Last updated: August 11, 2021

Welcome to our big garden barbecue test 2021. Here we present all the garden barbecues that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best garden barbecue for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a garden barbecue.




The most important facts

  • The garden barbecue is indispensable for every garden. The barbecue can be started immediately, nothing has to be transported or prepared. Furthermore, on cooler evenings, the barbecue becomes a fireplace that creates a pleasant atmosphere.
  • The garden barbecue is available in different variations, which differ primarily in the material. The concrete and stainless steel models are the most common alternatives. But with a bit of craftsmanship, you can also build your own dream barbecue out of stones.
  • In terms of price, the material and workmanship are the most important factors, so stainless steel models cost more than a conventional concrete garden barbecue.

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Guide: Questions you should deal with before buying a garden barbecue

What are the advantages of a garden barbecue?

The garden barbecue is suitable for comfortable barbecuing at any time of the year and is definitely an eye-catcher in the garden. The barbecue experience can begin immediately with a ready-made barbecue fireplace; there is no need for awkward transport or extensive preparation. You only need to have the grill grate and the ash box ready.

The garden barbecue convinces with its robustness and is practically an indispensable accessory for the garden. (Image source: unsplash.com / Mike Kotsch)

Due to its material, the garden barbecue is more resistant to external damage than conventional barbecues and can also be left alone overnight with a good feeling thanks to its weight. Last but not least, the grill's heat source has a social factor. On cool days, the garden barbecue becomes a fireplace, then the fireplace provides a pleasant atmosphere and makes for a nice evening.

What does a garden barbecue cost?

The price of a garden barbecue depends on various factors. These include:

  • Material
  • Functions and features
  • Size
  • Brand

The combination of these factors determines the price of your barbecue. It's up to you what you put a value on.

Type Price range
Concrete garden barbecue approx. 180€ - 2,800€
Stainless steel garden barbecue approx. 80€ - 4,000€
Stone garden barbecue approx. from 180€

From a price of 200 €, you can get a standard garden barbecue made of concrete material, but for a proper barbecue made of stainless steel, you have to be prepared to spend around 800 €. The price can increase depending on your needs, for example, if you want an additional work surface or an integrated oven

What kind of foundation does a garden barbecue need?

You have decided on a place for your garden barbecue? - Then you need to make sure that the area has a suitable foundation. If this is not the case, it is your first task when setting up your barbecue. A pit with a depth of approx. 30 cm is a prerequisite for creating the foundation. For a barbecue fireplace weighing up to 250 kg, a foundation made of building rubble is sufficient. But if the barbecue weighs more than 250 kg, a layer of gravel should be laid first as drainage and then a layer of bush rubble on top. Finally, a concrete slab is erected.

For the pure barbecue function, theoretically any barbecue is an alternative for the garden barbecue, it does not matter whether it is a pure charcoal barbecue or a barbecue trolley. (Image source: unsplash.com / Luis Quintero)

If it is to be placed on a terrace, you must be sure that the substructure is suitable for such a load, otherwise you should also carry out the procedure there.

What are the alternatives to a garden barbecue?

The garden barbecue shines with its visual appeal and stands out from other types of barbecue with its additional function as a fireplace. Regardless of this, however, any type of charcoal barbecue would theoretically be an alternative to the barbecue fireplace, as the barbecue function of the garden barbecue does not differ greatly from the conventional barbecue. For the cold nights, there is an alternative patio stove, which does not have a grill function, but is a pleasant source of heat for the outdoor area. A roof can also store heat and makes the evening even more pleasant. So only the garden barbecue has both functions in one. So if you own a garden, you should not do without a garden barbecue. It saves you a lot of effort.

Decision: What types of garden barbecue are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, we distinguish between three alternatives of garden barbecues, which only differ in terms of material and possibly additional functions. These are garden barbecues made of the following materials:

  • Concrete
  • Stainless steel
  • Stones

The features of these types do not differ greatly, but the models still bring advantages and disadvantages. In the following, the individual types are differentiated from each other.

