Barbeque tips from Heston
“One of the things I love about cooking is that you never stop learning. Exploring and experimenting is all part of the fun. So I’m going to share some tips on outdoor cooking, to help you add a little sizzle to your next barbeque.”
Adding flavour to charcoal cooking
“Here’s a great tip for adding some more subtle smokey flavours to your barbeque. Just throw some fresh herbs onto the charcoal while cooking. A sprig of rosemary is perfect for lamb, and sage works well too. Herbs like these are sturdy enough to burn in the heat and release flavour over time, rather than quickly withering and burning away like lighter herbs like basil would. Spritz with a little water first to prolong the infusing.”
Knowing when charcoal is ready
“Charcoal barbeques can reach a radiant temperature of over one thousand degrees celsius. Things start to settle down when ash starts to form on the crust of each coal. This not only stops coals burning up too quickly, but creates the perfect grilling temperature, so once you see that layer of ash on your coals, you’ll know you’re pretty much good to go.”
Finding the sweet spot
“The ‘sweet spot’ is the distance from the heat where food cooks best, and has a consistent heat of no more than 10% variance. Obviously this will vary depending on what you’re cooking, and how high your grill is, but generally, the optimum grill height from the heat is 18.5% of the grill’s width. Luckily, my barbeques have worked all that out for you, so you won’t have to whip the ruler out and start adjusting things.”
“Flare ups are usually caused by a combination of extreme heat and a build-up of oil. They’re nothing to worry about, but you can reduce the chances of one happening by cleaning your barbeque regularly.”
Keeping things clean
“It’s really important to take care of your barbeque, removing fats and oils after use will help prevent flare ups. A good tip to prevent sticky build up on grills during cooking is to give them a quick rub with cloth soaked in cooking oil before you start, and again after, to get them ready for next time.”
“If you’re cooking more delicate food, like fish, or thinly sliced meat, then indirect cooking is probably your best bet. Placing food just away from the centre will help it find pockets of heat, without exposing it to the full temperature force.”
Internal cooking temperatures
Always place the thermometer in the thickest part of the meat. For steaks, make sure that the thermometer is inserted from the side until the probe reaches approximately the centre. For poultry, it is important to take the temperature of both the leg and the breast.
Always remember residual heat or carry over cooking will occur once the meat is removed from the heat source. A steak could increase in temperature by approximately 5°C. How quick the internal cooking temperature is achieved can be controlled by moving the charcoal around in the barbeque and managing the charcoal below the areas that would take longer to cook. Here are some Heston recommended cooking temperatures.
For Beef and Veal
Rare – 50°C
Medium rare – 55°C
Medium – 60°C
Medium well – 65°C
Well done – 70°C
For Minced Beef
Medium rare – 55°C
Medium – 60°C
Medium well – 65°C
Well done – 70°C
For Pork or Ham
Poultry Legs – 75°C
Poultry Breast – 65°C
Why not try some of the recipes
Roast Leg of Lamb (serves 6-8)
For the lamb
- 1.8–2.2kg whole leg of lamb, bone-in
- grapeseed oil
Preheat the 4K BBQ by placing 150g charcoal on top of the charcoal grid. Press the fast flame ignition and wait for 7 minutes with the hood open.
Aim to preheat the 4K to ambient temperature of 100-130°C. Monitor the ambient temperature and top up with no more than a small piece of charcoal at a time, only if required to reach the ambient temperature.
Season the lamb with grapeseed oil and salt before cooking. With both high grills in place, insert the meat probe into the centre of the thickest part of the lamb leg and place the lamb onto the high grill. Aim for an ambient temperature of 100-130°C by topping up the coals and adjusting the vents as needed.
Once the lamb has reached a core temperature of 58°C, remove it from the grill and place on a cooling rack set over a tray. Cover with foil and leave to rest.
Top up the coals with 250g charcoal and allow to fully-ignite with the hood closed, allowing the ambient temperature to increase to 280°C.
In the meantime, coat the lamb with grapeseed oil and season with salt again. Brown the lamb on the hot grill bars with the hood closed for 5 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
Allow the lamb to rest of 8 minutes before carving. Do this by holding the leg by the bone vertically in front of you. Trim the meat from either side of the bone so you are left with two large pieces. Slice each piece (while flat-side down) across the grain using a sharp knife. This will ensure maximum tenderness.
Honey Roasted Turkey
For the honey and citrus brine
- 11oz salt
- 1/2oz thyme
- 3oz honey
- 1/5oz coriander seeds
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 lemons, zest only
- 3 limes, zest only
- 1 orange, zest only
- 1/2oz black peppercorns
To brine the turkey
- 1 gallon reserved honey and citrus brine
- 8-10lb turkey
To make the glaze and cook the turkey
- 18oz cranberry juice
- 4oz Cointreau
- 14oz honey
- reserved brined turkey
Place the salt along with the gallon of water into a large pan and bring to the boil to dissolve the salt. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool 104°F. Add the thyme, honey and remaining aromatics and once completely cooled, place in the fridge overnight. (This brine recipe should be doubled if the turkey is larger than 8lb).
