Top 10 tips for perfect barbecuing

By easyFood

11 May 2018

  1. Gas vs. charcoal?
    The old debate over which method is “better” involves multiple variables, from flavour to cost to convenience. From a taste perspective, many people prefer the smokier, richer taste of food cooked on a charcoal grill. Just make sure your barbecue has a lid — this helps trap in flavour, heat and smokiness.
  2. Hot, hot, hot!
    Preheat your barbecue for 15-25 minutes before you start cooking to make sure it reaches the right temperature (and to kill any lingering bacteria). Your grill should be 200-230°C for high, 180-200°C for medium-high, 150-180°C for medium and 120-150°C for low heat. A properly heated barbecue sears foods on contact, keeps their insides moist and helps prevent foods from sticking to the grates.

3. Brush it off
   It’s easier to remove debris when the grates are hot, so after preheating, use a long-         handled wire grill brush on the rack to clean off charred debris from prior meals. Scrape     again immediately after use.

4. Safety first
   Avoid cross-contamination by using separate cutting boards, utensils and platters for         raw and cooked foods; refrigerate foods while marinating; and never baste with the           marinating liquid.

5. Marinating is a must!
   Barbecuing food will lock in a rich, smokey flavour, but the first step is to give meats,         fish or vegetables a head start with a nice marinade. This will make sure the smokiness       from the barbecue isn’t the only flavour coming through. 

6. Find the hot spots
    Cooking over a direct flame on a barbecue is perfect for quick-cooking foods like                chicken fillets, fish and thin steaks. Just make sure, though, that the food doesn’t burn        before it has a chance to cook through. A good method is to start food off over a direct      heat to lock in flavour, then move it to a cooler part of the barbecue (over an indirect          heat, or an area where there are no flames) to finish cooking.

7. Check when its done
   The best way to know if protein is fully cooked is to check its internal temperature with       an instant-read thermometer.

8. The hand test
    To gauge the temperature of a grill without a thermometer, place your open palm about      12cm above the rack; the fire is high if you have to move your hand in two seconds,          medium if you have to move your hand in five seconds and low if you can keep in there      for 10 seconds.

9. Tame the flames
    Flare-ups happen when fat drips onto the heat source and catches fire. This causes            carcinogenic PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) to form and accumulate on your        food. To reduce flare-ups, make sure your barbecue is properly preheated to burn off          any residual debris. You can trim any excess fat from meats and make sure not to over-      oil your food. Always keep a squirt bottle of water near the grill to quickly douse any          unexpected flare-ups.

10. Give it a rest
     Let finished meats rest on a clean platter, tented with foil, for about 10 minutes before       carving so juices can redistribute evenly.