Posted in: Guides
Published: 19 Feb 2018
Clockwise from top left: Burgers are great on the grill or hotplate - add your cheese in situ for the perfect melt; flare-ups are expected but not encouraged, flame-grilled is more a marketing term than a cooking method; BBQs in the park, a kiwi tradition; safety first, enough said; resting your meat before slicing it means juices are reabsorbed rather than dripping all over the plate.
• 6 seconds = low heat
• 4 seconds = medium heat
• 2 seconds = good and hot
Seafood is great to barbecue! Above, from left: Prawns are so quick to cook, they are perfect on kebabs; fish fillets laid on a base of fresh herbs will protect the fish from breaking easily and taste out of this world!; Pipis on the BBQ, a kiwi rite of passage.
Preheat first, then scrub with a stiff wire brush or a piece of crumpled-up foil. To remove all of the grit, place a half cut onion on the end of a fork and rub onto the hot grill. When it’s time for cooking, dip a folded paper towel in oil and apply to the bars of the grate. This helps to ensure your meat won’t stick to the grill AND you’ll get awesome-looking grill marks.
According to Jamie Oliver, if there’s one tool you need at the barbecue it’s a decent pair of tongs; the classic meat & veg made so simple
Burgers and Steak Sandwiches - cook your meat and your bread on the barbecue
Fish - leave skin on to prevent falling apart, cook while wrapped in foil or layer on top of herbs as in our picture
Kebabs - prawn, chicken, teriyaki beef, fajitas (chicken tossed in taco seasoning, capsicum & onion),
Any pork and chicken items are the highest risk food generally cooked on the BBQ and you need to check that they are thoroughly cooked. Also make sure they are consumed immediately. If you leave them outside on a nice day for more than 30 minutes you are running a risk of giving someone food poisoning!
Marinate overnight whenever possible for maximum flavour (unless stated otherwise in the recipe).
Extra virgin olive oil is great, but you should never use it in marinades. It burns and smokes on contact with the barbecue. Use light olive oil, or vegetable oil instead and save the extra virgin bottles for your salads and sauces.
When marinating, always cover food tightly and use non-reactive containers such as glass, or stainless steel.
Before placing on the barbecue grill, rub or shake off any excess marinade, particularly if there is any oil in it, to prevent burning or flaring and the consequent smoky bitter flavour.
Never put cooked meat back onto the same dish you used for marinating. Always use a clean serving dish or plate.
For great smoky flavour, soak some wood chips (food-grade wood chips only) in water for a while, then throw them onto your charcoal. Keep the chips and coals over to one side and cook your food on the other side so that you’re cooking with indirect heat - and keep the lid closed. This will increase cooking times quite a bit, but it will be worth it.
If you’re using gas, wrap your chips in foil and perforate the foil with a fork. Turn one side of your grill to high and leave the other off. Place the wood chips on the hot side. When they begin to smoke, turn the burners down to low. Then place the meat on the unlit side of the grill.
If using a smoker, minimise the amount of times you open it, so as not to lose precious heat. As the old adage says, “if you’re looking, it ain’t cooking”.