Top tips for brilliant BBQ-ing
On the sunniest Saturdays and Sundays, you can guarantee the delicious aroma of cooking will waft from somebody’s garden on tendrils of meaty smoke.
There’s something earthy about cooking BBQ; throwing meat on flames and washing it all down with jugs of ale and good cheer. In reality though, successful BBQ-ing involves a bit of prep and a few tips to avoid tummy bugs from undercooked food. Burnt at the edges doesn’t necessarily mean cooked inside.
1. Marinate meat the day before
This not only saves you time on the day, it will give your food a deliciously intense flavour as it has time to absorb herbs, spices, sauces and oils.
2. Have everything to hand
BBQ-ing is all about timing – you don’t want to be looking for your tongs as your sausage catches fire! Make sure you have a large work surface and work out how you will keep cooked food away from raw food.
3. Light the barbecue before your first guest appears
The smell of cooking will create a welcoming atmosphere and it’s nice to offer a few small bites as a taster.
4. The chef is never lonely
A BBQ is ‘food theatre’! There are always a few onlookers ready to share morsels of culinary advice!
5. BBQ fish and veg too
Summer is the season when you are spoiled for choice when it comes to food. Delicious veggies like sweetcorn, aubergines and asparagus are plentiful. Even fruit like pineapple can be BBQ’d with ease. Why not prepare a big salad bowl to go with your meat and fish?
6. Chill out
Never throw frozen chicken or meat straight onto a BBQ and keep refrigerated fish and meat at room temperature for 20 minutes before cooking. If the middle is too cold, the outside may cook too quickly leaving the centre a bit undercooked.
7. Season in the sun
Never add salt to meat that has been marinating for more than two hours. You can season with salt afterwards if you want to. Season with black or white pepper for a mild heat.