What distinguishes a concrete garden barbecue and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

The concrete garden barbecue is an advantageous furnishing item for the garden that gives quite a few people a good time. The garden barbecue is not called a barbecue chimney for nothing. You don't necessarily have to use the garden barbecue only for barbecuing, because you can also turn it into a fireplace on cool evenings.

Advantages
  • Multifunction
  • Robust and durable
  • Variety
  • Price ranges
  • Ready to go
Disadvantages
  • Mobility
  • Weight
  • Two-person assembly
  • Building a foundation

Due to its material, the concrete garden barbecue is quite robust and, with a little care, long-lasting. However, the robustness also leads to a high weight, which also has disadvantages. The concrete garden barbecue cannot be moved spontaneously because it is very heavy. Furthermore, a second person is necessary, both for transport and for assembly.

What distinguishes a stainless steel garden barbecue and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The stainless steel garden barbecue convinces not only with its appearance, but also with its quality and mobility, as you can see in the following video. A stainless steel barbecue has an integrated chimney cover and protects the fire from the weather. Furthermore, the stainless steel barbecue can be heated more efficiently and thus forms an effective combustion from the combination of weather protection and fast heating. There is no need to build a foundation for the garden barbecue, as it weighs considerably less than one made of concrete. In addition, there are models that are equipped with wheels and can be comfortably pushed from A to B. This also makes it suitable for the patio. This also makes it suitable for the terrace.

Advantages
  • Efficient heating
  • Weight
  • Mobility
  • Optics
Disadvantages
  • High purchase costs
  • Unergonomic height
  • Susceptibility to rust
  • Limited hospitality

However, the relatively high price leaves much to be desired, as compared to a standard concrete garden barbecue, the stainless steel version starts at ~€800. Another disadvantage is the height of the grill surface, as this is at a height of 60 cm on most models. This is not a problem in itself, but it is still covered by the top cover, so you are almost forced to bend down to the food every time. This is a shortcoming, especially for people with health problems. Since the material is stainless steel and individual parts are fastened with screws, it can happen that welds and screws catch rust.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a stone barbecue?

Since this is a self-built barbecue, the advantages and disadvantages are in your own hands. The barbecue can be constructed according to your own wishes, and you can choose the location and size of the barbecue yourself. The appearance and choice of materials are also up to you. Would you like to build your own smokehouse or oven for your garden barbecue? - It's up to you!

If you have enough space, you can of course build a larger barbecue to serve more people. There is no need to build an additional work surface.

Advantages
  • Individual location, appearance, material
  • Grill according to your own ideas
  • Large-scale catering possible
  • No time-consuming cleaning
Disadvantages
  • Procurement of materials
  • Physical and time expenditure
  • Craftsmanship required
  • Mobility

First and foremost, the idea is always wonderful, but the precious materials still need to be procured and transported. Depending on the type, construction can be quite time-consuming, both physically and in terms of time. Should you want to change your place of residence at some point, you will probably have to leave the barbecue there. Because it is only flexible and mobile in very few cases.

Buying criteria: Use these criteria to compare and evaluate garden barbecues

In the following, we will show you which criteria you can use to decide between the variety of garden barbecues. The aspects include the following:

  • Material
  • Processing
  • Weight
  • Size of the garden barbecue
  • Equipment and functions

Material

The types of garden barbecues differ mainly in terms of material; you can read about the advantages and disadvantages in the decision section. It should be mentioned that the stainless steel version starts in the higher price segment than the concrete version. However, you are free to choose the material for your self-built barbecue. The classic choice here is red bricks, also known as clinker bricks, but if you want it to look nicer, you can also choose field or granite paving stones. For the interior, fireclay bricks or similar fireproof bricks are suitable, as the heat could otherwise damage your exterior material.

