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Do BarbeKing Make The Best Masonry Barbecues On The Market?

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BarbeKing Masonry Barbecues Are Available From £700 to £1000
BarbeKing Masonry Barbecues Are Available In UK And Europe. It Is A Pan-European Brand
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By John Turner, 21st March 2013

There's A New Masonry Barbecue Brand On The Block, And They Could Well Be The Best On The Market

BarbeKing - The Best Masonry Barbecues?When Matt Smith, sales manager at GardenItems.co.uk called me and said "John, we've got a new range of masonry barbecues, and I would say they're the best on the market", I replied, "course they are Matt, you're a salesman". But of course, no garden journalist would be worth his salt if he didn't seek to confirm or deny such a bold claim. What did I find? Quite possibly the best masonry barbecues on the market

The First Thing I Noticed Were The Versions With Real Slate Cladding

Best Masonry BarbecuesWhen I saw the BarbeKing Range, the first thing to strike me was the versions with slate cladding. We're talking real pieces of slate here, which are skillfully applied to the surface of the barbecue's masonry structure. I think they must cement these pieces on, and then point them, in the same fashion you would re-point normal brickwork. I asked Matt Smith at GardenItems about the techniques used to achieve the fascia, but he said that this was a trade secret that even he didn't know. This is the first time a manufacturer has incorporated a cladding of its type in to a masonry barbecue, and I have to confess it sets them apart from all the other brands. They look bold and unqiue, where other brands can look exactly like their name - masonry. Now, I know that things tend to look like what they're made from, but in the case of BarbeKing the application of some creativity displays otherwise

But That's Not It, There Are Different Colours Of Slate Available

Moreover, I noticed that there is the option of light or dark slate. Now, this might just sound like a simple variation of the same product, but actually it's not when thinking about it. Slate is a natural product, so I'm guessing the same attention to detail goes in to selecting the slate as the barbecue is being made. This shows a company that is willing to put a meaningful effort in to providing a more bespoke offering to the end user, and with me this scores extra marks

The Models Available Show The Same Flexibility As The Colour Variations, With The Rondo Showing A Modern Flavour

Best Quality Masonry BarbecuesIn terms of the models available, this shows the same flexibility as the colour themes on offer. The Rondo is the model with the modern flavour in my opinion with its completely curvaceous form, and it comes in the style themes (1) All Slate Rondo (2) Classic Rondo (3) Modern Rondo. The Modern Rondo is particularly bold, with its stainless steel hood. The remaining models include the Tampere, which is for those looking for the big-boy of masonry barbecues. This has the largest cooking area of all the models, and an integral rotisserie for the real show-offs. The "Corner" model (possibly not the most creative name) is the smallest of the range, providing an option for those who have less room to spare, or simply want a more discrete structure. As its name states, it is designed particularly for the purpose of fitting in to the corner of the garden, so its more angular design reflects this. To conclude, the choice of models and their style variations is impressive

So Far So Good, But All These Things Mean Nothing If It's All Style Over Substance - So What About The Quality ?

The design and style of the BarbeKing range is impressive, but sometimes looks can deceive. A masonry barbecue spends its entire life outside, and has to endure the rigours of burning solid fuel. If the quality is poor, then the looks mean nothing. Matt Smith at GardenItems had an immediate response to this one. "The firebox on the BarbeKing range is double skinned with steel reinforced sections, and all stainless steel components are high grade 3 series. Slate doesn't just look the best, it is the best material to apply to a masonry barbecue because it is naturally heat and frost resistant. It can also be cleaned easily by simply wiping it down with a soapy cloth". Good response, I thought, I can't argue with that

So, All-In-All, Are BarbeKing Masonry Barbecues The Best On The Market?

I'm not an arrogant or dogmatic man, so I'm not going to bet a lifetime's supply of compost that BarbeKing Masonry Barbecues are the best on the market. And let's be honest, I don't own one, so I don't have direct experience of the product. However, what I can say is that I do think that the industry as a whole was looking a bit on the plain side before BarbeKing hit the market in the summer of 2012. I will also say that the designs are impressive, the quality proposition good, and for once I turned out to be quite pleased to receive a phone call from an enthusiastic sales manager

John Turner is a freelance writer for the Home and Garden retail sector. All opinions and rights remain with him. Any duplication of prose or images is strictly prohibited without prior consent

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