Archive for the ‘Barbecue Tips’ Category

Friday, March 14, 2014 @ 09:03 AM
Lee Phillips

The barbecue industry as a whole uses 4 different cooking mediums; here we take a brief look at what one is best not only to cook on but from a safety point of view as well. When buying a bbq you generally have the following choices:

  1. Steel powder coated grills
  2. Steel chrome plated grills
  3. Stainless Steel grills
  4. Cast Iron grills & Griddles

Now the first two are found on entry level bbqs, they are fine but don’t really provide any great heat retention, so cooking at high temperatures is difficult, also when (and it will) the coating starts to crack and peel off inevitably some will find its way on to your food, far from an ideal situation. From a safety aspect, you are eating a substance that is nothing other than poison to your body.

Stainless steel offers a great, practical cooking medium that is easy to clean offers good heat retention and will not flake nasty pieces of coating into your food, so for most people it offers the perfect solution, you can even put your grills in the dishwasher! On a slight downside with high temperatures even stainless will over time start to revert back to standard steel and show signs of rust, at this point it’s time to change them. Lastly from a cooking point of view, Stainless will not release meat as easily as Cast iron; foods can stick and may pull apart when trying to turn it.

Cast iron, the daddy of cooking mediums, and one of the safest forms of cooking surfaces, it does not leach out dangerous chemicals, offers the very best heat retention and is the most diverse cooking surface allowing you to cook anything with total control. When searing meats, once sealed the cast iron will release the food easily allowing you to serve up perfect steaks.

An interesting article on various cooking mediums can be found below:


Thursday, June 6, 2013 @ 06:06 AM
Lee Phillips

To many, the act of barbecuing meat may seem as easy as simply throwing something on the grill. While this will work fine, a little bit of knowhow and a few different techniques can mean significantly tastier results.

Smoking is a method of preparation that is older than recorded history and, from Bosnian Suho Miso all the way to Southern BBQ brisket, the enhanced flavours ensure it is considered a delicacy in a variety of cultures. While electric, charcoal, gas or wood smokers will all get the job done the Weber Smokey Mountain comes highly recommended for this sort of work and it can also be used as a standard kettle charcoal BBQ. Alternatively, the Weber Style Smoker Box is an excellent addition to your collection of barbecue accessories and can give you all the benefits of smoking whilst using a gas grill. If you’re a first-timer, here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Smoking doesn’t necessarily mean slow cooking:

While smoking has a certain reputation that suggests you should be cooking chunks of meat for hours at a time this isn’t necessarily true. The same principle of great taste through smoking also applies even it is just a matter of minutes and is often the preferred method if you are preparing vegetables, shrimp and steak.

2. No Peeking

Even though it can be difficult to resist checking up on your meat, try to lift the lid as little as possible. Temperature and smoke are vital to the process of smoking and both of these components are lost as soon as you sneak a look underneath the lid. Try not to fiddle around too much: If you’re planning on checking up on the food or want to tend to the fire or the water pan, just do all three at once and minimise the amount of the time that the lid is up. In short: Relax!

3. Don’t Overdo It.

It can be tempting to throw on a lot of woodchip in the hope that it will increase flavour but very often all this will ensure is that wood will become too prominent in the recipe. A good tip to help fight this urge and make sure you’re not overdoing it is to smoke your meat for approximately half of the overall cooking time. Planning on cooking ribs for four hours? Smoke them for two and let the heat do the rest.

4. Pay attention to the smoke.

Put simply: White smoke is a good sign while black smoke most definitely is not. Black smoke indicates that the woodchip needs to be moved around a little and the air is becoming trapped so be sure to keep your eyes peeled. While white smoke flavours the food and is what you should be aiming for at all times black smoke simply means your meat won’t taste anywhere near as good.

