1. Clean and preheat your barbecue.

An electric or gas BBQ may take 10 to 20 minutes to preheat and a charcoal BBQ needs to be heated until the coals are covered with a layer of ash (approx. 45 minutes). Stock up on charcoal, rather than briquettes. It heats more evenly and has a better, more natural aroma.

2. For best results, treat the meat you barbecue outdoors with the same respect as when you cook in your kitchen.Allow the meat to come to room temperature for at least 20 minutes. Brush the meat with oil. This helps the searing process and prevents sticking.

2. For best results, treat the meat you barbecue outdoors with the same respect as when you cook in your kitchen.Allow the meat to come to room temperature for at least 20 minutes. Brush the meat with oil. This helps the searing process and prevents sticking.

3. Careful seasoning is necessary. The meat could be marinated beforehand or sprinkled with herbs and pepper.Season with salt at the very last moment only, as salt will draw out juices and prevent the meat from browning properly. We recommend salting the meat after cooking.

4. Never hurry a steak on your barbecue. Cook slowly until browned, and turn gently just once. Use long handled tongs rather than a fork which may pierce the meat and allow valuable juices to escape. Wear an oven glove, covering the arm to prevent burning.

5. It’s all too easy to overcook on a barbecue, leading to charred, leathery, dry meat. To ensure even cooking use the 60/40 method. Cook the meat for 60% of the time on the first side, then turn and cook for the remaining 40%. Take care: As soon as the meat browns it must be moved further away from the heat source so that the inside can cook before the surface burns (The exceptions are thin cuts such as ministeaks and medallions). Raise the rack so that it is about 30cm (12) above the charcoal- at this height the temperature is just right.

6. To test for doneness take the meat from the heat source and place on a clean plate. Press the meat gently with the tip of your finger. Rare should be soft and supple, well done firm, and medium in between. A meat thermometer is invaluable for checking larger cuts. Insert the probe horizontally into the thickest part of the meat. Please note that the internal temperature will continue to rise by a few degrees once the meat is removed from the heat source. Therefore remove the meat 3-5ºC before it reaches the desired internal temperature.

7. Once the meat is cooked to your liking it must be rested. During resting, the temperatures within the meat fuse, the juices in the middle move to the outside and it becomes warm, moist and tender all the way through. To rest your meat, place it on a rack so it doesn’t lie in its own juices. Cover with foil and leave in a warm place for up to 20 minutes. Remember, it is always better to over-rest meat than to under-rest it.

Beef Grilling SteaksTimings per side
Sirloin or rump 2cmFillet steaks are approximately 1cm thicker so will need an extra 1-2 minutes cooking time each side.2.5 mins (rare)
4 mins (med)
6 mins (well)
Pork Grilling Steak/ChopsTimings per side
Loin or leg steaks 1-2cm6-8 mins
Chops 2-3cm8-10 mins
Lamb Grilling Steak/ChopsTimings per side
Leg, chump steak 1-2cm4-6 mins
Chops 2cm6-8 mins
Cutlets 2cm4-6 mins
Simply make your own kebabs by cutting the above steaks into (approx 2.5cm (1”) size cubes15 mins in total
Sausage and Burgers
Ensure all sausages and burgers are thoroughly cooked (juices should run clear) before serving
Burgers (pork, beef, lamb)4-6 mins each side
Sausages (standard pork, beef, lamb)10-12 mins in total
Sausages (chipolata pork, beef, lamb)8-10 mins in total



Your meats will last longer and stay in excellent condition if you keep them frozen at -18° C or below. For this reason, you should regularly check the temperature of your freezer and adjust your thermostat accordingly. Older freezers should be defrosted on a regular basis. It is also advisable to check the rubber seal on your freezer door at the same time. Most modern freezers have auto-defrost, and do not require regular defrosting.

Keep a list of everything in your freezer and the ‘best before’ date. That way you can ensure that you use everything while it is at its best. It will also help you plan when you need your next Sykes House Farm order.

