What is the difference between direct and indirect grilling?

It’s much like the difference between frying and baking. Direct grilling (frying) occurs when placing your meat directly above the heat source to grill. You can cook directly with the hood up or down, but generally you cook with it down. The only reason as to why you would need the hood up is for foods that need plenty of basting or cook so quickly that having the lid down would overcook it.

Indirect grilling (baking) can be done by placing the meat to the side of the heat source. Since food is not exposed to the direct heat source and instead using surrounding heat to cook food. The meat not only cooks more evenly but also is less likely to burn on the exposed side. However this means that cooking time is longer and slower. Food benefits from indirect slow cooking.

To achieve the indirect grilling method on a gas grill, simply turn one side of the grill off and use the other side to cook your meat. On a charcoal grill you can use a similar method by building a fire on one side of the grill. Alternatively you could also build a fire in a circle around the sides, leaving the centre free to cook your meat. It’s a good idea to place an aluminium drip tray under your food to collect any dripping grease that is likely to cause a flare-up.

What types of food are cooked best with direct and indirect grilling methods?

Foods that benefit from the fast cooking on a hotplate include anything less than 5cm in thickness. Meats such as steaks, pork ribs, fish fillets, chicken wings, burgers and wok cooking are perfect for direct grilling.

Foods that benefit from the slow, even cooking of indirect grilling include anything over 5cm in thickness. Large cuts of meat, roasts, whole chicken and rotisserie cooking are ideal for this grilling method.

How can I control flare-ups?

There are a number of ways you can control the flare-ups in your BBQ. The first thing to do is to trim all excess fat and oils from the foods you grill, including marinades and sauces. In essence, a little fat should be left on your meat for the taste and to stop meat from drying out while grilling. By reducing the amount of fat on the meat, you reduce the amount of flare-ups.

Secondly, if your food catches fire you will need to act quickly and be ready to move it out of the firing range. This is why you shouldn’t grill all your meat at once. Leave part of your grill free so you can move foods away from the flare-up and prevent burning. Once the area of a flare-up is cleared, let the remaining fat burn.

There are a number of products available in the market which can be used to help diffuse flame ups and also control heat distribution. Metal flame tamers and ceramic rock trays are designed to sit under the grill plate and above the burners. Flame tamers also require periodic cleaning, to ensure maximum performance.

Remember to always clean out your grill after a big flare-up. Begin by turning up the heat to burn away as much grease as you possibly can. Then use some of your own elbow grease to scrub out all the burnt fat and food from your grill. It’s a fact; clean grills reduce the risk of flare-ups.

I have just purchased a BBQ, what tools do I need to get started?

There are three essential tools you will require when barbecuing. You will require a BBQ spatula, long handle tongs and a grill brush. We recommend BBQ buddy tools. The spatula, it has been designed to suits a man’s hand size, so it’s comfortable to hold.  It also has a heat resistant grip, prongs for tenderising meat, and a handy stand. So when you’re not using your spatula it will sit flat on the side of your BBQ. The long handle tongs allow you to reach all areas of your BBQ and still have control on the tension of the tongs; they also have a soft grip handle for comfort. The long handle grill brush provides you with three cleaning tools in one product.  The brass bristles are great for cleaning down the grill; the scourer and scraper are perfect for cleaning down the hotplate.

What is the best way to light charcoal?

Most people think that the best way to light charcoal is to use self-lighting charcoal, or one that has an additive to help it ignite without lighter fluids. In truth, it is one of the easiest methods. However, you’ll be surprised to know that these additives can leave behind a bad flavour on your foods that no one wants. What you want is clean charcoal to start your fire with.

Now you could use lighter fluids to light clean charcoal but again, bad flavours. What you can use instead isn’t anything more flammable than good old newspaper. A few pieces of that and a charcoal chimney starter is all it takes to get a good amount of coals burning completely and quickly without any nasty chemicals.


Sometimes I find that my food is sticking to my BBQ plate even though the temperature is correct. What can I do?

There is this fantastic product which is perfect for use on BBQ’s. It’s the BBQ buddy hot plate liner. You simply place the liner on the top of your hotplate and cook like you would normally. The best thing is that after you have finished cooking you can just simply pop it into the dishwasher. You don’t have to clean the BBQ! The liner can be cut to suit the size of your BBQ plate, so you can customise it to suit your needs.

What is the best way to clean the porcelain enamel plates on my BBQ?

Porcelain enamel plates are actually extremely durable and can with stand metal cleaning tools.  You can use any one of our BBQ buddy cleaning products to clean your porcelain enamel plates. With four different brushes to choose from, you’re spoilt for choice.

I would like to cook fish on my BBQ, but I find it very difficult. Is there a tool that would make it easier?

Yes, there is a tool perfect for cooking whole fish on the BBQ. The BBQ buddy fish griller makes cooking a whole fish simple. All you need to do is place the prepared whole fish inside the fish grill and place onto the BBQ.  The handle makes it easy to turn the fish over, and there is no risk of the fish getting stuck to the BBQ plate. You can also place the fish griller on the grill with a smoker underneath and increase the flavour intensity.

Why do I get a bitter flavour when smoking meat?

Oh no, if you’re tasting bitterness then it’s a substance called creosote. It’s a thick, oily residue that occurs when smoke becomes too heavy and stays trapped under the hood for too long. Not only does the meat taste bitter but it can also have a numbing effect on the tongue.

There are two things you can do to get rid of creosote. First thing is to have a clean smoker.  A simple way to do this is by lining the inside of the smoker with aluminium foil for an easy clean afterwards. Just remember to douse the ashes with water before discarding. You would be surprised at how long they can stay burning! The next thing is good airflow. If you have our BBQ Buddy smoker boxes you’re in luck; they have air sockets designed to provide great air circulation. If not, then you will need to make sure that enough smoke is being released to avoid smoke build up.

Is there a way to know when I have creosote?

Yes! A great way to test whether your smoker box is producing creosote is by holding an ice cold glass of water in the stream of smoke flowing from your smoker for about a minute. If you see black specks appear on the glass then it’s a sign of poor air circulation. Remove the lid or open the vents so that the heavy smoke can escape.

Otherwise, you could always taste it. Although by then your meat is basically ruined.

I like to cook roasts on my BBQ, but I find it hard to determine when the meat is cooked. Is there a tool that could assist me?

Cooking times always vary depending on the weight of the roast and the type of meat. The best way to ensure your roast is cooked as desired is to use a BBQ buddy hood thermometer. It ensures the correct temperature is obtained prior and during cooking. Also using a BBQ buddy digital prong thermometer is an excellent way to check the progress of your roast. It is important to make sure your take your roast off the heat prior to reaching the final desired internal temperature, approx 5-10 degrees before, as the meat will keep on cooking once removed from the heat. Always allow your roast to rest after cooking, this allows the meat to relax and sustain the juices.

How much time do I need to cook roast meat?

We’ve created a rough time guide to assist you in working out your cooking time, depending on the size of your meat. Times are based on a moderate heat temperature.

Cooking Style Time Weight
Rare 15-20 minutes Per 500gm
Medium 20-25 minutes Per 500gm
Well Done 25-30 minutes Per 500gm


Large joints of pork may need 30 minutes extra if thick

Chicken time varies to beef/lamb/pork,temperature Moderate – Hot (200oC), 40-45 minutes per KG


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