5. Check Your Vents

Your bottom vents should be wide open and it’s well worth checking them to make sure that they are not clogged up with ash. Similarly, the top vents on the lid should also be open. In addition, your top vents should be positioned away from the direction that the smoke is travelling: This draws the smoke over your food meaning that it spends more time under the lid flavouring your food before leaving through the vent.

If you follow these tips you’re sure to end up with meat the Smoking good!


This article was written by an official Weber BBQ partner and online retailer from the UK.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 @ 07:06 AM
Lee Phillips

Summers arriving and your get the BBQ out but it can be very easy to slip into autopilot whilst dusting off the grill for the summer. By the time you’ve shed your winter clothes; cheeseburgers and hot dogs undoubtedly seem like an exciting novelty. But what happens after that first glorious weekend?


The tendency is to stick with what you know when you worry that the warm weekends are fleeting but fear not! Here are a few extremely quick and great for barbecues that will impress guests without breaking the bank meaning you’ll have more to spend on your shiny new Barbecue cooking up things that will amaze your guests and have them coming back for more.

Jamaican Jerk BBQ Sauce


Jerk is very often at the heart of Jamaican cuisine and proves that flavouring and sauces are often as important as the meat itself. A tantalising combination between sweet and spicy that is always a sure fire way to breathe new life into your usual meat that can become dried out on the grill. Recipes are easy to come by and can be tweaked in a myriad of ways to suit your taste. This can be easily made from a standard bbq sauce – or you can be a bit more adventurous and do it from scratch!



Bear with us on this one: If you’ve recently tried grilling and skewering prawns you’ll be more than aware of how much of a fiddle they can be. Not to mention how insubstantial and disappointing the results of your hard work on the grill can be when compared to burgers and sausages. Where fish is concerned, Portugal has the right idea in this respect and it is famed for its delicious grilled sardines. If you ask your fishmonger, he’ll be more than happy to gut your fish in advance for you. Olive oil and salt is your friend before you get them on the grill, remove the bones when steaming hot and some dill, rosemary and some salt crushed up is an excellent finishing touch.


Haloumi Skewers

If you’re a carnivore that is bored of the vegetable skewer then how do you think those poor vegetarians feel? An excellent and simple marinade that usually used on poultry works wonders here too, this includes nothing more than lime juice, garlic, chili and mint. Roll the haloumi in sesame seeds which will toast beautifully on the grill adding an excellent nutty aftertaste and also making you a hit with your local veggie contingent in the process. Delicious!

Venison Sausages


Number four is a great example of getting maximum results and variation from something simple as a different meat. Pork sausages are a crowd-pleasing BBQ staple but can sometimes lack certain nuances of flavour that can only be compensated for with a huge dollop of ketchup or by going for spicy alternatives which aren’t always a great idea when different people have various tolerances for hot food. Venison, on the other hand, is rich and smoky and will most definitely secure your place amongst the grilling greats. Pop them in a hot dog bun with some mustard and prepare your tastebuds for a wild ride.

So don’t forget to be adventurous this summer season and make something out of nothing. Chuck away the frozen burgers and make it your mission to impress and try something new. Fear of failure is not acceptable when it comes to barbecuing – you need to grab the bull by the horns and just get going. Be brave

This article was written by – Bedfordshire BBQ Centre stocks all major manufactuers including Weber, Outback, Napoleon & Swiss Grill

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 @ 09:11 AM
Lee Phillips

Bad, very bad. One thing we can all overlook is what a wonderful home our barbecues can be for rodents, especially those who pack up the BBQ for the winter, not being used and with residues of cooked food; it’s a magnet for those little furry scavengers.

So what can we do? The first thing is to give the BBQ a really good final clean before putting it up for storage, there are a few ways, but the most effective is a really good deep clean with heat, lots of heat, you can buy BBQ cleaners from chemical to scrub brushes and they all do a good job, however we personally never use chemicals to clean the inside of the barbecue other than a little washing up liquid, and with any grease removed on the outside, a little baby oil does the perfect job of restoring and protecting hoods and panels especially Stainless Steel.

