6 Tips to Prepare For the Ultimate Barbecue
The sun is shining and barbecue season is here! Okay, the temperature is still a little on the cool side, especially at night, but there really are no more excuses for not barbecuing – so whether you’ve been cooking al fresco all winter or only starting to come round to the idea of lighting those coals once more, we have 6 hot BBQ tips to make your next barbecue a real success.
The first place to check when planning a barbecue is the barbecue itself. Do you have a good BBQ with a big grill? If not, you should consider investing in one for better culinary results.
Once you have your barbecue, it’s important to keep it clean. Despite the aftermath of a triumphant barbecue party being a bit of a facing – sauce everywhere, burned on food, mucky grill – make sure you clean up each time. If you spray a bit of oil onto the grill before you start cooking, this will help with the cleaning by preventing food from sticking too much to the surface.
Preparation is key when it comes to barbecuing. By sorting the recipes and dishes in advance, you’ll enjoy the cooking more – plus, you’ll be able to enjoy the social interaction more as you won’t need to constantly rush back and forth between the kitchen and barbecue.
Marinade in advance, make the salads and barbecue sauces beforehand, and lay it all out ready for you. Of course, any uncooked meat and fish that isn’t ready for the grill should remain in the fridge until it’s needed. But if everything that can be is made up, it’ll take the pressure off you.
Everyone loves a barbecued burger and sausage, but don’t forget to offer variety and cater for all eaters. Have a good mix of meat, fish and vegetarian options plus exciting dips, relishes and different salads to make your barbecue truly memorable.
Top Tip for Creative Food:
Use a gas barbecue to easily create indirect heat for slow tender cooking.
Use lots of fresh ingredients in your cooking and you’ll taste the difference. And don’t forget to season the food with fresh herbs and spices too.
Make sure you’re as careful when it comes to cooking outdoors as indoors – this means taking similar steps with hygiene to prevent food poisoning. Keep raw and cooked meat separate, and make sure meat is properly cooked. Turning meat regularly will help ensure it cooks evenly, and always check it’s hot in the middle and the juices run clear. For thicker cuts of meat, cooking with indirect heat is a good way of avoiding a burnt exterior and undercooked interior.
Don’t forget the pudding! Savouries are obviously vital for any barbecue – but so is dessert. Surprise your guests with a flavoursome hot pudding such as barbecued pineapple rings which become beautifully caramelised or bananas with chocolate-filled slits warmed through on the grill. Of course, a big bag of marshmallows and skewers are a great alternative to making a special dessert, and particularly good for larger parties, as everyone can toast their own marshmallows as and when they like.