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17 Great BBQ Cooking – How to BBQ Cook

BBQ cooking tips for the grilling veteran or novice BBQ cook

BBQ Cook - Here's how to Be a Fantastic BBQ Chef...

A great BBQ cook is a cook that has mastered the tricks of the trade in grilling and other styles of cooking on a BBQ grill.

Being a really good BBQ grill master has many similarities to being a great chef but it also has its own techniques and tricks of the trade.

The following are some tips that will help make you an even better BBQ cook…

1. Practice Food Safety When You BBQ Cook

2. Seasoning the BBQ Grill

3. BBQ Lid Position When You BBQ Cook

4. Over the Burner BBQ Cooking

5. Searing & Crosshatching

6. Leave Your Meat Alone & Give It Room on the Grill

7. Avoid Using BBQ Forks When Turning Meat

8. Leave Meat Alone Part 2 - Let it Rest

9. Away From the Burner BBQ Cooking

10. Using Aluminium Foil for BBQ Cooking

11. Use Your BBQ Warming Rack

12. Wood Chips Add Flavour

13. Reheating Pizza

14. BBQ Cooking Flare Ups

15. Marinades for Grilling

16. BBQ Side Burners

17. Clean Your BBQ Grill When Done

So, let's look at the detail of each...

1. Food Safety When You BBQ Cook

Keep it clean and keep it cold until you cook it or eat it. 

Makes sure you have enough ice.

Have enough dishes so there is no cross contamination between uncooked and cooked meats.

Practice good food safety and preparation


2. Seasoning the BBQ Grill

Pre-heat the clean grill and coat with cooking oil, using a brush or spray.  

Close the grill and allow it to sit for about 20 minutes then wipe the grill clean with a fresh damp cloth. 

The concept is the same as the seasoning of a cast iron fry pan.


3. BBQ Lid Position When BBQ Cooking

Just as some things are cooked on the kitchen cooktop and some in the oven, the type of food you are cooking will determine if you leave the BBQ lid up or down. 

Generally speaking, do what you would do if you were cooking indoors.


4. Over the Burner BBQ Cooking

Steaks, burgers, and veggies, that need to be seared or cooked from the outside inward, should be placed directly over the burners. 

A little olive oil brushed on the steak will prevent it from sticking. 

Do NOT use salt on the meat before cooking, as it draws out the moisture and makes the meat dry. 

If you do salt it as you start cooking, use coarse salt to get a nice salty crust. 

A bit of coarse black pepper can be nice, too.

How Long to Cook Ribeye on Gas Grill - Cooking Steak on Gas Grill

Pre-season the meat and then place on a hot grill to sear the meat and seal in the juices.

Once seared, reduce the heat to medium high for cooking.

Assuming you are like me, and like your steak medium rare, you cook the ribeye, or other cut of steak, on a gas grill for between 4 and 6 minutes.

The cooking time will vary based on the grill temperature and how you like your steaks cooked.

Don't forget to let the steaks rest, loosely covered with aluminium foil, for about 5 minutes before serving.

How to Grill Lamb Chops on Gas Grill

Cooking lamb chops on a gas grill is very similar to how you cook steak.

Pre-season the meat and then place on a hot grill to sear the meat on both sides to seal in the juices.

Once seared, reduce the heat to medium high for cooking.

Assuming you like your chops medium rare, you cook the lamb chops on a gas grill for about 4 minutes per side.

The cooking time will vary based on the grill temperature and how you like your chops cooked.

Don't forget to let the lamb chops rest, loosely covered with aluminium foil, for about 5 minutes before serving.

BBQ Chicken on Gas Grill

Assuming that you are cooking the chicken in pieces with the bones in but not whole, the cooking technique is similar to steak except you cook the chicken pieces with the lid down.

The other difference is that you definitely do not want to cook them medium rare.

Chicken needs to be cooked through so that there is no pink meat remaining and the juices run clear.

As you don't want the chicken to burn, its best to keep the temperature to no more than 130°C.

Cooking times are about 15 minutes per side, until the internal meat temperature is about 75°C (165-170°F).

If you like to add BBQ sauce, do it toward the end, as the sugar content makes it burn easily.

Once again, loosely covered with aluminium foil, for about 5 minutes before serving.

How Long to Grill Hot Dogs or Sausages on Gas Grill

Cooking over medium heat, it takes about 7 to 10 minutes to cook a snag (Australian for sausage).

Don't leave them unattended.

Use your eyeballs to tell when each side is done, turning so that all 4 sides get cooked.

Use tongs, not a fork, to turn them, as you don't want to poke holes in them.

Poking holes in them will dry them out.


5. Searing & Crosshatching Your Meat

Searing & Crosshatching Steak

Always pre-heat the grill and take the meat out of the refrigerator about 15 minutes before cooking. 

Sear the meat for 90 seconds on high heat and then rotate it 1/8 of a turn (45 degrees) and sear again. 

