Top tips to start BBQing

Want to know what BBQ to get? Or how to use one? Look no further…

06 Jul 2020

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You know how it is. You’ve invited your mates around for a BBQ. Everyone gets there. And then you stand around scratching your heads on how to get started. Well no more!

With a few tips, tricks and steps, you’ll have a BBQ feast in no time. No head scratching necessary.

 

What kind of BBQ should I get?

There are two main types of BBQ: charcoal and gas.

Charcoal: A charcoal BBQ is probably the kind you’re most familiar with. And for good reason. The smoke from a charcoal BBQ is what delivers that, well, smoky flavour. It also gives you a bit more control over the taste too. That’s because the flavour will depend slightly on what kind of charcoal you’re using.

A briquette is usually a cheaper, reliable option. But hardwood charcoal is made from pieces of real wood. So that flavour (oak, applewood etc) will add an extra aromatic punch to your grilling. Something to keep in mind if you’re feeling fancy.

Charcoal BBQs are usually cheaper too. Plus, because they don’t need tanks or extra equipment, they’re much more portable.

Gas: The main selling point of gas BBQs? Control. You can set temperatures much more easily- so the risk of burnt outsides and raw insides is minimised. The heat’s also much more consistent, so you won’t get issues with uneven cooking.

And it’s perfect if you’re cooking for big groups. That’s because you can rely on it to keep going even when you’re doing multiple batches. Plus, they’re easier to get started than a charcoal BBQ- as you’ll see below.

 

What do I need before I start BBQing?

There are a few things that you’ll need to get or do whether you’re using a charcoal or gas BBQ.

The first is to decide where you’ll be setting up. Obviously, you’ll want to be outdoors. But try and pick an open space in your garden- away from any bushes or trees. Fire in your BBQ – good. Fire in your garden- bad.

Second, place a bucket of water next to where you’re setting up. It’s always good to be safe. And it’ll handle any stray embers.

Third, get some long-handled tongs. You want some distance between you and the BBQ, otherwise you’ll risk getting burned. And remember to have one pair for cooked meat and one for uncooked meat.

How do I start a charcoal BBQ?

  1. Remove the grill and pour an even layer of your chosen charcoal on the bottom of the drum.
  2. Scrunch up some newspaper into balls. Dot them around the pile of charcoal in the drum.
  3. Add a bit more charcoal on top.
  4. Pour lighting gel over the coals and use long matches or a BBQ lighter to light the newspaper.
  5. Leave until the coals turn a uniform white – about 20-30 minutes.
  6. Put the grill back on and get cooking!

 

How do I start a gas BBQ?

  1. Open the BBQ lid and the BBQ’s gas cylinder valve.
  2. Put the controller on high and give it a few seconds to make sure there’s gas in the ignition chamber.
  3. Press down the igniter button. The burner should light up.
  4. Wait a few minutes for the BBQ to heat up and you’re good to go!

 

And some BBQing tips…

Marinate: To stop your food from sticking to the grill, you need to spray or coat some oil on your meat/veg before sticking it on the BBQ. But if you want to add some serious flavour too, think about marinating. Stick some garlic, olive oil, soy sauce, salt and pepper in a bowl. Whisk it up, add your meat and let it sit for 30 mins–1 day in the fridge before grilling.

Don’t press down: It’s tempting to squish your meat into the grill when you’re BBQing. Mainly for something to do when you’re standing next to it. But don’t – all you’re doing is losing the juices that keep your meat tender.

Rest: You deserve a rest. But your meat does too. Once you’ve taken it off the grill, leave it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. This will help lock in those flavours.

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