(on a boat...and anywhere else...)


yacht boat bbqrecipes practical
              ideas for bbqing for everyboat owner

Food Safety First 

Many boat owners enjoy a BBQ on the back of the boat, or on some quiet beach. However, there are health risks if you don’t store, prepare and cook your food properly. This guide gives you some helpful tips so that you can enjoy your barbecued food safely.

Barbecuing – the risks

The main risk factors to your health when using a barbecue are:

  • under-cooked meat
  • spreading germs from raw meat onto food that’s ready to eat
  • setting fire to either yourself or your boat

Cooking meat on a barbecue

When you’re cooking meat on a barbecue, such as chicken, pork, steak, burgers or sausages, make sure:

  • the coals are glowing red with a powdery grey surface before you start cooking
  • frozen meat is properly thawed before you cook it
  • you turn the meat regularly and move it around the barbecue to cook it evenly
Remember that meat is safe to eat only when:
  • it is piping hot in the centre
  • there is no pink meat visible
  • any juices are clear

Handling raw meat

Germs from raw meat can move easily onto your hands and then onto anything else you touch, including food that is cooked and ready to eat. This can happen if raw meat touches anything, including cooking utensils which then come into contact with other food.

Some simple steps that will help prevent the spread of germs from raw meat are:

  • wash your hands after every time you touch raw meat
  • use separate utensils (plates, tongs, containers) for cooked and raw meat
  • never put cooked food on a plate or surface that has had raw meat on it
  • keep raw meat in a sealed container away from foods that are ready to eat, such as salads and bread
  • don’t put raw meat next to cooked or partly-cooked meat on the barbecue
  • don’t put sauce or marinade on cooked food if it has already been used with raw meat

Which one?

So, what are you waiting for?  Fire up the barbie! Despite what some fervent grillers say, one isn’t necessarily superior to the other. There are pros and cons to both grilling methods, so it’s really your call! Here’s a rundown of some of the pros and cons:

Charcoal BBQ

  • There’s a full range of prices: inexpensive grills are easy to find, and upscale models are available too (+)
  • Gets very hot (+-)
  • Needs to be manually lit and preheated for a minimum of 20 minutes (usually much longer) (-)
  • Cleaning is more complicated due to ashes (-)
  • Smoky flavor every time you grill (+-)
  • Tough to keep a constant temperature (-)
  • You get to play with real fire (on a boat!!) (+-)


  • Typically pricier than charcoal, though inexpensive models are available (+-)
  • A more complicated grill means more parts that can break (-)
  • Easy to clean (+)
  • Has the option of smoky flavor or not, with use of wood chips in a smoker box (+)
  • Convenient (+)

BBQ Tips and Tricks

  • To avoid losing juices during turning, always flip your meat or vegetables using tongs or a spatula, rather than a fork.
  • Try to limit the flips. Ideally, you should flip each item once during the grilling process.
  • Whatever you do, don’t press down on burgers or chicken (or anything) with a spatula while they’re grilling! This squeezes out the juices and once they’re gone … they’re gone! If you’re bored and need something to do with your hands, learn to juggle (but not too close to the grill, please!).
  • For great smoky flavor, soak some wood chips (hickory, oak, or other hardwoods but not treated lumber!) in water for a while, then throw them onto your charcoal and cover the grill, or if you’re using gas, put them into your smoker box following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • To infuse grilled foods with herb essence, toss herbs directly onto the charcoal while you’re grilling. Or, if you’re using a gas grill, soak the herbs in water, and place them on the grate before putting your food on top of them.
  • If you want to baste your meat or vegetables, save this step for last. That way the sugars in your marinade or sauce won’t have time to caramelize or burn.
  • Try pank grilling your fish.
  • If this all sounds too complicated, or if it’s raining or cold outdoors, you can grill indoors with a contact grill or use a grill pan.


                                  boat bbq recipes practical ideas for
                                  bbqing for every boat owner

BBQ's - Marinades & Rubs

Below are just a few ideas to get you started.  There really are no hard and fast rules, let your imagination run wild and enjoy.

BBQ Sauce

There are great bottled sauces out there, and they'll work pretty well, but try making your own, and taste the difference!

It's easy enough: just take ketchup and start doctoring it up. Homemade sauce ups the game considerable, and for barbecue chicken, ketchup-based is probably the way to go. Common augments include soy sauce, brown sugar, mustard or mustard powder.

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon rub (recipe below)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Hot sauce (such as Tabasco) to taste

Prepare the barbecue sauce by putting all the ingredients into a small saucepan and bringing them to a boil. Turn down the heat so that it just bubbles a tiny bit and simmer it, whisking once in awhile, until it's dark and thickened, 10-15 minutes.  There's enough here for a good sized get together, if you've any left over that hasn't touched raw or even cooked meats, then bottle it and either put it in a fridge or keep it in the cupboard.