This will give it an attractive crosshatch pattern, assuming you are not cooking on a flat plate grill, and help seal in the natural juices.  

Remember to reduce heat to normal cooking temperature after searing.


6. Leave Your Meat Alone & Give It Room on the Grill

You should only turn the meat once.  Be patient! 

The meat needs room, too.  Don't overcrowd the grill or it can heat unevenly.  

There should be at least 2cm between the pieces of meat. 

Also, make sure you have enough gas so that the cooking session is uninterrupted.


7. Avoid Using BBQ Forks When Turning Meat

No forksTo retain the natural juices, don’t poke holes in the meat.

No forks!

This includes piercing the sausage skins. 

Use long handled tongs or spatulas instead of forks. 

Also, don't mash down on meat and burgers, as it forces out the natural juices and leaves you with dried out meat.


8. Leave Meat Alone Part 2

Let your grilled meat "rest" for five minutes after cooking, covered loosely with foil, to ensure more tender and juicy results. 

Letting the meat rest also applies to roasts and other cooked meats, as well.


9. Away From the Burner BBQ Cooking

Use a meat thermometerWhole chickens, roasts, and most fish fillets require indirect heat. 

Try preheating the grill with all burners then, when the grill is hot, turn off one side of grill, put the slow cooking food over the unlit burners and close the lid.  

In effect, it becomes an oven.  This will help cook the meat evenly, browning it while keeping it juicy and tender. 

Use a meat thermometer, where appropriate, to determine when it is done.

Cooking Beef Brisket on Gas Grill

Beef brisket is best cooked slowly.

So, cooking beef brisket on a gas grill is one of those dishes best cooked away from the burner.

Internal temperature should be about 85-90°C (190-195°F) when done.

Cooking Ribs on Gas Grill - Foil Wrapped Ribs on Gas Grill

Cooking foil wrapped ribs is different from cooking steak.

Pre-season the meat with either a dry rub or a sauce, then wrap with foil.

The heat should be no more than medium (around 150°C), the lid should be closed and the cooking time is about 1 hour.

Internal temperature should be about 75°C (165-170°F) when done.

Cook with the bone side down.

Once again, loosely covered with aluminium foil, for about 5 minutes before serving.

How to Cook Rotisserie Chicken on Gas Grill

Depending on the BBQ grill, some come with a rotisserie, or you have the option of buying a rotisserie kit.

Rotisserie kits typically just bolt on to the grill frame and require electical power for the rotating motor.

To cook rotisserie chicken on a gas grill is like roasting.

Roasting on a grill is done with the lid down over indirect heat.

Rotisserie cooking improves upon this with even cooking.

The rotation of the bird or other meat helps it cook more evenly.

How to Smoke Chicken Breast on a Gas Grill

For smoked chicken breast, the meat needs to be cooked with indirect heat and with the lid closed, just like roasting.

The difference to roasting is the use of wood chips.

Start by rubbing your favourite seasoning mix all over the chicken.

Soak your favourite variety of wood chips and place in your smoker box.

You can use a perforated aluminium foil pouch to hold the wood chips, if you don't own a smoker.

Pre-heat the grill until you start generating smoke.

Lightly sear the breasts for no more than a minute, to keep them juicy.

Then place the breasts bone side down on the grill but away from the lit burners and with the lid closed.

Cooking time will vary based on heat but your meat needs to reach 80°C (175°F).

10. Using Aluminium Foil for BBQ Cooking

use aluminium foil to create little cooking pouches

You can use aluminium foil to create little cooking pouches for delicate foods, like fish fillets.  

Cook away from the lit burners or place the pouch on the warming rack, if you have one.

Be careful not to puncture the foil when lifting it off the grill.

How Do You Grill Salmon on a Gas Grill

Aluminium foil or a teflon cooking sheet are the way to go when you cook salmon on a gas grill.

Just use either one and cook as you would indoors.

Grilling Scallops on Gas Grill

When grilling scallops on gas grill, it's once again time to pull out the aluminium foil or teflon cooking sheet.

Be careful not to over cook the scallops.

How to Grill Green Beans on a Gas Grill

Combine the green beans with oil and seasoning then wrap in a foil pouch.

Grill should be pre-heated and medium hot.

Cook over the grill for about 10 minutes with the lid closed.


11. Use Your BBQ Warming Rack

You can toast bread, cook delicate foods or just keep cooked food warm by using your warming rack.


12. Wood Chips Add Flavour

Wood chip smoke can enhance the flavour of your food. 

You put the wood chips in a steel smoker box or in a small aluminium foil tray within the BBQ.  

Hickory is a good all-round choice, if you are just starting. 

Smoker boxes and wood chips can be found at BBQ specialty stores.  Follow the wood chip supplier’s instructions.

How to Make a Smoker Box for Gas Grill

To make a smoker box for gas grill, you just need wood chips and aluminium foil.

Soak and drain your wood chips, so they don't burn too rapidly.

