Easy steps to perfectly barbecued beef and lamb
Barbecuing is a favourite way to cook, and popular way to entertain. Beef and lamb are both very easy to barbecue, choose from delicious steaks, cutlets or beef or lamb kebabs…there’s a winning ‘barbie’ recipe for everyone.
Step 1 – Coat the meat in oil instead of adding oil to the barbecue grill or hotplate. If the meat has been marinated lightly pat it dry with absorbent paper (this helps the meat brown rather than stew).
Step 2 – Ensure the barbecue is hot before you cook; the meat should sizzle as it makes contact with the plate or grill.
Step 3 – Let the meat cook on one side until moisture appears, then turn once only. Use tongs rather than a barbecue fork to turn the meat.
Step 4 – With practice you can judge the meat’s readiness by touch. Rare is soft, well done is very firm. Rest the meat for a few minutes before serving.
- Make sure your barbecue is HOT before you start to cook. The hand test can give you a good sense of how hot the grill or barbecue plate is. Hold your outstretched palm about 6cm from the heat. If you can only hold it above the heat for around a second it means it's too hot. If you can hold your hand above the heat for 3 to 4 seconds it’s at a moderately high temperature, which is perfect for barbecuing. Any longer, say 8 seconds then the heat is too low. The barbecue should be hot enough to sizzle the meat as it makes contact with the plate or grill.
- Marinted meat need to be treated differently. Don’t pour marinade over the meat while it’s cooking, this makes the meat stew and causes flare-ups. To keep meat moist you can brush the meat with a little of the marinade as it cooks. Don’t brush it on the meat during the last minutes of cooking time.
- Don't crowd the flat-plate or char-grill plate when you barbecue. This reduces the heat and the meat will then release juices and begin to stew.
- When you barbecue don't turn the meat too often, the rule is - turn meat once only. Use tongs never a barbecue fork to turn the meat, piercing the meat with the fork will drain the juices from the meat onto the grill or barbecue plate.
- Always rest meat after it comes off the heat. This allows the juices, which have been driven to the centre of the meat by the heat to return to the surface. If given the time to rest the meat will loose less juice when you cut it and when you eat it the meat will be juicier and tastier.
- Never test for 'doneness' by cutting the meat.
Best cuts for barbecuing
Fillet/tenderloin, rib eye/scotch fillet, sirloin/porterhouse/New York, t-bone, rump, round, blade, oyster blade, beef spare ribs and lean mince for burgers
Steaks (round or topside), fillet/tenderloin, eye of shortloin/backstrap, loin chops, leg chops, chump chops, spare ribs and lamb cutlets
Leg steaks, schnitzels, fillet steaks, eye of loin, loin cutlets, loin chops, rump steaks, shoulder steaks and spare ribs