Tips & Advice!

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To help make your Barbi the Best-ever, here are some BBQ tips & Better For You advice from The GrillMaster!


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Barbi Tips From The GrillMaster

Better For You Advice

Legends Of The Grill

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  • BBQ Tip 1  Hot Tip

    A good guide to grill temperatures is the hand test. Hold your hand around 6” from the grill; if you can only keep it there for around 30 seconds, the temperature is too hot, 1-2 minutes is high and an ideal searing heat. 2-3 minutes means a medium temperature, ideal for normal grilling. 3-5 minutes is fairly warm and good for keeping food warm. Any longer and the grill is not ready.

  • BBQ Tip 2  A Long Soak

    Marinated food tastes great and grills better, as apart from enhanced flavour, it also helps protect food against high grill temperatures. Normally the longer the better, but a simple tip to cut marinating time is to place food in a sealed plastic bag, massage in marinade and place in fridge. This cuts marinating time by half.

  • BBQ Tip 3  Low & Slow

    BBQ is not a race against time, so don’t grill too quickly or on too high a heat as this causes food to burn on the outside whilst being under cooked in the middle. The trick is to ‘sear on high’ and then take it ‘low and slow’. It helps if the grill-bars are well oiled, but don’t turn food to often as this reduces heat.

  • BBQ Tip 4  Gas or Charcoal?

    Most first time BBQ’ers buy a simple charcoal grill, but gas grills can now cost under £50. So just what’s the best? Well; gas is simpler to use and more easily controllable. Whilst charcoal is more traditional and adds that essential BBQ taste. A simple guide is ‘gas for ease’ and ‘charcoal for taste’.

  • BBQ Tip 5  Barbi Parties

    Choose a theme, the US, South Africa, Australia and South America, especially in this Brazilian Olympics year are all good. It also helps that they have great wine and beer too! The Caribbean & Mexico are also cool. Remember great Barbi parties are based on the three ‘B’s’ – Blues (or any music you fancy), Booze & BBQ’s.

  • BBQ Tip 6  Follow Smoky Joe

    Enhancing that true smoky BBQ taste is best done on charcoal by throwing wet wood chips, herb branches on the coals. Try different types of wood, apple is good or vine clippings. A similar, although not quite as good, a similar effect can be achieved on a gas grill with a lava rock bed.

  • BBQ Tip 7  Become a real Grill Star

    Create some Barbi-theatre, by ‘fanning-the-flames’. Quickly press down on meats or poultry with a long-handled spatula; this releases natural fats, causing a brief ‘flare-up’. Please take great care when attempting and keep any clothing well clear. Do NOT attempt to enhance effect by adding extra oil.

  • BBQ Tip 8  Over the Rainbow

    Introduce some colour to your Barbi food, red, green or yellow bell peppers are great flame-roasted to enhance flavours. Once skin has blackened, place in a plastic bag to cool. The skin will then easily peel-off. Green and yellow courgettes, also grill well as do chillies, asparagus and aubergine.

  • BBQ Tip 9  Get Criss-Crossed

    To achieve professional, cross-hatch grill-lines, sear meat, fish, poultry or fruit/vegetables on a hi-heat, lengthwise to the grill-bars. Remove and quickly wipe grill bars with oil and repeat at right-angles. Once both sides are seared return to normal cooking, turning infrequently.

  • BBQ Tip 10 Don’t forget Safety First

    Position BBQ’s on level ground, well away from hedges, fences, or overhanging shrubbery. When lighting charcoal, only use proper BBQ lighter fuel, never, ever use petrol or other flammable liquids. If using gas ensure grill lights immediately, if it fails, turn off gas, leave for a few minutes and try again.

  • Better for you advice 1

    Burnt is Bad!

    Thankfully long gone are the days of a burnt banger in a bap, usually served with the cry, ‘if it ain’t - it ain’t BBQ!’ Burnt food is actually bad for you, it doesn’t look or taste good and it certainly doesn’t do you any good either! Happily the majority of today’s Barbi’s are the antithesis of the bad old burnt BBQ days.

  • Better for you advice 2

    Pick n’Choose

    Dining alfresco or having a Barbi is a more relaxed and informal occasion then a normal meal and indeed the choice of food much more varied. In fact you’ll probably get a wider choice of healthier food then you would indoors, with fish, lean meat, poultry, vegetable and even fruit all being high on the grill stakes!

  • Better for you advice 3

    Sausage to Swordfish

    There has been a major evolution in the type of food now cooked at the average family BBQ, with a swordfish steak as likely to be served as a sausage or a brochette as a burger. In fact we’ve become a nation of foodies and nowhere has this been more apparent than on the Barbi, where gastro-grilling now rules.

  • Better for you advice 4

    Peer Pressure

    The ever growing sophistication of BBQ is to a great extent the result of pressure from foodie friends and family to continually be able to offer an ever wider choice tantalising and healthy food. Another factor being most food looks great straight off the Barbi, with today’s grills being so much more user friendly.

  • Better for you advice 5

    Grill is Good!

    Even the way that barbecued food is cooked is healthier, with the idea that a BBQ is a ‘fat reducing machine’, actually being not too far from the truth, as fats tend to evaporate during the grilling process, which also enhances flavour. BBQ’ed food also arguably retains more nutritional content; so grilling is good!

  • Better for you advice 6

    To Prep or Not?

    Proper preparation is very important, with a lighter more ‘au natural’ style the key, without heavy, fattening sauces or accompaniments. Marinating is also very important with the use of olive oil and balsamic vinegars, plus the addition of garlic and chillies good health pointers and also enhancing taste.

