Best food to cook on a charcoal or gas bbq

So recently I’ve been firing up the bbq, though not today! From a lovely afternoon yesterday some of the UK is experiencing Easter Monday snow 😀 but it has got me thinking about next week and later on in the year with lockdowns progressively easing, so I wanted to run through a list of food that is going on the bbq, and food that does better in the kitchen.

Forgive me if it reads more like an ideas page, because essentially that’s what it is, I plan on bouncing ideas off you that I’ll be implementing again based on the last ten years of bbq – I want this year to be one of the best I’ve had to date 🙂

Good old char grilled steak

I couldn’t resist, I think I’ve covered the good old steak twice in recent articles. It doesn’t matter if your preference is a good old food smoker or bbq charcoal grill. Both methods work superb and actually I think I am starting to prefer the mixed flavour you get from a bbq smoker come charcoal grill hybrid. My favourite at the moment is the Cosmo food smoker charcoal bbq.

Pic of a rare steak with lovely cross griddle marks

You pull that lid down and five minutes or so later food is already taking on a decent smokey flavour. And by the way, that is the tops I would have a steak in the grill for 🙂 – it’s probably better to check out my how to grill a steak on the charcoal grill to perfection page than me repeat myself here.

King prawns on a charcoal bbq

Nothing better in my mind. A prawn seems to react really well to a charcoal grill. The moisture dries up a bit and intensifies the flavour. An absolute top tip is to eat the fat out of the head. I know, it doesn’t sound pleasant but the wife got me into that and now I discard the body! Honestly that is literally where all the flavour is stored. They are absolutely superb for a portable charcoal bbq or throw away type given the size too. So if you’re going out and about this is a big big win!

Prawn is probably the absolute king on the bbq in the seafood world. I literally don’t even bother with salt or pepper. Prawns really have made a mistake being that bloody tasty 🙂 Here’s a few scattered on our bbq from yesterday.

King prawns on the charcoal bbq looking superb and tasting just as good

You only want to put your king prawn on the bbq for a few minutes a side tops. If you plan to eat the head then they will want longer as I agree, eating the head whilst it’s still a bit liquified isn’t for me, I like the fat cooked and hard 🙂 Sorry if that sounds too graphic but it’s something, that if you can get over, you are going to thank name for I absolutely guarantee it.

Salmon on the bbq

I literally just covered cooking Salmon on the bbq. It tastes great and works well on a gas bbq but I will have to put my hand up and say pan friend in butter on a high temperature to crisp up the skin is probably better. And that doesn’t mean give it a miss – oh no! You want a bit of seafood on a balanced bbq, it’s just pan frying edges it!

Preparing salmon for the bbq – Cut a lemon butter salt and that’s it

Chicken thigh on a charcoal bbq

You can’t beat a chicken thigh on a bbq in my mind. I love the pull the lid down on the bbq and give them a good 45 minutes on their own on a middle temperature like 250 degrees. I keep them well away from the heat for the first stage and try to really crank some flavour into the meat. If you take a look at the picture below, this is just from wood smoker chips.

Smoked bbq chicken from the charcoal food smoker

Literally just salt on that Chicken, you might even argue it’s a bit too smokey 🙂 I tell you what I tasted absolutely delicious and pound for pound it comes second to my top pick coming up next 🙂 but if you are even reasonably healthy you would definitely call this the best food to cook on the bbq, I however am not and best my best bbq food on sheer flavour 🙂

Belly pork on a charcoal bbq

Tell me I am wrong? 😀 Iff you tell me I am wrong I am going to tell you one of two things, you are literally deluded or do not like a good bit of fat on your meat. Without question in my house, my sisters house, my cousins house, my parents house, in fact anyone I know, their house too. Belly pork on the bbq take the top spot for best food to cook on a charcoal bbq.

So you have to start asking yourself why is it so tasty. I came to the conclusion that it hardens up a bit of that superb fat, which by the way, the meat is then cooked in so it remains beautifully moist and generally has an excellent bite. Combine this with a bit of salt and pepper and you are good to go, you really do not need to reinvent the wheel as far as belly pork is concerned 🙂

I like to cook my belly pork on a high temperature to seal it in then finish the process on a mid range temperature, You’ll probably have noticed on a low temperature you get a nasty looking white run off – have to say that is not appealing at all so we want to avoid that!

What about vegetable on the bbq?

I love vegetables on the bbq. In fact it’s probably my favourite way of cooking veg. Firstly, Portobello mushrooms upside down with a bit of garlic and butter is really a great way to start off your bbq. Without question that is absolutely delicious but it’s not the only great thing on the bbq.

Get yourself some tin foil and corn on the cob. No messing about, give it a clean, dash of salt, and a knob of butter and wrap it firm. Throw that straight on the bbq. I have to tell you that is the absolute king for a picnic type portable gas bbq setup. No mess and no fuss but great tasting food!

Something we often forget, is onions. You just want a grill plate and let the onions wilt down. They then do great with burgers and sausages. In fact, they go superb with just about anything 😀

The truth is you can bbq practically anything – so get experimenting and enjoy the outdoors this Summer!

About Terry Smith

I’m Terry Smith from, a professional landscape designer, hobbyist gardener, and barbecue fanatic with 20 years experience building and restoring. So as you go through my site you'll watch me document some of the professional garden installs I make as well as the major projects I take on at home. While sharing those experiences and guiding you, I'll be recommending some great tools I use to enable this along the way so you can really buy in confidence. Always feel free to pop me a message:

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