Strain the honey and citrus brine into a large container. Add the turkey and brine for 14 hours in the fridge. Remove and wash the turkey under cold, running water for 1 hour. Pat dry with kitchen paper.
In the meantime, make a glaze by combining 8oz of the cranberry juice and the Cointreau in a pan and reducing to a syrup over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and add the honey and the remaining cranberry juice.
Preheat a Hub or Fusion BBQ and set the grill to medium/high heat.
Season the brined turkey with salt and carefully attach it onto the spit using the forks. Take care not to split the skin. Place the spit onto the BBQ on height setting 2 and cook for 30 minutes until the skin is golden. Monitor the heat (topping up and moving the coals as needed) to ensure a surface temperature of around 160°F is maintained on the bird.
Brush with glaze every few minutes until the turkey begins to get sticky. Once a core temperature of 150°F is reached when using a probe thermometer, lower the bird to the lowest setting to colour and finish the glaze.
Remove the bird from the spit once the core temperature reads 155°F and rest for 30 minutes before carving. Reserving any juices to be used in a gravy along with half of any remaining sauce.
Char-grilled Tomato and Avocado Slaw (serves 2-4)
For the semi-dried tomatoes
- 12 cherry tomatoes, halved across the middle
- pinch fine salt
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- pinch caster sugar
For the Jalapeño pickled cabbage
- 340g cabbage, finely sliced
- 100g juice from a jar of red Jalapeños
To finish the slaw
- reserved semi-dried tomato halves
- reserved Jalapeño pickled cabbage
- 20g red Jalapeño, finely chopped
- 1 avocado, peeled and diced
- 1 lime, zest of whole and juice of ½
- 1 tsp coriander, finely chopped
- 1 tsp fine salt
To semi-dry the tomatoes, preheat the Hub and toss the halved tomatoes in the salt and olive oil. Grill on the hot BBQ, cut side-down until slightly charred. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with sugar.
Place in the hot cupboard underneath the BBQ while you continue cooking the other items – or simply spread cut-side up on a tray to partially dry out in a 70°C preheated oven for 1 hour.
Combine the finely sliced cabbage with the Jalapeño pickle juice and set aside for at least 2 hours. To finish the salad, combine all the ingredients and toss well to evenly coat.
Rotisserie Pork Roast with Bitter Orange Glaze (serves 6-8)
For the marinade
- 180g olive oil
- 10g fennel seeds
- 10g cumin seeds
- 20g fenugreek
- 40g annatto
- 2g black peppercorns
- 20g yellow mustard seeds
- 300g orange juice
- 60g lime juice
- 7 lime leaves
- 4kg boned pork shoulder
- 45g orange zest, finely grated
For the pickled bitter orange
- 25g olive oil
- 4g black mustard seeds
- 3g cumin seeds
- 3 dried red chillies
- 2 curry leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 4g ground fenugreek
- 5g chilli powder
- 1 large Seville orange
- 50g white wine vinegar
- 40g lime juice
To make the marinade, heat the olive in a pan and toast all the spices for approximately 5 minutes over a moderate heart. Allow to cool slightly, then blitz along with the juice and lime leaves in a mini food processor.
Roll out the pork shoulder and spread the mixture on it. Add the finely grated orange zest and roll up the shoulder, securing with butcher’s string.
Light the coals on the Hub and once they are ready, insert the spit roasting rod through the pork shoulder and secure. Place on the BBQ spit and begin cooking on the level 3. The surface temperature on the meat should read 70-80°C. Check every 30 minutes and top up the charcoal as needed. This will take approximately 4–5 hours.
The pork should be golden in colour and the core temperature should read between 65-80°C when probed with a thermometer. Remove from the heat and allow to rest for 1 hour before serving. For the pickled bitter orange, heat the olive in a pan and toast all the spices for approximately 5 minutes over a moderate heart. Cut the orange into 12 wedges and add to the pan, combining well. Deglaze the pan with the vinegar and lime juice and increase the heat, allowing the mixture to come to the boil for one minute.
Remove the mixture from the heat and place in a sterilised jar.
Reserve until needed, and serve alongside the pork.
Heston’s Ultimate Steak
- 50g White onions,
- peeled and chopped
- 230g Green peppers
- 450g Ripe avocado,
- peeled and seeded
- 10g Garlic cloves,
- peeled and chopped
- 30g Parsley leaf
- 80g White wine vinegar
- 20g Coriander leaves
- 6g Salt
- 200g Olive oil
Combine all the ingredients together in the jug of a blender and blitz until smooth. Transfer to an airtight container until needed.
