Thank goodness that winter has gone… with the arrival of summer, we can finally settle down, get a tan, and throw some shrimp on the barbie. Achieving the perfect barbecue meal used to be the terrain of dorky fathers, but today anyone can throw on a Kiss the Cook apron and grill a mean burger. So join in the summer block party as we teach you how to buy the right barbecue and use it (without setting your weave on fire).


Before you start barbecuing, you need to buy a barbecue. Isn't our research fantastic?

Like most appliances, barbecues range in price from crazy-cheap (a $20 hibachi) to crazy-expensive (a $2,000 state-of-the-art 3-tiered gas grill). The more you spend, the fancier they'll get. You don't need a fancy barbecue to do the basics (though the salespeople in the store will surely try to convince you otherwise). Rather, think about these considerations:

  • Consider space. If you have a large lawn or backyard, you can think big. If you're planning on using your 2' by 2' fire escape, most of your decision has already been made: get the smallest one possible.

  • Consider the number of people you cook for regularly. If you're planning on cooking for the Backstreet Boys AND 'N Sync, go big. If it's just you and 'N Sync's Justin Timberlake, prepare for a small one (no, that's not a slam against Justin… we don't even know the guy).

  • Figure out the portions of food you will cook on your grill. If you regularly hunt down Bambi, you'll need a large grill area. If you're more of a burger-and-dogs type person, think standard.

  • Take into account the need for shelves and workstations on the barbecue. It'll cost you, but you might find it convenient to have a place to hold your meat, utensils and seasonings.

  • Decide how often you'll use the grill. If you're just planning on a Fourth of July fiesta, buy a cheapo. But if you plan to hold "Burger Fridays" for you and all your friends throughout the entire calendar year, then invest in a better BBQ.