1. Clean your barbecue!
Make sure your barbecue is cleaned thoroughly before use. This is not just for hygiene purposes but it is important that no fat residue is left in or around the cooking area / fire bowl. Fat is flammable and if not removed will ignite and can cause a fat fire resulting in burnt food and in extreme cases destroy your barbecue!
2. Decide on the fuel
The most popular barbecues are gas barbecues. The reason for this is due to how easy they are to start and control. We recommend you use a gas bottle / cylinder with that is compatible for use with a clip-on propane regulator as these are the safest type of gas bottles for domestic use.
If you are using charcoal then there are two main types of charcoal fuel:
Lumpwood – this is the most commonly used charcoal and burns at high temperatures for around 30 – 40 minutes. This is suitable for all types of direct cooking like sausages, burgers, kebabs etc
Briquettes – this is often used by more experienced barbecue users. These are made from compressed charcoal and should burn above 200 degrees Celsius for a minimum of 3 – 4 hours (depending on the quality). This is suitable for all types of ‘in-direct’ cooking such as roast chicken, joints of beef / pork and smoked food.
3. Prepare your food
It is important that when preparing any meats for a barbecue that the meat does not have a large amount of fat as this will cause flare ups. Ideally the excess fat should be drained first and the meat marinated overnight. For example, sausages cook better if the skin is pierced with a few small holes to ensure that the fat can drain away during cooking.
4. Take your time!
The barbecues with the best results are those who take their time to cook the food rather than cook meat quickly over an intense heat. Ideally for best results, you should use a barbecue with a lid and cook with the lid down. This way, you retain the heat within the barbecue and the burning fat smoke (which gives the meat the barbecue flavour) has more time to be absorbed into the meat.
5. Be adventurous!
Don’t be afraid to experiment with barbecuing. Most people who use a barbecue do so typically cooking bangers and burgers. However, barbecues can produce so much more if you are willing to try out different ways of cooking. A great source of ideas and advice is You Tube. Why not try cooking a ‘Beer Can Chicken’ which will certainly impress your friends and family and the food tastes fantastic! Equally, try using some smoking wood chips as these add a unique flavour to the meat and are really easy to use.