Tips from top chefs for your summer BBQ

Tips from top chefs for your summer BBQ

Its BBQ season, so pick up these top tips from the experts on how to sizzle up a storm…

The essentials

Head Chef at Pavyllon London, Benjamin Ferra Y Castel, has a quirky tidbit of advice on how to keep your utensils clean after grilling: “Soak them for 15 minutes in Coca-Cola and then another 15 minutes in ketchup – after a quick rinse they’ll be shiny and new!”

Other chefs have tool tips to elevate your BBQ. Sofian Msetfi, Executive Chef at Michelin-starred Ormer Mayfair by Sofian Msetfi, says the trick to achieving the perfect smoked flavour is to add wood to your BBQ. “But be careful not to overdo it, as you don’t want an acrid taste. Try adding wood slowly to let the flavour build gradually.”

Meanwhile, Gopi Chandran of Sopwell House has some hygiene advice: “Always probe the meat to check it has cooked to avoid food poisoning by under-cooking and cross contamination. And work cleanly – have enough work surface to prepare food; keep cooked and raw meats separate.”

Meat & Fish

Paul Greening, Executive Chef at UBA, prefers secondary cuts of meat for the BBQ, like wagyu feather blade or spatchcock chicken, as they are quicker and easier to cook. He adds: “When basting your meat on the BBQ, use an atomiser sprayer filled with your marinade of choice instead of a spoon to ensure maximum flavour.”

Jack Stein, Chef Director at Rick Stein Restaurants, favours fish: “Fish on a BBQ is fantastic – marinade and cook in tin foil to stop the skin sticking to the grill and to retain delicious flavour.”

As for seasoning? Executive Chef at Bōkan, Robert Manea, has a surprising piece of advice. “I tend to steer away from adding herbs and spices when seasoning meat; a generous pinch of salt and pepper is all you need! This minimalist approach enhances the natural flavours of the meat, providing an authentic BBQ experience.”

Vivek Singh of Cinnamon Collection reminds us not to waste our marinade – we can catch the juices and use them to baste the meat. “Using leftover marinade can create more flavour and really elevates your barbecued meats.’’


Some chefs say the secret ingredient to a truly good BBQ is the oft-neglected factor of vegetables.

Head Chef at Fenchurch Restaurant, Kerth Grumbs, recommends grilled corn salad. “Grill the corn on the BBQ until blistered, remove it and cover with foil to cool down. Once cool, use a knife to remove the kernels and place them in a bowl with a mix of freshly chopped herbs like mint, coriander, parsley, chopped breakfast radish and pomegranate seeds.”

Meanwhile Theo Randall of Theo Randall at the Intercontinental, favours aubergines, red and yellow peppers and leeks: “All taste delicious dressed simply in olive oil, lemon juice, honey, chopped basil and mint.”

Chris Knights, Director of Food at Young’s Pubs, recommends mixing your vegetables with the meat to elevate flavour. “BBQ quarters of little gem lettuce and spring onion and add to chicken thighs with a Caesar dressing and shavings of parmesan.”