Five barbecue TikTok hacks debunked

From prep to cleaning, Ross Bearman debunks TikTok’s top BBQ tricks so you can get the grill just right

Tuesday 12 July 2022 10:00 BST
Don’t believe everything you see on the video-sharing app
Don’t believe everything you see on the video-sharing app (Getty/iStock)
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A heatwave means one thing in Britain (besides rail closures): a barbecue.

Many people will be turning to TikTok, the home of hacks, for the video-sharing app’s endless cooking advice, tips and tricks. But to avoid a faux pas, you should approach them with caution.

We’ve debunked five of the most popular “hacks”, from prep to cleaning, so you can focus on getting the grill just right.

Use a skewer to cook multiple chicken thighs at once

Fact or fad? FACT.

This is a great idea if you’re looking to grill for the masses! It will also ensure the majority of your chicken is cooked fairly evenly, too. Just be very careful with those hot, stainless steel skewers and use oven gloves when getting them off the grill.

Soaking your skewers in water to stop them from burning

Fact or fad? FACT.

Soaking your wooden skewers in water before popping them on the grill will stop them from burning due to the moisture content. The more water that gets into the skewers, the less likely they are to burn on your grill so be sure to soak them right before you start grilling.

Submerge your grill grates into the sink with a dishwasher tablet

Fact or fad? FAD.

Although this method does technically work, there are definitely easier ways to clean your BBQ. Besides, your BBQ doesn’t really need to be cleaned all that often. The best trick is simply to use a stiff wire brush straight after the food comes off the grates so nothing sticks and sets on it.

In general, as long as you remove any food debris or sticky sauce residue with a stiff brush, there’s no need for any additional cleaning. Running a bit of oil over some kitchen roll will also help keep your grill grates nicely maintained in the long run and be sure to remove any ash and old charcoal/wood between uses with a metal dustpan and brush.

Using the ‘Snake Grilling Method’ will leave your BBQ burning for hours

Fact or fad? FAD.

There’s been a slight mix up in terminology for this TikTok, as the snake method is better for ‘smoking’ as opposed to ‘grilling’ which are two different cooking methods. Grilling is using the white, hot charcoal and flame-grilling the food, whereas smoking is a low and slow method, which is what the snake method does.

The TikTok shows the setup of the snake but you would never add that much wood on, only a couple of chunks is needed. So although you would get the snake going by adding lit charcoal to the start of it, you would wait until the smoker comes up to temperature before adding the food. The set up in the video would be able to cook something for 6-7 hours, so chicken drumsticks wouldn’t be the right food for the snake method.

Cut your piece of meat where the grain changes, that way you’ll have the most tender meat

Fact or fad? FACT.

By cutting against the grain, we want to cut through the fibres and shorten them as opposed to cutting in the same direction as they run. This makes it easier to chew and the breaking up of the muscle fibres has already been done for you. Not to mention, this technique locks in the juices too!

Ross Bearman is a Great Taste Awards judge and founder of BBQ gifting company Ross & Ross Gifts.

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