Now for the inside, do this first then take care of the outside. With a good sturdy un-treated wire rack, like a cooling rack or similar, wrap it in foil and place it on top of you BBQ grills, then light the barbecue and leave the hood down for between 10 and 15 minutes, the grill will smoke, then when clean the smoke will disappear, once burning free from smoke lift the lid and with longs remove the foil covered rack, the idea of this is to keep heat on the grills and burner bars, with such high temperatures any food residue is turned to nothing but ash, a quick wipe over with a grill brush will remove the ash and leave the cooking surfaces clean and sanitized. (Please in all cases check with the BBQ manufacturer before using this technique with cast-iron cooking grills, this tip is primarily used with Stainless Steel cooking grills)

With the grills and flavour bars clean, you can now continue to wipe down the rest of the BBQ. Once the whole thing is clean, you can put it up for storage, there are a few tips on deterring rodents, one that has the most popular results is using cotton balls soaked in peppermint and placing a few in the grill and cabinet, personally we have never used this but have had many customers comment how they do it and don’t find any evidence of visitors, so for what it costs and the time it takes, we think it’s worth a go.

Now one final tip would be to block off any entry points, especially if the BBQ is to be left outside during the winter, also use a good cover, this will protect the outside from the elements but also make it more difficult for little pests to get in.

One final point is that gas barbecues come with basically two cooking mediums, lava rock or flavour bars, I would remove the lava rocks completely from the grill and store them in a container in the shed or sealed box inside the barbecue cabinet, these may still have a residue of food smells that may attract pests. With flavour bars, if they cleaned well you can leave them in place, or as I like to, remove them along with the actual cooking grills and store them separately in the shed or home, cast-iron grills require more care, so removing them and coating with some grape oil and storing them in the shed will not only provide better protection, but also should any rodents get in the BBQ they will not get to the cooking grills.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 @ 01:09 PM
Lee Phillips

This was sent through to us via email from the kind people at Compliance & Safety, a really good source of info for the safe use and keeping of food, often an overlooked subject when shopping, like it, share it and even print it for easy reference!

A Food Safety Chart for Safe and Correct Storage of Your Food.

A Food Safety Chart for Safe and Correct Storage of Your Food.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012 @ 07:08 AM
Lee Phillips

Many modern and high-end barbecues now have rear rotisserie burners, however 99% of all gas and even some charcoal BBQs have the ability to accept a rotisserie, some supplied as standard. One of the biggest issues is the correct use of the rotisserie and how to position food properly.

Rotisserie cooking is a great way to cook meat and in particular poultry. If you have a rear burner to the back of the cooking area then your BBQ is built for rotisserie cooking, fear not if you don’t though as you can use your standard burners. Cooking using a rotisserie is the ultimate method of ensuring your meat remains juicy, because the meat is constantly turning, it self-bastes using it’s own natural juices resulting in an exceptionally moist and tender meats.

Two of the most important things to remember when cooking with the rear rotisserie burner are to fix the meat securely in the middle of the spit. With poultry,m the wings and legs should be tied tightly to avoid burning. Secondly, make sure you place a large drip pan under the meat to collect any extra juices that run off, these juices are ideal for making gravy, the drip pan can be placed on the grill under the meat, or under the grills if you don’t have room on top.

How to position Poultry on the Rotisserie:

  1. With the breast down, bring the neck skin up over cavity. Turn under edges of skin, skewer to back skin. Loop oven string around skewer and tie. Turn breast side up and tie or skewer the wings to the body.
  2. Put a spit fork on the rod. Insert rod on neck skin parallel to the backbone, bring it out just above the tail. Put a second fork on the rod and insert forks in breasts and tail. Test for balance and tighten thumb screws.
  3. Tie the tail to the rod, the cross the legs and tie to the tail.

Now you know how to load a chicken for roasting, why not put it all to practice with the tandoori chicken recipe below?

