We have four large barrel barbecues, and two Argentinian style spits. We cook on lump wood charcoal supplemented with our own apple and cherry wood and occasionally a bit of oak for a lovely flavour. We roast and smoke whole joints eg butterflied marianted Legs of English lamb, ribs of beef or whole chickens served whole to the table or we BBQ quick cook cuts of meat so that we can turn over food quickly and replenish the grill with fresh.
We can serve bowls of salads to each table but prefer to offer guests meat and fish exactly how they like it cooked fresh from the BBQ grill, as some like salmon and steak rare, some like it well done.
If BBQ food is plattered you cannot offer it that way. It is easier to cook everything off in the oven first, flash it on a BBQ and then put it in the warmer till service but I will not provide food like that, as oven cooking and then finishing off on a gas flame is not a BBQ.
There are a couple of exceptions, e.g foods, that the variable nature of heat on a BBQ does not allow us to cook only over charcoal. For example Chicken on the bone needs to be cooked to a safe temperature in the oven first before going to the BBQ and when we offer pork belly marinated in cider and rosemary we braise the it first in the oven before crisping it up on the BBQ.
We also cook and smoke whole joints of butterflied legs of English lamb and other meats which we have been marinating in lemon and thyme etc. and serve them to the tables to be carved by guests.