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BBQ Cooking Class – Tips, Tricks & Recipes

Outdoor BBQ Class – Seasons Logs – Tips and Tricks – at Cookery School Manchester

Peoples fascination with cooking on the BBQ as never ceased over the years, even with the introduction of gas people still yearn to go outside and cook using the most ancient of methods. Our BBQ class was all about igniting that passion, by cooking on wood and charcoal.

During the class you met log specialist Jamie and Chef Jason Palin. Jamie is owner of Seasons Logs – suppliers of kiln dried hardwood logs, firewood and solid fuels – he loves nothing more than playing around with wood and fire – he was so excited to co-host the class he arrived four hours early to make sure everything was ready, he loves to share his knowlege with others. Jason is our resident chef at Food Sorcery we describe him as half man, half recipe book – he has travelled the world cooking and teaching his cheffing skills, Jason’s strapline is come as a guest, leave as a friend which we really hope all of you did.

The fire  – Tips, Tricks and links to the recipes


  • Give your bbq a good clean, if it’s been stored in a damp place it needs to be dried out – simply make a small fire of kindle and this will do the job.

image of BBQ starter chimey at BBQ cookery class  image of starter BBQ twizlers for outdoor cookery class at Food Sorcery  image of Jamie form seasons logs suppliers of fuel for BBQ

  • Never use fire lighters, liquid petrol based accelerants on fuel or a bbq used to prepare food – silver birch bark, animal fat (from your food), sun flower oil all burn well and don’t contaminate the food. Use paper and wood to get the fire going and then place charcoal onto the coals. We used Homefires Twizlers natural firelighters


  • Generally a lack of oxygen is why a fire isn’t burning, keep your eye on the BBQ at all times to prevent accidents.


  • A starter chimney is a great and inexpensive investment, widely sold in garden centres and seasonally in supermarkets. They are versatile and get your BB! Started quickly and will be hotter than using wood or coals alone. You can even cook directly on them and are a more sustainable option then disposable BBQ’s if you want to cook on the beach!


  • Spend your money on the food – not the kit! we bought the meat from our local butchers Little Pigs – The Didsbury Butcher  they ahve a wealth of knowledge and will help you with the best choices for the BBQ. We bought the fish from local fishmongers Evans of Didsbury the team can fillet, scale and provide all the advice you need to get the best quaility fish.

image of basting with bay leaves at BBQ cookery class Manchester  image of sardines cooking on the BBQ cookery class  image of Jamie and Jason cooking on the BBQ outdoor cookery class


Olive Wood Firewood

Olive firewood is a natural and sustainable fuel – it’s long burning due to it density and combusts at a high temperature; it produces little smoke when burning and has a wonderful aroma which penetrates into the food, (particularly fish) on your barbeque. Seasons logs sources olive wood from Andalucia, it’s a by-product of the live growing process, it’s made up of off cuts from pruning as well as dead wood. Andalucia produces 40% of the world’s olives, there are over 750 million olive trees cultivate worldwide. Unique laws in Southern Spain means that olive wood cannot be stored if it’s over 12 months to prevent fires therefore, if the wood wasn’t exported it would be burnt annually.


Brushes for Basting

During the class we created brushes for basting using stems from the garden, they are a great way to have more fun with flavours on the BBQ. Lemon Balm, Bay stems, Spearmint and white currants are a few suggestions, rosemary works well as does mint stems. Don’t be afraid to give things a go, if you haven’t got them growing in the garden, your local shops will have an abundance of herbs to use.


image of lemon balm for basting BBQ cookery classes  image of sea spinach for basting cookery BBQ class  image of white currants for basting at BBQ cookery class Didsbury


Recipes from the Class

Syrian Kebabs

Syrian salad of tomatoes

Smoked Hoummus

Spatchcock chicken piri piri sauce

BBQ Baby squid

Pebble potatoes

Cauliflower cheese

Charred Carrots

Babba  Ganoush

Damper bread

Flat bread


image of BBQ cookery lessons at Cookery school Manchester  image of flames cooking with wood and charcoal at the BBQ cookery classes  image of Jamie cooking on the BBQ at Food Sorcery

Syrian Kebabs

The key is the yummy lamb fat – Serves 4


  • 400 Grams of 2cm diced lamb leg
  • 400 Grams of 2cm pieces of lamb tail fat
  • Soaked wooden skewers stops splintering


