Here are the best cheap BBQs to buy for summer 2022, as well as how to save money on BBQ food too - so you can have the best barbecue on a budget.
Given the cost of living crisis, we've rounded up some great value barbecues that are good quality and will last you longer than just this season. "Don’t be fooled into thinking you have to spend hundreds of pounds on a BBQ to get the best results. You can pick up perfectly good BBQs with change to spare for under £50," says Anna Lavfors, Consumer Expert at Price Runner.
Where possible, Anna says you should do a bit of forward planning when it comes to getting yourself a new barbecue. "Buying out of season will mean you can get more for your money, as the spike in demand during summer increases prices. Prices can also spike during hot weather when everyone inevitably has BBQs on the brain."
Our selection of cheap BBQs includes portable grills that you can take camping or to the beach, and are the best small BBQs for gardens, right through to extra large grills for when you're entertaining the masses. We've also included advice for how to host a BBQ on a budget, including healthy BBQ food ideas.
Cheap BBQs to buy online for 2022
1. Symple Stuff 70cm charcoal BBQ
Why we love it: This stylish little black number is a perfect addition to any small patio garden in the city, or even for a spot of grilling on a balcony. It's also ideal for taking on a camping trip or even to the park or for a beach barbie. And, at 70cm with two grills, it fits much more grub on than your average portable BBQ. It also has a snazzy ventilation system for closed-lid grilling.
Rated an average of 4.2 out of 5 stars by Wayfair customers, one satisfied customer said: "Really pleased with this great little portable BBQ. Easy to assemble, great design, and good value for money. Cooks food well, and racks are easily removed for cleaning. Looks cute on the patio at home and easy to take to our boat."
2. Landmann grill chef tripod BBQ
Why we love it: Quite the novel-looking BBQ, one of the things we love the most is that it doubles up as a fire pit, so when you've finished burning the bangers, you can relax with a drink and toast marshmallows. There's enough space to cook for up to 8 people, so great for having friends over, and there's an adjustable chain system to move the grill to the right height for cooking (so maybe you won't burn those sausages after all).
The Landmann Grill Chef Tripod has rave reviews from Amazon customers. "Genuinely cannot recommend this product enough. Has become a feature of our garden and the focal point we will build from. Really easy push-fit installation. Well made, and easy to use. We used light in bag charcoal and used it as a BBQ and cooked just as fast as any other. Remove the tripod when you're done and voila a firepit. Love it!" says one reviewer who gave it five stars. "Been left out in all weather – no signs of damage or rust anywhere. Still highly recommended!"
3. Woltu 3-in-1 outdoor barbecue smoker
Why we love it: If you want to mix things up a bit when it comes to your BBQ flavours, this smoker is just the ticket. Great for meat and fish, smoking with wood chips also works as a dream for grilled tofu or hard cheese like halloumi. It is also great for roasting and grilling, so you basically can give your oven a rest all summer while you try out a variety of cooking styles alfresco.
The gauge on the lid means it's easy to regulate the temperature so you don't just go burning everything, too, and you can slow cook as well. "Absolutely love this little bbq. I've done low and slow and grilled on it and it works flawlessly. Bought to learn to smoke on but it has far exceeded my expectations," said one reviewer who gave it 5 stars.
4. Hengbo barbecue grill
Why we love it: Made from durable, rust-proof food-grade stainless steel, this BBQ has legs, unlike most portable grills, but they can be easily removed. It also has shelves to pop tools, cooking oils and sauces on, and any other barbie paraphernalia. And it easily has enough space to cook for a family of 4 or 5.
"Big enough for my family, portable and easy to assemble, so far very satisfied with its performance. Sincerely recommend it," said an Amazon reviewer who gave it 5 stars. While another commented "Simple to put together. Decent size for the 4 of us. Like the fact legs screw off so can take camping with us. The only negative is it's not very high but all the more reason to sit in a chair with tongs in one hand and a beer in the other. Recommended for a portable easy BBQ."
5. Argos Home 35cm round charcoal BBQ
Why we love it: If you just want a cheap 'n' cheerful barbie for some basic grilling, you can't go wrong with this bank balance-friendly option. Easy to build, easy to use, and plenty big enough to cook for four, it's ideal for some nights when you decide to do an impromptu outdoor cook-up.
