Why the future of the BBQ is sizzling hot

A traditional Christmas in the Northern Hemisphere is filled with snowmen and oven-baked turkeys – but here in Aotearoa we’re more about beaches and barbeques. A classic Kiwi summer simply wouldn’t be the same without barbequed sausages, chicken skewers, corn on the cob, and chargrilled capsicum.

Almost every New Zealand home seems to have a barbeque, and the vast majority are fuelled with gas. The instant heat and clean burn that gas provides makes it ideal for outdoor cooking. Some barbeques are fitted to the home’s gas supply, but most use the very familiar 9kg LPG bottle. So common are these gas bottles that you can refill them and save at Rockgas partner service stations all over the country.

Why we love to barbeque

Why do we all love a barbeque? It’s a chance to be outdoors, enjoy the summer weather, and bring friends and family together. Plus, the food tastes delicious – even if on occasion the sausages are slightly too sizzled. Cooking with gas gives you a completely different taste compared to your stove or oven.

Caramelised flavours, crispy edges and an unmatched savoury flavour that you simply can’t achieve without the radiant heat that only comes from cooking with a flame.

Gas is here to stay

In 2021, there was a brief period of concern when the Climate Change Commission suggested a ban on new gas connections by 2025. However the Government has not acted on this advice by way of a ban.

Although the proposed change would not have affected LPG bottles, some people were worried that barbeques would be banned altogether. One commentor imagined a future where, “the police are cracking down on underground Weber parties. But don’t worry, you can still invite your friends over for a nice, microwaved lunch or just go raw vegan.”

Nobody is going to crack down on barbeques. They will not be banned by 2025 and gas will keep flowing in Aotearoa for many years to come – to all your gas appliances, including your barbeque.

New Zealand’s Government is committed to moving across to sustainable energy sources by 2050 and the New Zealand Energy Strategy is in development. It should be finished by the end of 2024, and it will include a plan for transitioning to low-emissions gas options like bioLPG, green hydrogen and biogas.  

Renewable fuel sources for your barbeque  

Most Kiwi barbeques are fuelled by 9kg LPG bottles, which contain 17 litres of gas. LPG stands for liquid petroleum gas, and it has a lower carbon footprint than petrol and diesel.

As a member of GasNZ, Firstgas Group is supporting studies into bioLPG across the industry. We’re also looking at how we can produce it here or import bioLPG to supply a renewable gas option to our Rockgas customers. BioLPG is produced from organic material such as plant and vegetable products. Because it is chemically identical to LPG, it’s an ideal zero-emissions replacement for your BBQ or LPG appliances.

If your barbeque is hooked up to your home’s gas connection, it is running on natural gas. Firstgas Group is undertaking work to transport renewable gas such as hydrogen in the existing gas pipeline network by 2050.

So whether you use LPG or natural gas to fuel your barbie, in the future, you could be enjoying the same instant heat and fantastic flame-grilled flavour but using renewable gas, giving you an even better sizzle for your sausage.