It’s National BBQ Week and there’s only one way to celebrate it.

Chucking a few sausages and burgers on the grill and hoping they don’t burn on the outside before they cook on the inside.

Apparently not according to Northern Ireland’s only BBQ Academy at Hillmount Garden Centre. They are currently offering a range of taster sessions and half day or full day BBQ cooking courses.

Just because you’re barbecuing your food doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be delicious says Alan Mercer from Hillmount.

In fact he reckons having the right type of barbecue in the first place should be your first port of call.

He said: “We’ve seen a massive rise in the demand for gas barbecues this spring with gas outselling charcoal by five to one.

“We are happy to advise customers on which BBQ is right for them as it really does come down to personal preference.”

Here’s Hillmount’s Guide To Making The Perfect Barbecue Burger:

INBV.BBQ burgers


These delicious burgers do not require pin point accurate quantities and can include ingredients to suit your taste.


Good quality minced beef
Bread crumbs
A medium onion finely chopped
Two medium egg beaten
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Now for your own choice:

Ginger, garlic either chopped finely or grated
Fresh chilli (red) chopped finely or dried chillies
Table spoon of horseradish sauce or mustard
Tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

All above ingredients can be increased depending on quantity of burgers
All above own choice ingredients can be used or left out depending on your own personal taste


Fry onions in a little olive oil, until soft and translucent. Set aside to cool.
With your hands separate the mince thoroughly in a mixing bowl
Add all the ingredients or just those you have decided to suit your own taste and mix well
Lift a handful of the mixture (approx the size of a small snowball) and form into a round ball. Place on cutting board and flatten and using your hands create a disc shape approx ½” to 1” thick (make all burgers the same thickness)

Repeat for all the remaining mixture

With your fingers press a small hollow in the middle of each burger – this helps them hold together when cooking

When cooking, do not press burgers flat to removes juices

BBQ burgers over direct heat for 5 mins per side with lid closed and then place them in an area where there is no direct heat ie no charcoal or gas burning below this area. Leave for a few minutes depending on thickness. Cut one halfway through to check thoroughly cooked and serve in a bun dressed to your liking with a Weber BBQ sauce.

Learn more:

The Garden Centre is also hosting a Weber Chef Night on Tuesday, June 9 where chefs specially trained by Weber will share samples of their culinary delights with the audience.

Hillmount JC14

To find out more or to book a place on a course at Hillmount BBQ Academy or to buy tickets for the Weber Chef Night, tel 028 9044 8213 or email,, @hillmountgarden

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