Workmanship

The workmanship of your garden barbecue plays a more important role with stainless steel garden barbecues, as you are partly responsible for the workmanship of the concrete version.

  • Individual parts should be firmly screwed together and not leak, so that no liquid seeps into the interior and no smoke escapes from places other than the smoke outlet
  • Poorly finished welds and traces of rust are a bad sign
  • Paint coating should be weather and heat resistant.
  • The combustion chamber should be made of heat-resistant bricks such as fireclay.

Weight

The weight also depends on the size of the barbecue. With a concrete garden barbecue, the weight plays a role during transport and assembly. The values in the table are based on standard models. Stainless steel barbecues are generally lighter.

Material Weight range
Concrete 250 - 500 kg
Stainless steel 60 - 100 kg

Extensive barbecues with special equipment can even reach a weight of over 800 kg.

Size of the garden barbecue

The concrete barbecue is considerably more massive and extensive than a stainless steel garden barbecue. So if you only have a small patio, you might want to opt for the stainless steel version. Within the material types, however, the sizes do not differ enormously, unless it is an extensive garden barbecue with a larger barbecue surface, additional work surface and other features. Size is therefore not a decisive criterion.

Equipment & functions

Since most garden barbecues come in kits, assembly instructions are a must! Most models should have a grill grate and an ash box included. Depending on the type of product and the manufacturer, garden barbecues are sold with a wide range of equipment and accessories. The larger models are equipped with extra work surfaces or even an oven. If necessary, there are also various smoking and baking inserts or barbecue spit drums for a varied barbecue evening.

Facts worth knowing about garden barbecues

How can I repair and avoid cracks in the material of a garden barbecue?

A barbecue fireplace can be in need of renovation after a few years, but can also show damage after only a short time. However, visual blemishes can be repaired relatively easily with a little craftsmanship. Keep calm when heating the garden barbecue - rapid lighting of the fire triggers thermal shocks and can lead to cracks forming. One reason for cracking and chipping is overheating the barbecue, which you should avoid. Instead, the fire should spread patiently and evenly.

Preheat the grill evenly before actually heating and grilling to prevent damage to the material. (Image source: unsplash.com / Danny de Jong)

For a repair, it is important to use suitable materials that are heat-resistant even at high temperatures. You should use fireproof mortar and fireproof fireclay tiles for lining. Damage such as cracks can also be repaired with refractory mortar. Moistening the damaged area is a prerequisite. Then you can apply the mortar to the spot like a filler.

How do I protect my garden barbecue?

Your barbecue must be protected from overheating and other damage. You can prevent damage with the following measures:

Protection Function
Cover Provides protection from any kind of dirt when not in use
Firebox bottom plate The right choice serves for the ideal redirection of heat and thus influences the temperature development in the chimney area
Chimney cover Protects the flue from weather influences such as rain, wind or snow

In general, the garden barbecue should be inspected and serviced from time to time to guarantee a long service life. Sometimes it is worth investing in additional equipment to avoid further costs in the future!

Which colour is suitable for painting a garden barbecue?

Your barbecue doesn't match the look of your garden or has lost its freshness after a few years? - No problem! With a little effort it will look like new again. For a trouble-free painting, you should take our following tips to heart.

  • When choosing materials, it is important to ensure that they have waterproof and heat-resistant properties, as the garden barbecue is exposed to enormous heat and weather.
  • Plaster adheres particularly well to smooth surfaces, so any unevenness should be levelled out with a filler with the above-mentioned properties. It is best to re-plaster joints with fireclay mortar.
  • Before you start painting, the fresh plaster should be pre-treated with deep primer to seal the pores. This will save you repeated painting and you can start immediately.
  • The paint must be heat-resistant. You should choose a special chimney paint. The base area can also be painted with a normal wall paint, but if you are unsure, you should paint the entire barbecue with a special paint.

Image source: 123rf.com / dolgachov

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