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Barbecue Tips, Advice & Cooking Recommendations

Safe Barbecue Cooking

We have all the prime cuts you need for a successful barbecue. Why not pop in and have a chat about what it is you are looking for or ask for our recommendations and we will happily show you what we think is perfect for the barbecue season!

Here is some useful guidance to follow so everyone can have a safe and enjoyable barbecue experience –
including how to prepare food correctly, avoid contamination and cook food properly for your barbecues.

Getting Started; Summer is the perfect time to enjoy a barbecue with family and friends outdoors but you need to ensure that food is stored and cooked safely.

Warm weather, which we have been very lucky to have a lot of this year so far, and outdoor cooking can produce the right conditions for the bacteria which cause food poisoning.

So it’s vital you remember the 4C’s of food hygiene:

  1. Chilling
  2. Cleaning
  3. Cooking
  4. Cross-Contamination.



Chilling & Defrosting 

Chilling food properly helps stop harmful bacteria from growing, especially in the warm summer months.

To keep your food safe:

  • don’t defrost foods at room temperature
  • defrost food overnight in the fridge or if this is not
    possible, using a microwave on the defrost setting directly
    before cooking
  • cool cooked foods quickly at room temperature and then
    place in the fridge within one to two hours
  • store raw foods separately from ready-to-eat foods,
    covered on the bottom shelf of your fridge
  • keep chilled food out of the fridge for the shortest time
    possible during preparation
  • keep any food with a use-by date, cooked dishes, salads
    and ready-to-eat desserts chilled and out of the sun until
    serving time
  • don’t overfill your fridge, this allows air to circulate and
    maintains the set temperature.

Some foods need to be kept in the fridge to help slow down the growth of bacteria and keep food fresh and safe for longer.
Use a fridge thermometer to check the temperature is below 5°C as the dials on fridges don’t always show you the correct temperature.



Cooking food at the right temperature and for the correct length of time will ensure that any harmful bacteria are
killed. Don’t forget, charred on the outside doesn’t always mean cooked on the inside. Before serving meat that you have cooked on the barbecue, always check that:

  • the meat is steaming hot throughout
  • there is no pink meat visible when you cut into the
    thickest part
  • meat juices run clear*

*This applies to products made from minced meat such as:
burgers, sausages, kebabs, chicken and pork.

Consider cooking all chicken and pork in the oven first,
then giving it a final finish on your barbecue.

Your friends and family will still experience that special barbecue
char-grilled taste, and you know that you have cooked the meat all the way through.

Take extra care with Burgers remember that a burger is not like a steak. Burgers should
always be served well done, they should not be served rare or pink. This is because when meat is minced to produce
burgers, any harmful bacteria from the surface of the raw meat spread throughout the burger.

Unless the burger is cooked right through, these bacteria can remain alive on the inside. This applies equally to all
meat that is minced, including good quality or expensive meat.


Effective cleaning gets rid of bacteria on hands, equipment and surfaces, helping to stop harmful bacteria
from spreading onto food.

Help minimise the risk of germs spreading by:

  • washing hands thoroughly with soap and hot water before cooking and eating, especially if you’ve been
    handling raw meat or things like firelighters
  • keeping utensils and serving dishes clean when preparing food and ensuring you don’t mix those
    used to prepare raw and ready-to-eat dishes
  • never washing raw chicken or any other meat – it just splashes germs onto your hands, utensils, and worktops
    Avoiding cross-contamination. Cross-contamination is most likely to happen when raw food touches or drips onto ready-to-eat food, utensils, or surfaces.

Prevent it by:

  • storing raw meat separately from ready-to-eat foods
  • using different utensils, plates and chopping boards for raw and cooked food washing your hands after
    touching raw meat and before you handle ready-to-eat food

Understanding Food Poisoning

Many people mistakenly think that food poisoning is just a passing tummy bug but it can be really serious.
Most people with food poisoning recover at home and don’t need any specific treatment.

Safe use of Barbecues

  • Never use a BBQ indoors or on a balcony
  • Position your BBQ on level ground and keep it well away
    from anything that may catch fire (sheds, fences, trees,
    tents etc.)
  • Never leave a BBQ unattended
  • Only use enough charcoal to cover the base of the BBQ
  • Only use approved BBQ starter fuel or fire lighters to start the BBQ. Never use petrol, paraffin or biofuel to get the BBQ going or revive it. Be careful with fatty foods, avoid using oils when cooking
  • Keep children, pets and garden games away from the BBQ. Have a bucket of water or sand nearby for emergency use. After cooking, make sure the BBQ is cool before moving it.
  • Empty cold ashes onto bare garden soil, not into dustbin or wheelie bins. Don’t drink too much alcohol if you are using the BBQ. BBQ’s in outdoor public spaces – only use them in suitable
    and safe areas, and always follow any local rules or guidance on their use Gas Barbecues.
  • Change the gas cylinder outdoors and make sure you turn off all controls and valves. Store gas cylinders outside, protect from frost and direct sunlight
  • To prevent gas leaks, ensure all joints are tightened
  • If you suspect a fault do not use the BBQ and seek
    specialist advice.

Disposable Barbecues

  • Never use a disposable BBQ inside a building, tent, caravan or other enclosed space. Once lit they give off poisonous carbon monoxide fumes that can kill in minutes
  • Always use and leave the BBQ outdoors, where the fumes can disperse and it can cool down completely. Used safely, disposable BBQs can be fun and quick to use but always follow the safety instructions provided and take extra care.

Barbecues are a great way of enjoying healthy food cooked with friends and family and still maintaining social distance. Enjoy the sun while its here and pop in to see us for some fantastic barbecue treats!

Your local world award winning butcher shop