Written by Terry Smith
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Best bbq side tables [UK]and trolleys to make a bbq easy in the Garden
This article was last updated on August 7th, 2021 at 1:46 am
I am seriously into a charcoal bbq or my food smoker. Whatever gets me in the garden behind a grill really. If you are really into your bbq’s like me then you need a side table come trolley to keep your salt and pepper, condiments, meat that’s prepped, your tongs, and of course your main bbq weapon; a crisp pint of beer. 🙂 In my case I prefer ale, I know there are plenty that drink that lagger swill – someone has to do it I suppose? 😀 Anyway. Some ingenious so and so invented the outdoor bbq side table (and subsequently someone put wheels on some models!) and I have to tell you, it beats using an old table base with some ply on top (as I used to do). The best outdoor bbq side tables look really nice actually. I’ve reviewed them based on price, manoeuvrability (some come on wheels which is very handy), gadgets (yes some are cool), build quality, size, and crucially sturdiness when prepping. This of course then leads to how easy these bbq side tables clean too.
Table of Contents
For me the the best outdoor bbq side table must be large enough to prep a chicken (or your preferred bbq meat) without getting close to my non meat products like salt/pepper, rolls, tomato sauce, and bbq accessories. It needs to be really sturdy and of course well priced. For that reason I picked the Keter BBQ Side Table Grande brown. If money is not an issue then you really should be going with the Cook’in Garden Media M Barbecue/Grill Trolley available in Black or silver. What a cracking bit of kit that is but you’ll need two of them which is far more hygienic for meat preparation anyway as you’ll be able to separate cooked and non cooked to keep the family much safer.
What to look for when buying outdoor bbq side table
You must by now be fed up of buying online, hence coming to my site for useful tips, making buying less of a blind experience. Generally speaking you can’t go wrong with outdoor bbq side tables assuming you follow this guide which focuses on usability and build quality. In between these must have attributes you also want:
An outdoor bbq side table that is easy to clean and maintain
Don’t do it to yourself. A wooden side table looks nice outside but it’s not like you are going to want the hassle of painting on wood oil or some other similar protective barrier that’s ok to eat from. Keep it simple. Go for PVC or stainless steel and in my case my best picks are a combination of these with the base being PVC and the surface stainless steel as these are practically zero maintenance bar cleaning. Both of these materials clean easily and last well in tip top condition outdoors. Perfect for a bbq then! This is good for price, and heavy duty PVC will last very well. If you veer off course then don’t say I didn’t warn you 😀
All of the products in this article are trustable, tried, and tested. Wherever possible you want to buy a long lasting product (cost being a main drawback to this point). When it comes to sensible pricing and long lasting, you are almost certainly going to find yourself with PVC as a base as this represents the best value for money. The side tables in this review are heavy duty PVC or stainless steel so no worries about them cracking or falling apart easily.
You need a stable garden bbq trolley
If there’s one thing that you can’t live without on a bbq trolley, it is a sturdy base. Nothing will wreck your day like using your fish filleting knife on a mackerel or similar soft fish and butchering it because you can’t hold still. Equally, a wobbly base is unsafe at worst and an inconvenience that’ll really annoy you at best. Pick a bbq side table that has a couple of adjustable legs (normally there’s wheels one end) to give yourself half a chance of enjoying your bbq thoroughly. A side table should be making things easier, not the other way round!
Cheapest bbq side table
There’s another way to look at this. It’s going to take a beating so why not go for the cheapest sturdy option available. For price I would pick the 120CM Portable Aluminium Folding Table Party Garden BBQ Camping Table, 3 Gear Adjustable Height Lightweight Aluminium Foldable Table for Outdoor Picnic Cooking. This thing is the real deal on price and offers all the manoeuvrability in the world. More on that in the full product review below.
So with that in mind lets look at the best bbq side tables and trolleys
1. Keter BBQ Side Table Grande brown
Keter BBQ Side Table Grande brown
I had to do it. I know the base is plastic, not something I’m overly fond of but the top is solid stainless steel. The units cleans beautifully, it’s stable and sturdy, and holds plenty of food and utensils, plates, you name it and it practically ticks all the boxes for the best garden bbq trolleys:
– Large: yes
– Easy to follow assembly instructions: yes (some of the best I’ve seen in a while to be honest)
– Easily cleans: yes
– Looks stylish: yes
– Holds plates/cutlery: yes under the main stainless top
– Stainless top doesn’t rust: yes
– On wheels to manoeuvre easily: yes
– Nice cupboard doors that seal well.
– BBQ accessory holder: yes
In short this BBQ side table come garden bbq trolley has it all and isn’t that expensive either for what it offers. Long enough that you can prep meat one end and still keep your pint, salt, pepper, and bits the other it keeps the cost down saving on the need for two bbq side tables. It’s a little over 1.2m long and plenty deep enough. Being 90cm high it’s pretty much the same height as your kitchen units if that helps to know as well.
The PVC is pretty sturdy actually and you feel plenty comfortable taking a chicken apart and generally doing all your prep outside as you go. Let’s be honest, for a charcoal bbq or perhaps even gas it looks plenty stylish enough. The cupboards are a nice touch and it can handle plenty of weight. You could easily store a few bags of charcoal here as well as your fire starting kit. A great place to put the bbq chimney starter actually as well.
