1. Time to Marinate
Aside from helping your food taste better, acidic marinades actually protect against heterocyclic amines (HCAs), carcinogens that are most often caused by cooking poultry, red meat or fish over an open flame. Using vinegar, citrus juice, or even beer as a base, let your meat soak for at least a few hours before throwing it on the grill.
2. Temperature wait
It’s pretty stunning, but some people toss cold meat on a cold grill and then fire it up, none the wiser. By letting your steak-maker heat up for about 20 minutes, you’re allowing both the grill and the surrounding metal to come up to an even temperature, which leads to more efficient, controlled and safe cooking.
3. Oil your grill
You cook with oil when you’re making something on your stove, so why would outside be any different? Often times, leaner cuts of protein, like fish, tend to stick to the grates of your grill. Defend against it by using a pair of tongs to rub a paper towel soaked in cooking oil over the grates. An alternative method is to brush your food with olive oil and season it with sea salt before it goes on the grill.
4. Breathing Room
While there are a multitude of effective ways to direct your heat for cooking, full blast isn’t one of them. Whether it’s leaving one gas burner off or simply positioning your coals to one side, always make sure there’s at least one small area that is not over direct heat and that’s not crammed with food. This allows you to move your food around accordingly to ensure nothing gets burned — and gives you a “safe zone” to move food for slower cooking or to rescue the perfect piece of meat from a nasty flare-up.
5. Hands Off
Once you put food on the grill, do your best not to touch it. If timed correctly, meats — especially burgers, steaks and chops — are meant to be flipped just once. After placing something on the grill, let it sit for a few minutes to get a good sear. Once it’s been cooking for a bit, use your tongs to test and see it if pulls away from the grates. Assuming you oiled it, the meat will either stick or “release” when it’s cooked long enough. If there’s any resistance, it needs to be left alone a few moments longer.
6. Just Add Water
Television commercials would have you believe that “flame-kissed” meat is a good thing. It’s not. Flare-ups caused by fat drippings create carcinogens called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) — they’re what create that charcoal taste when you eat something that’s been burnt on the grill. A spray bottle filled with water is the perfect weapon for extinguishing any fires too close to your food.
7. Vent, It’s Okay
Al fresco cooks often don’t realize the importance of their grill’s venting system. Vent openings both above and below the fire aid in controlling not only the temperature of your grill, but the way in which your food cooks. Fully open vents on both sides create more heat, and by rotating your lid to change the placement of your open top vent, you can control the speed of your cooking. Whichever side the top vent is opened above will cook faster than the unvented side. If you want to create a convection effect, like you would a turkey in an oven, place your top vent opening on the opposite side of your bottom vent opening.
A principal rule of cooking anything: it’s always better to be under than over. If you’re uncertain if that salmon has been on for 5 minutes or 15, go ahead and pull it off. You can always put undercooked food back on the grill to continue cooking.
9. Check Yourself
We get it. You’ve been doing this for years. But you’re still susceptible to poorly cooked meat. Every professional chef in every professional kitchen in the world uses a thermometer, and you should too. An excellent digital thermometer is the single most important piece of equipment you can have as a grill master other than a grill.
These ready to use barbecues in foil trays, you would think are simple to use but we do know how to get the best from these great little BBQ’s, just follow the instructions and these 5 simple techniques.
It sounds simple but this is where some can fail, just shake the bbq contents flat rather than leaving it all heaped to one end! plus it will light far better as well.
2. Flames out first…
You need to wait until the flames have stopped fully (this can take 10-15minutes), if you start to cook straight away your sausages will only have charcoal outers and raw uncooked inners, the charcoal gets hotter and changes colour to be grey ash covered coals, this is when its ready to use – our instant bbq’s can cook for well over an hour so there’s no need to rush.
3. Give a Shake
After 10 mins and if the flames have stopped flaming and the bbq is very smokey – just hook a metal fork under the grill and agitate the bbq side to side and relight it. Shaking can also relight or accidentally spread hot ashes out of the bbq so be careful!
4. Use Direct/Indirect heat area’s
Yes you can do this even on an instant BBQ, when the ash has formed and the flames stopped before you start to cook just lift the grill using a metal fork or similar to slide the hot coals over to one end of the grill, so you can slide your burgers away from the heat, so you don’t over cook them.
5. Ventilate it
Remember to place your grill with an air gap at the base, so before you light find 4 equally sized large rocks, bricks are ideal, to be placed under the grill to raise it up from the ground, remember don’t place directly onto the floor, grass, or even your patio flags as these can create over 400*C on the base of the grill. Many cracked patio floors or grass moor fires have been blamed on doing this so don’t become a statistic. If you use it on the beach the sand directly under the bbq will stay hot when its removed, so watch where you stand!!
Better still is click to buy our sturdy chrome re-usable folding wire stand, to turn our instants into an excellent refillable table top grill.