Charcoal barbecues are a popular choice as they tend to be lighter and more versatile than large gas barbecues, and they are also less expensive. However, they can be more ferocious and uncontrollable.
Look out for a deep bowl to place your coals and good ventilation coming in from underneath.
Gas barbeques tend to be more 'all singing, all dancing' and look fantastic. However, they can be fairly large and awkward to move around the garden.
If you are after controllable, consistent heat at the touch of a button, then a gas barbecue is for you. They are fuelled by propane gas cylinders, which are available from DIY stores, and are definately the most reliable way to cook outdoors.
How to clean your barbecueThe best way to clean your barbecue is to scrub as much of the residue off the grill with a scouring pad while it is dry and still warm, then to use soapy water to scrub the grill, while it is still hot. Then remove the grill and let the whole thing cool completely before tipping out the old coals and giving it a wipe with a soapy sponge.