When you're cooking on a gas, electric or charcoal BBQ and the food is placed directly above the heat source, this is widely referred to as grilling, especially in the USA. In other parts of the world, including the UK, it is commonly known as barbecueing.
It's the method that most people start with, but often do badly - interestingly, it is probably the most difficult of all the barbecue skills to perfect.
Here are a few tips to help you hone your grilling/barbecuing skills...
- Buy a BBQ that has a means of altering the grill height as it will give you more control.
- Leave an area on the grill where the food can be placed away from the direct heat. It is a good idea to place your charcoal on one side, so you create two cooking zones: one side with fierce direct heat and the other side with more forgiving indirect heat.
- Make sure your cooking grill is clean before you start... It's a myth that leaving the grill with the last barbecue's residue on adds flavour.
- Oil the grilling surface with a high quality natural vegetable oil - This will help prevent the food sticking to the grill.
- Never, ever, poke or pierce the food. Use a good pair of tongs.
- Keep the food moving... in order to prevent the food from burning, the food needs to be constantly turned.
- Use a Charcoal Chimney Starter with regular lumpwood charcoal or charcoal briquettes.
- If you are going to use instant lighting charcoal/ BBQ lighters/ lighter gel (we strongly recommend that you don't) make sure that there are no flames and the lighting fuel residue has burned away.
- Wait until your charcoal has a light grey covering of ash, before you put any food on.
- Use a good quality food thermometer to check that the food is cooked.