You’ve Been BBQing All Wrong! Expert Shares Tips to Enhance Your Grilling Experience for Summer

With June here, there will likely be a few opportunities to light up the barbecue in the coming weeks!

When the sun comes out, it’s inevitable that Brits will seize any chance to grab their barbecue essentials and get their grill on in gardens and outdoor spaces all across the country, although BBQing in poor conditions isn’t all too unfamiliar in the UK either.

Stevie Cheape, head chef at Campbells Prime Meat, comments, “Food, friends, and sun are what barbecues are all about, and there’s just something so satisfying about that! What makes them truly special is that you don’t need to be an expert to master the art of the grill. While barbecuing may seem simple, avoiding a few mistakes can turn a good experience into an exceptional one.” 

Stevie and the team at Campbells have provided six of the biggest BBQ mistakes and how to avoid them:

1. Not cleaning and oiling the grates

We’ve all been there, opening up your grill to realise it’s not been cleaned since its last use.

To prevent food from sticking and to avoid any unpleasant flavours, it is essential to keep your grates clean. Prior to and after each use, make sure to thoroughly clean the grates. Additionally, lightly oiling the grates with a high-smoke-point oil such as rapeseed or vegetable oil will minimise the chances of food sticking to them. What’s worse is that using an unclean grill can transfer bacteria onto your food and make you sick.

2. Overcrowding the grill

More burgers on the grill doesn’t mean better burgers!

Resist the temptation of overcrowding the grill to save time. Overcrowding can lead to uneven cooking and steaming instead of grilling. Give your food enough space on the grill to allow for proper airflow and even heat distribution. Instead, consider grilling in batches if necessary.

3. Too much flipping and pressing

Let them cook; you don’t need to be flipping every few seconds. 

Many people have the habit of flipping and pressing the meat excessively while it cooks. Too much flipping hinders crust formation and even cooking, while pressing releases flavorful juices. Instead, allow the meat to cook undisturbed for a few minutes on each side and use a meat thermometer to ensure desired doneness.

4. Neglecting vegetables and fruits

Barbecuing isn’t just for meat!

Don’t forget to include vegetables and fruits in your grilling repertoire. Grilled vegetables like corn on the cob, peppers, courgettes, and artichokes can be incredibly flavourful. Similarly, fruits like pineapples, peaches, and watermelon can be grilled to enhance their natural sweetness and make a great dessert.

5. Forgetting to rest the meat

Do you want your meat to be less tender and flavourful? Well, refrain from jumping right in and allow your meat to rest.

Resting meat after grilling is an essential step that is often overlooked. Resting allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more flavorful and tender final product. Once your meat is cooked, remove it from the grill, cover it with foil, and let it rest for 4–5 minutes before slicing or serving. 

6. Ignoring the power of indirect heat

Become a master of more than one grilling technique!

While direct heat is for searing and achieving grill marks, relying solely on this method can limit your culinary possibilities. You can create a two-zone fire by placing coals on one side of the grill and the food on the other. Experiment with indirect grilling techniques, such as using a smoker box or placing a drip pan between the heat source and the food. Indirect grilling allows for slower and more controlled cooking, making it perfect for larger cuts of meat or foods that require more time to tenderise.