Ready for the summer at last? Here are my top tips for the perfect barbecue this summer
When the weather is sunny, I love to make the most of it and cook on my barbecue as much as possible. It tastes great, and I love not being stuck in the kitchen cooking dinner!
I’m quite a new convert to barbecue cooking, and have only really got into it in the last few years. But our BBQ has had plenty of use this summer, and here are my tips for getting the most out of your barbecue.
Top Tips for your BBQ
Choose the right meat
Choosing beef that has a good marbling of fat through it will mean that it’s basted from the inside as it cooks. This will help to keep the steak nice and juicy.
Chicken and pork work well on the BBQ, but it’s a good idea to marinade it first and make sure you baste the meat so it doesn’t dry out.
Of course, you don’t just have to stick to meat for a barbecue. Veggie kebabs work well, as does the classic corn on the cob. And you can even grill slices of juicy pineapple for pudding.
It’s important to pick the right charcoal for your grilling requirements. Lump charcoal lights quickly and burns for around an hour, while briquettes can keep a consistent temperature for up to three hours. This makes them good for grilling large joints of meat in a covered barbecue.
And the charcoal you choose can add extra flavour to your food, so give the quick light charcoal a miss if you don’t want your food to take on the flavour of lighter fuel. Look out for oak charcoal for sweet caramel tones.
And you can even get wood chips that you soak and add to the hot coals for extra flavour.
Light it early
If you want to avoid food that’s black on the outside and raw in the middle, it’s really vital to make sure that you light your coals well before the time you plan to cook.
The coals should be mainly ash-grey on the outside by the time you are ready to cook on them. I usually light my BBQ at least 30 minutes before I start cooking.
Arranging the coals
Once your coals have been burning for about 20 minutes, you can start to arrange them ready for cooking.
Generally you will spread the coals out evenly if you are planning to cook thin cuts like steaks, burgers and sausages. Cooking like this creates high temperatures and the right conditions for searing the meat.
You can also push all of the coals over to one side of your barbecue. This creates high temperatures on one side of the grill and cooler temperatures on the other side. It’s perfect for searing the meat on the outside but allowing a slower cook, which works well for thicker cuts.
The final method involves separating the coals into two piles at either end of the grill, with a drip tray under the grill and in between the two piles of coals. Obviously, you’re going to need specialist barbecue gloves and tools to do all of this. Then you put the meat on the grill in the space above the drip tray. This method is perfect for large joints of meat that need slower cooking over a low heat.
Take the meat out early
Make sure you take meat and fish out of the fridge at least 20 minutes before you plan to cook it. This give it time to get to room temperature, and reduces the risk of it being burnt on the outside and raw in the middle.
Obviously this is vital for chicken and pork produce to avoid food poisoning. But it’s also important for steaks as it gives you better control of how well done it is.
Oil your meat
If you’re not cooking meat that has fat marbled through it, then it’s important to lightly oil the meat before you cook it. Either brush the meat with oil or use an oil-spray to make sure you don’t add too much.
You could even use a bunch of woody herbs like rosemary or thyme to brush the oil on, to give added flavour.
Marinading the meat before you cook it will also help to keep it from drying out on the grill. But be sure to shake off most of the marinade before you put it on the barbecue.
If oil or marinade drips down to the coals, your food will end up with a bitter, acrid flavour.
Test the temperature
This one is pretty important, especially if you are cooking a lot of food at different times.
It’s hard to judge how well cooked the meat is just by looking at it. So be sure to either use a temperature probe to check the internal temperature or cut into the meat to check if it’s cooked through.
If the meat is cooked on the outside but needs a little longer to cook through, push it to the outside of the grill so that it’s away from direct heat.
Rest the meat
We’re all used to resting the Sunday roast nowadays, but it’s just as important to rest your BBQ food as well. Resting the meat allows it to reabsorb its juices, making it more tender and delicious.
Either rest the meat on the top rack of your BBQ if you have one, or pop it on a plate and cover with foil for a few minutes. Bigger cuts will need longer than burgers and steaks.
Have a back up plan
The only reliable thing about the UK weather is how unreliable it is. So make sure that you have a back up plan for cooking your food in the oven or on the hob just in case it starts to rain.
278 thoughts on “Top Tips for your BBQ this Summer”
I’m pretty boring! I like cheese, bacon and salad :)
LOADS of strong Cheddar, Gherkins, Onions, English Mustard and Mayo!
Caramelised bacon, red onion, lettuce, Jack cheese & a cheeky gherkin!
Cheese and fried onions x
I would like red onion, coriander, cheese, bacon and tomato
Cheese and burger relish on mine. Yum!
