outdoor entertaining area. They look great, but once installed you can’t move it.

Fuel Type

american barbecue - preparing beef ribs

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.

  • Charcoal: gives that authentic hot coal roasting experience but produces ashes that can be a pain to clean up.
  • Gas: is faster, more efficient, and easier to control the heat, but has more intricate parts to keep cleaned and maintained.
  • Natural gas: means you’ve always got access to fuel supply, while with LPG you’ll need to keep getting the gas bottle refilled. However, not all homes have a natural gas connection and you’ll need a licensed professional to connect it to your barbecue.
  • Electric: requires access to a power point and has a quick 10-minute heat up time. It’s ideal for casual BBQ fans without the hassle of a gas connection. Most electric models are portable, so you can take them with you on holidays.

How many BBQ burners do I need?

Six burner outdoor gas grill

Consider how much food you’ll be barbecuing at once. Another way to think about it is to consider how many people you’ll usually be cooking for. There’s no point having a massive barbecue just to feed two people, or having a small barbie when you have an army to feed!

  • Charcoal barbecues: tend to be smaller, except for many of the spit roast designs. This, combined with the fact that charcoal grills need constant monitoring to keep the heat right, means that to feed a big party you’ll be spending most of your time working on the barbecue.
  • Gas barbecues: can have anywhere from two to eight burners. If you’ll usually be cooking for only one to three people, a two or three burner barbecue should do the job. However, if you’ll be throwing parties or have a large family to feed, four or more burners may be necessary to get everything cooked.
  • Electric barbecues: are typically portable and in turn, feature just one or two burners. While it’s a convenient size to take with you, you do sacrifice on cooking capacity.
  • A hotplate type barbecue: or a grill with a hotplate section is good for grilling onions, stir fry, or other food that’s too small to cook on a regular old grill. Alternatively, you can just use a pan or other barbecue-suitable cookware on top of the grill if you’ll only need it occasionally.
  • Side burner: may also be helpful if you’ll want to cook or heat sauce, soup, or other liquids.

Extra features & accessories

 bbq kebab grilling on open grill

Our survey found that for 25% of Aussies, features were the primary reason for choosing their BBQ, so it’s certainly something to consider thoroughly. These are some of what you might come across:

  • Movability: Consider how often you’ll need to move the barbecue – if the answer is ‘frequently’, you should test how easily you can move it before making the purchase. Four wheels make it super easy, but lighter and smaller barbecues often have two wheels at one end with a handle at the other to lift and push/pull.
  • Side tables: can be super handy for keeping food ready before and after you’ve put it on the grill, and meaning you still have a bit of elbow room to work with.
  • Shelves: underneath the barbecue and hooks on the sides make it easier to keep all of your barbecue tools and other bits and pieces together and easily accessible, meaning you won’t have to spend time looking for your tongs!
  • Two-tiered grills: have an extra grill suspended over the main one, usually for keeping food warm or steaming vegetables.
  • Rotisserie: either built into the barbecue or a removable one is good for slow-roasting meats and vegetables. A rotisserie is a long metal rod suspended horizontally across the grill, slowly rotated, usually by an electric motor, to roast food.

What food can I cook on my BBQ?

grilled vegetables and seasoning

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 the foods they generally cook on their BBQ and they reported:

  • Sausages: 77%
  • Steaks: 75%
  • Chops or cutlets: 54%
  • Kebabs or skewers: 54%
  • Burgers: 52%
  • Fillets: 43%
  • Ribs: 31%
  • Fresh seafood: 27%
  • Breakfast foods: 25%
  • Fruits & vegetables: 21%
  • Meatballs: 19%

Despite the Aussie stereotype about shrimp, snags are what Aussies prefer! It’s certainly an easy BBQ choice across backyards and decks across the country, and all you need is some bread, sauce and onion, and you’ve got the lunch of champions.

Save some for us!

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Picture credits: Hadrian/shutterstock.com, ronstik/shutterstock.com, Arina P Habich/shutterstock.com, Sergey Spritnyuk/shutterstock.com, Alexander Raths/shutterstock.com

*Prices taken from Appliances Online and respective retailers, correct as of October 2019

More about Barbecues

Our latest customer satisfaction research on BBQs saw a number of brands rated best in different areas:

  • Best Overall: Weber was rated best for overall satisfaction, ahead of Gasmate and Ziegler & Brown.
  • Best Cooking Performance: Weber was rated best for cooking performance, followed by Ziegler & Brown and Gasmate.
  • Best for Ease of Use: Weber was rated best for ease of use, ahead of Jumbuck and Ziegler & Brown.
  • Best for Cleaning: Gasmate was rated best for ease of cleaning, followed by Weber and Ziegler & Brown.
  • Best Durability: Weber was again rated best for durability, leading the way from Gasmate and Jumbuck.
  • Best Value: Jumbuck was rated best for value for money, ahead of Gasmate and Weber. 
  • Best Design: Weber was a clear winner for design with Ziegler & Brown and Beefmaster the next best-rated.
  • Best Extra Features: Beefeater was rated best for extra features, followed by Gasmate and Ziegler & Brown

Frequently asked questions

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 2 years – in this case, 681 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.

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