Tips for best results
Check out our general BBQ tips for best results.
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Be conscious of managing the heat in your BBQ when cooking foods with a high fat content like sausages or lamb on a spit. Fats dripping from such foods fall directly onto the briquettes and can cause excessive smoking, flair ups and can result in grease build-up inside your barbecue.
We received advice from some fine Greek chefs about how to manage heat to achieve the best flavours with Heat Beads® BBQ Briquettes. By spreading the hot ashed over Heat Beads® BBQ briquettes across a flat solid base tray of the BBQ (ie not on a grill, which would allow air up from below), the BBQ fuel will remain alight, provide plenty of heat for cooking, and importantly there will be less flare up when fat falls on them.
If using the direct cooking method in a kettle, flare up MAY be reduced by closing the bottom vents while cooking (but the lid must be removed).
Other BBQ Tips
- Always light your Heat Beads® BBQ Briquettes at least half an hour before you plan to start cooking.
- Many BBQs have a solid plate and an open rack. Foods that drip or are basted while cooking are usually best cooked on the rack.
- Make sure the BBQ flat plate is hot before you put the meat onto it. The meat should sizzle and seal as soon as it touches the flat plate.
- When cooking steak on a BBQ, seal it on both sides. Beads of juice on the uncooked side indicate that the meat is ready to turn. Do not turn the steak more than once; too frequent turnings result in dry, tough steak.
- Rare meat needs only to be well sealed. To avoid charring if cooking further, reduce heat after the meat is sealed.
- It is best not to cut into a steak to see if it is ready – it will lose its juice that way. Instead, press the surface of the steak with tongs. Rare steak is soft to the touch with the outside cooked and brown, and the inside red. Medium steak is firm to the touch, well browned on the outside and pink in the centre. Well-done steak is very firm to the touch, very well browned on the outside and evenly cooked through the centre, but not dry.
- When using wooden skewers for barbecuing, soaking them in water first can minimise burning. They are best soaked overnight.
- Meat skewers should be oiled to prevent food from sticking to them.
- Honey or sugar in marinades are likely to burn if cooked on a high heat. It may be necessary to cook the meat on a lower heat immediately after sealing.
- It is important to rest meat for a few minutes after cooking to allow the juices to settle – if you slice steak as soon as it’s cooked, the juices will run and the meat will quickly dry out.
- Use long handled utensils such as tongs, forks, and brushes for basting and butters in order to prevent splashes and burns. An apron and oven mitts are also essential BBQ attire.
- It is convenient to keep an old pan or two near the BBQ for last-minute basting, rather than rushing back into the kitchen.
- Place the BBQ away from the house, trees, dry grass or shrubs. Although you will need a draught for the fire, it is better not to be smoked out before you eat! Prepare sauces, marinades, relishes and salads well in advance.
- To give a pleasant aroma to barbecued food, burn a few sprigs of fresh herbs in the briquettes while the food is cooking. Rosemary, marjoram or thyme are very aromatic.
- Provide paper napkins and some finger bowls, as eating outside can be messy.
- French breads and vegetables to accompany meats can be wrapped in foil and heated on the side of the BBQ. Skewered vegetables are also easiest to eat outdoors. Also score the fat off chops and steaks to prevent curling and brush the grid with oil from time to time to prevent food from sticking.
Caring for your BBQ
Keep portable metal BBQs under cover when not in use or they will rust. Cover brick BBQs to keep out rainwater and remove metal parts. A dustbin lid will do, but make sure it is securely anchored or it may blow away and cause damage. Scrape down and clean the grid frequently for best results.