Gas Barbecue Basics for Beginners

This is my guide to the basics of gas barbecues and cooking on them for the beginner, I'll cover preheating, cooking and the cooking temperatures for different meats.

Created by Andy Hobson (Alumni) on Tuesday, 24th of June, 2014.
Updated on Friday, 2nd of December, 2016.


Gas Barbecues

Most people in the United Kingdom love a BBQ. As soon as there is a hint of sunshine, especially in the run up to a bank holiday weekend, local garden centres will be busy with people looking for a barbecue or an upgrade for their current model.

As soon as the weekend arrives every supermarket will be over run with hundreds of happy people in their summer wear and sunglasses stocking up on supplies for their weekend braai. Meats, drinks, snacks and extra garden furniture will all be on the shopping list.

Coal, Wood or Gas Barbecues, Which is Better?

So first things first, are traditionally fuelled BBQs such as wood or coal better than gas? Do they produce a better taste? This is a common discussion with many people believing that coals produce the 'barbecue taste' 

The experts don’t think so and neither do I, the way that barbecues work means that the flavour will be the same no matter what because of a simple three step process.

The food will cook on the open grill, the juices from the food fall onto the flame or coals below and then they will be burned or evaporate sending a flavour filled vapour back up to the food giving it a great taste. It isn’t the fuel that gives you the flavour it’s the vapourising of the cooking juices.

Pre-heating Your Barbecue

Before you put any food onto your BBQ you should always preheat it, so that the cooking surface has reached optimum cooking temperature. For best results lightly oil the cooking surfaces.

If your barbecue has no hood then turn all burners onto high for approximately 10 minutes, once the temperature is at the desired level, reduce the burner settings. For a barbecue with a hood, turn the two outside burners onto high and leave it for 8 minutes with the hood closed,  once the temperature reaches the desired level turn the burners down. 

I must take this opportunity to say that I advise you never to leave your BBQ unattended for safety reasons. If it’s cold or windy then the times above should be extended.

There are two ways you can cook on a barbecue, direct or indirect cooking. Direct cooking is where the heat is directly under the food being cooked.

Direct Cooking on the Griddle

When direct cooking foods with plenty of fat content you should use the griddle, as foods are normally cooked in a frying pan such as bacon, thin steaks, fish fillets and tomatoes.

To help foods retain their natural juices and a great flavour, you are best to cook them slowly on a moderate to medium heat. If the heat is too high, the food could be burnt on the outside but raw inside. If you cook with a hood which is down then the burners can be left on a lower heat.

Direct Cooking on the Grill

This is the most common way that Australians barbecue their meat, it retains the true barbecue taste and flavour. Usually thinner cuts of meat and fish that cook quickly are sucessful done this way, thicker cuts can be cooked using this method mixed with an indirect method.

Lightly oil the grill before lighting your Gas BBQ. Then after preheating, once it is hot, place the food directly onto the grill to quickly sear and seal in the flavour and juices.

Indirect Cooking

You can only indirect cook if you have a roasting hood, this is because there is no direct heat under the food, rather it cooks by the heat circulating around it. It is similar to a conventional oven and is ideal for roasts, vegetables and whole fish.

Indirect cooking is also great for thick cuts of meat and a combination of both indirect and direct cooking will give you the best flavour and texture.

Cooking Temperatures for Meat

The safest way to test that meat is cooked is by using a meat thermometer. Below is a list of meats and the temperatures they should be when cooked at different levels. For the best reading always insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat and make sure that it doesn’t touch any bones.

Pork

Veal

Beef

Lamb

Chicken

Poultry

Rare 60°C / 140°F N/A Rare 60°C / 140°F Rare 60°C / 140°F N/A N/A
Medium 70°C / 160°F Medium 70°C / 160°F Medium 70°C / 160°F Medium 70°C / 160°F N/A N/A
Well Done 75°C / 165°F Well Done 75°C / 165°F Well Done 75°C / 165°F Well Done 75°C / 165°F 85°C / 185°F 90°C / 195°F

Leave the Meat to Rest

When you cook the meat the juices are forced towards the center of it, when you turn it over the same happens again, this gives the middle of the meat plenty of juice, cutting it straight away means all of those juices run out and onto your cutting surface and the flavour is lost.

By leaving the meat to rest this allows the juices to slowly make their way back to the out edges of the meat giving you an overall juicy, flavourful taste.

Further Information

If you are looking to buy a new BBQ, you can view a wide range of Gas Barbecues on the Gardensite website.

Read our Blog: What Type of Barbecue Should I Choose

Related Articles

Top Ten Pieces Of Equipment For A Forest School

Top Ten Pieces Of Equipment For A Forest School

Forest Schools are inspiring places, designed to give children the opportunity to develop confidence and increase self-esteem in natural woodland. Nathan James Dodd suggests ten items that will useful in such an environment.

Author: Nathan James Dodd

Written by Nathan James Dodd.
Published on Friday, 20th of May, 2016.

Autumn Covers For Garden Furniture

Autumn Covers For Garden Furniture

When the weather becomes too cold and damp to sit outside or host a barbecue it's time to safeguard your garden furniture, Nathan James Dodd reviews the covers that offer protection from wind, rain and snow until next year.

Author: Nathan James Dodd

Written by Nathan James Dodd.
Published on Thursday, 15th of October, 2015.

Next Year's Gardening Trends Revealed At Glee

Next Year's Gardening Trends Revealed At Glee

One of the main reasons for our buying team to attend Glee 2015 has been to gain an insight into the future, here Nathan James Dodd outlines what is currently trending in the gardening industry.

Author: Nathan James Dodd

Written by Nathan James Dodd.
Published on Wednesday, 16th of September, 2015.

Our Review Of La Hacienda Wood Fired Ovens

Our Review Of La Hacienda Wood Fired Ovens

The increasing trend for eating and entertaining outdoors seems set to continue and La Hacienda wood fired ovens, that can be used to cook and grill an impressive range of food, have caught the attention of Nathan James Dodd.

Author: Nathan James Dodd

Written by Nathan James Dodd.
Published on Friday, 28th of August, 2015.

comments powered by Disqus

RSS

View RSS Feed

Author

Andy Hobson (Alumni)

former Social Media Co-ordinator

View Profile

Follow Us!

Recent Articles

How To Heat Your Greenhouse

How To Heat Your Greenhouse

Heating will be a deciding factor on the variety of plants you are able to grow in a greenhouse and the number of plants that can be kept over winter. Here, Robert Hall goes through the pros and cons of the different types of heating that are available.

Author: Robert Hall

Written by Robert Hall.
Published on Monday, 16th of January, 2017.

Grange Announce New Timber Products For 2017

Grange Announce New Timber Products For 2017

Grange are introducing several new fence panels and gates in 2017 and Andy Taylor has been looking at these fresh additions to their already impressive collection of timber products.

Author: Andrew Taylor

Written by Andrew Taylor.
Published on Friday, 13th of January, 2017.

Safe and Secure Shopping on GardenSite

Safe and Secure Shopping on GardenSite

With the security of online purchases and protection of personal information a priority for our customers, David Coton is pleased to announce that gardensite.co.uk is now fully secure across the whole site.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Tuesday, 10th of January, 2017.

Palmako Timber Garden Houses Now Available

Palmako Timber Garden Houses Now Available

Palmako are one of Europe's leading manufacturers of garden buildings using high quality Nordic timber, and David Coton is pleased that GardenSite can now offer their new range of versatile and beautifully constructed garden buildings.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Tuesday, 10th of January, 2017.