That word “portable” barbecue is such a pull – who wouldn’t like to be able to traipse off with a truly portable barbecue and set up on the beach? Well, yesterday evening I did just that, with a Landmann Piccolino Portable Kettle Barbecue – so I figured I should write a review.
I’m pretty much a barbecue novice; this was my first experience of a beach barbecue and of any portable barbecue – unaccustomed as I am to this lifestyle, barbecues to me are usually where you arrive at a well appointed barbecue station, complete with keen chef and “all the gear” and simply point to what you want, then walk off and eat it.
So, how did that go?
The beach we ate at was exceedingly popular, so we had to park quite a long way away – and were also carrying two (heavy!) moon chairs and all the food. The route also included walking down 126 steps to the beach.
How heavy is the Landmann Piccolino?
It was so lightweight I hardly noticed I was carrying it (yes, I carried it because the Moon chairs were too heavy/large for me). However, there was no carrying bag, so we had to find a bag that it fitted in – luckily, the Sainsbury’s bag for life is a great fit – so your fingers weren’t struggling to keep a grip. To be fair, there is a carrying handle as part of the lid – but that’s just good for getting it out of the shed. As we were loading up the car and driving to a beach, then walking with all the gear and food an actual carrying bag was felt appropriate.
I’m a right whiner if I’m uncomfortable and having to overload myself – and I didn’t notice I was carrying this lightweight barbecue at all. This barbecue, in a suitable carrying bag, could actually be carried great distances by even a 5 year old.
How Hard is it to get the BBQ Sitting Flat on Sand?
This bit was no trouble at all. My friend wiped her hand across the sand, sat the BBQ on the sand and it was immediately flat and stable. There were no issues whatsoever with stability. She did move the BBQ a couple of times, by choice – and as there are no silicone handles this meant using the oven gloves – so, if you’ve an old pair of oven gloves it’d be a good move to take these with you in case you want to move the BBQ while it’s hot.
How Hard to Light is the Landmann Piccolino?
The Landmann Piccolino is just a barbecue, so how easy or hard it is to light will also be dependent on what you use. As newbies, we used the charcoal in a bag, where you light the four corners.
It was very smokey and my friend had to keep poking the coals around to get them to catch, but the handy tongs that come with the Piccolino were fine for doing that.
Tip: We (well, my friend did all the thinking, I was just there for the eating bit) decided that one bag of charcoal was too much for this size of barbecue and next time we’ll split the bag in half. The Piccolino probably only needs half a bag of charcoal – thus, actually, making it redundant to buy charcoal in bags at all… make your own bags up!
We also found, being on a beach, that to get the coals going required a bit of a wind break – luckily my friend had brought her oven gloves with her, so held those up to the side while the coals caught. Beaches do tend to be windy, so protection from wind will be necessary from any barbecue. We were newbies, so this is a lesson learnt.
My friend (who was doing all the work) was saying there are no vents on the underside – and she thought that this made it harder for the coals to get lit in the first instance – and she did use up 2-3 matches when poking about and trying to get it lit…. but, as a lazy bystander who did nothing, it didn’t look that hard to do to be honest – just poking the coals about and occasionally lighting the odd coal with a match. As she was poking the coals about she was finding they were falling down the side of the coal tray, so had to be retrieved (handy tongs!) from the gap and put back onto the pile of coals – I watched … didn’t look that hard 🙂
How Many Burgers Did the Piccolino Have Room For?
Seeing measurements, I can’t visualise – I also can’t visualise when measurements are in cm as I’m old-fashioned and only understand inches 🙂
The official measurements are:
- Cooking area 34 cm diameter
- Product dimension: 37 x 41 x 37 cm
There were only two of us, with two Birds Eye burgers and two Lidl burgers – all a good size. There was also a foil wrap of pre-fried onions. There was plenty of room. We’d have had room to squeeze on some sausages if we’d taken them (we did wish we had). Here’s a photo of our four burgers on the Piccolino:
How Long Does it Take Before You Can Eat when using the Piccolino?
This is what it’s really about isn’t it. All that other stuff, buying the bbq, getting it set up, getting the coals hot … it’s all about “how long before I am eating my burger?” well, as I took photos they’re time-stamped, so I can tell you.
- Charcoal bag lit at 19:37
- Rack on the grill at 20:14
- Burgers on the rack at 20:16
- Burgers being served onto plates at 20:34
So, under one hour from lighting the coals to eating that first burger – and – it takes less time than that as we didn’t turn the burgers over at the right time so they were a little overcooked. Personally, I LOVE a black burger, so really enjoyed it. We turned the burgers over after 9 minutes, so, next time, need to be a bit keener to flip the burgers!
Before they were turned: Looking like a juicy burger treat
After turning the burgers – this was just 9 minutes later (20:25): Oops. They were tasty and moist though 🙂
How Did It End up?
The burgers were lovely and moist – served with cheese slices and pre-fried onions…. and the compulsory squirt of ketchup! For me, it was all about being on the beach and having a BBQ and being with a friend and eating a really tasty burger…. they just wouldn’t win any art awards:
How Hard is it to keep the Piccolino barbecue clean?
We were on the beach, by this time it was dark. We had to get the coals cooled. My friend had brought a water bottle with her, less than ½ litre of water squirted was enough to put the coals out. She then wanted to scoop the coals out and into a bag, to put into the bin – so a bigger ladle/spoon would’ve been good. Then she used sand to swill out the coal tray and the inside of the barbecue. Today cleaning the barbecue is probably on her list of jobs to do! It all looked a bit of a mucky job, glad it’s not my barbecue and I’ll, therefore, not be involved in cleaning it out 🙂
If you’re taking a BBQ to the beach, then think about how you’ll get hot coals cooled – and how you’ll clean it all up to be able to cart it off home again. A good sized scoop and a sturdy bag for the coals makes it easier.
Also – we didn’t take any lighting with us. Some solar lights would’ve been handy. Other people seem to have done this all before and had torches and lights 🙂 Cleaning it out in the dark is a little trickier than if you have lighting as you’re guessing if it’s “good enough”.
This Landmann Piccolino BBQ was certainly portable – VERY lightweight. It was big enough for plenty of food. It was straight forward to clean out.
We also decided that a small, folding table would’ve been a good idea – but this was our first outing, so we’re BBQ newbies. And wetwipes! Wetwipes for after you’ve cleaned out the coals.
I can see more simple beach BBQ adventures in the future – next time with a little less cooking time … and my friend mentioned tomatoes and lettuce for the burgers, but I’m not one for valuing presentation!
Would I buy the Piccolino BBQ? I don’t need to – I’ve got a friend who has one and I’m happy to leave it at that. 🙂
Available in a Choice of Colours:
There are some pretty shades of colour! My friend’s BBQ was turquoise, but I see there’s also lime green, black, white – and, my favourite, a nice lavender colour.
You can probably find one of these in your local shops, probably with restricted colour choices, else on Amazon.co.uk where you get it delivered to your house (always nice as it’s like a surprise gift when it turns up and you get to open the box in the comfort of your home and paw the goodies inside).
I hope you’ve found my quick Landmann Piccolino portable barbecue review helpful – so many things to think about and we all have different priorities, so I covered what’s important to me: weight/portability, how long until I’m fed?? 🙂
Where is the Best Beach in Newquay for a BBQ?
Ah … that’s the question isn’t it. And the answer is that it all depends which way the wind’s blowing, how far you’re prepared to walk or drive, where you’re starting from and other variables. It’s something you’ll have to discover for yourself.