Barbecue queen Jess Pryles says temperature is crucial when it comes to cooking a good barbecue.
Barbecue queen Jess Pryles says temperature is crucial when it comes to cooking a good barbecue. REBECCA MICHAEL

Sizzling secrets for Australia Day barbecue success

NOTHING says summer in Australia quite like the sound of a sizzling barbecue and there'll be a fair few firing up on Friday.

If you find yourself honoured with the tongs, it's vital you treat your role with the seriousness it demands.

Author of barbecue cookbook Hardcore Carnivore Jess Pryles says the most important piece of equipment for brilliant backyard barbies is an instant-read meat thermometer.

"It doesn't matter what cut you're cooking, or what animal. It doesn't matter what you're cooking on, whether it's gas or charcoal, or smoker, all this can change, but temperature will be constant,” she says.

Medium-rare steak, for instance, will have an internal temperature of 54-57C, while a well-done piece of meat will be 68C or higher.

Be a barbecue boss with these tips from the team at BeefandLamb.com.au

Make sure your barbecue is hot. If you can hold your hand 6cm above the heat for three to four seconds it's at a moderately high temperature, which is perfect.

Bring your beef to room temperature. Take it out of the fridge 10 minutes before you start, so it cooks evenly.

Don't pour marinade over the meat while it's cooking - this makes the meat stew and causes flare-ups.

Don't crowd the barbecue (we're talking about the grill, but backseat barbecuers can take a hike too). Overloading reduces the heat and the beef will begin to stew.

Enthusiasm is good, but stick to turning the beef only once. Any more action and it won't cook evenly.

Only use tongs to turn the beef, as a fork will pierce the beef draining it of its juices.


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