Charcoal or Gas? If you haven’t already got your BBQ, your first step is to choose whether you want to go with a charcoal or gas type BBQ. Each has its own unique benefits; it is just a matter of picking which suits your needs best. If you consider yourself a connoisseur of fine food, and are willing to spend the time preparing the fire and cooking your food, then a charcoal barbeque is what you need. If you would prefer a BBQ that is quicker to light, easier to use and simpler to clean, then gas would be best for you. Getting Hot If using a gas BBQ, simply turn on the gas and press the ignition - simple! When lighting a charcoal BBQ, the most convenient way to get the fire going is to add lighter fluid to the coals. An alternative for starting a charcoal BBQ fire is to use scrunched up newspaper positioned amongst the coals. It will take longer than using lighter fluid, but will ensure a more natural barbeque taste. There are also accessories available to help make lighting your charcoal BBQ quicker and easier, for example the Weber Chimney Starter. Meat & Greet When cooking meat such as sausages and burgers on a charcoal barbeque, you will need a sufficient amount of charcoal to ensure that a single, consistent layer of heat is maintained during cooking. With large quantities of food and thickly cut meats such as steak, a double layer of charcoal may be needed. This will ensure the meat is cooked swiftly and most importantly thoroughly for safe eating. Tip: create a two-zone cooking area. This involves dividing your barbeque into two areas, one with one layer of charcoal and the other with two layers. This allows you to cook both lighter and heavier meats more efficiently. The Right Tools Even the most skilled outdoor cook needs the right tools to make their food a tasty success. Here is our list of the must-have BBQ tools: A good pair of tongs to easily move sausages and chicken. A large bladed spatula to help flip burgers, steaks or fish. Skewers to create the perfect barbeque kebab. A brush to add a tasty marinade to the meat. Take Your Time Cooking on a barbeque is an art, so you may want to have a few cooking trials to practice before inviting guests. Patience is the key to excellent outdoor cooking. One of the most common mistakes with charcoal barbeques is to put the meat on before it is hot enough, so make sure you give the coals time to smoulder. Also, try to resist the temptation to move meat around and flip it too much. The less you turn it, the better it will cook. When removed from the grill, give the meat 5 to 10 minutes to rest before serving. This allows the juices to flow through it for a superior taste. Remembering your guests’ preferences for how well they would like their meat cooked, will help make sure everyone has a great time.