Top Five Tips for Cooking on a Barbeque

Oct 10, 2018


Thanks to Ali Reynolds food historian

1. For meat use prime cuts - cooks quicker and will be tender to eat Make sure the meat is at room temperature (take out of the fridge at least 15 – 20 minutes before cooking).

2. Protect, flavour and retain moisture of food by using a marinade or oil and only apply to the food not the BBQ – prevents flaring.

3. Pre-heat BBQ before cooking food - food should sizzle when placed on the BBQ.

4. Do not Poke, Press or Prick food! Leave alone for a few minutes (then the food won’t stick). Turn only once. Timing depending on size / thickness of food.

5. Let meat rest- for as long as it takes to cook it! This will relax everything and give the juices time to distribute throughout.

Marinades and Rubs:

Most marinades are acid based and are used to tenderise tough cuts (by weakening the muscle tissue), marinades keep food moist and give a juicer mouth taste. Herbs and spices add an extra flavour.

Yogurt is also excellent for keeping meat (especially chicken and lamb) moist and tender. Add salt and garlic and a good handful of herbs (parsley / mint / coriander. Optional – spring onions and green chilli. Mix all together and coat the meat in a large freezer bag. Refrigerate for ay least 3 hours or overnight. Bring up to room temperature before cooking.

T-Bone Steak with a ground coffee rub:

Mix 1 tablespoon vegetable oil with 1 tablespoon coffee grounds (can be used or unused) add salt and ground black pepper and half a teaspoon of sugar (helps caramelisation). Use steak that is at room temp, dry the surface and rub the mixture both sides of the steak around 350gm. Leave for about 10-15 minutes before cooking.


Soak wooden skewers for ten minutes before using and keep the ingredients close together to keep moist. Keep to two or three ingredients only. Fruit is a good for adding moisture, pineapple, plum and under-ripe mango (too ripe and it will fall off the skewer) - all work well with meats.

Pork Fillet and Mango Kebabs:

Trim the sinew/fine skin from the edge of the pork fillet (around 200gm) and cut into even size cubes (3cm). Mix in a mustard - based dressing: 1 tablespoon vegetable oil with 2 tablespoons grain mustard, black pepper and salt, thoroughly coat each cube of meat.

Cut under-ripe mango in to cubes the same size as the meat. Thread meat and mango onto the skewer pushing pieces close together.

Apply a light brushing of oil over the kebabs before placing on the BBQ (turn heat down to medium). After around 2/3 minutes When kebabs are colouring nicely turn over and cook the other side. 5/6 minutes in total. Pork these days does not need to be overcooked but check the meat is cooked before serving. If you want to add sweetness glaze the kebab with a little lime marmalade!

Vegetables on the BBQ

Pumpkins BBQ well - especially in a foil parcel. Peel the pumpkin and then slice evenly, not too thick, season with salt and black pepper, brush over with vegetable oil, add a sage leaf or two and a knob of butter and place in an oiled foil parcel. It can be cooked ahead on the BBQ and pull aside to keep warm till ready to serve.

Cauliflower: Trim into florets wash, drain, dry and then toss in veg oil and add salt and pepper. Cauliflower has a delicious flavour and texture when cooked on the BBQ. These only take a few minutes.

Asparagus: Break of the bottom bit of the stem (around an inch from the root end), peel the stem, roll asparagus stem in salt and black pepper and oil and cook on the BBQ plate. However, if your asparagus stems are thick - try cooking them over the bars to get the BBQ strips – looks good and gives you a smokier flavour.