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Do's and Don'ts of Barbecue Cooking

Do’s and Don’ts of Barbecue Cooking


  • Read the manual. Ensure your barbecue is properly assembled before using it, and that you’re using a recommended fuel.
  • Take safety precautions. Check that the barbecue is in a safe working order before use. Keep a bucket of water and sand nearby in case of a fire. Throw sand on an out of control barbecue and water on clothing or furnishings should they be accidentally set alight.
  • Protect yourself whilst cooking. Always wear an apron, the heavier the better. You may also find a pair of oven mitts handy. Keep a pair of long handled tongs nearby for removing cooked food to avoid putting your hands too close.
  • Ensure food is thoroughly cooked prior to serving. Thaw meat properly before cooking, and turn and move it around the barbecue regularly. Meat should be piping hot in centre, with no pink meat visible, and clear running juices.
  • Clean the barbecue during (when safe to do so) and after use, removing all traces of grease and fat to prevent flare ups and dangerous spitting fat.



  • Use the wrong fuel. Don’t burn logs or coal on a barbecue designed for charcoal, and never use wood, charcoal, or petrol on a gas barbecue. You could damage your barbecue, cause a fire, or run the risk of undercooked food. Always use a safe firelighter or lighting fluid which is designed for use on barbecues. Never use petrol to light the barbecue.
  • Leave the barbecue unattended, especially when there are children nearby.
  • Position the barbecue where smoke could cause problems or where something could potentially be set alight. A steady and level surface away from garden furniture, plants, trees, children and garden games is ideal. If your barbecue is on a patio a chalk drawn safety zone can help keep curious children at bay.
  • Throw the hot coal or ashes straight into the bin. Let the used fuel cool completely before cleaning the barbecue, and ensure the barbecue is not still hot should you need to move it. Hot coals can be doused with water.