1st & 2nd July 2017. Bristol Harbourside.


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Get your Grill on

BBQ Tips for a Perfect Cookout

via coachmag.co.uk

You’re better than the disposable B&Q one-shot. Let the creators of BBQ festival Grillstock get up in your grill

8 APR 2016

In advance of Jon Finch and Ben Merrington’s new book, Grillstock: The BBQ Book, we asked them for their BBQ tips.

Master Two-Zone Cooking

“You should cook pretty much everything this way,” says Finch. “Set up so you have one zone directly over the coals for searing, and another cooler zone, away from the coals, to allow the meat to cook through directly.” For steaks and burgers, you’ll want to get a good sear going first, then cook them through slowly, to avoid the charred/raw double-whammy that brands you a barbecue noob.

Play With Smoke

It’s a seasoning, which you can use to add subtle flavours to your food. “You’ll get a background smoke flavour from using natural lumpwood charcoal,” says Merrington. “Add wood on top: chunks between the size of a tennis and golf ball work best. Throw them straight onto the coals.” Beech works with everything, cherry gives a richer flavour, and hickory is the nutty choice for the sophisticated griller.

Create Your Own Rub

“It ties the flavours of the meat, smoke and sauce together,” says Finch. Start with a base of sea salt, sugar and paprika, then add herbs, spices and seasonings: dried chilli, garlic and onion powder are all good starting points, with mustard powder, lime, oregano and celery salt handy standbys as you get more confident.

Don’t Fiddle And Poke

And definitely don’t squeeze. “Once you’ve put the meat on the grill, just leave it,” says Merrington. “You should only turn the meat once or twice throughout grilling. Squashing burgers and steaks down just squeezes out all the lovely juices and causes flare-ups.” And remember: the man with the spatula’s word is law. Back-seat grillers may be safely assigned paper-plate duty.

Grillstock: The BBQ Book is published on 21st April by Sphere, price £20 in hardback. Buy from Waterstones


BBQ Tips for Winter (or a Particularly Crappy Summer)


Barbecuing might be a summer tradition, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get involved during the winter months too. After all, why would you want to sit around hot coals on a hot day? The time for cooking outdoors and keeping warm around a fire is when it’s cold – plus you don’t have to worry about your beers getting warm. Upgrade your grill skills for winter with the following tips from Dan Cooper, a chef at Weber’s Grill Academy.

Use a Chimney Starter

Lighting charcoal in wet and windy conditions can be tricky. The solution? Invest in a chimney starter, a cylindrical metal tube that you can use to ignite your briquettes separately before filling up your grill. “It’s the easiest way to light solid fuel, and it’ll work in any weather,” says Cooper.

Take the Indirect Route

Rather than spreading your charcoal evenly throughout your barbecue, you’re better off having it piled on one side or split into two. “This allows you to cook your food indirectly, rather than directly above the fuel, creating an oven-like effect,” says Cooper. Shutting the lid will enhance this (and maintain heat, which is easily lost in chilly weather).

Check your Meat’s Heat

“Always use a meat thermometer to test the core temperature of your food, rather than just relying on time guidelines from recipes,” says Cooper. “This is especially important in winter, when cold temperatures and icy winds can easily elongate the cooking process.”

Keep your Fuel Dry

Simply chucking bags of charcoal in the shed or garage like you would in summer is a recipe for disastrous barbecuing. “The key to keeping your fuel in good condition is to make sure you store it off the ground so it doesn’t get damp,” says Cooper. “If you can store it in a heated room, even better.”

Think Big

If summer barbecues are all about sausages and burgers, winter’s the time to be more adventurous. “Whole joints of meat will taste better barbecued than they will oven-cooked, due to the increased temperature, juicier meat and lovely smoky flavours,” says Cooper. “I’d also recommend getting a rotisserie attachment, which is perfect for cooking whole chickens, geese, turkeys or ducks.”

For more tips, recipes, barbecues and accessories, visit weber.com