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Charcoal Kettle Barbecues

Charcoal kettle barbecues are the iconic shape for a traditional grill, one which the purists favour. You can still get great results from gas and electric, watch the video on our Youtube channel where we compare burgers cooked on gas, charcoal and electric; we came to the conclusion that there was barely any difference between the three. Prices start at £67 for the portable Weber Smoky Joe, which is ideal if you like grilling on a day out to the seaside or countryside, up to the Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Centre at almost £1,900, but it is the crème de la crème of charcoal barbecues. It’s unique features include a gas ignition, enabling you to easily light the charcoal or briquettes, side table and storage. It also incorporates the Gourmet Barbecue System (GBS) enabling you to insert a wok, Dutch Oven, Waffle Maker and a host of other accessories, making it much easier to extend your grilling repertoire to encompass the recipes you would normally cook in the kitchen. We regularly hold BBQ demos and workshops in the store here at Ambleside so if you would like to improve your grilling skills and repertoire of recipes why not pop along; just go to the Events page of our website for details.  

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Ian Hodgett
Furniture and Barbecue Buyer
Ian has worked for Hayes since leaving school, spending the majority of this time in the outdoor furniture department and like Keith has an in-depth knowledge of Hayes customers. He also has the same ethos at heart when buying garden furniture; will it be an acceptable price and quality? He also takes into account the changing fashions and environmental considerations, such as using recycled materials, being recyclable at the end of its life and is the timber sourced from forests which have a re-planting policy. Ian’s other passion is barbecuing which resulted in Hayes having one of the few Weber Worlds within The Barbecue Shop here in store. The Barbecue Shop has gained a reputation as being one of the best places in north west England to obtain all your BBQ requisites as it stocks everything you need apart from the food. Some of our best sellers are the Angus & Oink and Traeger rubs and sauces which can elevate your food from the ordinary to the absolutely divine. Ian regularly posts on Instagram the results of his grilling labours and it’s not just the usual barbecue fare of bangers and burgers. If you head to the Hayes Garden World Youtube channel you can view almost 200 videos Ian has appeared in with top BBQ chef Richard Holden. These videos show you that there is no limit to the creative dishes you can cook on your BBQ, whether it’s fuelled by gas, charcoal, electric or wood pellets. Almost all the dishes are simple and well within the capabilities of any barbecuer, they range from the Christmas dinner to puddings to vegetarian dishes.

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Frequently Asked Questions

If you are new to barbecuing and not sure whether you will take to it then the kettle barbecues make the ideal starter grill. If you do start to embrace the al fresco dining experience then you can move up to a larger gas or wood pellet grill and use the kettle grill to separately cook any veggie dishes.
They are budget friendly so ideal if you're not sure about outdoor cooking. Cooking over charcoal gives you the authentic smoky BBQ flavour and is the only type of grill used by purists. They are small enough to take on a picnic instead of the normal pork pie and soggy sandwiches.
They only have a limited grill area so ideal for cooking for up to 4 people but if you regularly cook for larger parties then you need a larger gas or wood pellet grill. They are slower to come to temperature then the gas grills but this can be speeded up by using the Weber Chimney starter. Disposing of the ashes can also be a problem if you are on a picnic as you have to wait until they are cold.

Buyers guide to charcoal kettle barbecues

Charcoal kettle barbecues are the iconic BBQ shape and still hugely popular, often the first grill newcomers to outdoor cooking opt for as they are fairly straightforward to operate. Charcoal is the fuel of choice for barbecue purists who claim that other fuels such as gas, electric and wood pellet don’t give you that authentic smoky flavour. Click here to read the blog and watch the video where we compare burgers cooked on 3 different grills; charcoal, gas and electric. Our barbecues are all sourced by The Barbecue Shop manager, Ian Hodgett, who is a fanatical barbecuer, owning grills of every fuel type and using them throughout the whole year, even using them for cooking the Christmas dinner. Click here to read the blog and watch the video showing how to cook the Christmas turkey on the Weber Master-Touch. He has worked at Hayes for the whole of his career so is well aware of the standards our customers require, which is why we only stock barbecues from the most respected manufacturers such as Weber, Kamado Joe, Traeger and OutdoorChef. Once you have mastered the different heat zones (click here to watch the video where we explain the various heat zones) you can cook almost anything on your kettle barbecue that you can in the kitchen. The Weber Master-Touch which features the GBS (Gourmet Barbecue System) allows you to really expand your range of recipes as there are a selection of accessories which enable you to cook dishes which you can’t cook on the grate. The Dutch oven can be used to cook casseroles, warming winter stews and pot roast joints or chicken. If you thought BBQ food was mainly meat based and unhealthy then the GBS wok can change your mind and enable you to cook delicious stir fries; try this quick Kung Pao chicken cooked on the Weber Master-Touch. The GBS griddle can enable you to cook delicate fillets of fish that would otherwise be impossible to remove from the grate, it is also essential for an al fresco great English breakfast. The charcoal kettle range include the Weber Smoeky Joe portable BBQ allowing you say goodbye to soggy sandwiches on your picnic and embrace fresh cooked BBQ fare. The disadvantage of the charcoal BBQ is that disposing of the ash can be a bit messy and if you are on a picnic you must wait until they have gone cold. We have lots of BBQ videos on our Youtube channel featuring Ian and top BBQ chef Richard Holden showing you the tech tips and hints to help you make the most of your grill and also recipes showing you how to cook the standard BBQ fare and other dishes you may not associate with barbecuing; the things they have in common is that they are all easy and delicious. The charcoal kettle barbecues can be the best option if you are not sure you will use a barbecue very often. Once you have got the hang of barbecuing and are starting to become more confident cooks and catering for larger parties then you can invest in a larger gas or wood pellet grill and confine the smaller charcoal BBQ to being the grill for the veggies in your life. Click here to read the recipe blogs and watch the videos and hopefully you will feel inspired to try something different from the standard bangers and burgers. We regularly hold BBQ demos and hands-on workshops at the store so please keep an eye on the Events page for our next event.