With the weather finally starting to heat up, we’re sure that many of you will be dusting off the barbeque, digging out the tongs and heading to the shops on the hunt for charcoal, to prepare for an alfresco feast.
Here are some of our top tips to ensure you have an un-grill-ievable barbeque!
Preparation is key
The main top tip for the perfect barbeque is to prepare, prepare, prepare. From deciding how much food you’ll need per guest, to making sure you’ve got all the right equipment, a barbecue isn’t usually something you can do spontaneously.
You also need to ensure that you’re setting up your barbeque in the right place. Always make sure you set up in an open space, away from fences or trees. It’s a good idea to have a fire extinguisher or a bucket of water nearby too just in case things go up in flames. Another vital element of preparation is making sure you buy good-quality charcoal. Try and look for charcoal made from coppiced wood or Forestry-Commission-approved wood, as this lights easily and won’t alter the flavour of the food.
Also, If you’re looking for an easier way to barbecue, then gas barbecues are undoubtably quicker and easier to set up than the average charcoal-fuelled alternative.
Marinate the meat
From fruity lemon to hot and spicy, there are many delicious marinades you can rustle up to add some flavour to your feast.
Many of us are aware of the phrase ‘marinade for a few hours, ideally overnight’, and this is doubly important when it comes to meat that is going to be barbequed. Marinading for a longer period will ensure that the flavours aren’t overridden by the barbeque smoke. A top tip to add even more flavour is to save some of the marinade you make and brush your meat or fish every 10 minutes or so as it cooks.
Avoid fridge chill
Once your food is marinated and has been left overnight, you’ll need to take it out of the fridge 30 minutes to an hour before cooking. Doing this will ensure it gets to room temperature, and will mean it isn’t too cold when it gets thrown on the grill. If a piece of meat or fish goes on the barbeque too cold, it is at risk of burning on the outside before it’s thoroughly cooked through in the middle.
Ensure you leave the meat inside once you take it out of the fridge and don’t take it outside and leave it sitting in the sun, as this can cause bacteria to grow which can be dangerous.
One of the most important things to remember when you’re hosting a barbeque is to have patience. Barbequing isn’t a quick process, and it can take time to get your food cooked perfectly.
Before putting any food on the grill, it’s best to wait until the flames and smoke have died down. You’ll know your barbeque is ready to start cooking on when the charcoal has turned a white/grey colour. This can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes depending on the type of charcoal you have bought.
Get the sides right
Side dishes are important to any barbeque, as they add additional flavours and textures and make the meal much more balanced and enjoyable. Because let’s face it, people don’t just want a plate full of meat do they?
So although you might spend a lot of time on the meat for a barbeque, the sides should never be an afterthought. From delicious salads and pasta dishes, to corn on the cob and different types of potatoes, there are so many different sides you can whip up for your alfresco feast.