Light the barbecue before the guests arrive so your guests will arrive to the tantalising smell of the debris burning off the barbecue grills. 


Marinade meats and fish the day before and it will leave you with less washing-up and more time to set up drinks and create the party atmosphere on the day.

Be organised 

Have enough work surface. Work out how many loads of food you have to cook and what equipment you will need?

Stay with your barbecue 

Never leave the BBQ when grilling, for the best results and for safety’s

sake. You won’t get lonely. Chefs never do. There are always a handful of – invariably male – guests who huddle around giving their advice.


Only add salt to a marinade if you are marinating for no more than 2 hours. Pepper is fine overnight, but salt never.

Lose fridge chill 

Always give chilled raw barbecue dishes enough time out of the fridge to approaching room temperature to ensure the meat is cooked evenly and all the way through.

Control the proximity of the food to the coals. 

If you can, use a rack system with three different heights and moveable grills and hinged sandwich racks. If not, shuffle your food that’s grilling around from hot patches to cooler parts of the rack, or place the food on foil to slow things down.

Test to see if cooked through 

Using a small sharp knife, cut into the centre of the meat (down to the bone if there is one), to check that the flesh is cooked and juices are running clear. For flaky fish, such as salmon, press the flesh with your finger or a fork to check that the flakes come apart, indicating that it is ready.

Rest the meat 

Resting meats after barbecuing is as essential a part of the barbecuing process as any other. Rest the meat on a warmed tray on the top rack or away from the direct heat covered with perforated foil.

National BBQ week 30th May – 5th June