Outback Barbecue Going Back to Lava Rock

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 @ 08:07 AM
Lee Phillips

After a recent visit to Solex, we have learned that the manufacturers behind the Outback barbecue brand are going back to the old lava rock cooking method on all the gas barbecues, they believe that the Outback customer has grown to expect this medium on an Outback barbecue. This is a bold move, after investing in flavour bars for the last two years, going back seems a bit risky to say the least, we have talked in depth about cooking mediums and how they have evolved for gas into what the top BBQ manufacturers now use, to start with, any change can make you a little nervous, however the flavour bar system has become in our opinion the best cooking medium to date, that said lava rocks were used for many years and are a reliable option delivering a similar result.

One of the biggest issues with lava rock is that flavours can carry forward from the last meal, they also need to be replaced ideally each year, whereas a flavour bar can be used for many years without needing to be replaced.Lava rocks can also promote flare ups, especially when they have been used over a long period of time, they will slowly absorb fats.

Were not against the move back, but do fear that the move will further confuse customers, especially those who have bought into the new flavour bar Outback BBQ, promoted as the new medium, that is now reverting back to the old. Some customers love lava rocks, and in honesty we can understand Outback’s position, I am sure were not the only Outback dealer to have a lot of calls requesting a barbecue with lava rock, so if the research into the Outback customer is correct, it is indeed a more expected medium, this is also a cheaper option to produce so with the company standing firm to it’s roots it does make sense for them from a price point to move back to the old system, keeping manufacturing costs down means that the consumer still gets the Outback barbecue that they want at a price that remains very competitive in today’s leisure industry.

Moving back to lava rock means that another year see’s a complete re-vamp of the barbecue range, often referred top as the for fiesta, the Outback barbecue carries the same name throughout years of change, and old Hunter is not the same as a new one, the odd face lift here and there sees the models change in size and subtle design.

One of the biggest let downs for us is news that the combi barbecue will not be with us, certainly for next year, though Outback claim it will not be returning at all, a major blow really as this barbecue has grown in popularity since its launch, with customers loving the double barrel option, charcoal for smoking and gas for cooking all in one unit really did impress, so this is one move we really do hope they go back on.

As far as we know, all other models will remain for 2013, converted back to lava rock, but names will stay the same, we also understand that with the reversal back to lava rocks, some pricing will reflect the change and fall, lets just hope that our British Summer will support the industry for longer in 2013!

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