Halloumi cheese, jalapenos, dill pickles and some salad.
bacon and fried onion
cheese, tomato, bacon
l would love onion relish andsome swiss cheese
blue cheese & beef tomato & sweetcorn relish
Cheese, bacon, caramelized onions and plenty of mayo
Cheshire cheese, beef tomato, cucumber and a nice mayonnaise
Mushrooms sweet corn cheese and burger sauce
Fried red onions, cheese and ketchup!
Cheese, onions, mustard and tomato ketchup.
Cheese, onion and garlic mayonnaise
Bacon, cheese and BBQ sauce
caramelised onions and tomato relish
Cheese, bacon, lettuce and BBQ sauce.
Caramlised onions and relish x
I like bacon and cheese and lettuce and tomato
My dream burger is topped with lots of onions.
Cheese & jalapenos with some lettuce & onion and a bit of relish
onions and cheese
Bacon. Cheese. Crispy onions.
Mayo and ketchup.
blue cheese and avocado
A slice of halloumi
I love mustard, tomatoes, cheese and onions x
Goat’s cheese, onions and barbecue sauce
A little Mayonnaise and onion but with a decent burger nothing to detract from the meat flavour
Blue cheese, avocado and bacon
Cheese, bacon and tomato sauce yum
Bacon, Double Cheese, onions, mustard, ketchup and gherkins
red onion cheese and bacon
cheese and fried onions
Like my cheese and bacon on a burger. Nothing fancy
cheese, bacon, salad and gerkins x
bacon, lettuce and onion rings
Bacon and avacado!
onion, ketchup and gherkin – maybe a little lettuce as well just to keep it healthy
Basil, tomato and Stilton cheese
salad, onions and gherkins
I would look for a new chilli dressing to spice it up
Burger with crispy bacon and grilled tomatoes, and of course tomato ketchup
small amount of sweet chilli sauce on the bun, lettuce, tomato and blue cheese.
bacon, a good quality cheese, onions and coleslaw x
Cheese, gherkins, mustard and mayo!
Ketchup, cheese slice, bacon!
Cheese, bacon, ketchup and a dot of BBQ sauce!
cheese, red onion, tomato and jalapeno
Onion, bacon, cheese and tomato relish I love a classic bacon cheeseburger mmmmmm :)
Bacon, cheese, pineapple, peanut butter. yum yum!
Cheese, caramelised onion, chorizo sausage and sweet chilli relish/chutney/jam
Bacon, cheese, tomato, lettuce, pickle
Monterey Jack, Portobello mushrooms and jalapenos
Cheese bacon and BBQ sauce!
Cheese, bacon and red onion
Cheddar, feta, bacon, lettuce and spinach leaves!
we like thinly sliced gherkins and cheese
Smoked bacon, gherkins, onions, blue cheese, american mustard and jalapeno relish.
Cheese onion and barbecue sauce
Fried onion, mushrooms, cheese, crispy bacon and tomato sauce
Mature oak smoked chedder vine ripened tomato and romaine lettuce
Weather is great for a bbq and i’ve just moved house so need to do some house warming bbq’s this would be great!
And my toppings on that day would be …. a good relish, ready wrapped cheese and a slice of bacon…mmm
Hard cheddar, gherkins, burger sauce, and salad! yum!
Cheese, Tomatoes and Jalapenos!
Tomato ketchup, lettuce, mustard and onions
My son loves sriracha on his :)
For me it’s avocado, halloumi and mushrooms!
Cheese and onions
Cheese lettuce gerkins tomato and mayo
shredded rocket, mustard and cress, anchovies and natural greek yogurt sprinkled with parmesan cheese
I’m quite boring and just like cheese on my burger but hubby would love all the extras for his burger
I love onions, a good cheese, a fried tomato and tomato sauce
I think it would have to be cheese,tomato and lettuce
Just some fried onions
Bacon, raw onion and brown sauce.
Caramelised onion, cheddar, cucumber, lettuce.
Cheese, onions and mushrooms with mayo, yum!
Caramelised onions are my favourite
I love chilli cheese, bacon and salsa on a burger
I would love to put some blue cheese with mine -yum.
Cheese and bacon
I love avocado, bacon, cheese, onions, mayo and BBQ sauce
Stilton cheese, a flat mushroom and crispy bacon!
Goats cheese , onion rings and caramelized onions mmm
cheese and relish
Crumbles of stilton cheese!
Bacon, cheese and mushrooms
I would have… crispy onions, chilli jam, bacon, cheese and onion rings!
Nice slice of emmental, lettuce, tomato, and lashings of burger sauce
Cheese, fried onions and tomato ketchup x
I love pineapple and bacon on my burgers with a slice of cheese
Hallumi Cheese, pickles, jalapeno and taziki – its sooooo yummy
mayo mustard and ketchup and cheese
bacon cheese onions and mushrooms
Mushrooms & Stilton
Chlli cheese, gerkins, bacon, onions, salad
cheese, bacon, onions, lettuce, tomato.
