Thompsons' BBQ tips

Posted on 02/06/2016 12:27, by Emma Newman-Young

You’ve probably guessed it by now, but here at Thompsons of Smithfield we love a good BBQ. However it's so easy to get it wrong - should you use direct or indirect heat, how long should you heat up the coals for?!? Hopefully these tips we’ve compiled will help you kick off BBQ season we a bang - we mean a good one of course, not the kind where the BBQ blows up!! 

BBQ Party

  • Make sure charcoal and gas grills are up to temperature before cooking.
  • Be patient with charcoal. It takes 30 minutes to reach cooking temperature.
  • Always cook with the lid down, and only take off the lid to add, turn or remove food.
  • Keep the air vents at the top and bottom of a charcoal grill open while cooking.
  • Grilling times in charts and recipes vary depending on the amount, size and shape of food – and even the weather. Allow a little more cooking time on colder days.
  • Trim excess fat from steaks, chops and roasts – this helps avoid flare-ups.
  • Soak wooden skewers in cold water for at least 30 minutes before using them, so that they don’t burn on the BBQ.
  • If your cooking grate is crowded with food, cook for longer than the specified time.
  • Make sure that individual pieces of food do not touch, so the food cooks on all sides.
  • Avoid frequently turning or peeking at the food, as heat escapes when you open the lid. For direct cooking, turning the food halfway through the cooking time is usually sufficient.
  • Don’t use a fork to pierce and turn small cuts of meat or all the juices will flow out.
  • Many people think that grilling meat for a short time at a high temperature ‘seals in’ the juices. However, this just burns the meat on the outside, leaving it raw in the centre.
  • For best results, sear meat for a few minutes over direct heat, then move it to indirect heat for the rest of the grilling time.
  • What to know the difference between direct and indirect cooking. See this helpful guide here:


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