Our Guide to the Best BBQ



It's all in the prep!

When it comes to creating the perfect BBQ, we Brits think we know it all. Seriously, for a country with a weather climate like ours, we believe that we are the nation of BBQ Kings and Queens. Whenever that BBQ is smoking, you can be sure that the chef will never be lonely. Everyone at some point will hover around the BBQ, passing on their experiences, and will each become an expert in BBQ cooking!! Go on, admit it, you have done it yourself haven’t you? I know I sure have.  
Anyway, as our ‘Summer’ season is upon us, and now that there are no restrictions in place, I thought it would be a good time to pass on my BBQ tips, experiences, and 'expertise'.  
So that you can create the perfect BBQ, it is essential that you are prepared. After all, you will want to have a chance to socialise (whilst creating a mouthwatering tastebud sensation).  
Most people now use Gas BBQs, they are great for instant heat, cooking under a more controlled environment, and are generally less messy. However, we are going to be talking about the good old charcoal BBQ.  
We have all seen the easy light charcoal packs. They are quick and simple to light, provide instant heat, due to the accelerant, but can give your food a funny taste.Look for charcoal made from coppiced wood or Forestry Commission-approved wood. These light easily, burn better, and won’t taint the flavour of the food.  
Remember to only put the coals on one side of the BBQ. This enables you to have a direct heat zone, and an indirect heat zone. If you get heat flare-ups, you need to be able to move your food away from the flames to prevent burning.


Our top ten tips for the perfect BBQ

  • Light your coal just before guests arrive. The smell is amazing.
  • Whilst the coals are lighting, keep the lid off so the airflow doesn’t dampen the flames. The coals should be ready within 10 – 20 minutes. The coals should be glowing and smokeless.
  • When the grill is hot and previous food has burned away, scrunch up some aluminium foil into a ball, grip it between your cooking tongues, and clean away – do your best not to burn yourself, it can be quite painful.
  • Once done, add some Rapeseed oil to a piece of folded-up kitchen roll, gripped between your tongues, and quickly wipe over the grill bars lightly.
  • Make sure you have all your cooking tools to hand. Long-handled ones are better so that you can easily move food around the grill, without the risk of burning yourself. Have two sets - One for raw food & one for cooked.
  • Any meats or vegetables that you are going to grill need to be removed from the fridge about 20 minutes prior to cooking, aiming for room temperature.
  • If you are marinating your food, remember to do this the day before. The seasoning needs the chance to infuse through the food fibres and really bring the flavour out. Remember though, salt should never be used in an overnight marinade. Only use salt just before cooking, and don’t be shy with it, just don’t use it overnight.
  • BBQ Lid – Placing the lid over the BBQ when cooking allows for even temperature control. If your doo is over the indirect heat side, with the air vent open above, it will allow the heat over, giving that real BBQ smoky taste, without scorching it to a cinder. If you have a rack on your grill, this is another way to prevent food from burning during the cooking process.
  • Always use a food thermometer to check your food is cooked correctly .65°C for pork and beef and 70°C for chicken. Cooking food already at room temperature is so that the heat penetrates it easier and prevents cold spots in the middle.
  • Always allow meats to relax after cooking. Place on a heated plate, cover with aluminium foil and a clean tea towel. The larger the joint, the longer it should rest.


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