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Pros and cons of disposable BBQs

There are many factors you need to consider before buying a BBQ. However, if you need to get one before the next weekend’s BBQ party, you might want to avoid pressuring yourself into a purchase based on a quick decision. Instead, perhaps you should consider a disposable BBQ... It might surprise you!


What is a disposable BBQ?

There is often confusion between disposable BBQs and portable BBQs which are small and lightweight too, but a little more pricey due to the fact that they are not disposed after use. Compared to other types of grills, disposable BBQs are quite a new phenomenon with their beginnings in the 2000s. They are made from a lightweight aluminium material and use charcoal as the source of heat, which makes them ideal for convenience whether on the go or just enjoying some rare sunshine in the garden at home. Plus, there’s no cleaning up afterwards as they are single-use items that should be disposed of safely afterwards.

How to use a disposable BBQ

One of main benefits of disposable grills is that they contain all you need for your BBQ. But before you enjoy a perfectly grilled steak, you need to prepare the BBQ, which is easy as can be!

Simply remove outer packaging, light the corner of the starter sheet and leave it burn for about 15 minutes. Once the charcoal reaches even temperature, and the coals turn grey, the BBQ is ready.

Unlike normal BBQs, disposable grills do not benefit from an adjustable height, so make sure it’s positioned in a safe place for you to tend to and there are no flames before starting to cook - they could result in your BBQ dishes being burnt on the outside whilst remaining raw inside!

If you think you can’t achieve the same BBQ flavour on a disposable BBQ, think again! Remember that the secret is in the sizzle - heated food releases fat that drips onto the charcoal and creates the smoke that makes your BBQ food taste so good.

Disposable grills usually remain hot enough for cooking for 1.5 hours after ignition, but once you’re BBQ is over, you need to extinguish them safely. Use sand or water to do so, always protecting your hands. Once extinguished, leave the BBQ to cool down completely before disposing of it safely in the bin - these types of grill are not currently recyclable so don’t throw them into the recycling bin.

What are the pros of a disposable BBQ?

  • easy to use
  • cheap - prices start from £1.99
  • comes with all essentials: foil pan, grill top, charcoal, starter sheet, sometimes a stand 
  • ideal for impromptu BBQs whether at home or on the go
  • you don’t have to worry about cleaning up
  • ready to cook on quicker than traditional BBQs
  • light weight enabling you to carry it easily 

What are the cons of a disposable BBQ?

  • your choice of food might be restricted - go for lean cut meat and avoid too fatty foods as they spray fat onto the coals and cause flare up that could burn the food
  • food might stick to it - make sure you apply oil before putting any food on the grill, especially when grilling fish
  • they can burn grass, so try to place the grill on a sturdy table for use
  • they aren’t currently environmentally friendly as they cannot be recycled

Things to remember:

  • the lighting mat can fail - make sure you carry a firelighter and matches
  • never use disposable grills indoors
  • be environmentally responsible