Best tips for a BBQ for 2024: Everything from ideas for BBQ, barbecue recipes and our secret barbecue sauce

Heating the STOV grill and making sure to get the charred flavor that we all love for our barbecue.

Summer is in full swing and what better way to spend time with family and friends than cooking up the best barbecue recipes at your favourite campsite or picnic spot (or your backyard)? From the classic favourites such as the sausage sizzle or the amazing pulled pork and other BBQ recipes, we got you covered.

If you are looking for what kind of BBQ you want to use this summer and you want to try something more innovative and portable, have a look at this high-quality small BBQ made for camping, balcony cook-ups or the picnic on the headland.

Now back to the BBQ tips! Below you'll find the top ideas to make your summer BBQ a success.

Preheat the grill 

This might be a no-brainer for some but we wanted to highlight this. It is crucial to properly pre-heat your grill for most foods as this means more even cooking, food does not stick and you'll get that nice grill pattern on your steaks. This goes for gas BBQs and charcoal barbecuing. One of the few exceptions when we don't pre-heat our grill is when making bacon for breakfast. If you put the bacon on the grill right when you light your gas barbecue, it will mean the fat will slowly heat up and create a non-stick barrier between the grill and the food. It works perfectly.

Safety first

Again, this might be a no-brainer, but when dealing with coals and hot gas BBQs, make sure to follow the safety instructions. Never leave your BBQ unattended and make sure the BBQ is on a stable surface. Especially keep an eye on kids and pets.

When you are cooking with gas during a hot summer day, make sure your gas bottle does not get too hot by leaving it in direct sunlight and keep in mind that your barbecue will take longer to cool down during those really hot days.

Using a barbecue is not too different to an oven or stove but make sure to follow the safety regulations.

Use the right BBQ tools

Invest in good grilling tools like tongs, a spatula, and a meat thermometer. We believe these are the basics and will make your grilling experience much better if not take them to a whole new level. Handling cooked burgers, ribs or prawns with your BBQ tongs or spatula is much easier than just trying to wing it with a knife and fork.

Check out these high-quality stainless steel tongs, that work really well and can be put in the dishwasher once used.

The STOV BBQ tongs in use, flipping burgers.

Test your food for doneness

No one likes undercooked or overcooked meat  - know your cooking times, bring meat to room temperature (for even cooking) before grilling, and keep an eye on cooking times.

Pro tip: invest in a Bluetooth meat thermometer. They are easy to use and don't break the bank but result in delicious cooked beef and you can always check the internal temperature of your meats.

Serve your BBQ burgers with some sides or toppings for some extra flavour.

Rest your meat

Most barbecue recipes will mention this but it is an easy one to overlook. So rest your meat for a few minutes while preparing and serving your side dish. Resting your meat means the juice will redistribute which will make your beef much more tender and juicy.

So for your next barbecue for the whole family, make sure to follow the BBQ recipe that mentions resting your meat. It will be worth it.

while your meat is resting, prepare your veg, cut up that lemon and prepare the toppings.

Balance sweet and savoury for your BBQ recipes

Bringing sweet and tangy flavours together can lift your BBQ game. Combine your smoky barbecue sauce (try to go beyond the usual ketchup) with a side dish that is more savoury such as a potato salad made with a yogurt base and some pickles. This adds a nice balance to your meal.

You can also try different savoury or sweet dry rubs that add depth to the flavour.

Try a special rub

Speaking of rubs, how about trying special rubs e.g. with a mix of paprika, garlic, brown sugar and chilli powder? Especially if you are making brisket, pork ribs, meaty ribs or use the smoker, a dry rub can make a big difference. One thing to keep in mind: don't put too much dry rub on your food, as it means you won't be able to taste the meat anymore.

Try to get started with a small tester and try how you like it. From there you can expand into different flavours and spices.

Marinate your food

Marinating your food? Maybe just a fad or a waste of time? Believe us, it is so worth it to marinade your food as it will take your dish to a new taste level. Ingredients to use for a marinade for example are: olive oil, vinegar, herbs, cayenne pepper, spices, garlic and salt. The combination of well-marinaded food, charred flavour and a tasty barbecue sauce are hard to beat. Another advantage of a marinade is that it helps you tenderise your meat.

How to start? Grab some barbecue chicken and marinade it with the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup BBQ sauce

  • 1/4 cup oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced

  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce

  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix the ingredients in a bowl, add your chicken and let it rest in the marinade for at least 30 minutes in the fridge. Those chicken wings will taste amazing!

Image: Packed with spices, marinated food on the STOV BBQ tastes amazing.

Do NOT squish your meat or cut your sausages while cooking

We don't know where the idea comes from to poke into your sausages but it certainly does not lead to a better taste. It just means your food becomes dry and flavourless. The same thing goes for steaks or burgers. Do not squish them with your spatula with the only expection being a smash burger.

Why only the smash burger? Because you want to cook the burger super fast on a hot grill so you don't lose those meaty flavours.

Sausages cooking on the portable STOV gas BBQ.

Clean your grill grates after each use

I know, this one can be an effort, but clean your grill after each use, scrape off residue with a spatula, and use a stainless steel brush to clean the grill. This means no unwanted flavours and extends the life of your grill. And the next time you take out your barbeque, it is already cleaned and ready to go. There is nothing more annoying, than wanting to set up for a nice barbecue with your latest barbecue recipes and you have to clean up your grill grate that has been sitting in the garage uncleaned for a few weeks...

Your favourite tools for cleaning a BBQ grill are a steel brush, a tough sponge and soapy warm water. If you want to learn more about how to clean your BBQ, check out these tips.

Desserts on the grill

Getting creative with deserts is such a great and easy way to delight your family, it is really worth it and one of our favourite BBQ ideas. Try grilled peaches served with vanilla ice cream or just drizzled with honey or pineapple marinated in honey cinnamon. The taste and the lighty charred flavour make for a special experience.

So the next time you set up a BBQ with the whole family for some summer entertaining, bring along some food to cook up for desserts. You'll impress most parts of the family!

photo of bananas cooked on the small portable STOV BBQ.

Try these BBQ recipes

A barbecue meal can go so much beyond the usual sausage sizzle. If you want to mix up your proteins you can try chicken wings, chicken thighs or a barbecue chicken using a dry rub. For your next barbecue, why not try some of the following recipes to enjoy all the flavours a BBQ dish can provide?

Our favourite BBQ recipes are:

A dry rub can also be great to add some extra flavour to dishes like fish or beef and even take your recipe to a whole new level. Or just use some different barbecue sauce for your next grilling session.

Prawns cooked up by the beach on the portable gas STOV BBQ.

The favourite pulled pork cook-up

Try this: Pulled pork is such a good way to get started with barbecuing. The charred flavour and the tender pork are worth the longer cooking process. Provide a side dish and you certainly can make the whole family happy with your amazing BBQ treat.

Lastly: Finding the right small gas BBQ

Of course, finding the right BBQ is very important. The barbecue has to suit your needs, whether you like to cook during a road trip, while camping or just at home on the balcony. If you are looking for a small BBQ that is ideal for any of these activities mentioned above, learn more about our STOV BBQ. It is a portable gas BBQ that you can take anywhere due to its flatpack design and it runs on small camping gas cartridges while still providing a lot of heat during your cook-ups and more than 3 hours of cooking time with a standard gas cartridge.

Happy stoving!