It’s officially summer which means it’s time to fire up the BBQ! The best barbecues tackle a variety of cooking tasks, all while giving food an authentic smoky flavour. Personally, I can’t get enough BBQ food so I’ve searched for the best recipes you can make on charcoal, gas, pellet and electric BBQ grills.
Now, you can cook almost anything on a BBQ – except these foods you should never cook on them – but you’re doing your grill a disservice if you’re not cooking the right recipes on them. For example, pellet BBQs are the best at cooking down pork whereas charcoal BBQs are far superior at cooking burgers and sausages. Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be cooking burgers on a pellet grill, but you can get more flavour and texture out of your food when you use a different BBQ method.
I’ve found 4 BBQ recipes that you need to try this summer and what method you should be using to cook them. Whether you have a charcoal, gas, pellet or electric BBQ set up in your garden, all these recipes will work for each BBQ but if you try these methods, you’re really allowing your grill to live up to its full potential.
Charcoal BBQ: Burgers
Charcoal BBQs are one of the most popular ways to cook outdoors, as they offer a traditional barbecuing experience and taste. Using hot coals to cook your food gives it a deliciously smoky taste and texture, which is what most BBQ fans love the most about this method of cooking. While charcoal BBQs can cook just about anything, they’re best at grilling burgers, sausages, steak, chicken and lamb chops.
If you want a new burger recipe for this summer, this classic burger recipe from Napoleon is sure to be a crowd pleaser. For any charcoal BBQ cooking, we recommend the 5-star Weber Master Touch Premium E-5775.
Step 1: Make your burger mixture with a pound ground beef, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper. If you like, you can add extra flavourings to your burger mix like onion, mustard, paprika or oregano. Form the mix into patties before refrigerating them for half an hour.
Step 2: Light your charcoal and allow it to preheat for 10 minutes to get the grill nice and hot. Place the burger patties on the grill and let them cook for 2-5 minutes on each side until you can see grill marks.
Step 3: Once you see grill marks on your burger patty, move it away from direct heat and allow them to sit for a few minutes until they’re cooked the way you like. Pop your burger in a bun and load it up with your toppings of choice.
Gas BBQ: Fish
Gas BBQs are all about speed and convenience, as they heat up quickly and you’re ready to cook in about 5 minutes. Gas BBQs use gas canisters as their heat source which still gives that smoky BBQ flavour while being easier to maintain. Like charcoal, gas BBQs are great at cooking most foods, but they’re great at burgers, fruit (yes, really), vegetables, shrimp and fish.
In our best gas barbecue guide, T3 has included top picks for all shapes, sizes and budgets and how to pick a gas BBQ. In general, T3 are big fans of the Napoleon TravelQ Pro285 Phantom and suggest you use it to try out this Weber smoked pepper salmon recipe.
Step 1: Make a marinade of 1 tablespoon peppercorns, ½ bunch dill, 3 tablespoons brown sugar and 3 teaspoons salt. Spread this over your salmon and leave it to rest in the fridge for 1-2 hours or overnight.
Step 2: Preheat your gas BBQ to 150°C and place your salmon over indirect heat. Close the lid and let the fish smoke for an hour until its core temperature is 58°C – you can check this with the best meat thermometer. Serve your fish with the rest of your BBQ food.
Pellet BBQ: Pulled pork
Pellet BBQs or the best smokers combine the flavour of charcoal grills with the convenience and speed of gas. The best things to cook on a pellet BBQ, like the Traeger Ironwood 650, is pulled pork, brisket and ribs. The reason for this is that pellet BBQs are great at cooking big pieces of meat at low temperatures and slow speeds. This pulled pork from Allrecipes is something I can’t wait to try this summer.
Step 1: Put your pork shoulder in a pot and cover with 1 ½ pints of apple cider. Mix together 5 tablespoons white sugar and brown sugar, 2 tablespoons salt and paprika, and 1 tablespoon pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Mix ¼ of the rub into the cider and reserve the rest. Cover the pork and put it in the fridge for 12 hours.
Step 2: Preheat the pellet BBQ to 100°C and add wood chips to the smoker. If your BBQ has it, pour the cider brine into the water pan with more of the rub and an onion.
Step 3: Cover the pork with the remaining mixture and put it on the pellet BBQ. Let it cook until tender for about 8 hours. Let it cool for half an hour before you eat it.
Electric BBQ: Skewers
The best electric grills are having a moment this year and whether you love them or hate them, they’re extremely convenient and great for people with small outdoor spaces. I have the Ninja Woodfire Electric BBQ Grill & Smoker and use it all the time for burgers, hot dogs, vegetables and skewers. I like using my electric BBQ for skewers as I’m not worried about the stick catching on fire and the food still gets grill marks and a smoky flavour. My favourite skewer recipe for an electric BBQ involves chicken, chorizo, red onion, peppers, halloumi and pineapple – here’s how to make them!
Step 1: Soak your skewers in water before assembling. Follow this tip for whatever BBQ you’re using to make skewers as this prevents the wood from burning.
Step 2: Put a chunk of chicken breast on the skewer before following it with chorizo, red onion, pepper, halloumi and pineapple. Place the food evenly apart and depending on the skewer size, you should be able to fit 2 or 3 rounds on one stick.
Step 3: Preheat your electric BBQ and once it’s ready, place your skewer on the grill and close the lid. Flip the skewers halfway through cooking time.