Which? Barbecue Review 2013

Three from a shortlist of five selected as this year’s ‘Best Buy’ barbecues by top consumer watchdog Which? should “fire-up Spring sales among retail outlets”, says the chief executive of premium supplier Outback UK.

“We are delighted that once again Which? independent judges chose three Outback models as ‘Best Buys’  in a shortlist of five from a total of 20 tested in their annual industry-wide gas and charcoal barbecue survey. This reinforces our belief that in an austerity economy the reputation and recognition of our brand among UK consumers will play a major role when they choose a barbecue for the season ahead”, said Outback’s Mark Osborne.

“This is the second successive Which? survey to highlight our barbecues as best buys, and illustrates how our cutting-edge technology and leisure market knowledge keeps Outback in premium place in the minds of discerning consumers”, he said.

Outback_Omega Charcoal 200Which? judges reserved special praise for the established Outback Spectrum 3-burner hooded gas barbecue – and in particular for the 2013 edition – as well as the Outback Omega 200 charcoal model –  after “we actually cook on every barbecue we test so we can tell you which ones are really worth shouting about. We also run each barbecue through a series of rigorous tests in our lab”.

The Spectrum reached cooking temperature in just four minutes, was versatile on cooking options – “you can grill, fry, sauté and roast” – cooked delicious food, and had “an excellent quality of finish and is extremely sturdy”, said judges.

“It’s fairly straightforward to put together and takes one person less than an hour”, two grills mean “you can cook a small meal or a large feast, and because their porcelain-coated food is less likely to stick to them”, while “the hood fits and retains heat well, and the side shelves and base storage shelf are sturdy”, they said.

The new edition Outback Spectrum “looks great and is packed with top-spec features, such as enamelled grills, a griddle, a warming rack, temperature gauge and lava rocks”, to cook “delicious food that’s full of that distinctively smoky barbecue flavour”.

“It’s super-quick to heat, and whether you’re cooking with the hood open or closed it generates enough heat to cook food evenly, all the way through – you won’t end up with chicken that’s burnt on the outside yet pink in the middle. This is a substantial barbecue that’s incredibly sturdy and stable to cook on – you won’t find any flimsy parts or sharp edges”, with a “decent size warming rack, keeping plenty of quick-cooking food warm while you finish off larger cuts of meat, and it’s deep enough to hold kebabs”, said the Which? report.

“It cooks such tasty, authentically char-grilled food and is one of the few barbecues you can buy that will give you the best of both worlds: the convenience of gas with the flavour of charcoal, so if you’re looking to invest in a gas barbecue that’s likely to last longer than a couple of years, this model deservedly earns our recommendation”, it concludes.

The Outback Omega 200 charcoal barbecue “performed incredibly well in our cooking performance tests and cooks tasty, flavoursome barbecue food. It’s well-made and its high-spec features undoubtedly contribute to the high quality of food it cooks, while also making it a joy to use”, said judges. A good-size porcelain-coated grill, three storage shelves – one with useful tool hooks, easy to light with good air circulation, a roasting hood and warming rack, and “straightforward and hassle-free cleaning” were features that came in for ‘Best Buy’ praise.

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