I'm a BBQ expert – here are the mistakes you've been making, & how to grill perfect burgers every time

AS the weather hopefully improves this bank holiday weekend, Brits up and down the country will be aiming to crack out the barbecue.

But while it's always fun to invite friends over and serve food alfresco, the pressure to host the perfect barbecue can be quite stressful.

It's important to ensure the meat is cooked through but you also want to make sure the burgers aren't overcooked – and why does preparing food on a barbecue ALWAYS feel so much harder?

Well, there may be a few common mistakes you're making that can be easily rectified, allowing you to have more time to sit and relax with a glass of rose, instead of panicking about dinner.

Here, LANDMANN BBQS product manager Andrew Lovell outlines six common mistakes he sees people making all the time, and how you can avoid making the same mistake…

Fire (and oil) up the grill

Tip number one – always oil your grills up before cooking to make sure food doesn't stick.


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It also helps prevent rusting and helps to clean more easily once you've finished.

Vegetable oil is fine for this as it has a high smoke point. 

Stop fiddling with food

We get it – we all get that urge to stand round the BBQ with a beer and fiddle with the food with your BBQ tongs.

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But, not only does leaving the food to cook mean you get those lovely searing stripes that everyone wants, but you’ll get a much better flavour if you just leave the food to sizzle.

Instead, just turn occasionally. 

Kindling conundrum

Avoid using cheap briquettes and use high quality lumpwood instead – it's quick to light and gets to the right temperature for cooking food quickly too.

It also adds a really good smokey flavour to your BBQ food.

Cheap briquettes contain more additives, can be harder to light and also generally create more ash. 

Fire starter

Chimney starters are a really easy way of lighting your BBQ safely and with no fuss .

The simple metal cylinder design houses your charcoal with some newspaper that you light.

Once it has reached the right temperature,  you simply pour the charcoal into the charcoal grate (you’ll know it's ready as the charcoal will start turning white).

This avoids any cool spots in the charcoal. Landmann’s Charcoal Starter does the job nicely.

Lid up or lid down?

If you’re cooking on gas then keeping the lid down will keep the heat in your BBQ and make sure it gets to the right temperature quickly.

If you keep opening the lid, you will slow down the cooking process as all the heat escapes.

With a charcoal grill, keeping the lid down and controlling the temperatures with the vents means you grill evenly for most types of food.

You can open the lid when cooking thin cuts of meat that you don’t want overcooked on the inside.

Raise the temperature

Preheating is THE most important thing you can do with your BBQ.

If you don’t preheat properly, your BBQ will not get to the optimal temperature for cooking.

No preheating means that your food can stick, it also affects that lovely BBQ flavour and can cause over cooking.

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Preheating properly means your BBQ cooks faster and more efficiently. 

If you're looking for even more top tips, Gregg Wallace reveals some of his favourite al fresco recipes here.

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