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Mental Floss

Ludicrously Expensive Barbecues - Money to Burn?

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I know we're a frugal lot in general, but I'm intrigued. You can buy the best "Weber" kettle style BBQ for about £300 and an Argos knock off of that design will set you back about £50.

But it seems that's not enough. The thing to have now is something like this:

https://www.biggreenegg.co.uk/shop/big-green-eggs/large-big-green-egg

or this 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kamado-Joe-KJ23RHC-Ceramic-Charcoal/dp/B01INNA89S?pf_rd_r=3S9SDRG2JM05ET88PEV2&pf_rd_p=380e8f8a-9d86-4026-87a7-447ca96be612&pd_rd_r=9b55352f-37ff-4ab4-91bb-32c3ba5c3f00&pd_rd_w=W8ycL&pd_rd_wg=P7jcZ&ref_=pd_gw_hl-stp-home

Now I don't mind paying more for a quality product but I can't get my head round this. It's a BBQ right? Apart from middle-class wankiness what on earth makes them worth the money? Anyone got one and be willing to put the case for the defence. I'm easily persuaded!

 

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I bought a 57cm Weber last year. RRP £289 at the time but it was on offer - went though the tills and they deducted the wrong amount. Customer service desk couldn't quite figure out what to do and dear old Dorothy endued up refunding me the full value of the discount on top of the discount I;'d already got. Basically £120 for it!

It's really good and while the legs feel a bit flimsy (built it myself) it's a pretty decent bit of kit. I slow cooked a brisket on it a couple of weeks ago, five hours of indirect cooking burning a combo of oak firewood (for smokey flavour) and charcoal. Bit of a faff to light (charcoal) and dirty but the flavour is much better and it makes the whole thing more of an event. Most meats get flavour from a low and slow cook. Weber (and others) have two vents that permit the flow of air to control heat and burn rate much like a woodburner. 

I can't see the justification of spending £1k on an egg though. Not sure it cooks anything better. They say you can get higher sustained temps but what are you cooking in there? an alloy? 

I'm not the worlds greatest chef but the Weber does everything I could ever want. 

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Ha, have you not been to Haskins? (OK they are closed at the moment)

But you can get top of the range ones for ££££s.

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It was when looking at house prices near me and the rate they were rising, and then seeing a BBQ that looked like the bridge of the Enterprise about 15 years ago that led me to find websites like HPC.

I knew a couple of people who went bankrupt in '08 as all the shit like this was mortgaged.

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On 05/05/2020 at 13:46, MrPin said:

Overpriced tat is best bought secondhand. It was probably good new, but not good for the money.

Certainly the way I look at it, but keep away from the tat. Over priced stuff is generally the stuff that lasts, also has a good level of support to help it last, spares available to fix it or worth fixing and at the end of it all hopefully a premium onward sale price as well. 

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10 minutes ago, onlyme said:

Certainly the way I look at it, but keep away from the tat. Over priced stuff is generally the stuff that lasts, also has a good level of support to help it last, spares available to fix it or worth fixing and at the end of it all hopefully a premium onward sale price as well. 

Hate to go down the domestic appliance road of "my appliance is bigger than yours", but I did buy a reconditioned Kirby vacuum cleaner for £150. It sucked good, and had a light on the front.

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3 minutes ago, Carl Fimble said:

I don't want to grass, but I will here anyway- @Wight Flight has (at least) one of those egg things. 

You are wrong. (I would like one but couldn't justify it)

I have a Ducane (our Ozzy friends will know them) that I bought 22 years ago for about £350.

Still going strong - but I really should tart up the paintwork.

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2 hours ago, Wight Flight said:

You are wrong. (I would like one but couldn't justify it)

I have a Ducane (our Ozzy friends will know them) that I bought 22 years ago for about £350.

Still going strong - but I really should tart up the paintwork.

Ah, apologies. 

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8 hours ago, Wight Flight said:

You are wrong. (I would like one but couldn't justify it)

I have a Ducane (our Ozzy friends will know them) that I bought 22 years ago for about £350.

Still going strong - but I really should tart up the paintwork.

Does it have a cast iron grill? Always fancied having a go on one with a cast iron grill.

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We bought the tiny Webber one many years ago..  no idea what we paid for it,  but I’m sure it was less than £100.

We could have bought something for a quarter of the price at the time..  but the Webber has survived many years of abuse and still looks as good as new today.  Has been perfect for a family of four and doesn’t take up much space.

Anything much above that just becomes “boys toys” to me.

biggest_bbq_grill.jpg

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I always assumed this was some carryover from the US where people have huge "outdoor kitchens" and swimming pools in their garden. The costs over there are about 1/4 of here, I remember reading the cost of getting a heated swimming pool in Florida is/was about £7k.

