BBQ’s are one of my favourite parts of Summer. The chance to tuck into some smokey, tender meat surrounded by friends and family- what’s not to love?
But the problem is, so many people are unable to cook a BBQ properly- I have never understood why people adopt the ‘full on burn’ when it comes to cooking on an open flame.
I for one am so excited that its finally BBQ season, I have been obsessed with watching BBQ shows on Netflix and now it’s my turn to get stuck in- so when I was invited to the Thermapen BBQ event a few weeks back I couldn’t wait to go- unfortunately I had to turn down the event in the end due to work commitments which made me ridiculously sad. Luckily they offered me an interview with the BBQ specialist and expert Richard Holden who was hosting the event to grill him about his top tips and tricks on how to create the ultimate BBQ, and its actually a lot easier than you think.
Richard is the king of BBQ- he’s passionate about getting the nation experiencing the every day healthy ways of cooking on a BBQ and says all you need is a little bit of a know-how in order to be confident in cooking, and that the Thermapen is one of his ‘must-have’ tools whenever he BBQ’s for friends or family- and I 100% agree. A thermometer was one of my key equipment pieces when working in kitchens. None of that second guessing, is it cooked, is it not m’larky. It is so important that meat is cooked thoroughly and BBQ’s are prime time to get food poisoning from undercooking. Now that is definitely not on my Summer bucket list.
So in order to experience the best of the British BBQ make sure to follow Holden’s top tips:
Put that lid down.
In order to achieve that wonderful authentic BBQ flavour, make sure to cook with the lid down. This smokey flavour happens when the fat from the meat starts to drip onto the hot coals underneath to create an aromatic smoke. Lid on cooking also helps to reduce any fire flares and will help to cook your food faster, which means less time from BBQ to mouth.
Grill at 250.
Make sure to keep control of the temperature of your BBQ. Cooking at 250 will give you the time and control you need to cook the foods thoroughly without burning.
Use Rapeseed Oil
In order to cook your meat to the perfect degree while locking in the flavour, use a rapeseed oil, it has a much higher burning point than olive oil which means you can cook for longer and get that charred colour on the outside without having to worry about it burning as quickly.
Have a ‘cool’ section.
Leave a small section of you BBQ without any fuel- this is called using indirect heat. When cooking with the lid down this creates a safety zone in your grill where meat can be put to cook through without it burning due to not being above any flames.
Cook meat from room temperature:
Make sure to bring all meat up to room temperature by leaving them out for 30-40 minutes before putting them on the BBQ. The high heat will penetrate the meat easier, cooking it faster than if it was chilled.
Preheat that BBQ.
Just like you do with your normal oven, make sure to preheat your BBQ for at least 10 minutes before cooking. This not only helps the BBQ to keep control on its temperature but it also allows time for anything to burn off from your last BBQ and sterilse the grate.
Wire Brush that Grate.
Before you put your food on the grill make sure to clean the cooking grates with a wire brush after it has done preheating. This will ensure they are clean and smooth and stop the meat from burning or sticking.
Double tool it.
Use two sets of tools- one for raw, uncooked meat and one for cooked meat. This will help ensure that there is less chance of cross-contamination.
Not you- although a beer in hand is recommended once finished! But make sure that you are resting the meat for at least 10/15 minutes depending on the thickness for tender, mouth-watering results. Rest on a warm serving plate, under tin foil- trust me. You will really notice the difference.
Probe that meat:
Temperature is key when it comes to BBQ. A digital thermometer, such as the Thermapen is your best friend in ensuring everything is cooked thoroughly and safely. 75, stay alive- is how I encourage people to remember the target temperature for anything meat wise.
*Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Thermapen. But all thoughts and opinions are my own unless stated otherwise.
Richard Holden is a trained chef and BBQ expert- he graduated from Tante Marie Culinary School where he then worked with Weber the UK’s no 1 BBQ business were he continued to develop his passion. Since then he has been inspiring the UK with masterclasses and demonstrations up and down the country. He can definitely stand the heat in the kitchen- but can you?
With the use of Thermapen you can too. The unit includes a patented 360 self-rotating display that can be used in any position, in either hand with ease. It also has an intelligent backlit display sensing light levels, automatically turning the backlight on/off to match light conditions and is waterproof and covered in a biomaster additive that reduces bacterial growth. Perfect for chefs of any level for tempered chocolate, to jam to the Sunday roast, barbecued meats to sugar craft. The Termapen is competitively priced from £51.60 each.