Get fired up: your complete guide to the grill

What to do before, during and after your barbecue party


How you can get prepared before guests begin to arrive


The moment meat starts to marinade – that’s when barbecue prep kicks off. You’re the boss of what, how and when you marinate, but always take care of these four essential details:

  1. Don’t add salt to any meat marinades as it can draw out moisture. Instead, season meat just before you’re ready to start grilling.
  2. Always marinate in the fridge. If you’re grilling a big piece of meat, take it out half an hour or so before cooking commences.
  3. Heavy-duty resealable bags are a must. They help keep things fresh, contain the marinade and mean less washing up later.
  4. Use some marinade to baste meat as it cooks. But as it’s been in contact with raw meat, never serve as a dip.


Cooking on a charcoal barbecue? Light it at least 30 minutes in advance – we’ve got kameel hardwood and briketts (which make for a long-lasting burn), plus firelighter wool, which helps to get things going at the start. Find these barbecue items and more in select Spinneys stores.


Drinks should be the simplest thing you prepare – don’t go for any that need lots of measuring, muddling or mess. The beverage we’re most likely to serve at an outdoor soirée is this pineapple and mango crush, as a big batch will keep in the fridge all day long and please guests of every age.


Extra chairs, a bottle of ketchup, spare rolls of kitchen paper, fizzy drinks, juice and ice – don’t hesitate to ask guests to take care of any last-minute details.


What to do while the barbecue’s in full swing

Keep an eye on your heat. One way to test the temp is to hover your hand 10cm above the grill – how long you can keep it there (without discomfort) dictates the degree. Two to three seconds is good for burgers, prawns and corn on the cob (most smaller items) while 11-15 seconds is ideal for larger joints of meat that need a gentler heat.

Megamaster’s rubber-handled and long-reach grill forks and brushes help take off the heat and make cooking (while hosting) look and feel a breeze, while the grid will give you the confidence to ace grilling a whole fish. Cleaning your grate has never been easier – Megamaster’s 3-in-1 brush makes light work of all your dirty work and will have your set-up looking brand new again in no time. Find all these tools and more in select stores.

If you’re ever to survive the busy arrival hour, you need snacks. Our range of mixed nuts and snacks should help keep hunger at bay:


Things to take care of once the party’s over


The real boon of being host is you get dibs on leftovers. Pull meat for sandwiches, flake fish for pies or pasta, or use shredded chicken to make amazing nachos.