Bargain hunter: Snag your perfect barbecue
IT IS well and truly barbecue season on the Tweed and whether you're dusting off the old unit or looking to purchase your first cooker, we've got you covered.
Glen Morgan, from Barbeques Galore in Tweed South, has plenty of tips on all things barbies and summer outdoor cooking.
It is this time of the year that Mr Morgan's store gets even busier than usual, with customers coming in looking to purchase new barbecues and all the other accessories.
The barbecues themselves come in all shapes and sizes but Mr Morgan said the best option for regular operators was something of reasonable quality.
"They range from under $100 through to nearly $3000, so something like a Beef Master four-burner is good value at $499," Mr Morgan said.
The hot plate on your barbecue of choice can be made of, or coated in, three common materials.
"Cast iron is the cheapest and is more prone to rust. Then you have cast iron with an enamel coating, and at the top of the list stainless steel plates and grills, which outlast most owners but do need a hotter burner."
A Turbo RQT Barbie will set you back anything from $1299 through to $2899 and comes with a 10-year fire box warranty and features stainless plates.
One of the most common items Aussie barbecuers have dramas with is the good old gas bottle.
At the last minute you realise you have no gas to cook with and have to run all over town to find an exchange bottle or refill station.
Barbeques Galore has the solution when it comes to quick and easy gas.
"We sell bottles with a gauge on the side of them so you know exactly how much you have left. For an extra $30 it is well worth it."
Barbecue tool like tongs, spatulas and cleaning gear also range from cheap plastic items through to steel tools that will last a century of cooking.
"If you like a regular barbecue it is probably worth spending the extra little bit to get gear that lasts longer," Mr Morgan advised.
Coastline Barbeques and Heating in South Tweed have a great range of gear and store manager Andrew Hack gave his best tips for Christmas around the hot plate.
"My favourite barbecue would have to be the Weber Genesis, but the Weber Q is by far our most popular item."
Buy a good cover for $49-$150
Steam cleaning your barbecue with water works better than beer
Do not use excessive amounts of oil as it builds up and is hard to clean
Always keep the lid down
Turn your meat only once for best results
Every barbecue burns at a different rate
Clean your barbecue while it is still hot for best results