Top BBQ Tips from Ross Bearman

Looking for expert BBQ tips? We asked Ross & Ross co-founder Ross Bearman for his best grilling advice this summer.

Together with his partner Ross Whitmill, Ross Bearman created Ross and Ross Foods back in 2011. Born out of their shared gastronomic experiences and love for simple, creative, quality cuisine, Ross and Ross have developed a number of artisan BBQ products for amateur grillers

What’s the best meat for your BBQ?

Locally sourced, free range meat. The quality should be more important than anything. We are currently using some incredible Longhorn beef from Martin's Meats which is just down the road from us. It is not intensely farmed and has a much more succulent flavour and marbling in the meat, as well as a finer grain, all of which adds to the flavour and the tenderness of the meat. Pork is probably the most versatile on the BBQ, lending itself well to grilling, smoking and slow cooking. Beef too. I love everything from amazing steaks to slow-cooked brisket.

What type of BBQ do you use?

We have a mixture of ProQ Smokers, Drumbeque, Landmann and Jumbuck. All do different things, including smoking, grilling and rotisserie.

What’s the biggest mistake that people make when BBQing at home?

One of the best BBQ tips is to use proper fuel. We use Oxford Charcoal, which is made in small batches using sustainable British wood. It has no nasty fillers or chemicals added. Most cheap charcoal has chemicals added to it to stop it catching alight, and then lighter fuel is added. Makes no sense! Just use proper charcoal and this will light and be ready in 10-15 minutes, and it'll give a much cleaner taste to your food. 

Veggies are often forgotten at the BBQ - what can you suggest for them?

Although all of our rubs have been designed with specific meats in mind, they work really well with veggies. We love tandoori roasted cauliflower, jerk carrots and Moroccan aubergines. Or just simply grill the veggies hot and fast. A touch of oil and salt onto asparagus and tenderstem broccoli is brilliant, giving it a really great smoky, meaty kind of dimension.

What’s your best BBQ tip for novice grillers?

Start small with simple grilling. Understand how the BBQ is set up. Understand how the charcoal burns and how to set up for a simple direct and indirect grilling. Then build it up from there. Then start with smoking. Maybe start with some hot smoked mackerel before moving onto 12 hr overnight smokes!

What’s the most unusual thing that you’ve cooked on a BBQ?

We did a brochette of duck hearts. Basically a duck heart kebab. Simply grilled hot and fast. Offal isn’t my favourite but these were pretty tasty. Not for everyone though! 

How did you get involved with UK BBQ Week?

It all came about via social media really. We heard about the BBQ week and asked to get involved. We have been doing BBQ and producing BBQ products for a few years now. And wanted a platform to showcase this and promote British BBQ.

If you were recommending a product to perk up your next BBQ, what would you suggest?

Our new Roast Dinner dust. This is a dust packed full of umami flavours. Tastes like roast chicken skin. Use as a seasoning to replace salt. Dust over meat, veggies and sauces.