How to cook a beef, lamb or veal roast in a barbecue

Cooking a beef or lamb roast in a covered barbecue is just a little different to the way you’d cook it in your oven. You prepare it in just the same way, but you use ‘indirect cooking’ to roast the meat. Indirect cooking simply means there is no heat directly under the meat as it cooks.

Cooking a beef roast, lamb roast or veal roast in a hooded barbecue

  1. Preheat the barbecue in line with the type of cut you are roasting (see our chart). For 200ºC the burners should be set at medium. Determine the weight of the roast and brush it lightly with oil. Season with salt, pepper and flavourings.
  2. Place the beef or lamb in the centre of the barbecue. Turn the burners directly under the meat off. The remaining burners are left on to conduct and circulate the heat around the roast.
  3. Close the lid and roast for the recommended cooking time (see below chart). For ease and accuracy use a meat thermometer.
  4. Remove roast when cooked to desired degree. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with foil and rest it in a warm place for 10-20 minutes before carving. Carve the roast across the grain to ensure tenderness.

Cooking a beef roast, lamb roast or veal roast in a kettle barbecue

  1. Preheat the kettle barbecue according to the cooking guide that comes with it. As a general rule, heap about 25 heat beads in rails on each side of the barbecue. Light the beads and allow them to develop to a fine, white ash stage (this takes about 30 minutes).
  2. Determine the weight of the roast and brush it lightly with oil. Season with salt, pepper and flavourings.
  3. Add the beef or lamb roast to the kettle barbecue and close the lid. Roast for the recommended cooking time (see below chart). For ease and accuracy, use a meat thermometer.
  4. Remove roast when cooked to desired degree. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with foil and rest it in a warm place for 10-20 minutes before carving. Carve the roast across the grain to ensure tenderness.

Tips for cooking a roast in a barbecue

  • Avoid lifting the barbecue lid too often (you lose about 10 - 15°C each time). To boost the temperature in a kettle barbecue during roasting, add 6 to 10 heat beads on each side at 1 hour intervals.
  • Avoid ramping up the flame directly under the meat when adjusting the heat as this dries the roast out (giving it a tough under-side).
  • Most roast recipes that use the cuts outlined below can be adapted from oven roasting to roasting in a barbecue.
  • Allow for time out before cooking AND time out after cooking. 
  • Make sure the meat stands at room temperature for around 15-20 mins before cooking (no longer in summer and certainly not left in direct sunlight). This takes the fridge chill from the meat and allows it to cook evenly.
  • Leave time for resting after cooking. The meat should stand in a warm place for around 20 mins before carving, otherwise all of the juices will be on the serving plate rather than in the roast. Wrap the roast loosely with foil – not tightly or it will sweat.
  • To take all of the guesswork out use a meat thermometer. Inexpensive leave-in styles cost around $10 from kitchenware shops. Place the meat thermometer in the thickest part of the roast (away from any bone) before cooking. Check the temperature when the estimated cooking time is up, 60°C for rare, 65°C - 70°C for medium and 75°C for well done.

Cooking chart for roasting beef or lamb in a covered barbecue

Beef

BBQ Temp

Rare

Medium

Well done

Rib eye/scotch fillet, eye fillet/tenderloin, rump, sirloin/porterhouse, standing rib roast, rolled rib beef roast

200ºC

20 min
per 500g

25 min
per 500g

30 min
per 500g


Veal


Veal leg, loin/eye of loin, rump and shoulder

200ºC

20 min
per 500g

25 min
per 500g

25 min
per 500g


Lamb









Lamb round or topside roasts, lamb rump

200ºC

20 mins
per 500g

25 min
per 500g

30 min
per 500g


Rack of lamb, four rib roast, crown roast

200ºC


20-25 min
total regardless of weight


30-35 min
total regardless of weight


40-45 min
total regardless of weight


Leg or shoulder (bone in)

Easy carve leg or shoulder   

180ºC


25 min
per 500g


30 min
per 500g


35 min
per 500g

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