Aggie MacKenzie rates barbecue gear

Our gadget guru fires up the barbie and gives the latest kit a good grilling.

Aggie MacKenzie rates barbecue gear

"Summer’s been a long time coming, and there’s nothing like a ray or two of sunshine to encourage the ritual lighting of the barbie. I’ve tested the kit that will make it a success rather than a disappointment."

Barbie essential

Oxo Good Grips 12-INCH Tongs


If you’re going to buy just one pair of tongs, you’d be hard pressed to find better than these. Well designed, lovely to use and they look great.

Great idea

Weber Stainless Steel Fish Basket

£29.99 (small), £39.99 (large, as shown),

Good, sturdy wire construction with a fastening mechanism that’s flexible enough to accommodate various shapes and widths. Fish stays intact, and asparagus; baby leeks and the like are carefully contained during cooking.

Best innovation

BBQ ‘Frying’ pan


This pan is genius. All you need to do is slice veggies, toss in a bowl with olive oil, herbs and seasoning, throw in the pan and place over the barbecue grill. Toss from time to time (easily done thanks to the long handle) and they’ll be perfectly sweet, softened and charred after about 15 minutes. And nothing disappears between the gaps in the rack.

Get the fire going

Weber Portable Chimney Starter


A handy device to get coals to the right heat – and useful if you forget from one year to the next how much charcoal to use (this holds enough for a 57cm diameter barbecue). You stuff the cavity first with paper, followed by charcoal briquettes, then light the paper and wait for the coals to burn and the top layer to turn grey. Strew the hot coals over the grill and you’re ready to go.

Smart set

B&Q 16-piece Soft Grip Barbecue Tool Set


Sixteen is a lot of pieces, but this set is well thought through: wire grill-brush; tongs; carving fork; spatula; holders for four sweetcorn cobs and four large skewers. Handsome, high quality and slick, the implements are long-handled and come neatly housed in a smart chrome case.



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