The sun’s out and you’ve packed away the winter coat and jeans, which means it’s BBQ time! From succulent lamb chops to tasty skewers, the classic potato salad and slices of juicy watermelon to finish, cooking in the great outdoors has never tasted so good.
Be the King (or Queen) of the grill with our essential tips and ensure your next corporate BBQ is one to remember. Get grilling!
Take meat out of the fridge and bring it back to room temperature at least an hour before you cook it. The warmer the meat inside before it goes on the grill, the better. No more burnt beyond recognition steak.
Whether you’re a barbecue beginner or a pro, make sure you stock up on the essential tools like
Preheat your BBQ to ensure you don’t completely cook the outside of the food to a crisp. You’ll get a beautiful crust on your food along with that distinctive aromatic BBQ flavour.
The best way to test the heat of your barbecue is with your hand. Hold your hand about 12cm above the grill rack and see how long you can hold it there before you have to move it away.
Prevent food from sticking to the hot grill by brushing it with oil. Grab a wad of paper towels and dip in with oil. Using a pair of tongs, rub it lightly over the grate to evenly coat it.
There are a few ways to add extra flavour to your food. The quickest way is with a glaze, which can be brushed on during the last few minutes of cooking. Wet and dry rubs require a bit of preparation time and can be added a few hours before cooking to create a savoury crust. To deeply infuse food with flavour and tenderise them, use a marinade. We recommend marinating overnight for maximum flavour.
Use tongs or spatulas to turn your meat. Don’t poke or prod your steaks and burgers. Turn once or twice so it has time to develop that beautiful crust and you’ll get awesome looking grill marks! Don’t press down on the meat as it will only cause the juices to run out. Don’t pierce your sausages either. And no forks! This will only dry out the meat and leave it less flavourful.
A barbecue might be a carnivore’s dream, but fire does wonderful things to vegetables too. Asparagus, corn, Portobello mushrooms, zucchini, onion, capsicum and tomatoes are perfect as part of your BBQ menu. Slice them thin and grill them straight away.
A BBQ isn’t complete without the sides. Go for the classic potato salad, slaw, a simple but delicious couscous, corn on the cob, dips, sauces or flatbreads. And don’t forget dessert. Try refreshing slices of watermelon, fresh fruit skewers, brownies or cupcakes. It's a good idea to include plenty of sides to cater for special diets like gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian.
We know you want to tuck in straight away, but just wait. Resting the meat after cooking allows the muscle fibres to relax and reabsorb the juices. Wrap your meat in some foil to keep the heat in and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
Cooked meat should always be placed on a clean plate or chopping board. If you used a marinade on raw meat, never add it to cooked meat after. Use clean tongs and knives for serving food. You don’t want your guests to remember your BBQ for all the wrong reasons.
Keep your grill grate clean using a stiff wire brush. If you don’t have a grill brush, you can crumple aluminium foil until it’s the size of an orange, and using a pair of tongs to hold the ball, start brushing the grill.
There’s no shortage of amazing parks and beaches for your BBQ. Pick a shady spot for your BBQ spread. Don’t leave food out for more than two hours.
Fancy yourself as a BBQ King (or Queen)? Here are some expert BBQ tips that will impress your guests.
Smoke from wood chips can help enhance the flavour of your food.
Soak wood chips in water before draining them. Wrap them in aluminium foil and put them in your grill or place the wood chips in a steel smoker box or small aluminium foil tray and place it within the BBQ. The water makes the chips produce more smoke.
Try these woods:
Yes, did you know that a gas grill is perfect for reheating pizza? Just set the barbecue on low heat, preheat, put the pizza directly on the grill and close the lid. Heat until the cheese starts to melt. Yum!
Rub the chicken skin with a little butter or oil and lightly season it. It will give the chicken a nice, crispy skin.
We hope these tips and tricks make cooking easier and your food delicious. And last but not least, the most important tip we can give is to enjoy yourself!
Don't forget anything for the big day! Download and print our BBQ checklist below. A pdf version of our BBQ checklist is available for download here.
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Need help or inspiration or assistance planning your corporate BBQ in Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne? Speak to our corporate catering and events gurus for BBQ catering menu options, help with equipment hire, staffing, alcohol delivery and more. Give us a call on 1300 851 900 for a free quote.