08 Dec 2005, 04:29:54 PM

They say men have trouble expressing their true emotions. Well, that's clearly not the case, when the topic for discussion is barbecues. Just as creating poetry is an art, apparently so is choosing the right type of barbecue. But with so many on the market how do you know what's right for you?

Steve King from Adelaide's Heatworks says gone are the days when the traditional style Webber occupied a place in almost every Aussie home. Barbecues are now part of the decor - and a great way to show off to your friends.

"It's quite unbelievable how many people actually go to the extent of having something that's going to look fantastic in the back yard," Steve said.

So how much do they cost? Well they can vary from a couple of hundred dollars right up to the thousands. But according to John Ashes from Choice Magazine you can always find something to suit your budget.

For a few hundred dollars you could get a stylish Webber Baby-Q, or if you have a spare $8000 you could splurge on an Aussie-made Beefeater.

For around $14,000 you could virtually get an outdoor kitchen, equipped with a stainless steel four burner barbecue - even a sink!

Think that's as good as they get? You're wrong.

For around $28,000 you can get all of the above with a few extras like a DVD player, another two-burner on the side, even fridges in the cabinets.

But if you're one of the unlucky ones, who simply can't afford to buy a monster-size barbecue never fear.

Your budget may not allow for the sink or the stainless steel but, more than likely, it will cook just as well as any other barbecue on the market.

According to Choice Magazine, price is not a good indicator of how well the barbecue is going to perform but it might have a bearing on how long it lasts and you may have difficulty with replacement parts for some overseas models.

John says a good quality, reliable family barbecue doesn't have to cost the earth.

"People are conned by features they think might be useful to have," he said.