Unfortunately the weather here is too shit to justify most of these. I also don't get the hype behind barbecues personally, even when I used to eat meat I never really enjoyed them that much. Is it just me? One or two a year is enough.

I think if I had a really high-end house and won the lottery I'd get an outdoor kitchen. Money to burn type situation.

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On 05/05/2020 at 05:09, Adarmo said:

I bought a 57cm Weber last year. RRP £289 at the time but it was on offer - went though the tills and they deducted the wrong amount. Customer service desk couldn't quite figure out what to do and dear old Dorothy endued up refunding me the full value of the discount on top of the discount I;'d already got. Basically £120 for it!

It's really good and while the legs feel a bit flimsy (built it myself) it's a pretty decent bit of kit. I slow cooked a brisket on it a couple of weeks ago, five hours of indirect cooking burning a combo of oak firewood (for smokey flavour) and charcoal. Bit of a faff to light (charcoal) and dirty but the flavour is much better and it makes the whole thing more of an event. Most meats get flavour from a low and slow cook. Weber (and others) have two vents that permit the flow of air to control heat and burn rate much like a woodburner. 

I can't see the justification of spending £1k on an egg though. Not sure it cooks anything better. They say you can get higher sustained temps but what are you cooking in there? an alloy? 

I'm not the worlds greatest chef but the Weber does everything I could ever want. 

All depends on what you do with it. The eggs are good if you are wanting a good sear on a steak, but probably not what you want if it’s low and slow cooking (like your brisket). I’ve got a kettle style smoker barbecue that you can convert to a standard charcoal grill - good for a range of meats. I’ve also got an electric smoker with an automatic wood puck feed for 24 hour smoking of big cuts (pork butt, brisket), but I’ve got a Weber propane grill for everyday use - quick , easy and with a extra hot sear section for steaks

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8 hours ago, Captain Cavey said:

All depends on what you do with it. The eggs are good if you are wanting a good sear on a steak, but probably not what you want if it’s low and slow cooking (like your brisket). I’ve got a kettle style smoker barbecue that you can convert to a standard charcoal grill - good for a range of meats. I’ve also got an electric smoker with an automatic wood puck feed for 24 hour smoking of big cuts (pork butt, brisket), but I’ve got a Weber propane grill for everyday use - quick , easy and with a extra hot sear section for steaks

I'm not sure you need to spend £1k to sear a steak? Charcoal burns the same temp in anything provided it has a good enough air supply. I get that the egg can retain more heat (flip side it takes longer to warm up) but that's about it. The cheapest of BBQs is capable of ruining a steak ;).

 

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22 minutes ago, Adarmo said:

I'm not sure you need to spend £1k to sear a steak? Charcoal burns the same temp in anything provided it has a good enough air supply. I get that the egg can retain more heat (flip side it takes longer to warm up) but that's about it. The cheapest of BBQs is capable of ruining a steak ;).

 

Yeah that's what i don't get. Sustained massively high temperature would seem to be completely pointless unless you're smelting metals or something. The sales blurb (or independent reviews as they are now known) say this...

"When you buy a Big Green Egg, you are not just buying a grill or a smoker. They call it the ultimate cooking experience for a reason, you can essentially cook anything on it. If you want to slow cook a pork butt, you can easily control it to cook low and slow at 200 degrees for up to 18 hours on one load of charcoal. If you want to sear a thick-cut-steak like a pro, you can get the Big Green Egg up to 750 degrees and do that as well. The Big Green also holds heat and surround cooks better than any pizza oven. And when it is time for dessert this will surround bake cookies or a pie to perfection. "

Which is brilliant but no fucker is having a barbecue to cook cookies are they?

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31 minutes ago, Captain Cavey said:

In accordance with DOSBOD frugality principals, you can always finish the sear with a blow torch. 

In the winter I just throw it in the coal fire for a minute

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Posted (edited)

I have something like this:

 

0846E734-29BF-4E19-8124-121D35CABA48.png

I got it about 12 years ago, and it’s still in great condition. Use it all the time, sometimes even doing the meat for Christmas dinner. Cost £220 which seemed a lot, but it’s been well worth it.

My parents have had at least 2 £80 barbecues from Argos rust away to completely unusable in that time.

Edited by Hail the Tripod

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1 hour ago, Hail the Tripod said:

I have something like this:

 

0846E734-29BF-4E19-8124-121D35CABA48.png

I got it about 12 years ago, and it’s still in great condition. Use it all the time, sometimes even doing the meat for Christmas dinner. Cost £220 which seemed a lot, but it’s been well worth it.

My parents have had at least 2 £80 barbecues from Argos rust away to completely unusable in that time.

Wasn't that thing in the smash advert?

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