If you’re new to the world of BBQ, there are a few things that can help you on your way to cooking up a storm. Here are 10 pro tips every BBQ novice should keep in mind.
There’s nothing better than the perfect BBQ, with the perfect balance of juicy meat, smoky flavour, and just the right amount of char.
BBQ tips for beginners
Clean your grill
You can’t master the perfect flavours with a dirty grill, so make sure your grill is completely clean before you start cooking.
Your grill might come with a custom tool that fits the grates perfectly. If it does, great; removing grime, rust and dirt should be a breeze.
Try a bristled steel brush for iron or steel grates for those without a special tool to clean the grill. Use a nylon-bristled brush for non-stick cast iron grates so you don’t scratch the surface while cleaning.
Top tip: clean your grill after every use. This protects your grates from rust, and you’re ready to go when you next fire up the grill.
Season your grill
Once your cooking surface is clean, it’s time to season your barbecue to create a non-stick surface. Coat your grill with an even layer of cooking oil by using a brush or spray bottle. Then heat your grill for about 20 minutes or until the grill stops smoking or the oil burns off.
Now your grill is ready to cook delicious, flavourful food. You can skip this tip if your grill is already non-stick.
Never light your coals with lighter fluid, as this will add a chemical taste to your food.
When grilling with charcoal, there are a few charcoal BBQ tips to keep in mind. For burgers and sausages, you could use lump charcoal; this is fast lighting and burns for about an hour. For grilling joints of meat, briquettes might be better; they burn for up to three hours at a consistent temperature.
One of our top gas BBQ tips: take care lighting your grill! Use the knobs or dials to let the gas flow, then press the ignitor button to light the flame.
Bring meat to room temperature
Make sure to take the meat out of the fridge for at least 20 minutes before cooking so it loses its chill before going on the barbie. If the meat is too cold when it hits the flames, you’ll end up with a burnt exterior and undercooked interior – a recipe for falling ill.
Marinate the meat
Marinate your meat overnight to let those flavours sink in. This way, the smokiness of the barbecue won’t override the tempting marinated flavours. Make some extra marinade and coat your meat as it cooks to intensify the flavour.
Let the meat rest
An essential BBQ tip is to let the meat rest. Letting the meat rest after cooking reabsorbs all the juices, making it tender, juicy and tasty. Don’t skip this vital BBQ tip, no matter how delicious the meat looks or how hungry you are.
After cooking your burgers and sausages, let them rest for 5 minutes. Thicker cuts of meat, such as steaks and lamb shoulder, need to rest for around 10 minutes.
Don’t overcrowd the grill
Don’t crowd your grill with food; this will lower the temperature and cause your food to cook unevenly. Putting too much on the grill at once will make your food stew rather than sear, making it rubbery instead of juicy.
Get the right equipment
We’ve all watched as a sausage or burger falls through the grill or flips over the edge, so here’s the tip to help avoid this – invest in some decent utensils.
A sturdy pair of tongs is the essential barbecue utensil. They’ll give you better control of the grill and help to stop burgers and sausages from falling through the gaps. They’ll also come in handy for removing food from the grill when it’s time to eat.
Check how well-cooked your meat is with a temperature probe.
Let the BBQ do its work
No one likes getting poked and prodded constantly, and your BBQ meat is no different.
Let the barbie work its magic, and resist the urge to keep adjusting or opening the BBQ; this can lose precious heat and smokiness (not ideal if you want that smoky flavour). It can also affect your cooking timings and temperatures, so it’s best to leave it be.
Don’t forget the veggies
Veggies are just as delicious on the BBQ as meat options.
Low and slow grilling works great for meat, but it might not be the best approach for grilled veggies. If you want to impress friends and family with perfect grill lines on your veggies, go for a hot and fast cooking method, as this will help you get those beautiful char marks.
Wines to accompany your BBQ
Now that you have the BBQ tips for mastering the grill, it’s time to think about that ultimate barbie drink. Why not try some of our perfect-for-BBQs Australian wine? There’s a variety of delicious wines made right here in Barossa Valley you can choose from to perfectly accompany the perfect BBQ.
Our Harmonie Rox Chardonnay is the perfect white to complement grilled peri chicken and pork chops. It’s French oak-crafted with flavours of white peaches, nectarines, and a slight taste of mandarin zest, making it a great wine to pair with grilled fish.
If you’re grilling richer meats such as smoky sausages, decadent burgers or lamb shoulder, then The Red Sedan is the perfect pairing. The Red Sedan also pairs beautifully with grilled mushrooms smothered in garlic and butter if you’re into veggie dishes.
Coco Rôtie is another one of our great barbecue wines. Coco Rôtie pairs well with anything meaty – juicy burgers, thick-cut steak and lamb kebabs.
Before heading outside to get cooking, read our BBQ drinks guide to complete your BBQ experience.