If, however, your budget does not extend to hiring a professional barbecue chef to operate the grill, here are five quick tips on getting the best from your grill and ensuring you get the best possible culinary results.
1. Think safety
The typical modern barbecue for commercial events is gas-fired and the cylinders are a potential hazard. Be sure to check them visually for any signs of damage, ensure they are safely secured in an upright position during use, and don’t attempt to refill them yourself without adequate safety protection from overalls, goggles and gloves.
2. Charcoal or gas?
Whether to use a charcoal or a gas grill is both a matter of taste and one of practical necessity. Charcoal grills take longer to prepare as you have to fire up the coals and wait before you have adequate heat, whereas with a gas grill you simply flick a switch and off you go.
But for the aficionado, charcoal gives the meat flavor which a gas grill simply cannot reproduce. The choice is yours.
3. Direct versus indirect heat
For burgers, kebabs, pork chops are anything less than about two inches thickness, you can bbq your meat directly over the hottest part of the grill. But for bigger cuts of meat, steaks and the like, position the food at the edges where the indirect heat will cook them more slowly.
Putting steaks or cuts of chicken on direct heat is likely to result in charred exteriors and insufficiently cooked interiors – a big no no at any company bbq!
4. Add smoke for flavor
The smoky taste of a barbecue is perhaps the best part and it’s possible to add smoke even on a gas grill. The trick is simple – use wood chips. With a charcoal grill, add the wood chips directly to the coals once the initial flames have receded.
For gas, never put the wood chips directly on the flames. Instead, wrap them in aluminium foil pierced to let the smoke out.
5. To douse or not to douse
Many bbq’er swears by the addition of a soaking of beer to the grill when things are hotting up. Indeed, beer is a perfect way to douse the flames if the fat ignites and will not negatively affect the taste of the meat. However, do not overdo it and use just small gushes of beer so as not to over cool your grill.