Place the drained wood chips in a foil pouch and seal.

Poke a few small holes in the top and place near, but not directly over, a burner.


13. Reheating Pizza

Reheating pizzaDid you know that a gas grill is the perfect way to reheat pizza? 

Just set the BBQ on low, preheat, put the pizza directly on the grill and close the lid.  

Heat until cheese starts to melt.

You will get more even heating with the lid down.


14. BBQ Cooking Flare Ups

BBQ grease fire flare-upUse lean cuts of meat and/or trim away the fat to reduce the chance of flare ups.  

Make sure the grease tray is empty before you start, too.  Very high temperatures should also be avoided.  

However, if it does happen, flip down the grill lid and turn OFF all burners and the gas bottle, if safe to do so. 

When the flare up is over, you can resume cooking. 

NEVER spray water on BBQ flare ups or on any grease fire.


15. Marinades for Grilling

Marinating meat in a plastic food storage bagFor more intense or varied flavours, consider using meat marinades. 

You marinate the meat before you BBQ, as instructed by the marinade maker or recipe.  

You can use large freezer bags for marinating.  

Just put in the meat and marinade, seal and shake.  Refrigerate, shaking it occasionally, until you’re ready to BBQ. 

Make sure you drain off any excess marinade before cooking and do NOT pour it over the meat while cooking.


16. BBQ Side Burners

If your BBQ is equipped with a side burner, you can use it just like a kitchen cooktop.  

This adds to the selection of dishes you can choose to cook outdoors.


17. Clean Your BBQ Grill When Done

Wearing protective gloves, clean the grill while it is still hot.  Use a good grill brush to clean cooking plates and racks.  

Lightly coat cooking surfaces with cooking oil when clean. 

Remember to empty the grease tray, too. 

BBQ e-book

Enjoy a Climate Friendly BBQ

Most people would think that a renewable fuel, like wood, is more eco-friendly than a fossil fuel. 

However, when it comes to charcoal versus gas barbecuing, the climate friendly choice is not what you may think. 

What is Charcoal?

Charcoal BBQ fuel is made from a renewable resource, wood. 

Charcoal briquettes are manufactured by heating the wood in a low oxygen environment to remove all the moisture. 

The end result is tightly packed little lumps of carbon. 

When burnt, this carbon combines with oxygen to create heat and CO2.

What is BBQ Gas?

Propane molecule

BBQ gas is LPG. 

Whilst LPG is a fossil fuel, it is also a low carbon energy source.

The LPG (propane) gas molecule only has 3 carbon atoms. 

The chemical formula for propane is C3H8

The Problem

Biofuels do not always result in a smaller carbon footprint than the fossil fuel alternatives. 

The problem with charcoal is that it emits almost 3X the amount of CO2 that is produced when you use LPG. 

This is harmful because CO2 is a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.

To produce charcoal, you heat wood in a kiln. 

However, the usable output of charcoal is only around 20-35% of the original input. 

The remainder of the wood turns into gas and is emitted into the atmosphere.  

In contrast, LPG energy yields are greater than 90%.

The fact that you cannot simply turn a charcoal grill ON and OFF increases the problem. 

Charcoal fires need to be started ahead of time and then take time to burn themselves out. 

LPG is just a much more efficient fuel for cooking.

Scientific Research

Independent scientific research confirms these facts.  Eric Johnson, of Atlantic Consulting, published his study “Charcoal versus LPG grilling: a carbon-footprint comparison” on this very subject. 

As the title suggests, it compared the carbon footprint of charcoal versus LPG for grilling. 

In addition to looking at the carbon produced during production and burning, the study also considered secondary factors like the use of firelighters, grill construction and the need for cylinders. 

In the base case, the charcoal grilling footprint of 998 kg CO2e is almost three times as large as that for LPG grilling, at 349 kg CO2e. 

The following chart shows the results:

Charcoal vs LPG Grilling

Source: Eric Johnson, Atlantic Consulting                


Tree Planting and Carbon Sequestration

Many would point out that trees can be planted to replace the trees used to produce the charcoal, as this is a renewable resource. 

This would result in carbon sequestration or, in this case, biosequestration. 

This is absolutely correct.

However, in a renewables problem unique to charcoal production, you have to cut down trees in the first place. 

Merely replanting trees in equal quantities just maintains the level of sequestration that already existed. 

To offset the carbon released by the charcoal, you would need to plant additional trees, over and above the number planted as replacements.

Of course, all of this assumes that the companies harvesting the trees are following good reforestation practices. 

The sad truth is that much of it just results in deforestation, as a lot of charcoal comes from developing countries without good sustainability policies.

The Eco-Friendly Choice

When it comes to grilling, LPG is the climate friendly choice. 

Not only does it emit less CO2 than charcoal but it is also easier and more convenient to use.




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The information in this article is derived from various sources and is believed to be correct at the time of publication. However, the information may not be error free and may not be applicable in all circumstances.