Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland


Tips and advice from BBQ Grillmaster Brian George
for a successful BBQ

DON'T be a 'BBQ Barry', charcoaling the chicken legs into something resembling fossil fuel and then sticking it in a limp bap and smothering with ketchup is just not BBQ! Good barbecuing should be a sophisticated cooking event. The 'BBQ Barry' philosophy of 'if it ain't burnt, it ain't barbie' is definitely not the rout to better BBQ'er! Top Grillmaster Brian George offers some simple BBQ tips and advice that should help.


Plan your barbecue well in advance. BBQ's can be spontaneous but a little planning works wonders.

Prepare food well in advance and store in the fridge, most meats and poultry benefit from an overnight soak in a suitable marinade.

Do not believe in quick solutions - five minute marinades do not really work as meat, fish or poultry needs time to absorb flavour!

A simple tip that will speed up the marinating time by around half, is to place meat, fish, poultry in a plastic bag with a suitable marinade, seal and massage-in marinade for a few minutes than place in coldest part of fridge for around 30 minutes.

Vegetables, even fruit can also me marinated and go great on the grill!

When using wooden skewers always soak well in water before use.

Fish generally is better barbecued whole, although 'meaty' fish such as tuna, swordfish or shark can be barbecued as steaks.

Use a variety of marinades and sauces to achieve a balanced menu and cater for a mixed flavour profile of mild, medium, spicy and hot!

Ensure grill bars are well oiled and continue to lightly oil with a heavy duty grill brush or cloth to prevent sticking. Remember to also regularly remove any burnt food residue from grill bars.

Do not burn sausages, or indeed anything! - Burnt food on the barbecue is a real 'no no'. Do ensure that food, particularly poultry, sausages and burgers are cooked through!

Apart from an initial sear, don't cook on too high a heat, grill slowly, turn two or three times at most. Baste often.

Use some simple tricks to create a sense of fun and theatre at your BBQ. If you are very careful you can increase the level of smoke or 'flair' the flames, which all helps to make your barbie look good!

To achieve professional 'cross-hatch' grill-lines, sear meat, fish, poultry or fruit /vegetables on highest heat section at right angles to grill bars, remove lightly wife with oil and turn and repeat. Once both sides are seared, turn meat/fish/poultry lengthwise to grill bars and repeat process. Once achieved return to normal cooking heat.

Increasing the smoke level should only really be done on charcoal and can be achieved by throwing on wet wood chips or damp herb branches. A similar, although less pronounced effect, can be achieved on gas, as long as the grill has a 'free-flo' lava rock or pellet bed.

Flaring the flames, can be done on either gas or charcoal by briefly pressing down on meats or poultry with a long handled spatula, releasing the natural fats onto the grill causing a brief flare-up. Please take great care when attempting and keep body well clear of grill. Do not under any circumstances attempt to enhance the effect by adding extra oil!

Golden rules of barbecuing