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July 6, 2012

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BBQ Drip Tray

by BBQ Insanity

In this post we introduce the humble BBQ drip tray.  These are made from thin aluminium and usually come in packs of 5 or 10.  They are inexpensive and disposable, although I’ve found that I can generally get more than one or two uses out of them.

So what are they used for?   Most people will assume that they are used to hold food, and help in the cooking process.  Well, that’s true but in addition to being used on top of the barbecue cooking grate, the BBQ drip tray can also be used below it!  In this post, we show an example of this, where the BBQ drip tray is placed right next to the coals on the charcoal grate, below the cooking level.

This technique is popular when using the indirect method of cooking.  In later posts, we’ll be explaining in more detail what exactly indirect cooking on the barbecue entails, but for the purposes of this post, you just need to know it means that the food is not placed directly over the hot coals but to the side of them.

The picture to the left shows exactly what we are talking about.  As you can see the aluminium BBQ drip tray is quite battered already, that’s because I’ve used it several times before!  Whatever you are cooking, goes on the barbecue grate immediately above the drip tray, so that anything that does drip down is caught by the tray.    In the photograph below, you can see that I am cooking chicken pieces covered in a creamy marinade.    Of course this is going to cause a big mess, and the BBQ drip tray made the task of cleaning up afterwards much easier!

The particular dish  is tandoori chicken. In future posts, I’ll be discussing the merits of marinading food for the barbecue as well as giving details of this particular recipe.  On this occasion, I was glad to have the tray to catch all that thick creamy sauce dripping off the chicken.

While you will get a few uses out of each aluminium tray, it won’t last forever.  I’ve noticed that after a few uses, tiny holes can appear in them, and depending on the weight of the food you put in them, they can bend and buckle under the weight and eventually tear around the edges.   But for catching drips from food, and keeping the bottom of the barbecue cleaner, an older aluminium tray is perfect.

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