  • Better for you advice 7

    Foodie, Not Fast!

    BBQ’s are the antithesis of fast food, not only is the choice and type of food healthier, but there is also the ‘chill & grill’ element of creating a relaxed environment. Also important is the fact that food is consumed slowly and not ‘on the hoof’, which in turn aids proper digestion.

  • Better for you advice 8

    Play Catch-up

    Healthy lifestyle benefits don’t fizzle out at the grill-end, yes it’s when you chill, that the final health advantages kick, as for many families the weekly alfresco meal is the one time that there able to take time-out, relax and catch-up on what’s going on. After-grill chillin’ is very beneficial to a relaxed state of mind.

  • Better for you advice 9

    Heartedly Healthier

    Believe it or not spicy BBQ foods are healthy. Chillies have heart and anti-toxin benefits and the hotter the better! High Omega 3 foods like sardines, mackerel and tuna are real grill stars. Vegetables also notch up health points as do great grill fruits such as mango, papaya and bananas, all high in fibre and vitamins

  • Better for you advice 10

    Better For You

    Life alfresco isn’t all physiological there’s a healthy share of psychological benefits too. For most a BBQ is a form of emotional escapism, creating feelings of well-being and a desire for warmer, more relaxed climes, whether around the Med, or further a field in Australia, Caribbean the US West Coast, or South Africa. Barbi’s and alfresco living is here to stay and is genuinely better for you!

  • No.1 Biggest BBQ Party Ever

    Happened in the French Quarter of New Orleans in 2001, when invitations, got extended and extended with eventually around 17,500 people attending a surprise 40th birthday BBQ party, drinking over 85,000 bottles of beer and gallons of rye whiskey.

  • No.2 Strangest Ever Barbi Meal

    Occurred just outside of the town of Waterberg on the Limpopo River in the Limpopo region of South Africa in 1952 when a crocodile ate a springbok and was then coated in a special spiced mud and BBQ‘ed whole, the resultant meal was enough to feed 40 people.

  • No.3 Longest Running BBQ Ever Held


    Is supposed to have been a beach BBQ in Montego Bay Jamaica which started in March 1989 and then allegedly lasted for seven months until fatigue, a lack of any more ‘jerked’ food, drink or money and an inward Hurricane brought this mammoth grill-in to an abrupt halt.

  • No.4 World’s Toughest Ever Barbi

    Was not actually a single BBQ occasion, but a continuing method of cooking food which used to happen in the Australian Outback when Bushmen on walkabout would grill specially prepared sides meat, probably kangaroo with ever increasing amounts of Bush herbs added daily to the remaining meat to make it more palatable!

  • No.5 Largest Ever Single BBQ Cook-off

    Following a bet between two competitive ‘lo & slo’ BBQ teams, the largest ever single BBQ cook-off occurred in 1985 on the Bar Barrel ranch outside Kansas City when 5 steers were roasted in a huge pit for nearly 2 days, with a 100 gallons of BBQ sauce, the subsequent grill-fest lasted for 3 days..

  • No.6 Weirdest Ever BBQ Party

    Perhaps not the most ideal of locations and slightly scary was the Stag-night BBQ party held in Tijuana in 2000, which was organised by the Groom’s best friend and somewhat unwisely held in a graveyard with the guests dressed as ghosts. Proceedings were brought to an abrupt halt when the event was raided by the local Polizei on suspicion of the participants engaging in cannibalism!

  • No.7 Scariest Ever BBQ Meal

    Grizzlies are a common problem in the Canadian Rockies, so it was perhaps no surprise that a Hunting party’s Barbi held in a remote part of the Banff national park in the Spring of 2005 was invaded by two Grizzly bears who ate most of the food before departing after one of the bears burnt their paws on the fire!

  • No.8 Most Extreme BBQ Ever

    Adrenalin junkies would find this a hard to beat Barbi feat. Held on Lake Walapoa in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2008 a bungee jumper plunged down to grab a burger that was being grilled on a Barbi floating on a raft 250ft below. Believe it or not he managed to not only take but eat most of the burger!

  • No.9 Most Dangerous Ever BBQ

    Probably the most stupid and dangerous BBQ ever happened in Brazzaville, Congo when soldiers decided to use the ammunition compartment of a burnt-out tank as a BBQ, unfortunately they didn’t properly check to see if there was any live ammo on board, which then exploded; although somewhat shocked, luckily no one was hurt!

  • No.10 World’s Most Expensive Ever BBQ Party

    In typical LA style, the world’s most expensive ever BBQ was held at The Colony Club on Malibu Beach, California in 2013. 30 people attended a ‘glitzy’ Beach BBQ, with everything being done to excess including the Krug and Oysters. The total bill, a massive $1.1 million!

  • No.11 Hottest Ever BBQ Event

    Active volcanoes should be avoided, so it was possibly not the most sensible thing to do for a group of scientists who held a Barbi at the base of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, in Iceland 2010 and just after it had erupted using the molten lava for charcoal and sensibly wearing heat protective suits and breathing equipment!

  • No.12 Most Regal BBQ meal ever

    Occurred in a Memphis BBQ Rib shack on May 14th 2014 when Princes William & Harry suddenly dropped in to have an impromptu Barbi meal whilst wearing plaid, cowboy style shirts. It’s rumoured that both took a stint at the grill to serve up Back Ribs and Pulled Pork sandwiches.