BBQ Boss: Your Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Grilling Great This Summer - Men's Health Magazine Australia

BBQ Boss: Your Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Grilling Great This Summer

You can’t start a fire without a spark. The recipes, gear and accessories you need to pull off the ultimate summer BBQ.

It’s summer, which means it’s time to stand in front of a flaming bbq while flipping burgers, toasting buns, and browning veggies. And then, of course, digging into that fire-roasted deliciousness. 

But not so fast, partner. Becoming a guardian of the grill requires some serious know-how. Start by investing in a good bbq. Then, see the expert tips below so you can learn the laws of resting your meat and secure lesser-known skills, like when to wield a cast-iron skillet and set aside the spatula.

Turkey… on the Grill?!

Look, you can stick to chicken if you want, but bbq turkey is so much meatier than that other bird when cooked over open flame. Plus, its savoury flavour can stand up to hearty spices that’ll make you look forward to leftovers. These quick-cooking kebabs provide more than 30 grams of muscle-nourishing protein. Two simple sides deliver the 10 grams of fibre you need to stay full.

The Protein

About 85 grams of roasted turkey breast (the type from a whole bird, not deli meat) contain 26 grams of protein and only 520 kilojoules. The same amount of thigh meat has 24 grams of protein and 585 kilojoules. If you’re wondering, that’s roughly equal to chicken.

Recipe: Spiced Turkey Kebabs

Buy it

Buy turkey with a “100% organic” seal. An organic label ensures that the animal was raised without the use of antibiotics or growth hormones and given only organic feed devoid of contaminants. Try to avoid buying turkey that looks grey or slimy and smells sulfurous – all signs of degradation.

Cook it

0.9kg skinless, boneless turkey breast, cut into 3cm cubes
1 large red onion, cut into large pieces
2 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp olive oil
¼ cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, for garnish
¼ cup sliced red chillies, for garnish
6 lemon wedges, for garnish

1. In a large bowl, add the turkey, onion, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, olive oil, 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Toss well, cover and then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day.

2. Preheat your bbq to high. Thread the turkey and onion pieces equally onto 6 skewers. Grill over high heat until nicely charred and cooked through, about 12 minutes, turning every 3 minutes to grill evenly on all sides. Transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with mint leaves, sliced chilli, and lemon wedges. Makes 6 skewers. Dig in.

Per skewer: 940 kilojoules, 37g protein, 7g carbs (1g fibre), 5g fat

Upgrade it

The turkey kebabs taste great on their own. But if you have the time and want them to taste even better, here are three easy ways to do just that.

If you have… 5 minutes

Garnish with pomegranate arils. Cut a whole pomegranate in half lengthwise. Hold one half over a bowl, the cut side facing down in your palm, turned upwards. Using a wooden spoon, firmly slap the outer skin repeatedly until the arils start to dislodge from the pith. (Yes, this is fun.)

If you have… 15 minutes

Make a quick yoghurt-based sauce. In a blender or food processor, blend 1 cup washed fresh herbs (parsley, mint, and/or coriander), 1 cup plain yoghurt and 2 garlic cloves. Season to taste with salt and lemon juice. Serve as a dip for the kebabs.

If you have… 1 hour

Make your own hot sauce. In a pot over low heat, stir ½ cup olive oil, ¼ cup sliced red chilli, 2 Tbsp tomato paste, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp salt. Cook until the flavours meld, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a blender or food processor, add 2 Tbsp white vinegar and blend.

The sides

Fibre: Each of these sides contains the 10 grams of fibre you need to feel full. Plus, they’re awesome with the kebabs.

Garlicky Lentils with Tomatoes

In a pot over medium-high heat, add 2 Tbsp olive oil and 4 minced garlic cloves. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in 3 cups canned precooked lentils, 1 can chopped tomatoes and ½ tsp salt. Reduce the heat to medium; simmer till thickened, 15-25 minutes. Garnish with ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro. Makes 5 servings .

Chickpea, Fig and Walnut Salad

In a bowl, stir together 1 can chickpeas, 1 cup thawed frozen peas, ½ cup chopped walnuts, ½ cup chopped dried figs, ½ cup chopped fresh parsley, 2 Tbsp lemon juice and 2 Tbsp olive oil. Season to taste with salt. Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 1400 kJ, 10g protein, 37g carbs (10g fibre), 19g fat

Recipe: “Phil the Grill” Johnson’s bbq Brisket


1 (450G) brisket
1 cup your favourite rub


1. Season the brisket all over with the rub, and allow the meat to sit at room temperature as you preheat your smoker to 140°C.

2. Add the brisket to the smoker, fat side down; drop the temp to 95°C; and cook until the thickest part of the brisket has reached 70°C, 4-6 hours.

3. Carefully remove the brisket from the smoker; wrap tightly in butcher paper or aluminum foil; and return to the smoker, fat side up. Cook until the meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 94°C. 

4. Remove the brisket from the smoker, open the wrapping to vent for 5 minutes, rewrap tightly and transfer to a dry, empty cooler to rest for 2 hours.

5. Remove the brisket from the cooler, unwrap and transfer to a cutting board. Slice the meat against the grain and serve with the juices from the foil. Feeds 24.

All the gear

Take the fun outside with the best new grilling, chilling and stargazing gear. Bonus: this stuff all works well on rooftops and by apartment pools, too. Fire escapes? Probably not.

Your New Grill: Timberline XL

From Traeger, the Timberline XL Pellet Smoker promises to open your eyes (and nostrils) to a new world of woodfired flavour. It’s patented induction cooktop transforms you into a whiz who can bbq, smoke, bake, roast and braise, as well as sauté, simmer and sear. $7999;

Your New Telescope: Celestron StarSense Explorer DX 130AZ

This beginner-friendly scope can let you see Saturn. Hook it up to a smartphone app to power up the StarSense feature, which shows you how to align your lens with galaxies and planets within view. No spaceship required.

Your New Firepit: Tiki Patio

A stainless-steel tub houses a central cone designed to cut buzz-killing smoke and debris so fires burn clean. Then, when the party is over, the ash catcher underneath makes for an easy cleanup. $577;

Your New Beat Box: Sonos Move

This football-sized speaker powers playlists and thumps with devices twice as big. It’s also voice-control-enabled for those days or nights you don’t want to get off your lawn chair. $695;

What to drink

Go easier on cocktailing by bumping down the booze in these two-ingredient drinks.


2 parts grapefruit soda

1 part tequila or meScal 

Finish with: a sprinkle of flaky salt, 1 lime wedge

Tinto de Verano

1 part lemon-lime soda

1 part red wine

Finish with: lemon or orange wheels

Porto Tónico

2 parts tonic water 

1 part white port

Finish with: fruit slices or fresh herbs


2 parts club soda or seltzer

1 part dealer’s choice (whiskey, rum, whatever)

Finish with: 1 citrus peel or wedge

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