Written by Terry Smith
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Best bbq shelter [UK] – top bbq shelter kits large and wooden reviewed
This article was last updated on August 7th, 2021 at 1:37 am
You know what, I love the British Summer, but if it’s one thing that really annoys me, it’s the ability to plan for a party with random rain and bad weather. With lockdown possibly over this Summer and at least outdoor gatherings in the garden being possible almost for sure, I want to be able to enjoy a good get together with my family and friends – irrespective of the possibility gatherings indoors may still not be allowed. The best bbq shelters and bbq shelter kits if you prefer, will give you that peace of mind, even if the worst weather hits you have a way to enjoy the garden with your family all the same without cancelling due to weather! I don’t know about you, but I want to see my family at any cost, even if I have to go with a wall mounted patio heater and a pergola or pop up gazebo.
So I’ve rated the best bbq shelters based on the material used (wooden bbq shelters being my preference), size (large bbq shelters and smaller, price, ease of install, and how quickly I could put the kit together with a preference towards bbq shelters that don’t just protect from rust but allow me to stand in them too.
Useful things to know about buying the best bbq shelter
There’s some really need to know stuff before jumping in the deep end and hitting buy on your bbq shelter. The last thing you want is your bbq shelter rocking up and not being fit for purpose. This includes the size, material, ability to resist a fire, sturdiness, and ability to stay put in wind. So here’s a look at those:
All shelters come as bbq shelter kits
It’s absolutely crucial to know that they all rock up in kit format. The larger wooden versions are normally on a pallet or in a crate and weigh around 80-100kg. They need a couple of people to lift or you’ll need to break the pallet down roadside if the guy can’t fit up your pathway with a pallet truck.
The kits range in time taken to assemble. The toughest one in my experience from this article took me a couple of hours but I have seen reports of novice DIY’ers needing a couple of days! I wouldn’t dream of putting these kits together without a cordless drill, or perhaps corded. The time you saved by following this snippet of information is literally hours, plus the reduced stress on your hand from hours of hand screwing tanalised timber, even if some are pre-drilled for you 😀
The metal versions are packed in kit format tightly and in much smaller packages. They are far easier to manage from a manoeuvrability standpoint.
Larger bbq shelter might well be better for you
Some bbq shelters are so small that they literally only house the bbq itself. For me that isn’t going to cut it. I know they are partially designed to protect your bbq but in truth we have bbq covers for that, I also want a shelter for the bbq that shelters me. That’s where large comes in. As you read my reviews you’ll see I’m very clear about sizes and which ones will keep you from getting wet or sunburnt this Summer!
Wooden bbq shelters in the uk are well built
Gotta say, I love these UK wooden bbq shelters over the metal imports. They are robust, fairly priced, and in my mind look great. It’s appreciated that not all like the look of wood so I have included a couple of metal selections. That said, I have only picked wooden bbq shelters that are made of tanalised and treated Pine. You can be sue that this timber will last a long long time. If you put in a little effort and treat or paint it then expect more than the ten year guarantees offered. By contrast, I am absolutely certain you won’t get a decade out of the metal framed bbq shelters…
Comparison table: Best bbq shelter [UK] – top bbq shelter kits large and wooden reviewed
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1. Garden Outdoor Wooden Gazebo BBQ shelter
While I love the design of the Party Arbour and Barbeque Shelter, I can’t help but feel like ‘what if it rains?’. Fine, a bbq shelter is specifically designed to shelter the bbq, but what about me? 😀 Am I not important should we get an unexpected downpour. The Garden Outdoor Wooden Gazebo BBQ shelter from Parcel in the Attic is big enough to fit the larger bbq sizes. Being over 2 metres wide internally there’s enough space to keep me dry too! For that reason I vote this the best bbq shelter as I got thought about too!
The construction is not quite as robust as the Party Arbour and Barbecue Shelter with the vertical posts being slightly smaller however it is absolutely sturdy. It also doesn’t have the side tables, but overall the size more than makes up for this in my mind. Talking of construction, you’ll want a hand to put this up and a beginner will have no trouble, the instructions are pretty easy to follow. You might struggle with the roof slats. Best thing to do is fit the firs one flush with the cross beam then climb up from the inside on a set of step ladders. Going from a tall ladder on the outside is a waste of time until you get to the final few boards and you don’t actually fit! Here’s a picture of that.
The bbq shelter kit comes with a ten year guarantee. As with any external joinery, a good wood preserver will enhance the lifespan miles beyond any guarantee period so keep up the maintenance and this will be a good ally against the British weather for many many years to come.
