What Are The Most Common BBQ Mistakes?

Everyone loves a good barbecue and we all know how to barbecue – don’t we? BBQ cooking is a lot more complex than it looks and it’s easy to make a mistake in your preparation and cooking without even realising! We’ve compiled our top four areas where people tend to make mistakes and offered some advice and solutions on how to make your BBQ cooking a resounding success!

Preparation Practicalities

We all know the most fun part of a barbecue is the cooking and the eating but putting you practical (sun) hat on and preparing your BBQ will give you a better result on the day.


If you are using wooden skewers for homemade kebabs, kofta, or shashlik, it is always best to soak your skewers overnight in water. Why? Wooden skewers that have not been soaked tend to burn before the kebab itself has cooked making them virtually useless for the job in hand. It’s also possible to use metal skewers just be sure to remember they will get very hot very quickly one on the grill.


Keen on trying out a few new BBQ recipes? If you are trying out new marinades you are best creating them the day before the barbecue and leaving them to marinate into the meat or fish overnight. Most marinades require at least 2-3 hours soaking time but the longer you leave the marinade on the stronger and more developed the flavours will be.


When setting up your BBQ always consider the location of the BBQ itself from a practical and safety minded perspective. If your BBQ is at the other end of the garden to your kitchen you may want consider how you will store your uncooked items away from your cooked items whilst you cook and who will be able to help you should you need anything from the kitchen.

Fire Starter

If you want to perfect your BBQ cooking then one element you must get right is that of starting the fire!

Here’s our top tips for lighting your bbq:

1. Using Lighter Fluid

If there was one major tip we could give you about starting your charcoal barbecue it’s don’t use lighter fluid. Yes – it gets the fire going fairly swiftly and the big flames look good, but there are 2 main reasons why using lighter fluid is a bit of a wash out.

Firstly, lighter fluid increases the temperature on the barbecue very quickly but often leaves little residual heat once the fluid has been burnt. The temperature of the burn uses up the fuel needed to continue the burn through the cooking process. Secondly, food cooked with lighter fluid often has a chemical-like taste.

2. Chimney Starter

If you are struggling to get a good fire started you may want to check our selection of BBQ accessories. Chimney starters are the ideal way to get a charcoal barbecue started without using lighter fluid. This handy piece of kit is ideal for getting your coals started and won’t leave a residual taste like lighter fluid does.


The temperature of your BBQ will determine how well you can cook on the grill and what kind of experience you, and your guests, have.

1. Fridge Cold Meat

Don’t put meat straight from the fridge onto your grill. If it’s already cold it’s going to take longer to cook. Make sure the meat is removed from the fridge and loosely wrapped to prevent pests. If it’s a very warm day the meat won’t take as long to come to room temperature so keep an eye on the resting meat to assess when it is ready to cook.

2. Wait For Grey Coals

If you are using a charcoal grill, always wait for the coals to go grey before you start barbecuing. If there is too much heat the meat won’t cook through. Once the flames have subsided and the coals have a grey covering, the temperature is ideal for BBQ cooking.

Let It Be

One of the hardest things to do if you love BBQ cooking as actually to leave the grill alone to do it’s job! There is always an urge to adjust to make things work better – trust in your grill.

Fiddling With The Lid

Fiddling with the lid of your barbecue is a common trait. When you lift the lid you adjust the temperature of your barbecue – for a gas barbecue you will lower the temperature of your cook; with a charcoal barbecue you will feed the fire with oxygen and raise the temperature. If you want an even temperature lift the lid less.

Don’t Poke It

There is always a temptation to poke your meat to check if it has cooked through – this isn’t a great idea. Poking the meat will cause the juices to run out and will dry out your food. Any fat that runs from the meat will cause flare up on the barbecue itself.

A much better idea is to check those BBQ accessories again. A good quality meat thermometer that has been designed to be used whilst barbecuing will allow you to check the temperature of your meat without letting the juices escape.

Let Meat Rest

Always let your meat rest before serving – a good guide is around 5 minutes. Keep the meat loosely wrapped in cooking foil to ensure that it keeps warm and to deter pests. If you don’t allow the meat to relax it will be tougher to eat.


OutdoorChef helps you to master every culinary challenge. Whether gas, charcoal or electric, from grilling to cooking or baking: our intelligent barbecue systems and the wide selection of accessories pave the way for versatile barbecuing pleasure and relaxing times outdoors.

We’re are the official UK importer of OutdoorChef and provide the largest product catalogue. You can buy online or contact us for more details.