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Smoking & Grilling Tips from Chef Brandon

6 easy ways to make barbecuing better!

Chef Brandon Thordarson, a father and avid barbecuer, can be found outside cooking food on the grill or using his smoker at least twice a week (but usually more!). He tells us that buying a new smoker this January was one of the best home cooking investments he has ever made, and uses it for making everything from chicken and beef to potatoes and cheese! To coincide with Moxie’s “Stuff My Dad Says” Father’s Day contest, where we are giving you the chance to win a new smoker, we asked him for a few suggestions on what every home cook should have for the ultimate outdoor cooking experience.

BBQ Tools

It's very important to invest in some good tools for your BBQ.

To get started, what you really need are: heavy duty tongs, a flipper, large fork and a grilling scraper brush. Don’t purchase the low quality tools you would see at the local hardware store go into a kitchen supply store and invest in some high quality supplies that you will be able to use for years!


Place these under half of the grill on top of the gas burner so they can get really hot.

These will give your steaks a nice crust, texture and colour, as well as add flavour from the char. Sear the meat over the rocks, then cook on lower heat on the other half without the rocks so you don’t burn your meat!

Lava Rocks
BBQ Sauce

Everyone’s palate is different and Chef Brandon prefers Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce for its balance of sweetness, stickiness, acidity and final touch of smoke after it hits the BBQ.

If you like a finger licking good BBQ experience, then this award winning sauce from Chicago is the way to go!


If you want to be a true pitmaster, try making your own BBQ sauce at home!

All you need is ketchup, mustard, paprika, sugar, worcestershire, onions, garlic and time, since good homemade BBQ sauces should simmer for at least 1 hour. This ensures rich consistency and robust flavours.

DIY Sauce
Beer Can Chicken Stand

Wow your friends and guests with 1 or 2 birds cooked like this on the BBQ!

Pick a nice light lager, place it in the stand and roast the chicken on the BBQ overtop of the beer can. The beer steams the chicken, infusing it with flavour and adding moisture, while the outer skin gets dark and crispy. With this method, you can cook a 3-4 pound chicken at 350 degrees in about an hour and a half.


Chef Brandon suggests brining chickens for an hour before cooking.

To make a brine, simmer 3 litres of water, 1 cup of sea salt, 2 freshly squeezed lemons, fresh herbs, garlic and bay leaves, then cool. Submerge a whole chicken in the brine for one hour before draining and discard the used liquid. If you want really crispy and delicious skin, do this the day before cooking!

A Great Brine
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