  1. Simply dived the fat and meat between your skewers and then thread on
  2. Pop in the fridge until needed
  3. To cook simple brush with olive oil and place on the griddle cook turning for 6 minutes and serve with the salad.
  4. I like to squeeze over fresh lemon juice

image of seasons logs website chips  image of Sirian keebabs and how to make them at cookery school Didsbury  image of happy cookery classes customer at Food Sorcery Didsbury


Syrian Tomato Salad

Ingredients  – Serves 4

  • 4 Large ripe tomatoes sliced
  • 2 Large red onions sliced thinly
  • Handful of fresh chopped flat leaf parsley
  • Teaspoon of sumac powder
  • 1 Fresh lemon juice
  • Tablespoon of olive oil – or avocado oil



Simple mix all together with your hands, chill until needed the serve at room temperature


image of making sirian tomatoes at cookery classes Cheshire  image of cookery school Manchester Cheshire  image of cooking together at BBQ class in Manchester

Smoked Hummus

Ingredients Serves 4

  • 1 tin 250 grams of chickpeas drained
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh garlic puree
  • 100 mL of good olive oil
  • 50 grams of chopped parsley
  • Teaspoon of ground cumin coriander
  • Salt pepper to taste


  1. Place the chickpeas back in the tin – pop a piece of the heated BBQ charcoal on top then tin foil – put into the BBQ coals shake and roast for 10 minutes
  2. Take out the charcoal and empty into a food processer with all the other ingredients apart from the parsley and blitz to a thick puree
  3. Mix in the parsley and taste
  4. Serve with yummy salads breads kebabs

  image of BBQ cookery classes at Food Sorcery with Seasons logs 

Spatchcock chicken piri piri sauce

An easy way to cook and enjoy fresh free-range chicken


  • 1 whole 1kg fresh free-range chicken – spatched this is cut up the back and flattened (ask your friendly butcher to do this for you)



  1. Push two large skewers or make as the class a large split piece of fresh wood into a split crucifix
  2. Angle the chicken over the grey coals or wood fire and cook for 30 minutes and turn
  3. Finish by lying flat on the BBQ for colour – check with a probe cooked through
  4. Cut into portions and brush with Piri Piri sauce or your fav BBQ sauce


Homemade Piri Piri Sauce

Piri Piri sauce is a tangy hot sauce with roots in Africa and the colonies of old Portugal



  • 6 small hot chilli’s chopped
  • 2 Shallots chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons of good olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 4 Crushed garlic cloves
  • Teaspoon of fresh thyme chopped
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • Teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • Salt pepper to taste



Simply mix all together and boom its ready, store in fridge until needed

  image of basting spatchcock chicken at cookery school  image of basting with bay leaves at BBQ cookery class Manchester


BBQ Baby squid – Serves 4

Fast sustainable easy food, that adds the wow factor to your BBQ

  • 16 Baby squid cleaned reserved the body and tentacles (ask your fishmonger to do this) unless your catching them, then it’s an easy twist turn and remove the hard centre and head then wash.
  • Knob of good fresh butter melted
  • 2 tablespoon s of olive oil
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 Lemon juiced



  1. Mix all the ingredients together and rest for 20 minutes
  2. Drain off the liquid reserving
  3. Now pop on a fine wire rack over the BBQ and cook turning until they twist and colour about 2 minutes, brush with marinade
  4. Eat straightaway with yummy potato pebbles – see below

  image of octopus cooking on the bbq  image of Octopus salad cooked on the BBQ

Pebble potatoes

Ingredients – serves 4

  • 500 Grams of small new potatoes washed
  • 2 Sachets of squid ink from the fishmonger



  1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the potatoes. Cook for 10 minutes drain. Run under cold water to refresh
  2. Dry the potatoes on a teacloth
  3. Now squeeze on the squid ink wear gloves and rub into the potatoes and reserve
  4. Pop the potatoes onto the BBQ griddled cook for 30 minutes until grey/black and pebble like
  5. Serve with samphire and squid

  image of chef adding sqid ink to pebbled potatoes  image of lighting the tinder at cookery school manchester

Cauliflower cheese

An easy fun way to share cauliflower on a sunny day


Ingredients – serves 4

  • 2 Medium cauliflower – boil for 10 minutes and drain under cold water
  • 200 grams of grated cheddar cheese
  • 100 grams of bread crumbs
  • 4 TBLS of runny honey
  • 2 Tablespoons of Dijon mustard


  1. Place the cauliflower on the BBQ cook turning for 10 minutes or until coloured
  2. Now brush with honey mustard, dip into cheese and breadcrumbs
  3. Pop onto BBQ and cook for 5 minutes turning
  4. Yummy!

