Be the BBQ master of the grill by cooking like a champ with FACT’s top tips and tricks for keeping your BBQ gatherings on point.


Nobody’s saying that you shouldn’t get your meat from a local supermarket, but no amount of marinade will magically turn cheap produce into a culinary delight. To avoid any disappointment, choose good quality meat from naturally raised animals and don’t just limit your choices to bangers and burgers; there’s nothing better than splashing out to indulge the ultimate meat cravings with a big slice of dry-aged beef rump and watching it sizzle away on the grill. Seafood is also a big winner!


Probably the most important rule for bbq meat and chicken, using the right marinade is a must. It’s even better (and tastier) if you leave your soon-to-be lunch or dinner steaks, sausages, burgers, ribs and other meat to marinate for a few hours or possibly overnight to ensure that your food is going to be packed with flavours. This will complement the smoke from the BBQ and you can even make extra marinade to brush the meat every 10 minutes or so whilst it’s on the grill.




Be sure to use good quality lumpwood charcoal as the charcoal you choose can dramatically affect the way the food tastes. The burning qualities of lump charcoal are fantastic in that they don’t need synthetic firelighters to get going, and are ready to use quicker than the standard briquettes. The burn journey from coppicing leaves a little of the wood character intact which gives your grilled meats a fantastic subtle smokey/wood flavour. Another good tip here is to add wood chips with your charcoal; apple wood or cherry can add a sweetness to the majority of meats. Simply soak the wood chips in water and add them to the BBQ once it’s lit.




It could make the difference between an ok steak and an excellent steak – a meat thermometer is a great tool. Always insert the thermometer into the centre of the thickest part of the meat, not touching any fat, bone, or the grill. Also keep in mind that the meat’s internal temperature will continue to rise after it’s taken off the grill, so you may want to pull the meat off when it’s about 10 degrees below the target temperature.


Be sure to rest your meat after cooking by covering it in tin foil or moving it to the cold part of the grill, leaving for the same amount of time as it has spent on the grill. When meat cooks, the moisture on the outside evaporates, and the heat forces the meat’s remaining juices to the centre. Allowing the meat to rest before serving will help to redistribute the juices throughout the cut, resulting in moisture-packed, tender and tasty meat.




Though meat is principally the biggest element of a bbq, don’t sidestep the side dishes as they can make a significant difference to even good tasting meat. Use the opportunity to take advantage of seasonal fruits and vegetables teamed with a well- dressed salad, a variety of dips and maybe some bread too. ✤




Impatience can be a cook’s worst enemy – don’t worry about guests, they will better appreciate quality, wellcooked food even if it takes a little longer to get ready. Being patient and attentive whilst cooking on a BBQ will work wonders for your meat, make sure that you wait for the flames to die down, the coals should be a settled light grey which creates very even and hot heat. Trim back excess fat from the edges of cuts such as lamb chops. When the fat reaches a certain temperature it’ll render down and drip onto the hot coals, causing flare-ups, which can potentially spoil the meat. Remember to control the heat from your BBQ, the best way to do this is by piling the coals to one side; creating an extremely hot area and an area with no direct heat.