Getting started with your Bull Gas BBQ
So, your Grillo kitchen has arrived, has been installed, and you’re ready to turn up the heat! We’ve pulled together this handy getting started guide, with hints and tips on getting the best out of your new kitchen and BBQ.
Whilst this article is primarily designed for those who are new to gas grilling, there are plenty of tasty morsels here that even the most seasoned gas barbecuer will want to read about. Including videos with Matthew Hoggard from Hoggy’s Grill, this is a must-read for any new Grillo owner & Steak-Holder!
I have multiple BBQs - when should I use gas?
A gas BBQ is a good all-rounder, but if you have a choice of gas and charcoal in your kitchen, a gas BBQ really shines when you need convenience!
We don’t hide the fact that we are lovers of real fire, charcoal and wood-fired BBQs. Sometimes though, you just don’t have the time to prepare the charcoal and get that temperature just where you need it to be. That’s all fine! The convenience of a gas BBQ means that you are able to come home from work after a hard day in the office, turn a knob and get grilling quickly.
And when it comes to capacity, if you are catering for a crowd, you will find the large grill surface a real luxury. The 4 main burners have the ability to be controlled independently so you can be searing your steaks on one side, whilst your vine tomatoes and asparagus gently finish roasting on the other side – perfect for ensuring all your dishes finish at the same time.
As we said though, the Bull gas BBQ is a great all-rounder, so if you only have a gas BBQ in your outdoor kitchen, read on for more helpful tips on how to get the most out of it.
Preheat your gas BBQ before every cook:
The key thing here is that if you want to cook up a storm, you have to get set up right and let the BBQ come up to a good hot temperature before you kick off the cooking. But that’s not an issue – you’ll normally need at least 10-15 minutes to prepare your meat, so the time won’t be wasted – it’s really a question of doing things in the right order.
The true BBQ flavour in a gas BBQ actually comes from moisture and juices dripping out of your food and onto the hot burners below. These immediately vaporise and turn into a steam, which gets back into the food and gives it the flavour you are looking for. Hence – its important you get the burners hot before kicking things off!
Let’s hear it from Matthew Hoggard, of Hoggys Grill:
To add another layer of flavour to your gas BBQ, experimenting with smoking chips is great fun and allows a huge amount of creativity in preparing unique, rich and sumptuous dishes. It also adds an awesome aroma to your whole al-fresco area and garden, whetting guests’ appetites and creating that sensational BBQ atmosphere that we all love!
Pre-soaking the wood chips in water or apple juice – or even better – beer or bourbon whiskey – ensures that a steamy and flavoursome aroma will fill your BBQ, and permeate into the depths of even the largest cuts of meat. The choice of wood will also affect flavours; oak and hickory give a rich deep flavour that is particularly suited to red meat, whilst apple, maple and cherry chips give a lighter sweeter aroma, making them ideal for poultry, fish and pork. Check out this handy guide from cavetools.com for more information on wood chip flavour pairing.
My Bull Gas BBQ won't start!
Let’s assume that you’ve done the obvious thing and checked that you have sufficient ‘fuel in the tank’. If that’s all good, then it’s worth knowing that some of the Bull BBQ models come with a reset button on the regulator (the part that connects to the gas bottle).
If your gas isn’t flowing, ensure the regulator is properly attached to your gas bottle, press the reset button shown in the image below, this will then allow the gas to flow again.
Which burner do I use for my Angus rotisserie?
If you’ve ordered the Bull Angus BBQ and are planning to use the rotisserie, it’s really important that you use the back burner as the main heat source. When cooking large cuts of meat or whole chickens, the rotating action will constantly be basting the outside of your meat with juices, and there will be a fair bit of fat and moisture dripping down onto your grate and main burners.
If the main burners underneath the meat are turned on, this can lead to constant flare-ups, which could char the outside of your meat before the inner is cooked. Worse still, if you leave the lid closed, you may not realise this is happening, and an hour later your pride and joy could be ruined. The back burner is designed to prevent these continuous flare-ups, and instead, give a gentle even heat from the back as the joint rotates.
As always, practice makes perfect – but using the back burner with the rotisserie is one rule of thumb you should never ignore.
Ode to thermometers:
This could be a contentious one, but here’s the thing: There’s only one thing to replace the years of experience that professional theatre-BBQ-chefs have when they pull off an incredible meal without having a single timer or recipe book in front of them.
A good quality temperature probe is your best friend and takes all the guesswork out of things when you’re new to grilling. Matthew Hoggard retired from professional cricket and has been teaching grill classes for years – and he still loves them. Get it direct from the pro:
What is the ‘warming rack’ for?
A common misconception is that the warming rack is for keeping food warm once it’s cooked through. However, in many ways, the warming rack is actually the hottest part of the BBQ! As with all BBQ designs, it is always partially covered – even when the BBQ lid is up – plus it’s at the top and back of the BBQ where there is most heat.
A best-practise tip is that the warming rack should be used for temporarily moving food away from direct close contact with the main burners. But once the food is cooked, either take it off the BBQ, or turn one of your burners off at the side of the BBQ, and let the food rest gently over that area.
Which gas bottle do I need?
Due to shipping regulations for gas, unfortunately, Grillo are unable to ship gas bottles. However, there are many places in the UK where you can purchase the correct bottles. There are 2 main brands of BBQ gas bottles that we recommend: Calor Gas, and Flogas. Each company does a large range of gas bottles, so it’s important that you get the correct type. The main points you need to look out for are as follows:
- Propane (not Butane)
- Push-fit / Clip connection (not screw on)
For a full guide with product links, click here.
What is the best way of caring for my Bull BBQ?
We strongly recommend using the supplied BBQ cover once your BBQ has fully cooled down. This ensures that your BBQ will be kept free of leaves, dust and debris, and that it will be available to use at a minute’s notice! Like any cooking appliance though, the BBQ will collect food and grease inside. So, a simple wash with warm water and mild detergent is recommended every few weeks. When caring for your Grillo Kitchen do not scrub with steel wool or any other abrasive materials which could scratch the outside of your BBQs.
We strongly recommend emptying the fat tray after each use. Simply pull out the fat tray once cool, and empty the disposable tray out. Doing this after each use will massively reduce the risk of fat fires in your BBQ.
For cleaning the grates and BBQ interiors, we recommend running your BBQ at a good hot temperature for 15-20 minutes to loosen and burn off any grease and residue. Cooking grates can then be scrubbed with a steel brush to remove any food debris. For more information about caring for your Grillo kitchen, check out the full article here.
If you’re now set and ready to go, we’ve pulled together some great food videos and inspiration for cooking on a Grillo Outdoor Kitchen on our website. Eat-in is the new eat-out. And when it comes to home-socialising, outdoors is the in-thing. Check out the videos below, or get lost in our recipes webpage here.