Play Hard

Nicholsons Butchers share their tips on how to set up the perfect BBQ this summer

Following National BBQ Week, the family-run Whitley Bay butchers share their secrets to how we can master the art of BBQing.

Written by High Life North
Published 16.07.2022

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The sun is shining, temperatures are soaring and the garden is furniture uncovered, which means only one thing ­– it’s officially BBQ season.

When it comes to hosting a BBQ there’s definitely a case of expectations vs reality. From much smoke gassing out your guests and ruining your neighbour’s washing hanging on the line to burning your food to a crisp, there are plenty of things that can go wrong when you don’t set up your BBQ correctly.

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We caught up with award-winning Whitley Bay butchers Nicholsons Butchers who revealed their top tips on how to set up the perfect BBQ this summer.


Place the full bag of charcoal in the drum.

Split the drum length and width ways so you have a cross-hole in the bag.

Spray half a bottle of the lighter fluid all over the charcoal and leave for 20mins for the fluid to soak into the coals.

Light the coals.

Place the grill over the BBQ – this cleans the grill and keeps as much dust as possible in the drum.

Leave for 45 minutes to an hour – don’t be tempted to shake the coals or move it around.

When the coals are grey in colour you are ready to go.

How to ensure your cooking at the right heat

Hold your hand about 12cm/5 inches above the grill and see how long you can hold it there comfortably:

6 seconds – low heat – perfect cooking temperature

4 seconds – medium heat – slightly too hot

2 seconds – scorchio – way too hot

Nicholsons Butchers’ 5 top tips to the perfect BBQ

Taking the raw meat out of the fridge at least 20 minutes before barbecuing gives it long enough to lose its chill and get down to room temperature.

Only turn the meat once – this ensures it is cooked thoroughly through the middle.

Things that take less time to cook – cook on the outside of the BBQ.

Have a metal tray ready to sit at the edge of your BBQ for items that are ready before the others.

Longer tongs are the best – save the hairs on your arms!

Let the meat rest before you eat – if you can manage to wait!


BBQ Pack for 4 - £28.00

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Ultimate Steak & Cheese Burger Pack - £15.00

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Lemon Pepper Spatchcock Chicken - £9.49

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Lamb and Mint Kebab - £2.30

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Sirloin Steak x2 - £15.00

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Sticky BBQ Chicken Kebab - £1.60

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Thai Beef Kebab - £2.30

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Pork and Caramelised Onion Sausage x4 - £4.99

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To shop the full BBQ range, visit Nicholsons Butchers’ website.


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