There’s more to barbecuing than just firing up the barbie and adding the food. Follow this guide so that your meals will be cooked to perfection every time.
Traditionally, this means cooking on the hotplate, the flat solid part of the barbecue. A quick and easy method, it’s suitable for most food types, including meat, seafood, poultry, vegetables and fruit, plus kebabs and skewers.
- A hotplate is a feature of most types of barbecues, such as trolleys and built-ins, and newer kettle barbecues.
- Hotplates are generally made of cast iron, which retains heat very well, but enamel-coated steel is also used and is easy to clean.
- Before heating the hotplate, brush it with oil, if necessary, as brushing the hot surface with oil will result in lots of smoke. Or, brush the food with oil before placing it on the hotplate.
This method uses the grill rack, which is usually made of cast iron. Food is exposed to the heat source through the slots, creating that fabulous chargrilled flavour, as well the distinctive charred stripes. As the food cooks, any juices or fat drain out, making this cooking method a healthy choice.
- Most trolley and built-in barbecues have a slotted grill rack and solid hotplate, while kettle and hibachi-style barbecues mainly use a grill rack.
- When cooking foods with delicate flesh or texture, such as fish, tofu, soft vegetables and fruit, you can cover the rack with foil before heating. This stops the food slipping through the slots and also prevents it from overcooking.
- Brush the grill rack with oil before heating, or brush the food with oil before placing it on the grill rack.
Once the domain of professional chefs, the rotisserie can now be enjoyed at home.
It is ideal for slow cooking large cuts of beef or pork, as well as poultry roasted whole, such as chicken, duck, turkey and spatchcock.
Only the largest and more expensive barbecues, usually trolleys, have rotisseries.
PREHEAT the barbecue without the rotisserie in position, so you are able to handle the rotisserie rod safely when securing the meat.
BALANCE the meat evenly on the rotisserie rod to avoid overworking the motor.
TURN off the burner directly under the meat and add a drip pan, as rotisseries use the indirect method of cooking.
CLEAN the rotisserie with hot, soapy water after you’ve finished cooking and when it has cooled down. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.