Summer BBQ Tips

Hi everyone, to all those that tuned in to East Coast FM on Friday would have heard me talk about all things for a great BBQ this summer. That is when we start getting that lovely sunshine of course, I promised on air that I would post some tips on my blog about the best idea’s and tips for a fantastic BBQ. So here we go and I hope you enjoy…I also left a lovely recipe for some homemade marinade’s that are delicious with all BBQ fare ………..In the coming months we are also promoting our BBQ classes here at Ballyknocken Cookery School and would love you all to sign up for some fun tuition


BBQ for Family & Friends

The beauty of the BBQ is the fun, family friendly environment that it creates.

There is always some form of help needed in the kitchen – the older ones can lend a hand at getting the equipment out and perhaps the BBQ heated, if it is safe enough for them to do so.

Think the most important aspect about having a BBQ is to be organised.Make sure that you have all the ingredients for the salads as well as for the dressings. Keep it simple – serve 2 or 3 well presented salads rather than 7 or 8 rushed dishes together.

Prepare your own dry rubs (spice mixes) for the meat in advance and store in jars ready for the BBQ season.

When I have a large gathering, I ask my butcher to prepare a special sausage for the occasion and then we give it a funny name – we did one called the Fulvio Frankfurter – it adds to the fun on the day! And of course, do make sure that all the equipment is well cleaned the day before and that you have sufficient charcoal and the correct firelighters for your BBQ, so there are no last minute hiccups.

Here is my “hot” list of utensils for BBQing …….

  • Long handled tongs
  • Zip loc bags for marinating the vegetables and meat
  • Trays or plates for the raw meat on one side of the BBQ and for cooked meat on the other side.  I usually work from left to right (ie.  raw food on the left)
  • A chimney  starter (Weber have a very good one).  Just use the firelighters under the chimney starter and fill with charcoals and in 20 minutes your coals will be ready to cook on.  It couldn’t be easier.
  • Long gloves are always useful or wear a sweater / shirt with long sleeves.
  • A meat thermometer is a good piece of equipment to invest in.  When the core temperature of the meat reaches 72C, then it’s done.
  • A water spray gun to douse the odd flames is also helpful



Suggestions and Tips

Ask your butcher to butterfly the meat and spatchcock the birds.

Buy a few disposable BBQ’s so that vegetarian food can be cooked safely.

Marinade meat overnight for the best flavour. – remember to take it out the ½ hours before you cook.

Glazes with a high sugar content burn really easily so wait until nearly cooked before basting to avoid much charring.

Soak wooden skewers in cold water for a least 1 hour before cooking.

Give you BBQ time to heat up properly.  It will take up to 20 on a gas one and 30 minutes for the charcoal one.

Serve dips, flatbreads, olives and nuts to keep people going until the BBQ is hot – it always takes longer than you think.

Use separate utensils and plates for raw and cooked meat.

Add aromatics like bay leaves, rosemary to the coals to give you more flavour or use woody herbs like thyme and a little oil to brush the meat.

Use long handled tongs to turn food rather than a meat fork as this just pierce the meat and let the juices escapes.

Sausages and chicken cook better over a less fierce heat – turn down the temp by moving the coals to one side and cooking the meat on the other.

Marinade suggestions

image 6


A small piece of grated ginger, 6 tbsp soy sauce, 3 tbsp mirin, 3 tbsp sake and 1 tbsp caster sugar.  Great for salmon, chicken and steak.


Mix 4 tbsp harissa, juice of 2 lemons and 3 tbsp olive oil.

Good for lamb.

Citrus and Herb

Roughly chop bunch of parsley and basil.  Mix with the juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon and 3 tbsp olive oil.

Great with fish and chicken


Mix 300ml  natural yoghurt, 2 tbsp garam masala, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp chilli powder, 1 finely chopped onion and 1 clove garlic – crushed.

Good for fish,chicken and lamb

Hot, sweet and smoked

Mix 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp chilli powder, 1 finely chopped red onion, 4 tbsp olive oil,, 1tbsp honey and the juice of 1 lemon.

Good for lamb.


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