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How to Cook the Perfect BBQ
How to Cook the Perfect BBQ

How to Cook the Perfect BBQ It’s outdoor dining month here at Window One BBQ Events. The sun is out, as are the terrible T-shirt suntans, and that means one thing: barbecue season.

Let’s face it – most of us are terrible barbecue’s. If we’re not cremating sausages, we’re probably poisoning our friends. It’s strange that we pick the method of cooking that needs possibly the most concentration on days when all we want to do is kick back and have a beer.

Cooking well over fire takes some skill, but mastering those techniques will give you a special seat of honour among your friends. Here are our top ten tips, equipment and techniques. Armed with these you will be Lord of the Tong, Master of the Flame, the guy stood next to a screaming heat source on an already-hot day. Get fired up, it’s grilling time. How to Cook the Perfect BBQ

Butcher Meats – N&C Produce (

What is best way to cook on a BBQ

If the barbecue has a hood, move food to the edges of the grill and put the hood on. This traps heat inside and helps cook food all the way through. It will also help food cook more quickly. Exact cooking times will vary depending on the food you’re cooking and how much heat your barbecue generates.

What should the temp of BBQ be before cooking

The temperature needs to reach 200-250°C before you start cooking. Depending on how powerful the barbecue is and whether or not it has a hood, it will take around 5-10 minutes to heat up. Turn the heat down a little and place food at the centre of the grill. How to Cook the Perfect BBQ

When do you put Meat on a BBQ

Light it early, start cooking whenever the coals are ready and keep the barbecued food warm in a low oven, covered loosely with foil, if necessary. 2. You put the food on when you’ve lit the barbecue Putting on meat when you’ve first lit the barbecue will lead to scorched outsides and raw insides.

Get the best tools

We’ve all accidently lost a sausage down a grill or flipped a burger over the edge. Well, get yourself a decent fish slice, a heavy-duty oven glove and maybe even a fish grill (clamp/clip/basket thing – we’ve no idea what they are called). The one bit of kit you simply must have is a decent pair of tongs – they give you the most control, and reduce the chances of dropping anything between the grills.

Tempering and seasoning

Take your meat out of the fridge to bring it up to room temperature – in chef-speak, this is called tempering. Ideally, your meat should be at least 4cm thick, because the aim is to get a good char on the outside while keeping the inside juicy and tender, which is impossible with a thin piece. Dry it before seasoning (just pat it all over with kitchen towel), because wet meat struggles to form a decent crust and can pick up unpleasant, boiled-meat. How to Cook the Perfect BBQflavours.

When seasoning meat, I like Maldon sea salt; I never use table salt, which is way too salty and contains anti-caking agents. Season aggressively, throwing handfuls of salt at the meat: the theory goes that much of the salt will fall off at this stage and during cooking; what is left is the correct amount of seasoning. How to Cook the Perfect BBQ

Some people claim you shouldn’t season meat until after it is cooked. I disagree. But, as with any type of cooking, there are variables to watch out for: thicker pieces, such as bone-in ribs, need more seasoning than thinner cuts, due to their lower surface-area-to-meat ratio.

The meat of the matter

Understanding the role of collagen in your meat is crucial to understanding barbecue. Muscles that generally do very little work have less connective tissue and collagen, and are therefore more tender: these are the prime cuts. Cheaper cuts usually have more connective tissue and collagen, so tend to be tougher. How to Cook the Perfect BBQ

To turn a tough, collagen-rich cut into something juicy and tender, you need to cook the muscle at an even, low heat. This gives it a chance to break down and dissolve into soft gelatine, which bastes and moistens the meat from the inside. As a result, cheap cuts are best suited to slow, indirect cooking or smoking, while prime cuts benefit from faster, more direct cooking. How to Cook the Perfect BBQ

Make your own burgers

Homemade burgers are better. Even if you make them from nothing but salt and pepper and good-quality meat, they will beat anything in the shops. Buy mince with plenty of fat, or get your butcher to give you some minced flank or chuck– you’ll get juicy, flavourful burgers whether you like them pink in the middle or cooked right through. Recipe by Chris Otim Chef to the Stars is Simply Amazing

Tomato ketchup (for beef)

1kg fresh, ripe tomatoes, chopped (you could, at a pinch, use passata instead)
250g apple
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 small chilli, split
200g sugar
50g Maldon sea salt
200ml malt vinegar, 2 whole black peppercorns, 1 whole allspice, 1 clove, 1 star anise, all tied in a muslin bag – How to Cook the Perfect BBQ

Follow the method for apple ketchup, only this time simmer the mix for two hours. Discard the spices, pass through a mouli, then blend smooth. Decant into a sterilised bottle or jar, seal and refrigerate.


One of the most important stages in any barbecue. Take the meat off before you think it is ready and let it rest: it will continue cooking in the residual heat and the tissues will relax, meaning what you serve will be juicier and more tender. Our taste buds work better at more moderate temperatures, too. A 20-minute rest at 60C will improve your grilling no end – provided you can resist that long.

Fish is great on barbecues

Why do people forget fish? Fish and smoke are such great friends (think smoked salmon!). So get a whole trout or side of salmon, throw some oak chips in and cook like the caveman you always knew you were. If you’re feeling fancy, slice a whole fish open and stuff with lemon, dill and pepper.

Shrimp butter (for firm white fish such as turbot, halibut, brill and cod – or even salmon)

This will probably provide more than you need to serve six, but it keeps well for a few days.

250g salted butter, at room temperature – How to Cook the Perfect BBQ
1 large pinch ground mace
1 large pinch ground white pepper
1 large pinch sea salt
Zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
125g peeled brown shrimp
25g chopped curly parsley

Blend the butter with the spices and lemon juice, then fold in the remaining ingredients. Lay a sheet of clingfilm on a work surface and use this to roll the butter mix into a sausage shape. Put in the fridge to set, then cut into roughly 50g discs. Lay a disc on top of freshly grilled fish and leave to melt.

Marinade, marinade, oh my Marinade

We all know the phrase “leave for a few hours, ideally over night”. Well that applies doubly to barbecues, to make sure the flavours aren’t overridden by the addition of the smoke. In fact, it’s best to save some marinade when you make, and brush your meat or fish with the marinade every 10 minutes as it cooks. That way it will add moisture, trap the smoke flavour and caramelise gently as it goes. How to Cook the Perfect BBQ

Don’t ruin the vegetables

I know barbecues are an excuse for us all to turn into carnivores, but fire does wondrous things to vegetables too, if you get the technique right. What you want is that lovely charring along the bars – it looks amazing, and tastes even better. So slice thin, then grill straight away – no oil, no seasoning. Once cooked you can add the flavour in some quality olive oil and a bit of vinegar, like in these Griddled Veggies. How to Cook the Perfect BBQ

How to Cook the Perfect BBQ

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