(makes 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons mustard powder
  • 1/4 cup chile powder
  • 1/4 cup ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup granulated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne (or less to taste)
Combine ingredients in a container and mix thoroughly.  This rub can be kept in a sealed container, and used not just on the bbq, but to liven up all sorts of food.

Blackened Seasoning

  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons lemon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin

As with the above rub, combine ingredients in a container and mix thoroughly.  This rub can be kept in a sealed container, and used not just on the bbq, but to liven up all sorts of food.


How to BBQ Chicken

Good barbecue chicken is low and slow followed by fast and hot; that's the easiest way to achieve fantastic results

This way is a vast improvement over most methods, and won't take all afternoon. But it will take a couple principles:

  1. the dry rub
  2. keeping half the grill hot and half of it cooler, i.e. "banking the coals" or using half the gas
  3. a final sear with the mopped-on barbecue sauce

As the chicken cooks on a relatively cooler part of the grill covered in a pungent rub of spices--essentially slow-roasting in its smoky environs--the skin gradually crisps into a mouthwatering crustiness and the interior juices baste the chicken while it cooks.

Then, and only then, we see the appearance of barbecue sauce, when the chicken is essentially finished cooking. Then it gets painted on the chicken liberally and constantly over a hotter part of the grill, allowing it to caramelize and turn syrupy just the right amount. Then you devour it like crazy.

Once the internal temperature is 165f  or hotter and outside is all dark and crisp remove the chicken to a platter and let it rest for at least 5 minutes. Serve with salads of your choice.

The same does not apply to other meats such as beef, lamb or pork.  Repeatedly turning and disturbing these meats will let them lose some of their juices, they are like sleeping children, leave them be for a while!  Turn only once, using the same principles of rub and sauce as for chicken.

How to BBQ Fish

Fish needs to be handled carefully when on the bbq, it doesn't like rough treatment (but then who does?).  Don't over flavor it, gentle rubs and sauces are all that is needed, or none at all.  Don't over cook fish, and serve as soon as it is cooked.


Honey & Lime with Mahi Mahi

If you've just caught a mahi mahi (also called dorado), then great, if not, a quick visit to a good fishmongers, remember fish should not smell.  Like most fish, Mahi Mahi cooks fast on the grill. Medium High heat is perfect for fish. But before the cooking starts there’s a little prep work.  By its self, Mahi Mahi can be a little light tasting, so why not zap it up with a little marinade, this one is for honey and lime.

For the marinade you need:

  • 1/4 cup Fresh Lime Juice
  • 2 TBS Olive Oil
  • 1 TBS Honey
  • 1/4 tea cayenne pepper
  • pinch of salt

Whisk these ingredients together in a bowl. Rinse the Mahi Mahi filets under cool water and pat dry with a paper towel. Place the fish in a zip lock bag and pour the marinade over it. Gently move the filets around so that everything is covered and place the bag in the refrigerator for 45min to 1 hour. You don’t want to leave it in the marinade too long because the lime juice will actually start to cook the fish. The trick to grilling perfect fish is to have a well-greased cooking surface. You also want it to be clean and hot. To oil the cooking surface use a cotton rag soaked in vegetable oil.

Right before the fish goes on give the grate a good rub with the rag. It doesn’t have to be thick just a decent coating. Sometimes the fish still wants to stick a little but this will help for the most part. The cooking time for Mahi Mahi is fast. Place the fish on the grate and set a timer for 1 ½ minutes. When it goes off, use a spatula and twist the fish a quarter turn, so it has that diamond pattern, restaurant look. Time it for another 1 ½ minutes then give it a gentle turn to the opposite side. Set the timer for 1 ½ minutes once again.  At this point brush on a glaze, try this one.

Honey Lime Glaze

  • 2 TBS Lime Juice
  • 2 TBS Olive Oil
  • 1 TBS Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 TBS Honey
  • Salt and Pepper

Add the lime juice, vinegar, and honey to a bowl. While whisking slowly add the olive oil. Throw in a pinch of salt and pepper to balance the flavor.  After three more minutes the Mahi is ready to come off the grill. When the fish is cooked, give the grill a quick brush to remove any stuck on bits.

So, basically that's BBQing in a nutshell, it's not rocket science, just a little forethought and you should achieve the perfect BBQ.


plank bbq grilling how to use a bbq
                            plank practical boat cook

Grill on fragrant wood planks for subtle, smoky flavors. Try plank grilling with fish, meats, and vegetables. There’s nothing to it!

