Two simple yet so important tips (you will see how these tips work hand in hand)
One common mistake made in barbequing is cooking using incorrect methods resulting food drying out and the opposite more worrying result is under cooked food which can cause all manner of problems for you and even worse for a guest which can cause them never to attend your annual BBQ feast or worse still end up in a hospital bed with food poisoning. Weather its gas or charcoal you cook on there some basic principles for cooking on a BBQ.
To set up on both Gas and Charcoal the below principals should be applied. (you will see in all methods the lid remains down for cooking as per tip 2)
The typical and straight forward method for basic BBQ cooking. Used for smaller cuts of meat and food that takes less than 20 mins to cook.
50/50 method using the “sear & slide technique”, Sear meat directly over the hot coals, then slide it over the drip tray to cook through slowly. This method is great for chicken breasts, butterfly leg of lamb and sausages…
The typical and straight forward method for basic BBQ cooking
The traditional kitchen oven method adapted for BBQ heat circulates around food cooking the food slower without burning. Great for roasts, baking bread and even for adding flavour of smoke to food.
As suggested in the name 50/50 allows you to cook directly & in-directly at the same time.
Now that your BBQ is set up in the correct method the next most important tip is to cook with the lid down. This may be difficult as the perception of most Irish people is that a BBQ should be stood over with a beverage in hand turning and pressing the juice out of burgers and piercing sausages. This could not be further from the correct way to BBQ. Please BBQ men and women of Ireland step away from the BBQ, put your feet up and enjoy your beverage of choice.
Cooking with the lid down allows you to monitor the temperature of the cookbox. With the lid open the temperature gauge will be taking a reading of the air temp mixed with heat off the grill and it will also be pointing to the sky and not facing you the cook where it can be read.
Cooking with the lid down allows the food to essentially recycle flavour and moisture by preventing it escaping into the atmosphere where it will be lost from your food.
Cooking with the lid down reduces flare up completely be default and if burners/charcoals are set up correctly at the correct temperature they should not occur nor effect your food however they cannot be 100% guaranteed not to happen and having the lid down lowers oxygen levels meaning the flames will not reach the height or cause the same effect if the lid were open.
To cook with the lid down may seem to be cooking blind but its simple when you know you’re cooking temperatures and times. You can simply monitor these with a lid mounted thermometer and watch or egg timer. These times and temperatures are common across all cooking and can be found in any good cookbook.
You can now see how cooking with the lid down lends itself to the methods outlined in tip