Just like the classic cheese, tomato sauce and gherkin – my other half likes cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo – my mouth’s watering already x
I’d like lettuce, cheese, salsa and sour cream xx
cheese bacon gherkin and hot sauce mmm
Bacon, cheese, and sweet chilli sauce. :)
Burger sauce, jalapenos and onions and lettuce
Red onions, Grilled Halloumi and mayo x
melted chiili cheese, jalepenos and nachos :-D
Onions,gherkins,mustard and ketchup.
Cheese, bacon & ketchup! Yummy!
Gherkins. Gherkins and more Gherkins lol
Blue cheese, gherkins and crispy bacon!
bacon and cheese
ONLY FRIED ONIONS LOVE IT
little gem lettuce smoked cheese and sweet chilli sauce
bacon and egg
Halloumi, sweet chilli jam, gherkins and salad.
Blue cheese sauce, crispy onions, lettuce and cucumber mmm
Stilton, tomato, lettuce, gherkins and mayo
Jalapenos, cheese, lettuce, tomato and spicy mayo
Blue cheese, cucumber, lettuce and mayo
Mayo, gherkins and halloumi cheese! <3
chorizo and caramelised onions
Onions, pickles, ketchup and mustard would go on my burger.
bacon, onion, cheese
Cheese bacon tomato lettuce pickle ketchup
Cheese, onions, bacon
bacon manchego and pickle
I would have lettuce, tomato and ketchup on my dream burger.
Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms and Tomato Relish.
Maple-glazed bacon, cheese, red onion and BBQ sauce.
Bacon, cheese and mustard
applewood smoked cheese ,and tomato relish
cheese and gherkins.
Crispy bacon and blue cheese, the saltiness goes really well with a meaty burger.
Just cheese, onions and tomato sauce.. I’m boring!
Cottage cheese, crispy onions and mayo
Grilled Halloumi, Hot Jalapeno Sauce and fried onions
bacon, cheese, gherkins, burger relish, crispy onions!
Cheese, bacon, salad, ketchup, mayo
Fried onions, cheese salad and burger sauce
Cheese, pickle and fried onions
Cheddar cheese and loads of ketchup
My ideal topping would be a fruity mango salsa and smashed avocado with lots of black pepper!
Pulled pork, bacon and onions!! Yummmmm :)
Cheese, Lettuce, Cucumber and Peppers
Cheese, lettuce, tomato and burger relish
Lots of mustard mayonnaise – to add a zing
Onion rings, guacamole, chilli sauce, blue cheese
Caramelised onions, BBQ sauce, lettuce, cheese and pickles xx
cheese and caramelised onions
Cheese & battered Onion Rings
Blue cheese, bacon, gherkins, caramelised onions and some chunky relish, perfect
I like them simple :) onion, lettuce and possibly a splodge of tomato ketchup!
Lots and lots of cheese, onions, lettuce and tomatoes
cheese, onion, tomatoe yummy
Pineapple and mozzarella
Pepper jack cheese, bacon, onions and relish.
Cheese, gherkins and ketchup xx
Cheese, onion, and burger sauce.
Lettuce cheese mayonnaise gherkins – pretty boring but yummy
Cheese bacon and bbq sauce
Smokey Bacon, Monteray Jack cheese, Aioli, tomatoes, rocket!
Garlic mayo, gherkins, caramelised onions… to start off!
Gherkins, onions and tomatoes
Good quality cheese and maple cured bacon.
Mature cheddar and red onions!
Cheese, bacon, lettuce, pulled pork, gherkins and caramelised onions
A good cheddar cheese and barbecue sauce.
Bacon, cheese, gherkins, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, coleslaw, sweet chilli sauce and mayo! Its a big one mmmmmmmmm
Ooo i would put plenty of strong cheese and some thick smoked bacon yum :-)
Onions and mushrooms and tomato.
I would top my dream burger with gherkins, spicy chilli cheese, bacon and burger sauce.
Cheese, onions and burger relish!
caramelised onion chutney, beer battered onion rings and parmesan cheese crisp
Blue cheese, bacon, pineapple and a hash brown
Avocado and bacon
Cheese, BBQ sauce and an onion ring!
Cheese, onion rings and bacon!
Chees, bacon and no sauce. Maybe a little lettuce
I would definitely go big and have vintage cheddar, streaky bacon, caramelised onions, jalapenos and smoky chipotle mayo, yummy!
Blue cheese, caramelised onions and fresh crispy lettuce!!
Bacon, pineapple and blue cheese
Cheese, Bacon & mayo for me!