One reviewer who gave it four stars says: "I bought this to replace a similar BBQ that died after approx 10 years. We use this when there are just two of us, using a larger BBQ when we have guests. Perfectly adequate BBQ for our needs."
6. Outsunny portable round kettle charcoal grill
Why we love it: Some cheap BBQs can be flimsy, to say the least, but not this one. Strong and sturdy, it's made from steel with a porcelain enamel coated lid with air vents that help control the temperature, and a nifty system to empty the ash afterward so that you don't end up with BBQ debris all over the garden. It's easy to move around, too.
"Good quality, more than adequate size for a family of 4. Perfect for our needs, much sturdier once built than I thought it would be. Very pleased with it," said an Amazon reviewer who awarded their purchase with 5 stars.
7. Voysign charcoal BBQ grill
Why we love it: Affordable BBQs tend to be on the small side, but not this one. The big draw of this barrel grill is its generous size – the cooking area is 71cm wide, so big enough for a garden party with plenty of guests. It's strong and sturdy as well.
This Amazon reviewer, who gave it 5 stars, agrees: "The Voysign Charcoal BBQ Grill is good quality and relatively low-cost barbecue for the home. The assembly instructions are clear and easy to follow and should take around 15-20 minutes. The quality is good and the finished product is strong and sturdy. At the price point, you can't complain and temperature is easily controlled via side vents."
How to throw a cheap BBQ
Do some forward planning
And by that, we don't mean a day or two before... Keep your eyes open for bargains on meat and other cheap BBQ must-haves every time you shop because, during hot weather, the supermarket going to be rammed with people searching for the same thing as you, and all the bargains will be gone in an instant - or won't be there to start with.
So be sure to buy burgers, steaks, and chops when they're on offer as you see them, and store them in the freezer for safekeeping. Our guide on how to freeze food will make this task super easy.
Go for frozen BBQ food rather than fresh
Opting for frozen food is often a more cost-effective way to shop. Take, for example, Quorn sausages for the veggies, vegans, and flexi types. At Sainsbury's, the chiller cabinet ones are £2.50 for six, while their frozen friends are only £1.50 for 8. And when it comes to beef burgers, you can get ten Bird's Eye frozen burgers for £3.50, while Sainsbury's fresh quarter pounders are £2.49 for four.
Cut down – or take off – meat from the menu
Forget those fatty beef burgers and make your own bean burgers, very simple to knock together and made from ingredients you'll already have in your store cupboard. Or how about homemade tofu burgers? Delicious with the added kick of Sriracha sauce if you like things on the spicy side.
Cheap BBQ ideas for a large group
Give your guests a list of things to bring
Don't be afraid to ask them to contribute as a BBQ is an informal affair, after all – they're eating it too. Ask friends to make salads or side dishes, bring a pack of sausages, or maybe a veggie contribution. Or you could ask them to supply chips and dips or bring ice cream to chuck in the freezer, and most certainly get them to drop by the off licence for some cold beers and soft drinks.
Make a filling salad
A big pasta salad, or a green and a leafy one with lots of avocado or couscous to make an avocado salad or couscous salad, will go down just as well as heaps of burgers and steaks - or alongside them. Plus potato salad is a necessity for any barbecue and can be made for next to nothing.
Make your own BBQ sauce
Creating your own barbecue sauce at home is a sure-fire way to make sure that your meats have that delicious, close-your-eyes-and-smell-the-summer flavour. Most of the ingredients are cupboard staples - perfect for store cupboard meals - including sugar, vinegar, and ketchup as well as mustard powder and seasoning. It will impress your guests and elevate your food to another level. Winner.
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Lara Kilner is a writer and editor with two decades of experience in national newspapers, magazines, and websites. She writes about food, lifestyle, travel, health and wellness, and entertainment, and regularly interviews celebrities and people with interesting life stories and experiences. Her foodie content has included interviews with Jamie Oliver, Rick Stein, Queer Eye’s food expert Antoni Porowski, the Hairy Bikers, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, Raymond Blanc, Andi Oliver, Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, and Nadiya Hussain.
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