With the forecast for the weekend looking perfect for a barbecue in the summer sun, Despina Sierra, product manager at BeefEater Barbecues, answers some questions you’re too nervous to ask your mates.

Should meat be at room temperature before cooking on the barbecue?

Yes says Despina. Bring the meat out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature before you place it on the grill. Even better, buy meat directly from your local butcher and start cooking straight away. Keeping meat at room temperature enables the fibres to stay relaxed during the cooking process, keeping the meat tender. On the other hand, if you leave meat out too long you are at risk of bacteria.

Does closing the lid heat up the hotplate quicker?

No. Lids are used for roasting, slow cooking meat and keeping the barbecue food warm. If you prefer to cook with the roasting hood down, never cook with the burners on high. Best results can be achieved by keeping the burners on low to medium heat within the desired cooking area.

Vegetables should be cooked separately before grilling on the barbecue

Thicker vegetables should be parboiled first. Boil potatoes and sweet potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes before grilling on the barbecue. Small vegetables or bite-sized portions are best placed on skewers or placing on a grill tray. Corn on the cob grills quicker if the silk and husk is removed. Turn them frequently and grill for 8 to 12 minutes.

Should we oil the grill before cooking on the barbecue?

Even on the cleanest of grills, lean foods can often stick when placed directly on the rack. Reduce the risk of sticking by oiling your hot grill with a vegetable oil soaked paper towel using tongs. Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.  A trade secret used by many professional chefs are Teflon liners.  They prevent marinades from drying out and sticking and give a professional finish to a marinated barbecue meal. BeefEater BUGG® Teflon liners, RRP $19.95 per pack of two.

Does tipping beer on onions stop them from burning?

Yes. Not only does it stop them from burning, it produces a delicious tasty flavour. Add only a little beer to golden brown onions with a dash of mustard and reduce the heat until they are thick and rich.

Does adding salt to meat stop it from drying out?

Yes says Despina. For best results and flavour, season meat just before cooking to prevent any salt drying out the juices.