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  • Writer's pictureJosh Katz


Updated: Jun 19, 2020

Barbecue season is upon us. Here are some of my key tips for getting started cooking outdoor over fire this summer.

1) Always build your bed of coals to one side of the barbecue so that you can create different temperate zones and retain an area of your grill that you can transfer your meat to, to rest once it’s cooked, or simply to take off the direct heat whilst the rest of the meat finishes.

2) Wait for your coal to burn down to a lovely bed of burning embers, and try where possible to avoid cooking directly off flame, which will leave a black residue of soot that will cling to your food and taint it with an acrid taste.

3) Try and master the art of reverse-searing, in which meat is grilled indirectly in the barbecue until it gets to the right temperature at its core, and then is transferred to the hottest part of the grill, directly over the grill, to be finished very quickly to sear and colour at its surface. This ensures that the meat gets cooked adequately all the way through without drying out first.

4) I’m a big fan of resting meat properly, though there are some who adamantly believe that doesn’t actually improve the end product. For me, I find that resting your meat gives it an opportunity to relax and for the juices to redistribute evenly across the whole cut, improving both flavour and texture. As a general rule of thumb I tend to rest my meat for half its cook time.

5) Make sure to purchase an instant thermometer probe, which are inexpensive and readily available online, and enable you to find out the correct internal temperature of your meat or fish in seconds. It takes away much of the guesswork associated with knowing when your barbecued food is ready, which is a difficult skill to learn and only comes with many years of experience and live fire cookery.

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