- 50g Red jalapenos
- 30g White wine vinegar
- 30g Mint leaves
- 10g Coriander leaves
- 10g Basil leaves
- 20g Tarragon leaves
- 60g Flat leaf parsley
- 5g Cloves garlic, peeled
- 6g Salt
- 120g Olive oil
Combine all of the ingredients in the jug of a blender and blitz until finely coarse consistency. Place in an airtight container and place in the fridge until needed.
For the Steaks
Preheat the barbecue until it is very hot. Season the steak (ribeye) on both sides. Cook the steak, flipping it every 15 seconds. A 2cm steak will take about 2 minutes to reach medium-rare. Insert the probe into the thickest part of the flesh. The meat will need to be removed approximately 5 degrees before reaching the desired temperateure. The steak will carry on cooking after it’s removed. Place the meat on a cooling rack over a tray and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. This allows residual heat to finish the cooking, and lets the fibres relax, so that they hold on to more of their juices. Slice the stick against the grain and serve with the sauces from above.
For the sweetcorn
- 100g Unsalted butter, softened
- 10g Sweet smoked paprika
- 4 Sweetcorn kebabs
- 200g Manchego cheese, finely grated
In a bowl, mix the butter with the paprika until well combined. Place the sweetcorn in a pan with boiling salted water and cook for approximately 12 minutes or until cooked through. Remove the sweetcorn from the water and place on the BBQ and rotate while basting with the smoked paprika butter until golden colour on all sides.
Sprinkle some of the Manchego cheese on top and allow to slightly melt on the BBQ. Remove from the BBQ and serve with a little of the paprika butter on top.
Tuna Belly with Fennel and Lemon
- 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 Tbsp fennel seeds
- 500g rock salt
- zest of 2 lemons, finely grated on a microplane
- 4 portions tuna belly
- (100g each)
- 1 white onion
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 whole fennel bulb
- lemon juice
- freshly ground black pepper
Toast the coriander and fennel seeds in a hot, dry pan until fragrant. Remove from the heat. Set aside half a teaspoon of the toasted seeds to use as garnish. Combine the remaining seeds with the salt and lemon zest and mix well.
Preheat the teppanyaki grill on the Furnace BBQ.
Sprinkle half the salt mix along the back of the teppanyaki grill to make a salt bed approximately 1cm deep. Allow the temperature of the salt bed to reach 70°C and lay the pieces of tuna belly on top leaving a small gap in between each piece. Sprinkle the remaining salt mix on top, covering the tuna pieces completely. Leave to cook for 12 minutes. Check the temperature of the centre of the tuna belly by using a probe thermometer. Once the core reads 45°C, remove the pieces from the salt, and brush off all visible salt and seeds. Season the tuna with a generous squeeze of lemon and garnish with the toasted seeds.
While the tuna is cooking, peel and slice the onion 2mm thick without separating the rings. Drizzle half the olive oil onto the front part of the teppanyaki grill and lay the onion slices on the grill, cooking until golden and caramelised. Remove and season with salt. Carefully shave the fennel using a mandolin 2mm thick and place in a bowl. Drizzle over the remaining olive oil and season with salt. Lay the fennel slices on the teppanyaki grill and cook until tender. Remove and add to the onions, seasoning with some lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper. Serve the grilled fennel and onion with the tuna.
Blueberry Crumble (serves 4)
For the puree
- 1kg frozen wild berries
- 40g unrefined golden caster sugar
- ½ Tbsp finely-grated orange zest
To finish the crumble
- 50g blanched hazelnuts
- 100g plain flour
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 75g unsalted butter, diced
- 75g Demerara sugar
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes
For the crumble
- 200g reserved puree
- 300g reserved crumble
- blueberries, washe
- ice cream, serve
To make the puree, combine the berries and sugar in a pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, remove the mixture from the heat and blitz until smooth using a food processor or hand blender. Pass through a fine sieve and stir in the zest. You will only require 200g of this puree for this recipe, so keep that amount aside in the fridge and portion the remaining to freeze.
For the crumble, preheat the oven to 150°C and spread the hazelnuts out on a baking tray. Roast for 10 minutes, shaking the tray several times. Set aside to cool slightly, then blitz or finely chop. Combine the flour and the cinnamon in a bowl. Add the small cubes of butter and mix by hand until the texture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Fold in the hazelnut crumbs, Demerara sugar and salt so that the mixture comes together to form clumps. Place in the freezer for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven at 200°C and spread the mixture evenly out on a baking tray. Cook until golden brown, approximately 15 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature then store in an airtight container until needed.
To build the crumble, divide the fruit puree evenly between 4 oven-proof ramekins or mini cast-iron pots. Top with the blueberries and place the dishes on top of the grill of either a pre-heated Force of Furnace BBQ. Close the lid and cook for 2-3 minutes on a low heat to warm the fruit through. Add crumble and leave for 2 more minutes, then remove and garnish with a ball of your favourite ice cream.