Which portable BBQ is right for your next big caravan trip?

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Most modern caravans come equipped with a nice kitchen built into the structure. But let’s face it; they are not really equipped for anything larger than to reheat a frozen meal, make toast or prepare a cup of tea. If you really want to enjoy a decent lunch or evening meal on your next big caravan trip, consider taking cooking equipment with you.

A large four-burner grill with side plates for pots and kettles would be perfect. You’d be the envy of the caravan park or camping ground! Of course it could be a little impractical towing the barbecue behind the caravan, already being towed behind your car. Instead, look for a more practical and portable solution through barbecue retailer websites such as www.zieglerandbrown.com.au/ for a size and model that suits you. But before you do that, you might like to consider the type of fuel you want to use – gas, charcoal or wood.

Cooking with gas

Gas is probably the most popular among campers and caravan enthusiasts. Portable gas grills come in a great range of designs and sizes suitable for just about any situation. They fire up instantly and you can start cooking within minutes of setting up. The down side is you need to be within close distance of a gas station or cart a spare cylinder with you. This can be difficult if you have limited storage space.

Coal fired cooking

Charcoal is a popular fuel source for barbecuing as the smoke it emits adds flavour to any meal. Bags of charcoal are also much easier to store than cylinders, and there are no issues or concerns over leaks or cylinder damage caused through transportation. However, it takes time for the coal to generate sufficient heat, so it takes longer to set up and cook your meals. Charcoal is also dirtier, which can be an issue when you are living in a caravan with limited bathroom facilities.

Traditional wood

Of course, you might be a real outdoorsman and prefer to set up your own makeshift grill over an open fire. Traditionalists rarely go past the bush barbecues, where smoke from the burning embers of hard wood combines with the smell of cooking meat for a real outback feel. You have no fuel or transportation concerns as everything you need is provided by Mother Nature. But don’t expect to be able to cook as soon as you set up; the ideal point to place food on a wood barbecue is when the flames have died away and the wood has burned down to embers – this can take time. Also, many camp and caravan grounds do not allow open fires due to local regulations, especially if the area is in drought conditions.

There are many things to consider when choosing a barbecue method best suited for your next caravan trip. You need to consider the space you have available, the food you want to cook and the type of fuel you intend to use. Most importantly, chose something that needs the least fuss and allows you to have fun on your trip.

Sarah Pinkerton

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