We love a BBQ here at Sauce Shop. Come rain or shine we’re out there with our tongs but we’re always happy to get some advice from professionals!
To celebrate our partnership with master butchers and home of wholesale gourmet, Tom Hixson of Smithfield we got George Hixson to share his top 10 tips for the perfect BBQ. From choosing the right charcoal to how long meat should be rested, here’s all you need to know…
1. Get inspired!
There is a world of phenomenal BBQ ready to explore. Stoke your passion for all things fire & smoke by discovering how different countries approach the craft.
My all-time favourites are Texan slow n low USDA prime brisket, Argentinian asado style picanha and gogi-gui short ribs from South Korea. Lots more for me to learn though and that’s the exciting thing!
2. Tools at the ready
A simple point, but important nonetheless. Make sure you have all the tools and equipment required to execute your cook perfectly.
I always have tongs, turner, foil and a digital probe thermometer at the ready! There are plenty of gadgets out there to help you. Find out what works to assist your BBQ style.
3. Profile of your charcoal
Select the type that’s most suitable for your meat and how you want to cook it.
Lump charcoal is fast lighting with a burn time of around an hour, a good choice if you’re cooking a wide range of meat.
Briquettes can burn for up to three hours at a consistent temperature, making them ideal for grilling roasting joints.
Charcoal can infuse different flavours into your meat depending on which tree it has come from. Oak trees can release subtle smoky caramel tones, while coal from orange wood carries a deep marmalade flavour.
4. Ask for forgiveness
If you are new to all things BBQ try a more forgiving cut of meat like a Boston Butt or St Louis Ribs.
Ultimately you’ll end up with something tasty, even if you had a few stumbling blocks during the cook.
5. Don’t toil with the oil
Rapeseed oil has a much higher burn point than olive oil so won’t ruin the taste of your food. You can also use it to oil the grill.
6. Chill out
Taking the raw meat out of the fridge at least 20 minutes before barbecuing. This gives it long enough to lose its chill and get down to room temperature. If the meat is too cold when it hits the grill there’s a danger it could burn on the outside before it’s cooked in the middle.
7. Cook match up
Once you have bought your meat from your favourite butcher make sure you’re cooking it the right way to maximise the results.
The magical thing about BBQ is that it can transform an often overlooked cut into a tenderised, taste sensation.
For instance, a brisket is a naturally tough and fatty cut. Whilst I have seen hot and fast techniques for me this cut needs a slow n low treatment. This optimises the tenderisation of the meat and fully renders out the flavour from the fats. In the end, you have a heavenly dining experience. It’s magic!
8. Coal division
Divide into two areas: lay an even distribution of coals on one half, and have none, or an extremely thin layer on the other half. This will give you much more control. Sear on the hot side and use the cooler side for more gentle cooking. You can use cooler side with the lid on to create an oven-like setting for bigger joints.
9. Rest up
For tender, mouth-watering results, leave meat to rest once you’ve taken it off the BBQ. For steaks and smaller pieces of meat allow 10 minutes, for bigger pieces like joints a good 20-30 minutes. Rest on a warm serving plate, under foil and insulate with a clean t-towel. You’ll really notice the difference as the flavours have more chance to develop once off the hear.
10. Sharing is caring!
For me, BBQ and food in general is really about the special dining moments it facilitates with your nearest and dearest. Pick the perfect sauce that compliments the flavour profile of your meat and then pick some amazing people in your life to share the fruits of your labour with.
Thank you George!!
Visit Tom Hixson of Smithfield for more advice and an amazing selection of responsibly sourced, high quality meat and produce.