The Perfect Tandoori Chicken on the Rotisserie:

Prep time: 15 minutes | Marinade time: 2 to 3 hours | Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 1 medium whole chicken


  • 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1½ teaspoons of cumin, ground
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preparation & Cooking:

  1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Remove giblets and wing tips from chicken. Wash out chicken cavity and pat dry. Place the chicken in a deep dish, coat with yogurt mixture, also get mixture under the skin where possible, Cover and allow chicken to marinate in the fridge for 2 to 3 hours.
  2. Preheat your barbecue. Remove the chicken from the dish and discard marinade. Place the chicken on a rotisserie spit and cook over an indirect medium heat or with your rear burner on high for 1½ hours, or until internal temperature reaches between 175 to 180 degrees F.
  3. If heat is too high, reduce and cook over a medium heat instead. Let chicken rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.

If your looking for a barbecue with a rotisserie burner, then take a peek at Broil King, most are supplied with a rotisserie included worth over £80!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012 @ 10:08 AM
Lee Phillips

With the Summer not being as we all wanted, and with word from suppliers that new BBQ models are being launched for 2013, we are starting to see some of the biggest price reductions to date, with Weber Spirit barbecues seeing as much as 35% off the rrp.

New models and a poor Summer so far have forced prices down, but this could be just the time to snap up a real bargain, new models are lauched next year but only with a facelift, the Weber Spirit range is having a complete design change, but the proven cooking side will remain pretty much the same, so if your not concerned with having last years model, you can pick up a current one from under £300 and still have time to use it throughout the rest of this years season.

Outback, as we have said in a recent post are shifting there system back to lava rock cooking, so if your after a bargain from Outback you can almost take your pick as once again suppliers don’t want old stock for next year.

Were now in early August and have another wave of heat expected to reach us in a weeks time, dont miss out, get the BBQ on order now at rock bottom prices and get the family round for a feast this year!

Friday, August 3, 2012 @ 08:08 AM
Lee Phillips

You don’t spend over thirty-five years selling barbecues without discovering all of the tricks of the trade to make cooking on a barbecue foolproof. Here we share some of Napoleon® Grills hot tips for grilling great food time and time again:



  • Prod, poke and play with food. Piercing meats releases the juices and results in dry and chewy food.
  • Keep lifting the lid.  If your barbecue has a lid it is there for a reason – to help food cook properly.  Food can be left to cook on its own while you enjoy the company of your guests.  Lifting the lid increases the cooking time and can cause flare-ups.
  • Scorch and Torch.  Cooking foods at very high temperatures for short periods of time produces meat that can be charred on the outside and pink on the inside. Great if you want to sear meat, but be sure then to continue to grill chicken or pork through thoroughly. Control the cooking temperature and time by checking the thermometer and using the vents on the charcoal grill and the adjustable burners on a gas grill.
  • Spray water to reduce a flame.  Pouring or spraying water produces steam vapours that can scald and it ruins the finish of your barbecue.
  • Block air vents on charcoal barbecues.  A fire needs oxygen, keep vents open to light your barbecue and leave them open throughout the cooking. Close the vents to extinguish the flame and save briquettes.
  • Use petrol or lighter fuel on charcoal grills.  Only use non-toxic firelighters – taste the food and not the fuel.
  • Mix cooked and uncooked foods.  Keep foods apart and do not re-use plates and dishes that have had uncooked foods on them.


  • Use the correct method to cook.  There are two ways to barbecue – directly or indirectly. ‘Direct cooking’ is where small cuts of meat such as chops or burgers are placed directly over the heat source and turned once to cook both sides. ‘Indirect cooking’ can only be done on barbecues with a lid. The food is placed away from the coals or the lit burner.  Once the lid is on, the heat circulates, creating an oven – you can now roast or bake.
  • Keep uncooked food chilled.  Refrigerate food until it is ready to be cooked.
  • Trim excess fats.  Keep food healthy and reduce flare-ups, minimise fats and oils in marinades.
  • Make use of grilling videos and troubleshooting guides. If you want guidance, check out the Internet for more advice or talk to a barbecue centre.

