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BBQ 101

Published Oct 20, 2016

What a perfect season to have a day out under the sun with delicious barbecues freshly grilled in your own backyards! Hearing the meats and the sausages sizzles have always been the greatest pleasure. Don’t forget the joyful times you have with your kids while doing all these. It’s already sounds fun, hasn’t it?

However, before you start grilling your meat, Woolies has got some great tips and tricks on bringing your barbecue to a restaurant level – how to get your perfect meat. Buy simple ingredients, cook it in style and have your very own Michelin Star Restaurant’s taste! Excited? Let’s begin your BBQ101!

Temperature is a key element to nice flavour and perfect tenderness of your food.

There are 3 basic temperature levels to do BBQ: high, medium, and low.

  1. High temperature: you should be able to hold your hand 15cm away from the direct heat. This heat is suitable for thin pieces of food such as chicken, fish fillets, and sausages.
  2. Medium temperature: you should be able to hold your hand above the heat for 5 seconds approximately. This heat is suitable for most barbecue food
  3. Low temperature: you will be able to hold your hand above the heat for about 80 seconds. This heat is generally used for reheating or warming food such as fresh fruits.

Note that unlike your internal oven, the amount of heat produced by your barbecue is subject to wind, sun, and humidity. Therefore, don’t forget to take them into considerations when planning your barbecue.

Cooking Styles 

Grill / Flat Plate?

Grill cooking is perfect for steaks, marinated meats, chops, and whole fish, allowing the true barbecue flavour to be retained in the food. Oil the grill before heating, then add the food, searing quickly on each side to seal in flavour and juices. You can transfer it to a flat plat later on to finish off cooking – suit it to your own preference!

The flat plat on the other hand is ideal for cooking more fatty foods such as sausages and hamburgers. It’s also recommended for foods that are cooked in a pan on daily basis such as bacon rashers, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, thin steaks, smaller fish fillets, pancakes, and eggs. Cook on medium heat to retain juices.

Hood / Open?

This method is perfect to cook larger cuts of meat such as lamb legs, whole chickens, or racks of beef, veal, or lamb. Hood is most suitable for food that requires a longer time to cook. Meat can be seared on the plate then transferred to a baking dish or simply cooked on the plate with hood down. If you cook using a roasting pan, you can add vegetables too!

Gas / Charcoal?

Gas barbecues are usually connected to a main supply or run on a supply of gas from a refillable bottle. They are very convenient to use, requiring no preparation. Simply turn on and pre-heat, you’re ready to cook. However, it is important to check that you have sufficient gas before cooking – you surely don’t want it to interrupt you in the middle of your cooking. You can always install an extra gauge attachment on your barbecue to track the remaining quantity of the gas.

Charcoal barbecuing can give food a smoky taste, which you obviously can’t get from cooking using gas. More preparations are however required when you decide to cook with charcoal. For instance, you will need barbecue igniters such as cubes or sticks to assist with lighting, which are designed to prevent the production of fumes that can taint the food being cooked. You will also need to clean once you’re finished. But nowadays, you can buy many available products that can make this cooking style much easier and cleaner. Don’t worry!

Must have Equipments

  • Long-handled tongs and forks
  • Oven mitts
  • Long-handled silicone basting brush
  • Meat thermometer
  • Barbecue cover

12 Handy tips and tricks

  1. Always ensure that your barbecue is clean before lighting it.
  2. Make sure your barbecue is in a sheltered position and on a flat, sturdy surface.
  3. Position your barbecue away from things made of woods that’s flammable.
  4. Make sure that you will have enough gas or fuel before you start cooking.
  5. Allow the meat to be in the room temperature before cooking.
  6. Use metal skewers or soak wooden ones for at least an hour ahead before grilling to avoid burning.
  7. Have all equipment ready before you start cooking so food isn’t left unattended.
  8. Salt meat just before cooking as it can drain moisture from the meat if left too long.
  9. Brush or oil the barbecue before grilling to prevent sticking.
  10. If you wish to baste meat during cooking, pour the marinade into a small saucepan and bring to the boil on a stove top or the barbecue. Simmer for 5 minutes before basting to prevent bacteria from being transferred to meat.
  11. When using marinade with lots of sugar, only baste when cooking is almost complete, as the glaze may burn and blacken your meat.
  12. Invest in a small fire extinguisher in case of emergencies.

That’s the end of your BBQ101. Start planning your barbecue now and don’t forget to invite all your friends to join you!

Have fun!

Courtesy of Woolworths. Check out for more articles on their online magazine: