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BBQ Expert Shares This Common Cooking Tip Could Be a Serious Fire Hazard

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Although the sunshine is currently hiding after the short lived heatwave, BBQ season is well underway, with searches for “BBQ cooking tips” up by 700% in the last three months. However, people are making common mistakes that affect the outcome of their BBQ favourites, according to an expert.

Wren Kitchens has teamed up with BBQ cooking expert and food writer, John Finch, to reveal his BBQ cooking secrets for the perfect summer spread, as well as how people can make healthier options on the grill.

BBQ mistakes people make when cooking

Mastering a BBQ isn’t easy, but there a few things to avoid if you to become a pro. “People fill the BBQ full of charcoal, light it up in one layer and create a raging inferno which will make the food burn before the insides are cooked, which is very dangerous. Always use a lot less charcoal than you think, you only need a few kilos for a good BBQ for three to four hours,” says John.

“Always cook to temperature never to time. If you see a recipe that says grill this steak for 10 minutes, make sure you’re the judge. It’s all about relaxing, letting the food cook slowly and gently, and keeping an eye on it so it cooks to your taste,” John advises.

When cooking for bigger groups, avoid rushing the process. “If you’re cooking for a lot of people, cook one lovely piece of meat indirectly on a BBQ, nice and slow, and then slice it up so everyone gets a few slices of beef with some salad. There are ways to cater for a lot of people without all the stress of trying to flip 20 burgers and creating a lot of smoke.”

Cooking techniques for a safer BBQ

“With your grill you need two zones: one that’s hot with direct heat, and one that has the gas burner set low. This helps to cook meat through without burning”, advises John. “You can even use a thermometer to make sure the food is at a safe temperature, chicken is safe at 73–74 degrees, and with a steak, aim for 50–52 degrees” he says.

John also shares why you should cook with the lid on, “A lot of BBQs you see are on fire, fats and juices are going down while burning the food. If you put the lid on, it will help control the airflow, regulate the temperature, and help it to stop those flare-ups from happening because there’s not enough oxygen in the grill to flare it up.”

The secrets to making a BBQ healthier

“There is nothing that you can’t cook on a BBQ, that you can’t cook in a kitchen. Healthy meals such as stir fries can be taken outside to cook too, and there’s lots of different accessories available to do this,” affirms John.

“There is a high amount of sugar content in supermarket pre-marinated sauces or seasonings, so it’s best to avoid and prepare your own, as suggested below, so you are aware of the nutritional content. Firstly, because you don’t want the additional additives in your food, but secondly, there is quite an intense heat when cooking on a BBQ, so the sugars will tend to burn and turn acrid. If you really want to add them, put a little bit on the end and move it to an indirect area of the grill, rather than a searing flame,” he adds.

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