Thursday, August 2, 2012 @ 08:08 AM
Lee Phillips

Not all charcoal is the same, there are dozens of brands of charcoal with manufacturers from all over the world, however there are really only 2 versions Lump Charcoal and Briquette Charcoal.

Lump Charcoal:

These are random sized pieces of hardwood charcoal are made from wood and nothing more. Lump charcoal will burn at a higher temperature than briquettes, this type of charcoal is often best for cooking steaks, chops and burgers. Do take care when buying lump charcoal as some cheaper options will be full of additives and may even be softwood, this will not get hot enough and additives are never good for cooking with!

Briquette Charcoal:

These are a uniform, pillow shaped briquette, produced from left over product when producing lump charcoal, the pieces are ground into a consistent size, then using wheat, potato or corn starch as a binding agent they are produced into the same uniform size. Briquettes burn at a lower temperature but last longer than lump-wood, and so are ideal for low and slow cooking, some brands also have wood chips pressed in making them ideal for smoking meats.

Lighting Process:

Avoid liquid starter fluids, they are a fuel that will taint your food, and completely unnecessary, by far the best and most effective way is by using a chimney starter, all you need is two sheets of newspaper and your away, or a firelighter, the added bonus to chimney starters is that you can light more and add lit charcoal to your BBQ should you need to. Below is a video of Webers’ Chimney Starter being used:

If you want to learn all there is to know about charcoal, then look no further that NakenWhiz! with 75 reviews of charcoal and counting!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012 @ 08:08 AM
Lee Phillips

The barbecue centre has been supplying gas and charcoal barbecues for over 35 years, we have seen many good and bad BBQ manufacturers and now supply only the best available, from the entry level such as Outback to the premium brands like Weber and Broil King. The professional barbecues are at the forefront and lead the way with design and innovation and are for the professional or demanding barbecue enthusiast.

If your looking to enter the barbecue way of life and have not used one before, then the recommendation always remains the same, tread water first, enter at an affordable level and make sure you have the time and enjoy the experience before going full throttle into the biggest you can buy, some premium gas barbecues can cost thousands of pounds, with an entry professional grill costing anything from £800.

Once you have decided that you want to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle, take cost and convenience into account, gas is now the choice for 90%, it’s easy and quick to fire up, this means you’re more likely to use it often. Now if your new your budget is best kept as low as possible, do however take care not to make it too low, this could affect the quality of barbecue you end up with, in turn this can put you off the experience all together, we would always advise that you should look at a £150 to £300 budget for your first gas purchase.

This is where Outback often steps in, they provide a good grill at an affordable price, they offer the same features as a more professional equivalent but on a smaller scale, these grills will see you through a couple of seasons setting you up to either continue barbecuing or if you find you don’t use it you haven’t spent a fortune trying out the lifestyle.

Another brand that offers entry level cooking is Broil King with the popular gem barbecue, priced at under £200 it offers more features and build quality to the larger professional series BBQ’s, the Broil King barbecues have over-sized cook boxes so that you can really try out everything outdoor cooking has to offer, from whole chickens to racks of meat.

Whatever grill you choose, remember that the whole experience is for enjoyment, make sure that you are made aware of all the facts regarding what barbecue you choose, speak to a barbecue centre or supplier to ensure that spares are available, research your list of choices on the Internet to find reviews. One major point that is almost always overlooked is the gas, be aware that your initial outlay for the gas will be around £60, this is because if you don’t already own a gas cylinder you will need to enter into a “bottle agreement”. When you first have a gas bottle you will be charged not just for the gas, but a one-off payment has to be made for the rental of the bottle itself, so do include this in your budget, along with extra items, one really important one being a cover if not included with the BBQ.