Upright freezers should not be overloaded, as this can prevent them operating correctly.

Chest freezers, on the other hand, should be filled up, as this helps to keep the temperature down, so your freezer runs more efficiently.

Fridge freezers or freezer boxes are ideal for keeping a few smaller items and should not be used to store larger cuts of meat.

Always freeze meat in original Sykes House Farm vacuum packaging as it helps prevent freezer burn and makes the best use of space in your freezer.


Slow Cooking is a fantastic method that can be used for just about any tender cut of beef, lamb, pork and veal. It involves searing the outside of the meat at a high temperature, and then roasting in a very low oven for a lengthy period. Any size of meat can be cooked using this method, even something as small as a steak. This method is often used on the Continent, where it is considered superior to conventional roasting as there’s less drying of the meat and the juices are retained, so the meat stays moist and succulent with a more natural flavour. A meat thermometer is essential for good results.


1. Prepare the meat and equipment

Before cooking, remove the meat from its vacuum packaging and pat dry with kitchen paper. Allow the meat to ‘bloom’ and come to room temperature for up to 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat the oven (with the fan turned off) to 80ºC and place a roasting tray in the oven to heat up. Heat a griddle or frying pan on high. Add a little olive oil to the pan, or brush the oil directly onto the meat to avoid using too much. Sear the meat on all sides for the recommended time to brown it all over. This will vastly improve both the flavour and appearance of your meat.

2. Using the meat thermometer

Season the meat with salt and pepper. (Do not season before searing as salt can suck the moisture out of the meat). Place the meat on the preheated roasting tray. Set the meat thermometer to the desired internal temperature (see table opposite), and insert the probe horizontally into the centre of the meat. Place the meat in the preheated oven with the thermometer cord through the door (the main unit remains outside). TIP: Always pre-heat the roasting tray as a cold one increases the cooking time. Do not be tempted to transfer the meat to the oven in the same pan used for searing, as this will make the meat cook too quickly.

3. The cooking process

Keep the oven door closed during cooking. Opening the door lets heat escape and increases the cooking time. When the thermometer beeps your meat is ready to serve straight away. There is no need to rest your meat as it has rested during the cooking process. The lower temperatures allow the meat juices to circulate continually during cooking so the meat stays incredibly soft and the joint is cooked more evenly. TIP: If your guests are late you can keep the meat warm at 60°C for up to an hour for large joints and 30 minutes for smaller cuts. If your oven does not have a setting as low as 60°C simply switch off the oven.

MeatFirst sear in a pan on all sides
(total minutes)
Sykes recommended
internal temp.
Approx cooking
time at 80°c
Fresh Beef Delivery
Beef steaks 150g – 250g2 – 360 – 65°c45 – 60 mins
Mini Rump Roast Chateaubriand4 – 560 – 65°c60 – 90 mins
Centre Cut Fillet/Whole Fillet6 – 855 – 60°c1.5 – 2 hrs
Short Striploin/Topside8 – 1060 – 65°c2.5 – 3 hrs
Lamb Delivery
Lamb Loins and Fillets2 – 360 – 65°c60 – 90 mins
Lamb Racks5 – 660 – 65°c60 – 75 mins
Lamb Short Saddle6 – 860 – 65°c75 – 90 mins
Whole Leg of Lamb10 – 1265 – 70°c3.5 – 4 hrs
Whole Shoulder of Lamb10 – 1265 – 70°c3.5 – 4 hrs
Pork Loin Steak1 – 270 – 72°c45 – 60 mins
Pork Chops1 – 270 – 72°c60 – 75 mins
Pork Fillet4 – 565 – 70°c1.5 – 1.45 hrs
Pork Loin Roast 475g8 – 1070 – 72°c1.45 – 2 hrs
Pork Loin Roast 950g8 – 1070 – 72°c2 – 2.5 hrs