Where do I start, I am a complete novice when it comes to barbecuing but I love to cook, give me a recipe and I can follow it. But what better way to be able to do this outside and enjoy that rare sunny weather at the same time.
Back in April I finally moved house which has a lovely spacious garden, and after years of living in a flat with no garden I knew what had to be done. We were at the beginning of BBQ season, Barbecues and spares were selling fast and it was really making me want to try Outback. I was pretty clueless about barbecues until I started working for World of Power, but after dealing with customers wanting to breathe life back into their trusty old models it made me really want to try one for myself.
Now I didn’t want to go too big, but I wanted to feel comfortable and be able to cook for a fair amount of people, so I started to look at the 2 burner models and that’s when the little Excel Onyx caught my eye. It was smart and stable looking and I loved its smooth matte powdered coated design, we also had one built in our showroom so I was able to get familiar with it before I bought it. I would also suggest that you come and view the barbecues before you buy one, because then you can get a better idea of what would suit your needs.
So I don’t have an overly large garden and I was limited for storage space, but I could already imagine the Excel Onyx being homed in the perfect position and I knew exactly where I wanted it. After having looked at it several times I decided this would be the one for me to start my BBQ journey and to say the least I haven’t looked back!
I finally got it home Friday evening after work and I had planned a family BBQ that weekend, and this is where the fun began. We all know most of us aren’t one for instruction manuals and don’t usually follow them properly…if at all (I’m really just describing my other half here) but this particular model wasn’t overly hard to build (if you’re a pro at IKEA flat pack like myself!) it was a bit fiddly and stiff in some places but after about 90minutes and 2 mini arguments later, we had finally built it and I couldn’t wait to cook on it at the weekend.
Although the Excel Onyx is one of the smaller entry level barbecues, I managed to cook for 9 people in about 3 sittings; it has a decent sized cooking grill (50x36cm) and warming rack to keep foods warm until I was ready. It also uses the flame tamer cooking system. It has a handy foldable right hand side shelf with utensil hooks and a spacious base shelf for crockery and tools. The side burner is also perfect for sauces and frying those crispy onions!
I Found the Onyx BBQ really easy to use and cook on, the heat distribution was perfect all over the grill, even when cooking larger pieces of meat, overall a successful first family barbecue.
It is also not recommended that the lid be closed when cooking, as this can cause flare ups and fat fires, it may also damage and hinder the life span of some of the components quicker. This little BBQ is also perfect for finishing off fancier dishes for that barbecues flavour. As my recipe for national BBQ week included Buttered Paprika smoked salmon with Grilled Halloumi and Garlic & Balsamic Mushroom Skewers. I pre-cooked the salmon in the oven and then finished it off on the grill!
Overall I was very impressed with my first barbecue purchase and I have used it several times since that first weekend. I have also found that it is not too high maintenance to clean either, a bit of elbow grease, a good quality wire brush, Minky cloth and some hot soapy water brings the whole thing up good as new. The flame tamer has started to discolour over time so will not come up shiny as new but it’s nothing a good soak and scrub can’t fix to remove burnt on fat and grease!
I fully recommend the Excel Onyx as it proved it can keep up with the big guns in the BBQ world!
It’s 10 out of 10 from me!