I love barbecues and over the years through practice have worked out the best way to cook most things without burning or drying them out.
So here we go with my chef tips which should help you to have happy barbeque memories and not burnt ones!
1. Start your fire and wait until most of the charcoal is covered in grey ash before starting to cook.
2. Before placing the grill on the barbecue, brush the grill bars over with cooking oil to lubricate them.
3. Adjust the level of the grid so the food is about 3-4 inches above the fire bed. Cooking at this level for a minute or so will sear the surface of the meat locking in all the valuable juices and then higher the grid to cook the meat a through.
As a general rule a low heat will be ok to cook fish, vegetables and fruit and a medium heat to cook beef, pork, lamb and poultry.
Hints on Grilling
If you are using a thick sauce containing sugar, jam and honey etc. brush it on during the final few minutes of the cooking, if applied too early the surface of the meat will burn.
Marinade meat for a few hours or overnight in the fridge.
To cook Beef
1. Steaks 2.5/1 inch should be cooked over hot coals for about five minutes if you prefer it rare. Eight minutes for medium rare and five minutes for rare.
2. Burgers 2 cm /3/4 inch thick should be cooked over hot coals for 6-8 minutes.
To cook Lamb
1. Lamb steaks should be cooked over medium hot coals for 10-15 minutes. If they are thicker than 2cm/3/4 inch, increase the cooking time.
2. Chops 2.5cm/1 inch thick are best cooked over medium hot coals for 15 minutes.
Meat, poultry, fish, vegetables or fruit
1. Oil metal skewers prior to threading on chunks of meat and fish, soak bamboo skewers before using to reduce the chances of burning during cooking.
2. Trim excess fat from meat to help reduce potential flare-ups.
3. Try not to ‘log jam’ the skewer with food particularly meat, leave small gaps so that the heat can get through to all surfaces.
Vegetables in Foil
Use extra thick aluminium foil for wrapping the vegetables, two to three average portions can be wrapped in a piece of foil roughly 30cm (12 inches) square.