By Matthew Ashton, Group Executive Head Chef, Hand Picked Hotels

My name is Matt Ashton and I’ve worked as a chef throughout my career in hospitality, taking on the role as Executive Head Chef at Hand Picked Hotels 4 years ago. One of my favourite late summer activities is inviting all my close friends and family over for a BBQ, however this can be less relaxing than you intended if you are stuck hovering over the BBQ making sure the burgers and sausages don’t burn, or worrying whether the chicken is cooked enough.  So I’ve devised some delicious recipes for you to enjoy; not only do they taste great but they are easy to prepare and cook to allow you to enjoy spending time with your guests.  

Here are my perfect steps plus a couple of my favourite BBQ recipes for you to try at home.


  • You don’t have to cook straight onto a BBQ you can use roasting trays on top of the grill, good for when cooking small items that may fall onto the coals
  • Charcoal needs to burn until coals are covered with a layer of white ash, let the flames go out before cooking
  • You can use pizza stones on top of the grill – keep the lid closed and you can cook pizzas, garlic breads and flavoured breads just like a wood pizza oven


  • Brush the meat with oil
  • Use the 60/40 rule - cook the first side for 60% of the total cooking time
  • Turn just once
  • Cook the second side for the remaining 40%


  • Rest barbecued meat just as if you had pan-fried it
  • Resting ensures the meat relaxes and is evenly juicy and tender throughout


My recipe for Sweet Chilli Beef Ribs can be cooked slowly in the oven prior to finishing off on the BBQ to give you that lovely smoky flavour.  This tip works well for many other dishes too!

Click below to view my two favourite recipes for Summer Salad and Sweet Chilli Beef Ribs

Summer Salad   Sweet Chilli Beef Ribs