Top 10 BBQ Tips with Declan Dunne

bbq tips

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Declan Dunne, Executive Chef of Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin shares his top 10 BBQ Tips:

  • A really good BBQ set should have two cooking areas, one very hot and one moderate. Seal on the hot, cook on the moderate.
  • Only salt your meat seconds before applying heat. If substituting salt with lemon juice, use lemon juice at the end of cooking.
  • Prime cuts of meat are best cooked fast and dry on the BBQ (fillet, loin, rump), muscles or cheaper cuts such as belly and legs are better if you cook them slow and moist.  Connective tissue elastin – the white ribboney looking sinew – will not cook down on hot, dry BBQ cooking, and will be chewy and inedible. Take some time to remove all of this, it’s worth it.
  • Love a BBQ leg of Lamb? Lamb flavour works perfectly with a good spice rub, charred on the outside and pink in the middle. Ask your butcher for your leg of lamb, boned but not rolled so that the meat is nice and flat and open. Marinade overnight, in a spice rub if you like, if not, even olive oil, lemon zest, garlic and rosemary. Seal on the hot side, cook on the moderate side of the BBQ. ‘Rest’ and carve, mmmm!
  • It’s really important to always allow meat to ‘rest’ for at least 5 minutes after cooking before cutting/carving/eating. This allows the fibres to realign, making it more tender and retaining more juices.
  • If grilling Corn on the cob, try brushing it after grilling with mayonnaise and rolling in Parmesan, sounds a little odd, but its really good!
  • BBQ fish on the bone is best part of the summer, the bigger the better. There are lots of tools available now to assist you to do this.
  • Strawberries added to a salad brings a sense of luxury to your salad table. eg with little gem, mayonnaise and pecan nuts, or added to a Greek salad, or with goats cheese, rocket/spinach and pistachio or cashews.
  • ‘Fondue at sundown’ – A camembert in the wooden box goes down famously a few hours after the main event, Leave it in the wooden box brush with garlic, drizzle with white wine and place in a warm area of the BBQ to do its thing.  You can serve it with croutons or bread on a skewer, celery sticks or even with diced fresh mango or strawberries.
  • Get yourself a good temperature probe – this really helps to know when your meat is cooked

Here are some recipes for you to try for your next BBQ:

BBQ Trout with Ginger and Lime



  • 4 Trout, Gutted. Head and Tail Removed.
  • 60g Pickled Ginger, Cut in Julienne.
  • 30ml Ginger Pickle.
  • 2 Limes, Zest and Juice.
  • 8 sprigs of coriander, chopped.
  • 1 Tsp Oyster Sauce.
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp veg oil
  • ½ Clove Garlic, chopped.
  • 8-10 pieces of parchment paper, cut to the size of the trout portions


1. First things first, light the BBQ well in advance. The first key to BBQ fish is a good steady heat and well-seasoned grill bars. The addition of soaked wood chippings is always a welcome addition particular when cooking trout or salmon.

2. Rinse the trout with cold water and pat-dry with kitchen paper

3.  Combine the rest of the ingredients, mix well and divide between the 4 trout, spreading inside the belly, cover and place in fridge for 20 minutes.

4.  Because trout is an oily fish you won’t need to oil prior to grilling. The second key to grilling fish is not to move it.

5.   The grill should be hot enough that you can place a piece of parchment paper on it, The paper should turn slightly brown, but defiantly not burst into flames. Check with a single piece of paper first.

6. When you are happy with the heat, place each portion on a piece of paper and place on the grill paper side down

7.  Let the fish sit in one spot for about 4 minutes causing the skin to become crispy and charred, but not burned.

8.  Place a second piece of paper on the top of the fish and turn over gently using a wide heat proof spatula. Gently peel the paper from the crispy skin 

9. Cook for a further 4 minutes on the second side.

10.Remove and allow to sit for 2 minutes.

Toasted Couscous with Mediterranean Vegetables, Lemon and Mint




  • 100g Couscous
  • 150ml water or veg stock
  • 50ml Olive oil
  • 1 Garlic diced
  • 1 Chilli diced
  • 1 Lemon zest and juice
  • ½ Aubergine sliced
  • 1 Courgette sliced
  • 2 Peppers red sliced
  • 50g Semi dried tomatoes
  • 50g Grilled artichoke
  • 10g Mint
  • 10g Coriander



1.      Toss vegetables in 20ml olive oil.

2.       Grill on BBQ and leave aside to cool.

3.       Heat a heavy based pot on the BBQ.

4.       Add the dry couscous and stir continuously until golden brown.

5.       Remove from heat and add the stock.

6.       Allow to soak.

7.       Toss in the grilled vegetables, herbs, lemon and the remainder of the olive oil.

8.       Serve hot or cold.

Summertime… and as the saying goes, the living is easy! Get together with friends or colleagues and chill out at the impressive first floor landscaped rooftop terrace at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, just a short stroll from Stephen’s Green and enjoy all the pleasures of delicious BBQ food without needing to worry about getting your hands dirty! Just sit back, relax and enjoy good food, good company and the oasis of greenery and comfort that is the rooftop terrace.

BBQ packages start from €24 per person and for more details log on to

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