Chatelaine Kitchen

Four essential tips and tricks for the BBQ

Food director Claire Tansey answered your grilling and BBQ questions in a live chat — here are the highlights!

John Cullen

Photo by John Cullen

This week I had a Live Facebook Q&A all about grilling. Here are some of the highlights, with some of my favourite recipes as well.

Q. Hey Claire, I love grilled fish but I find it always sticks to the grill! How do I get around this sticky situation?

A. Always grill skin-on fish. Keep your grill very clean and get it super hot before starting. Brush the fish skin with oil then place directly on the grill, skin-side-down. Close the lid, reduce the heat to medium low. No peeking for about 5 min, depending on how thick the fish is. You want to cook the fish all the way through — and don’t flip it. When you take it off the grill, if the skin is sticking at all you can easily just lift the fish off the skin.

Tarragon dill trout
Great grilled side of salmon

Q. I’m fairly new to BBQing. Do you have any suggestions for recipes or items that might make for easy (but impressive) BBQ success?

A. Burgers are a great way to start — and everyone loves them. Use medium ground beef and just season it with salt and pepper. Shape into thin-ish patties and press an indentation into the centre (this prevents them from puffing into baseballs!). Cook over medium high, and only flip them once. Or try our cedar-planked salmon which is foolproof and delicious hot or cold!

The perfect cheddar burger 
Cedar plank salmon

Q. When is the best time to put sauce on meat while BBQing?

A. It depends — if it’s a sweet sauce (like classic BBQ sauce) add it once your meat is almost fully cooked. You don’t want to cook sweet sauces too long as they will burn. If it’s a non-sugary marinade, you can baste meant as often as you like!

Classic pork back ribs
Lemon garlic chicken

Q. Here’s the age-old question, charcoal or gas? Which one do you prefer? Thanks!

 A. I like (and use) both! You can’t beat a gas bbq for quick and easy weeknight dinners. I also love the control it gives me. But if it’s the weekend, I love to fire up the charcoal BBQ and enjoy a relaxing cocktail while it gets hot. Charcoal-grilled chicken, lamb or steak is so good. And after the meal is cooked, we toss a few logs onto the embers and call it an urban campfire – I even get out my guitar for a singalong!

The essential manhattan
Frozen s’mores cake
S’mores icebox cookies 


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