 image of laughing at BBQ classes near me  image of Jamie seasons logs BBQ with coal and wood  image of food served at outdoor BBQ cookery class Manchester

Charred Carrots

A simply divine way to enjoy carrots and their sweetness


Ingredients – serves 4

  • 8 Large washed scrubbed carrots – boiled for 10 minutes and refreshed under cold water
  • Sesame oil sesame seeds honey


  1. BBQ the carrots for 10 minutes turning brush with sesame oil
  2. Take from BBQ while hot brush with honey sesame seeds and enjoy


image of Sirian keebabs and how to make them at cookery school Didsbury image of lighting the tinder at cookery school manchester  


Babba Ganoush

A yummy aubergine puree with added smokiness


Ingredients – serves 4

  • 2 Large aubergines – place directly into the charcoal upside with root in the coals – until charred and soft
  • 4 Garlic cloves pureed
  • 2 Tablespoons of yoghurt thick (my preference not traditional)
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of Tahini paste
  • 2 lemons juiced reserve juice
  • 2 tablespoons of good olive oil



  1. Pop everything in the food processor and blitz to a thick yummy puree
  2. serve with flat breads and enjoy

image of baba ganoush on the BBQ at Cookery classes manchester  image of Jamie and Jason cooking on the BBQ outdoor cookery class  image of BBQ cookery lessons at Cookery school Manchester

Damper bread

An easy camp bread from Australia, minutes to make and no rest time



  • 500 Grams of self-raising flour
  • 125 Grams of salted butter softened – diced
  • 250 ml of milk full fat



  1. Rub the butter into the flour sandy texture.
  2. Slowly add the milk to form a dough – like scone dough.
  3. If dry add extra milk, if wet more flour.
  4. Don’t over knead.
  5. Now we can roll into a sausage shape and cut 8 equal slices and form into scone shape.
  6. Simply place on the BBQ and turn after 3 minutes cook for further 3 minutes don’t burn!
  7. You could form into one loaf shaep and place in a Dutch oven cook over a camp fire
  8. Just bake in the oven for 10 minutes 180 for scones 30 minutes for loaf


Flat bread

A versatile dough for wraps and flat breads


  • 500 grams of plain bread flour
  • 30 Grams of yeast fast acting
  • 10 Grams of sugar
  • 100 ml of yoghurt
  • 150 ml of Warm water not hot
  • Salt to taste



  1. Sift the flour into a large bowl – add the yeast mix in with the sugar
  2. Now add the warm water and yoghurt salt
  3. Form into a ball and knead, add extra water if dry, If wet, add more flour
  4. Knead for 10 minutes until stretchy and smooth
  5. Cover with cloth and let prove until double in size
  6. Push the dough back and knead again
  7. On a floured surface cut into 6 equal balls
  8. Flatten roll each ball into a flat bread
  9. Dust with flour and cover for 15 minutes
  10. Now heat a large fry pan cook each flat bread 2 minutes each side until brown and perfect.
  11. Keep wrapped in a cloth to help the bread stay soft.

  image of happy cookery classes customer at Food Sorcery Didsbury  image of cooking together cookery classes at Food Sorcery image of sardines cooking on the BBQ cookery class  image of laughing at BBQ classes near me  image of cooking together at BBQ class in Manchester

image of Jamie from seasons logs

Jamie – Seasons Logs

Seasons Logs is a small family run business based in Dunham Massey, Altrincham, Cheshire. We’ve been working within the forestry industry, and supplying wood for over 10 years. Kiln dried hardwood logs, firewood and solid fuels.

Shop for Logs   – click here for details

Image of Chef Jason Palin at Food Sorcery altrincham cookery school cheshire vegetarian

Jason Palin – Chef

Come as a guest, leave as a friend… this is Jason’s mantra, he loves to make guests feel comfortable in the kitchen and teach them his top tips and tricks to get cooking like a pro. He has cooked all around the world and is bursting to share his my knowledge (and stories) with fellow foodies! I have worked as a head chef at leading luxury resorts and as a private chef to A-list names. His speciality is a fusion of worldwide flavours.

Cookery Classes  – click here for details

Food Sorcery Cookery & Barista School hosts hands-on fun filled cookery classes, team building and private dining events. We are adjacent to Waterside Hotel, Leisure & Spa. at the Cookery School Manchester.

Contact Us – t: 0161 706 0505 e: a: Wilmslow Rd, Didsbury, M20 5WZ

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