1. Keep your grill clean

    A build up of old oil and debris can give your BBQ food an off-taste, as well as leaving burnt remnants on your freshly cooked meat. Ideally, clean it soon after you’ve used it, while the grill is still warm. Left it a little longer? No problem. You can still get it clean in minutes with a piece of scrunched-up tin foil.

  2. Marinate your meat

    Marinating or brining meat can stop it from drying out and cooking too quickly, or burning on the outside. Plus, it makes it taste delicious. Try our BBQ sticky ribs made with a gorgeously sticky Dr Pepper marinade.

  3. Start at room temperature

    Don’t forget to bring your meat to room temperature before barbecuing. This will help it cook evenly, ensuring that the outside won’t dry out or burn before the middle is done. Take a look at our top tips for the perfect barbecue steak.

  4. Be patient

    Before you put your meat on a charcoal BBQ, make sure the flames have died down and the coals are glowing red with a grey-white covering of ash.

  5. Soak your skewers

    Stop your wooden skewers going up in flames by soaking them before you grill them, ensuring they don’t catch fire and reduce your kebabs to cinder.

    When soaking wooden skewers, you can even add a sprig or two of aromatic herbs such as rosemary to the water to add a little extra flavour to the food. 

  6. Size it up

    Use direct and indirect heat to grill meat of different size and thickness. Direct heat is great for smaller items, such as sausages. It's also ideal for giving larger cuts, such as these BBQ lamb chops, a lightly charred exterior, but finish them off over indirect heat area to cook safely all the way through.

  7. Smoke it out

    Although it’s best to avoid cooking over the initial flame of a charcoal BBQ, don’t worry if fat drips onto the coals and causes the odd flare up – it will all add to the smoky flavour. If the flames are getting too fierce, simply move the meat to a cooler area of the grill.

  8. Stock up on foil

    If you’re grilling something for pudding, such as Barbecue banoffee trifles, it's a good idea to wrap the fruit, fudge and chocolate securely in foil. That way, you’re guaranteed a delicious caramelised sauce without any burnt bits.

  9. Catch the drips

    If flare-ups caused by fat dripping from your meat become too frequent, nestle a heatproof drip tray among your coals to catch them as they fall. This will help to keep the heat consistent, making it less likely you’ll cremate your burgers.

  10. Don't sugar coat it

    Some ingredients, such as sugar, will burn easily, so add marinades or glazes that contain it - or honey - in the last few minutes of cooking time, to avoid blackened meat.