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How to have the perfect summer BBQ: Your biggest BBQ questions, answered

Celebrating the summer heatwave by breaking out the BBQ? Then you’ll want to know the answers to these most commonly-asked barbecue questions before you fire up the coals.

Many keen to take advantage of the sun for some al fresco cooking have taken to Chef Google to answer their burning questions – and it turns out that the most commonly searched-for BBQ question in the last month has been “‘how to BBQ chicken”, according to research.

The survey meisters at Onbuy and MyJobQuote went on to find the other four most searched-for queries, which include would-be-BBQ-ers wondering how to light their barbecue, clean it and more. 

Time to grill an expert…

Whether you’re looking to host a small gathering or just make yourself a mighty burger, here are the most frequently searched-for BBQuestions, solved. You’ll go from the pits to pitmaster with these tips. Now you’re cooking with gas! (Or coals. Or woodchips.) 

How to BBQ chicken

Chicken takes the longest to cook out of the BBQ favourites and is easy to mess up by over-charring or under-cooking, so it’s no surprise that there are thousands of Brits wondering how to perfect it. 

Firstly, coat your chicken with olive oil and season generously to make sure it’s flavourful. Light your grill, ensuring that you are able to moderate the heat and leave a cool spot where there are few coals. Once your grill is prepared, barbecue the chicken undisturbed with the skin side down for around 15 mins (depending on how hot your grill is) and close the lid.

Once it is seared, coat the chicken in barbecue sauce using the cool part of your grill. Following this, turn the chicken over for an additional 20-30 minutes, lowering the heat and closing the lid. As the 20-30 minutes comes to an end, coat the chicken in some extra barbecue sauce. You should cook until the chicken is firm to the touch and opaque all the way through at a temperature of around 165 degrees.

How to light a BBQ

To light a charcoal barbecue, you should remove the lid and cooking gate, sweeping out any left-over debris. Then layer your charcoal at the bottom of the barbecue, scrunch up some old paper on top and add another layer of coal, making it into a pyramid shape. 

Next, carefully pour a generous amount of lighter fluid into the coal, letting it soak for several minutes before carefully lighting the charcoal. In about 10-15 minutes when your charcoal turns white, replace the cooking gate and you’re ready to start cooking!

How to BBQ steak

You should aim for colour and crust on the outside but not overcooked in the middle. Simply place your steaks directly over the heat of the barbecue so that it sears instantly. The cooking time depends on the thickness of your steak and how cooked you like your steak, but generally cooking time is between 2-5 minutes. Once the steak has been on the grill for a few minutes and is visibly seared, leave it to rest for five minutes before serving to ensure all juice is absorbed into the meat.

How to clean a BBQ

Cleaning your BBQ can be quite the chore, especially if the grease has built up from last summer. Here are some ways you can efficiently clean your BBQ in preparation for the heatwave. 

Get the heat on – Preheat your grill to allow the grease to loosen up. This will avoid any difficult scraping and allow any food residue to come off much easier. Lighting new coals under your BBQ can help burn off old food which could otherwise take hours to scrape. 

Steam clean – Steam is great for lifting stubborn grease and dirt. Covering a warm grill in a soaked newspaper or an old wet towel and closing the lid will allow the steam to build, which should make your grill much easier to clean. 

Dishwasher – If you own a dishwasher and your BBQ is a standard size, fitting grills and hotplates into a dishwasher should be fine. It’ll also save you time and energy while making your BBQ accessories look brand new!

Looking for the perfect summer tipple to accompany your BBQ? Here’s the easiest summer cocktail you’ll ever make.

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