There are many types of barbecue available in the market. The most basic is one that you can make yourself from bricks and an iron grill. Although this can be an attractive feature in the garden, it is permanently installed and the grill is usually fixed so it is difficult to control the temperature.
Portable barbecues, which can fold up are easy to carry around and ideal for picnics and holidays. The most popular model known as hibachi or firebowl in Japanese, has a grate to hold the charcoal, adjustable grills and vents to control the air flow. As portable barbecues are usually quite small, the amount of food you can cook at any one time will be limited.
Standard barbecues are usually about 60 cm across and have a built-in windbreak. They generally have a grill and a hotplate, which makes it easier to cook different types of food at the same time. For example, sausages that need quick cooking and chicken joints that need much slower cooking.
Covered, kettle barbecues are the most efficient. Charcoal burns in baskets on either side and the food is put on a rack in the center so that it cooks using the indirect heat reflected off the lid.
The most expensive barbecues are covered models where blocks of lava rocks are heated by gas or electricity. This takes less time and is less messy compared to those using charcoal, but the food is cooked in the same manner as in a conventional covered barbecue. It will still have the smoky flavor, but this is from the fat and juices spitting onto the lava rocks, not from the charcoal. Whichever you buy depends on your need and preference.
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