How to Plank Grill

When choosing a plank, pick only untreated cedar, alder, hickory, or maple. Here are a few other tips to ensure plank-grilling success:

  • Prepare the plank by soaking it at least one hour in a bucket or cooler filled with water. This adds moisture to the wood and prevents it from burning on the grill.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of salt or 1 cup of white wine, apple juice, citrus, or berry juice to the soaking water to accent wood aromas.
  • If a plank is being used for the first time, season it by placing it on a preheated grill for 2 minutes, turning once. Lightly toasting the plank on both sides will intensify its smoky flavor and prevent warping. When the plank starts crackling, it’s ready for cooking.
  • Place marinated or ready-to-cook foods directly on the plank. Keep the grill’s lid closed as much as possible to maintain temperatures and maximize smoking. Note: Planked food does not have to be turned during grilling.
  • Keep a spray bottle filled with water handy so flames can be extinguished if the plank starts to burn.

After Grilling

  • Remove the plank from the grill and place into a container of water.
  • Rinse a used plank with soap and water and let it dry. Re-soaking for another use is optional. Store plank in a dry, clean place.
  • Reuse grilling planks about two or three times. If there’s wood left, you can use the plank.
  • Crumble up charred planks over coals to use as smoking chips.

Choosing a Wood Plank

Different woods provide distinct, subtle flavors.

  • Western Red Cedar–Sweet, spicy, with a mild smokiness; versatile for fish to veggies.
  • Western Alder–Robustly smoky with a hint of vanilla; ideal for salmon, other fish, vegetables, cheese, and even pizza.
  • Western Maple–Mildly smoky with buttery accents; suitable for all foods.
  • Shagbark Hickory–Rich smoke with subtle, bacon-like flavor; excellent with burgers and meats.

To get you started, try this plank grilled salmon, it's just as good with many other types of fish, the world is at your finger tips.

Plank Grilled Salmon


  • 1/4 cup soy sauce, reduced-sodium
  • 1/4 cup sake, or dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons scallions, coursely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, coursely chopped
  • 4 5-ounce fillets wild salmon, or steaks, 3/4-1 inch thick, skin on
  • 1 small lemon, thinly sliced


Step 1
Soak a grilling plank in water for 2 to 4 hours.
Step 2
Meanwhile, combine soy sauce, sake (or white wine), mirin, sugar, scallions and ginger in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
Step 3
Place salmon in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over it. Place lemon slices on top. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes but no more than 2 hours, turning the fish once or twice.
Step 4
Preheat grill to medium-high.
Step 5
Place the soaked plank over direct heat on the grill and heat for 2 minutes. Move the plank so it’s over indirect heat. Remove the salmon from the marinade, place it skin-side down (if using fillets) on the hot plank and replace the lemon slices on top. Close the lid and cook until the fish is just cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes.


This recipe really is a party pleaser - no one will want to leave.

2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoon dry red wine
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
5 tablespoons fresh rosemary, diced
10 garlic cloves, pressed
5 lb. leg of lamb, butterflied, with bone removed
salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients, except the salt and pepper, in a big glass bowl and

add the lamb. Turn several times with your hands to make sure that all the

lamb is covered. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24

hours, turning every now and then. Remove from the fridge about an hour

before grilling in order to return lamb to room temperature.

Remove lamb from marinade and sprinkle generously with salt and fresh cracked pepper.

Grill the lamb on the center of the barbecue grill for about 17 minutes over

a medium heat for medium rare, 23 minutes for medium. Don't worry about the

flare−ups as it will give the lamb a delicious, crispy skin.

Turn the meat only once and cook for another 17 to 23 minutes, depending on desired

doneness. Remove lamb from grill and tent with tinfoil for 20 minutes to

allow juices to settle. Carve.


This will really get everyone talking, and tastes divine!

1 cup warm water
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 pinch white sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 1/3 cups all−purpose flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1/4 cup roasted red peppers
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


Dissolve yeast in warm water, and add sugar. Proof for ten minutes, or

until frothy. Add salt, olive oil, and flour; mix until dough pulls away

from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured, flat surface.

Knead until smooth, about 6 to 8 minutes. Place dough in a well oiled bowl,

and cover with a damp cloth. Set aside to rise until doubled. Punch down,

and knead in garlic and basil. Set aside to rise until doubled.

Preheat grill for high heat. Heat 1/2 cup olive oil with 1 teaspoon minced garlic

for 30 seconds in the microwave. Set aside. Punch dough down and divide. On

baking sheets, form into 2 oblong shapes approximately 3/8 to 1/2 inch

thick. Brush grate with garlic flavored olive oil. Carefully place dough on

hot grill. The dough will begin to puff almost immediately.

When the bottom crust has lightly browned, turn the dough over using two spatulas. Working

quickly, brush oil over crust, and then brush with 2 tablespoons tomato

sauce. Arrange 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes, 1/8 cup sliced black olives, 1/8

cup roasted red peppers over crust. Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese and 2

tablespoons basil. Close the lid, and cook until the cheese melts.

Remove from grill, and set aside to cool for a few minutes while you prepare the

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