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Sharpen Your BBQ Skills For The Heatwave

Sharpen Your BBQ Skills For The Heatwave
14 May 2020 James Brooke

For those frequently firing up for al fresco meals during the lockdown heatwaves, wood burning stove company Contura shares expert tips to pull off a sizzling summer BBQ.

If there’s one thing synonymous with the Great British sunshine, it’s the Great British BBQ. From meaty classics such as smoky burgers, sizzling sausages and tender ribs, to veggie delights including grilled halloumi and crunchy corn on the cob, there’s nothing we love more than piling our plates with barbecued treats. So, with another heatwave approaching, what better time to sharpen your BBQ skills?

BBQ don Phil Wood, of Swedish wood burning stove brand, Contura, is sharing his expert tips to ensure you serve up some barbecued goodness next week and into the summer.

Bring the BBQ out of hibernation

“First things first, and before you even consider firing up the BBQ, it’s important to give it a good wash with hot soapy water to ensure you thoroughly remove any remnants of last year’s grilling. Ideally you should clean the grill after every use but a good deep clean at the start and end of barbecue season is essential.

“As with all outdoor cooking, you are lighting a fire, and need to ensure it’s done safely. Ensure your BBQ is placed on a non-combustible surface such as a patio, gravel or paving slabs. Most BBQ’s have a handy drip tray to catch fat and prevent it from sticking and burning as well as a base. The base will catch any errant sparks that could cause a fire hazard so make sure to use this if yours has one.”

Wood, charcoal or gas?

“There are pros and cons to all barbequing methods however, in my opinion, wood makes for the best flames and infuses the best flavour into your food, which is clearly the most important marker of a good BBQ.

“Most people don’t realise how different the burn produced by different woods are – a mixture of birch, ash and sycamore will create the perfect slow, steady burn for a BBQ. Use kindling and small pieces of wood (under 20cm) to create a stack, adding larger pieces of wood as you go. Make sure not to over stack though, and ensure there is sufficient airflow to maintain that slow, steady burn.

“If you’ve got a modern charcoal BBQ, the lighting process is a lot quicker than wood-fired, however be aware that cooking over charcoal can produce a stronger flavour – particularly noticeable in white meats and fish.

“To light, place the charcoal onto the grate, keeping the pieces away from the edges to keep the fire contained. For a quick catch, add two or three natural firelighters, ensuring an even spread.

“Don’t be tempted to put items on too early, as when still too hot, oil or fat will trigger flames, which will burn the outside of the food. Allow the fire to die down until the charcoal is grey in colour – then simply place the cooking grills in position ready to begin cooking.

“A gas barbecue is arguably the easiest option, however, it does mean food lacks the classic smoky flavour. Try adding wood chips on top of the gas flame, or cooking food on a water-soaked wooden plank. Fruit woods such as apple and cherry will create an aroma that will permeate the food with a wonderful flavour. Pecan and maple woods would also work well.

Step away from the sausages

“Mix it up this BBQ season by trying new flavours and adding different ingredients to your grill, rather than sticking to the same tried and tested sausage-burger combo.

“If you’re a BBQ traditionalist, simply try adding some herbs such as rosemary or thyme, directly into the hot embers of your BBQ. This will add a delicious and subtle flavour to your food. Or try making your own marinade – salt, pepper, chilli and lime juice is a punchy, summery combination.

“If you’re looking to play with new flavours consider grilled watermelon – simply cut into triangles, toss in coriander, fresh lime juice and salt before grilling. It’s sweet, smoky savoury and delicious.

If you’re lookin’, it ain’t cookin

“Firstly, ensure any refrigerated ingredients are up to room temperature before adding to the grill, to guarantee a more even grill.

“Then, once you’re cooking, leave the grill well alone. It can be tempting to constantly check on your food but this just allows heat to escape and will increase the cooking time. Best to just leave the lid on the grill and relax.

“Meat should be rested for 10-15 minutes before slicing or carving – it really does ensure a better flavour.

“And finally, it’s time to enjoy your BBQ.”

For more information on Contura, please visit


Notes to editors:

  • Rooster PR will coordinate comment, interview and profile opportunities for Contura UK Country Manager, Phil Wood.
  • The Contura PR team will also arrange visits to the nearest Contura Design Centre dealerships or the Contura showroom in Doncaster to see the product range.

For further press information, please contact:
Elsa Findlay | Jo Kendall | Julie Aguilera
Rooster PR
T: +44 (0)20 3440 8930
E: [email protected]

About Contura:
Contura is Europe’s leading manufacturer of wood burning stoves, offering an extensive range of classic and contemporary wood burners; from traditional insert stoves suitable for existing fireplaces, to freestanding statement models made with innovative materials such as soapstone.

Starting at £1,095, Contura stoves are premium yet affordable. Award winning, timeless Swedish design means the products complement or enhance any style of home, whilst also offering outstanding performance, maximum efficiency, practicality and ease of use.

Designed and assembled at the factory located in Markaryd, Sweden, and manufactured to the highest standards, Contura stoves are highly energy efficient, offering powerful convection, superior combustion technology and clean burning systems. Currently, 95% of Contura stoves are DEFRA Clean Air Act exempt and thus approved for use in Smoke Control Areas.

Contura stoves can be purchased through a network of 165 independent retailers nationwide.

Contura is part of the NIBE group, a Swedish manufacturing company producing world class solutions in sustainable energy across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.

Contura is a founding member of the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) in the UK.

For more information please visit