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Landmann Grill Chef 31347 57cm Premium review - a great BBQ for £100

Maggie Holland
14 Jun 2016
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
100
inc VAT (as of 14th of June)

A good, well built barbecue and you can't go wrong if your budget doesn't stretch any further

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Specifications

Fuel type: Charcoal, Cooking area: 570mm circular diameter, Dimensions (HxWxD): 985x715x675mm, Accessories: none, Warranty: two years

With kettle-style barbecues being the first choice of many, the Landmann Grill Chef Premium is the third such model I've looked at, alongside the innovative Char-Broil Kettleman and classic Weber Original. Just because they're of similar style, it doesn't mean the Landmann doesn't have it own qualities to pit against its rivals. While the others hail from the US, Landmann is amongst the most recognised European barbecue brands and so knows what it takes to make a good grill.

Assembly and build quality

As expected, the Grill Chef Premium was made of high-quality materials and very easy to put together. The great thing about kettle barbecues is that the design is intrinsically simple and the Grill Chef Premium was no exception. A round container holds charcoal on a lower grate, with an upper grate for placing the food and a lid to keep the heat in, there's no height adjustment. Instead, you pile up the charcoal more on one side in order to vary the temperature across the grill.

Even with no instructions it wouldn't take long to figure this one out. Once completed, in under 30 minutes, I was impressed by the quality of the black enamel coating and felt that, although lightweight, the Landmann was reasonably sturdy.

Looks and style

The looks need no real introduction, and being a kettle it's a barbecue most, if not all, are familiar with. That said, the Landmann doesn't look cheap, but to the untrained eye at a glance, there's very little to set the Grill Chef Premium aside from the circa £30 offerings available in large supermarkets and DIY stores. Up close, you can see the finish and details are of a high standard, but from afar this barbecue is definitely a case of form follows function.

In use and features

The Grill Chef Premium, as with kettle barbecues in general, is capable of several different types of barbecue cooking. Having a lid and adjustable ventilation, made grilling, roasting or smoking easy, once you've worked out how hot your grill gets.

With our standard one kilo chimney of charcoal, the Landmann actually got a little too hot for roasting or slow cooking: with the thermometer reading a constant 220ºc with the lid closed. The second time around, I adjusted the amount and placement of coals and Grill Chef Premium did a good job of roasting chicken. This was largely helped by one simple feature that Landmann ships as standard with this BBQ: a very useful removable coal divider that sits in the coal grate. I found the divider very effective when piling extra coals on one side for zonal cooking and equally good for keeping all coals on one side, offset from the chicken, to provide indirect heat when roasting. You can buy such dividers for any Kettle for around £10-15 but it's good to see them included here.

Although nicely chrome finished, the grill grate bars were too thin, which limited the seared lines on meat cooked on this BBQ; although this seems to be standard fare for entry-level to mid-range barbecues. It's also worth mentioning my other pet peeve with most kettle barbecues: the completely detached lid. The Grill Chef Premium's lid does come with hooks on the inside, but when hung on the side of the barbecue, we found that the slightest breeze made it clang like a bell. A minor irritation, granted, but a simple problem that needs a better solution.

I also found that the screws that fix the two side handles to the base protrude too far inside the body. This makes inserting and removing the cooking grate difficult as it catches and needs some manoeuvring. This isn't too much of a problem before and after use, but when trying to add coals when lit, this can become an issue. I also found the vents on the bottom became clogged easily, which meant the temperature wasn't as easy to control as it should be. Having said this, I wouldn't let these minor flaws detract too much from a grill that is very well made, perfectly capable and has some good features, including the coal divider and the thermometer, all for less than £100.

Cleaning and storage

The Grill Chef Premium is easy to clean, mainly thanks to its excellent coating. All the parts are easily accessible and other than the inevitable cooking grate scrubbing, it only took us a few minutes to get this barbecue looking as good as new. Storage-wise, the Grill Chef Premium is easily movable thanks to its light weight. It's also smaller than most of our review models, so finding space shouldn't be too much of a problem. Landmann also offers decent-looking covers for its barbecues, specifically fitted to each model.

Conclusion

The Grill Chef Premium is good value for money. It's well made and performs well, with the exception of a few minor hiccups. However, if you're trying to impress the neighbours, the rather basic look and feel of this Landmann grill does mean it could be mistaken for a cheaper generic model. If you can find the extra cash, the Weber Original Kettle is a step-up for around £20 more, although it doesn't come with the charcoal dividers. For other options see our Best BBQ 2016 roundup. 
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Physical
Fuel typeCharcoal
Cooking area570mm circular diameter
Dimensions (HxWxD)985x715x675mm
Weight10
Features
Controllable ventsyes
Cooking height adjustmentno
Thermometreyes
Accessoriesnone
Buying information
Warrantytwo year RTB
Detailswww.landmann.co.uk
Part Code31347

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