As we write, it’s summer, and the mouth-watering smell of other people’s barbecued food is wafting around caravan parks, beaches, picnic spots and gardens all over Britain. it’s enough to turn us all into hungry Labradors, as we can’t help but follow our noses to seek out the source.

So this seems like the ideal time to reveal to you the results of the latest Practical Caravan barbecue test. We’ve gathered together a varied bunch of products to review, because we’re on a mission to discover the best barbecues for sale in the UK today.

If you’re looking for barbecues, the first thing to do is to decide whether you’re a charcoal fan, or a gas grille kind of person. There are pros and cons of using each type of fuel. 

Using charcoal is slower, messier and brings with it a slight fire risk if you place your BBQ too close to dry grass, bushes, caravans and cars. On the plus side, cooking on an open fire or charcoal burning grille seems to give any meat a unique and delicious flavour. It’s great for vegetable kebabs and veggie burgers, too. Add a little of the right scented wood to the coals and you can imbue your food with hickory, pear or apple wood smoke. If that doesn’t torment all the dogs on the campsite, nothing will.

Gas, on the other hand is the cleaner option. If you love outdoor cooking but hate clearing up ash and spent coals afterwards, then a gas BBQ is the one for you. Gas grills heat up almost instantaneously and cook your food evenly and quickly. They cool down while you’re eating, so that you can pack them away safely rather than leaving them outside all night, as you do with charcoal units.

You might think that we’re scraping the barrel with the next item on test, the SunnCamp Deluxe Bucket BBQ, which costs just under £15. It’s actually not that bad.

On paper, there’s a lot to like about this budget entry. With a low weight of 1.2kg, and a 28cm-diameter by 20cm-high storage size, stashing one in your touring kit isn’t going to be difficult.

It’s also good that SunnCamp has included a grill pan.

But the rather hit-and-miss build quality of the Deluxe Bucket BBQ spoils the experience somewhat: the grille, for example, didn’t locate well in the main body on our test model. We can also easily envisage that attempts to try and make it sit securely could result in your food ending up on the floor. 

If you can afford to spend a little more on your next barbecue, we have plenty more BBQ reviews for you. We tested and rated the wonderful Weber Go Anywhere gas barbecue at £103, the compact charcoal-burning Quest Folding BBQ at £21.99, the lidded charcoal-burning Bodum Fyrkat costing £50, the Campingaz 1 Series Compact EX CV at £95.95 and the Outwell Cazal, at a budget-friendly £19.99. We also tested the Olpro SAfire barbecue, at £94.95, from sunny South Africa.