A cheese slice and garlic mayo
Blue cheese and mushrooms
cheese and jalapenos for me
onions cheese and ketchup
Cheddar and lettuce
Halloumi cheese, rocket and bbq sauce
Stilton on your burger Mmmmm
I love bbq sauce and bacon, with crunchy lettuce and tomato
blue cheese relish and sald
My own home-grown tomatoes.
blue cheese bacon, lettuce , saussage, gherkin, mayo, relish. tomato
Would have to be burger bacon tomatos and bbq sauce, nice and simple.
tomatoes cucumber lettuce mayo ketchup and gherkins
Mines simple. Mozerella, bacon and tomato ketchup.
Nothing but ketchup…yum!
I love goats cheese with onion rings, or even onion chutney with onion rings.
caramelised onions and red pepper
Beefburger, crispy bacon, cheese, pineapple ring, beetroot & BBQ sauce
Jalapeno jam, streaky bacon, onion rings, goats cheese *drools*
I like cheese,lettuce, tomato and burger sauce
Tomatoes, red onion and pickles
Bacon, Brie and onion rings
lots of cheese!
Avocado and bacon
Avocado, chipotle sauce, red onion, bacon and Monterey Jack Cheese
Onion marmalade underneath and tapenade on top
My dream burger would be covered in mature cheddar, raw red onions and sweet jalepeno relish.
Bacon, ketchup, a potato waffle, and a big dollop of chilli con carne.
I’m a bit boring so I like a quality beef bruger, bacon, fried onion and ketchup!
Cheese and gherkins
just fried onions on mine so nice and classic, pretty boring and run of the mill for most people but why over complicate something so tasty when simply does it often does the trick for my pallet anyway.
Jalapeno and cheese
bacon, cheese jalpeno
Onion rings and sweet chilli sauce on top.
Lettuce, tomato, cheese, gherkins
My other half does a fantastic home-made relish
Brie cheese onions mushrooms and burger sauce
fried onions and BBQ sauce for thta extra smokey flavour
Portabello mushroom, Egg and Mexican Cheese
So boring but I love cheese and gherkin!
On my dream burger I would put grilled eggplant and maple bacon.
Chilli Cheese, Bacon and Barbecue Sauce
Bacon Jam and some crispy fried onions (low fat ha)
Caramelized onion tomato ketchup
As long as there’s cheese I’m happy!
Cheese crispy bacon lettuce tomatoes mayo and maybe a pineapple ring – I love a well-filled burger.
Chilli sauce, cheese and a gherkin for me :)
Bacon and stilton
Cheese and garlic mayo
i would put mushrooms Swiss cheese plus some kind of soft cheese and crispy onions
Avocado,crispy bacon & stilton
Bacon, cheese, jalapenos and BBQ sauce for me!
Keep it simple usually – just fried onions
About five different types of cheese!
Cheese, Tomato, Burger Relish and Pineapple.
Gruyere, gherkins and sauerkraut with a splash of mustard… Grandad would be proud!
lettuce, bacon, honey caramelised onions, lots of cheese and a soft-yolked egg!
Mines boring but I love it burger sauce, onion reish is it (the onions like you get in a macdonalds?) and loads of cheese!
An egg and lots of mayo definitely for me!
Bacon, onion rings and burger sauce
Cheese, mustard & pickles!
Cheese, bacon, mustard, tomato and brown sauce.
Goats Cheese, Red Onion Marmalade
I love caramalised onions, strong cheddar and fresh tomatoes
extra cheese, bacon, onion rings, tomato, lettuce and lots of red onion
Peanut butter, bacon and banana – its amazing!!!
Smoked cheese, gherkin, onion rings and salad
For me it’s got to have avocado on or it’s not even really a burger.
cheese, caramelised onions, crispy bacon and tomatoes (and mayo!)
Cheese Mushrooms and mayo yummy
Unfortunatley I am a very plain Jane type of girl and for me it has to just be cheese and onion, no sauce and then I would take apart from the bread and just eat the meat – big meat lover here LOL. My fingers and toes are crossed
mushroom, crispy bacon, cheese, mayo and tom sauce
Love gerkhins so lots of slices of them with melted Brie and cranberry sauce
I like burgers relatively plain – so just cheese and bacon is my ideal topping.
Can’t beat fried onions, cheese and a yummy gherkin
Mayonnaise and fried onions
Pastrami, gherkins and mustard
fried onions, cucumber, sweetcorn relish, tomato ketchup and cheese!
cheese and ketchup
Bacon and cheese
Cheese , red onions chilli and garlic sauce and some lettuce
Sliced Beefsteak tomato, shallots and gruyere cheese
Blue cheese and caramelised onions
Feta cheese and bacon!
cheese and mango chutney :)
Chilli’s cheese and onion
Mustard, tomato, onion, gherkin and pepper.