One thing I’m not so keep on is the cutlery/plates underneath when I am prepping raw meat. Any juices can and will run, they will come off at a decent angle and generally do not fall below but I just don’t like the feeling of it all the same. I would say it’s imperative to keep your work area clean and tidy up as you go with antibacterial cleaners/wipes. No question, they could have made the wheels bigger for anyone that wants to use this on grass as opposed to decking. It still rolls but not great if you have longish grass.
The units held up well over time. I very much doubt you’ll be returning this for breaking down in the first 12 months. It is very very low maintenance. I would think even left in the elements you’re likely to get a good few seasons out of this. Overall it really is a top buy and a great accompaniment to your bbq.
2. Cook'in Garden Media M Barbecue/Grill Trolley, Black/Silver
The Cook’in Garden Media M Barbecue/Grill Trolley is a better bbq table than the Keter in my mind but you will probably want two of them so you can separate out your raw meat better as it’s only 930mm long. The only way this really works with just one unit is if you don’t mind leaning over to place items in the lower tray which defeats the whole point. You would have to be very careful about how you prep meat to use this all in one together.
With that said, it has bigger and better wheels, a table top that’ll trap meat juices rather than allow them to run everywhere, the build quality isn’t bad, the utensil holder is pretty robust and it’s nice and sturdy as well as super easy to clean.
I favour this on build quality as well. Being a metal construction it will take a reasonable hit and the worktop and being stainless is pretty much a case of wiping down to clean.
The wheels are great for grass, this will roll nicely even on a lawn that is less than perfect. I’ll have to get my flymo hover mower out soon :). The trolley arm is big and robust so it allows for two hands when pulling over uneven ground. You feel in control which is a nice feeling given how easy it is to move around.
It’ll probably take an hour and a half to setup, I did it in about twenty minutes wit the help of a cordless drill. The instructions were great actually. You won’t mind putting this together with parts clearly labelled and assembly easy to follow.
Overall this is the best pick if you don’t mind buying two, if you want cheaper I would still chose the top pick. Otherwise this is a great option to have a proper bbq setup.
3. 120CM Portable Aluminum Folding Table Party Garden BBQ Camping Table, 3 Gear Adjustable Height Lightweight Aluminum Foldable Table for Outdoor Picnic Cooking
Without question this is a bargain. It’s extremely sturdy as well as well built. It doubles up and is superb for picnics with a portable gas bbq or portable charcoal version if you prefer as it’ll fold up nicely too into a very small space. Being so versatile at this price point makes it my best pick for outdoor bbq tables on price, no question. At 1.2m wide there’s enough room to prep meat one end and keep your foods well separated. This will certainly solve the issue of cross contamination.
On that point, being a slippery surface it’ll clean up well too. You only need some antibacterial wipes or soapy water. Sure, it’s not the best build quality and maybe doesn’t look the best and won’t last forever but at this price you have to question what you want from a bbq table?
If it actually has one advantage over the best picks it’s the weight. You can move this thing around folded or unfolded with ease. I am literally talking it weighs less than 5kg. I bought one of these about five years ago without the folding joint and it’s still going strong today. Well worth a buy if you’re not worried about aesthetics.
4. Campingaz Barbecue Plancha Metal Serving Trolley - Black
The Campingaz Barbecue Plancha Metal Serving Trolley is well built and I absolutely love the wheels. It’s designed so you can place a bbq on top too. That’s not the point of this article but it does highlight the quality of this trolley. You need seriously stability to safely house a bbq, especially a charcoal bbq as that can be very dangerous indeed!
What you’ll notice first about this trolley, the assembly is quite straight forward. Following that you’ll realise it’s quite tall on you. This is superb even for a short bloke like me at 5 foot 10. It is very good on the back and stops much of the leaning over. A very nice idea to make it a bit taller than a standard counter height.
I’m not much of a fan when it comes to the metal grid tray but it does indirectly have it’s benefits. It’s not ideal for condiments. You definitely want to put a serving tray on top of that first. This turns out to be quite handy as it makes cleaning after a bit easier but my preference would have been a solid surface to work from in the first place.
You’ll like the weight, a bit over 10kg you can both pick this up and whee it around easily. Overall it’s definitely a solid buy rating from me.
5. KitGarden – Folding Table Multifunctional Imitation Wood, 180 x 75 x 74 cm, Brown, Wood 180
Earlier on in my best pick for the cheapest bbq side table I mentioned I had one that didn’t fold. This is not that model but exactly the same with folding abilities. I am a bit boring I know, I like the wood effect and it fits well in my back garden with my charcoal grill. I have to the you this os one sturdy bit of kit that I can recommend with confidence. Whilst it’s not as stylish as the best picks it certainly is a quality side table and lasts superbly in a garden even left out all winter. I just pull out the petrol pressure washer and blast it down each year.
I’ve got a bit of rust forming around the joints of the table legs but that’s to be expected as I simply don’t look after it and it’s been sat in the garden for literally years. At 1.8m it’s perfect for prep of meat and you run little to no risk of cross contamination if you’re cutting up meat half sensibly.
Being 1.8m long it does give up a little in terms of strength. I wouldn’t be putting super heavy stuff in the middle al day long but for a bbq side table it’s a top bit of kit for the money.