2. Party Arbour and Barbeque Shelter Pressure Treated Fire Retardant Timber
I must say I like the Party Arbour and Barbecue Shelter. As bbq shelters go this one is well designed and saves the need for buying a bbq side table as well. So factoring that into the price makes it that much better value. There’s ample room for the biggest grills. My Cosmo charcoal bbq fits in with plenty of space to either side remaining. If your bbq is less than 1.5m wide then this works well. The main posts are a sturdy 3 by 3 and plenty strong enough to withstand the worst of British weather. The roof beams slot and fix nicely into the posts making for a secure and solid construction. The trellis is easy enough to attach, the roof itself comes as two panels but you’l still want a hand holding it into place.
I find some reviews online a little perplexing, my personal experience is that this will go up in a couple of hours with a cordless drill in one hand, and a crisp pint in the other. I am by no means advocating the use of power tools whilst having a single beer 😉 It just so happens to be in my hand after a homebrew in my shed was ready to drink! By contrast however, customers have reported to me that this took them as long as a couple of days to erect and some as short as an hour so I feel its worth mentioning as the speed you’ll get this up and useable very much replies on your ability at working with wooden flat packs. It should also be noted, the instructions are not as clear as they could be and you’ll certainly need a little common sense to get it right.
It’s pretty obviously treated with fire retardant that’ll hold back flames for more than long enough should you be attending to your bbq properly. That said, if this is in anger of catching fire, you’ve really got something wrong because flames should be no where near the construction or roof! 😀
Overall I love the roof lines and its a great choice for best bbq shelters.
3. Anchor Fast Exmouth BBQ Wooden Shelter
The Anchor Fast Exmouth BBQ Wooden Shelter is another one that you can stand under if the weather goes against you. I like the build on this one actually, it’s pretty sturdy and you don’t have to worry about the winds taking it away. It weighs as much as a fully grown man! On that note, if you do need to move it then it’s going to take two strong people or three would be a little more comfortable still.
It’s pretty nice quality Pine and I’d expect this to last very well. It’ll take couple of hours to put up and I wouldn’t even dream of having a go at this without a cordless drill. The tricky part (as with all bbq shelters) is the roof. The ridge timber at the top of the roof pitch is well designed. You’ll be pleased with the pre-drilled holes. They all align well and that makes following the set-up all the easier.
The design is nice. It’ll let out smoke but also practically impossible for a normal downpour to cause a leak. Your bigger concern is the open sides. You’ll probably have to consider a bbq cover with this version as driving rain at angles will result in a wet bbq. It’s not quite as deep as the Garden Outdoor Wooden Gazebo BBQ shelter which is why this ended third on my list of best bbq wooden shelters.
4. Outsunny 8 ft New Double-Tier BBQ Gazebo Grill Canopy Barbecue Tent
I’ve included this metal framed version because I think that gives us the most rounded and fair look at bbq shelters. This comes in kit format and puts together pretty easily, probably a bit easier than wooden versions as the assembly instructions are easier to follow for beginner DIY’ers.
The dimensions are great, you can get under this shelter whilst on the bbq without any fuss in the event of a change of weather. The canopy material itself is pretty durable too. I would say earlier in the products history the metal framework wasn’t as good as it is now. It certainly appears sturdier with a lower failure rate.
I haven’t noticed any issues with discolouration of the canopy and being 180g/m it is plenty strong enough. You’ll need to make sure that this is anchored to the ground with tent pegs firmly in place assuming you’re on grass, and actually best to screw this in if you’re on something like wooden decking. Trust me – the wind will take it away if you get a good gust, no question.
If you like the sleek modern look as opposed to a wooden structure then this might well be for you but I myself prefer the timber bbq shelters.
5. Outsunny Garden Outdoor Patio Metal Wall BBQ
I prefer this Outsunny Garden Outdoor Patio Metal Wall BBQ to the last review. I prefer the shape, it feels roomier – you can get a big bbq, yourself, and a small bbq side table in without much trouble or squeezing. The blackened powder coat frame looks pretty nice and certainly would suit a more modern garden.
I also prefer the hooks on the side of the cross beams as opposed to the tray from the previous bbq shelter which ‘eats in’ to your internal space. The hooks are usable and a great position to place bbq tongs and the likes. With room for a side table this is a much more useable bit of kit in my mind, especially if you’re into bbq’s frequently. The canvas covers easily remove for cleaning. A top tip here is to use a cordless pressure washer to blast it down. You’d be surprised just how quickly it’ll clean up.
Without sides it’s not something you can rely on as a bbq cover but still the size makes it perfectly useable in a practical bbq situation.
In terms of assembly this is really much easier than a wooden bbq shelter. You can put it together on the ground and then simply lift it up and into position because there’s no weight to it. If you have a set of hexagonal bits and a cordless drill then you’ll put this thing together in no time at all. This means pegs and anchors if you’re on grass and fixings if on a solid base. Either way this is a pretty decent bbq shelter for not much money at all.