We started using a gas barbecue a few years ago now – I know, it’s cheaty. Real barbecue enthusiasts will only cook over hot coals at the correct white-hot temperature, with a sprinkle of hickory chips for that perfect smoked flavour. Pffft. Life’s short. Gas is quick, efficient, and easy – it just makes cooking outside fun.
Because when we Brits say ‘fancy a barbecue?’ what we really mean is ‘holy smokes! The sun’s out! Quick, everyone outside, we’re cooking and eating in the garden tonight!’.
It’s not high cuisine – we keep things simple (burger or sausage?), and just enjoy the novelty of garden living in the sunshine.
But we have a big brood – and barbecues are social occasions just made for sharing. So you need a barbecue that’ll cook enough to keep everyone fed, right?
So when Wayfair asked if we’d like to review the Rappaport Barbecue Grill the first thing I did was check the dimensions – we need a moderately huge grill space! I particularly had in mind the summer barbecue I was in the process of planning – Mr LittleStuff is a trustee of a local charity, and we were hosting the summer social for all the volunteers: this barbecue was going to need to cater for around 35 people in one short sitting.
Naturally it doesn’t arrive in one piece – you have to put it together. But don’t be daunted. It’s definitely a two-person job, purely because of the sheer size of it, there’s nothing complicated, and with two of us on the case we were done in 40 minutes.
And I think we can safely say this baby is big enough for a barbecue party!
There are four individual burner racks, so temperature control can differ across the steel grill (I know it looks like an iron griddle, but it’s stamped steel with enamel finish), meaning you can extend yourself beyond the usual sausage & burger duo.
Underneath that flap on the left there’s also a side burner: a basic gas jet for pans (we used it for onions, but you could also simmer a stock pot on there for hours)
The raised warming rack runs along the back, and the right hand wing as a simple table surface. Super-handy. It comes complete with a 27mm clip on regulator and hose suitable for a 13kg (Green) or a 5kg (Green) patio gas bottle.
For those more adventurous in their barbecue cooking, there’s the all-important temperature gauge in the lid (and the lid itself is double-layered for added insulation, so food will stay warm for up to 30 minutes after the gas is turned off).
The cupboard underneath is perfect for keeping all your essentials tucked away, and the barbecue comes complete with three utensil hooks and a bottle opener.
But how did it cook?
It worked like a charm to feed the hungry hordes! Because we were catering for so many at once, I cheated and cooked the chicken in the kitchen. But burgers and sausages were flying off the grill – there was some flaming, but I suspect the old trick of adding sand to the fat drip tray below the burners will fix that issue
In addition to the essential burgers and sausages we had salmon steaks (straight from the freezer, pan fried on the single burner), and veggie stacks (giant mushrooms painted in olive oil, stacked with a slice of beef tomato, halloumi, roasted pepper and roasted aubergine – held with a skewer, baked for ten minutes in a hot oven then finished in foil on the barbecue).
We had a coolbox and a bucket of of ice for the beer, a pitcher of raspberry daiquiri (always requested for any party), and large dishes of salads. Naturally as the sun went down the firepit was lit, and the marshmallows came out for s’mores.
It was a brilliant night :)
The Charles Bentley 63cm 5-Burner Gas Barbecue Grill is currently on Wayfair reduced from £300 to £280 – I’d snap one up for the bank holiday weekend, and keep it under a cover through the winter. You’ll be impressing your friends and family with your barbecue skillz for years!