How to BBQ perfectly – top 10 tips

How to BBQ

Pugliese meats for the BBQ

Ok, so the BBQ is ostensibly the domain of the bloke….or at the risk of that sounding sexist…it’s ostensibly the domain of the pissed up wanna-be-cook more interested in playing with flame than creating insanely good food.

How to BBQ
BBQ’d Baby Backs

Grilling and BBQ-ing are an art form easy to get right and terribly easy to get wrong. The traditional style BBQ kettle such as the Webers are in my opinion the best but they leave you with nowhere to hide, you’re heat has got to be right and your timings have got to be spot on…if not people will die!!! Seriously, don’t muck around here.

I’ve been grilling for a while now and there are a number of things that I’ve learned that will make your BBQing painless, death free and make you look like a rock star with a meat fork.

1. Use Charcoals
For me, it’s gotta be charcoals. Using a gas BBQ is just like dragging your oven out into the garden. No skill, no thinking on your feet, no fun!

How to BBQ
Pork Belly

Use charcoal, it has less chemicals and it will flavour what you are grilling, it will also come up to speed quicker than coals.

2. White Heat!
I can not stress this enough….wait until your fuel is white hot. This reduces the ‘flame up’ you get with food fat and will make sure you have the right temp for cooking. BBQ’s will stay hot enough to cook on for at least 60minutes after they hit white heat so don’t rush!

3. Spread the load

How to BBQ
Beef Short Ribs and Slaw

Make sure your coals or char are evenly distributed around the grill base, the entire grill needs to have equal degrees of heat. I’ve watched too many people pile too much chicken into the centre of a grill and end up with the raw/burnt option!

4. Pre-cook 
This is the best advice I can give to any BBQ King or Queen…..the BBQ does not have to cook from start to finish, it can instead be used to ‘finish’ off your grilled meats. Chicken and Pork can be marinated and cooked in your kitchen oven then finished on the grill. If you are not confident about grilling then use this method.

5. Don’t overload
To many bangers and burgers overlapped on your grill just because your mates are hungry? Make them wait – it’ll be worth it. The more you put on the grill the harder it has to work, the longer it will take and the crappier the grilling result.

How to BBQ
Tandoor style chicken

6. Stagger your courses
Who says you have to have everything on a plate at once? Why not stagger your courses…..start with grilled veg, then meat, then fish, then….whatever you want. make the BBQ an event, pull it out over a couple of hours…a little on regular intervals on the grill.

7. Have a good work area
Your grill is only 50% of the BBQ tool, make sure you set up a table that will hold all of the other materials you need including a basin/bowl of warm soapy water to regularly clean the meat forks and flippers you use to turn the food.

8. Keeping cooked food warm
So this is the kicker when using the traditional kettle grill – no warm area.  So, simply take a small roasting tray, drop in a wire rack (baking rack) and cover with tinfoil. This ‘dutch oven’ can sit on a portion of the grill and take the heat – using a baking tray will make sure the cooked meat doesn’t touch the bottom and dry out. You can periodically add water to the roasting tray to create a steam warmer.

Make your own burger
The 8-Ball burger

9. Make your own burgers!!!!
Stay the fuck away from supermarket burgers, if your going to the trouble of creating fire and cooking in the great outdoors for your herd then please make your own!!

10.You are the grill master – remain at your station!
If you start the cooking make sure you finish it. If your friend Bob kills your family because he didn’t properly finish the chicken you started then it’s your head.

At the very end of the day common sense is your best friend at the grill – let your mates wait for properly cooked food…believe me they will. Invest in a half decent grill, even if it’s just some bricks and a steel rack – and always, always wait until the coals are completely white.

Finally – keep it simple.

 For more BBQ information on health and safety please, please, please check out your local food safety authority website.

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