Remember to maintain your barbecue during winter

Despite being the heart of winter, the weather has been so unseasonably warm recently that we’ve been continuing to enjoy barbecuing outdoors. We even thought about cooking the Christmas turkey outdoors but when it came to it we didn’t manage to organise ourselves enough.

On the down side, what the mild weather has meant is that we haven’t spent as much time as usual on the maintenance side of our barbecue to ensure its condition is as good as new (which is exactly the way we like it).

As a result we’ve taken to reading up and refreshing our minds as to the best way to keep all things barbecue related not just clean but positively spick and span.

Here’s a few tips we though we could pass on:

  • Without a doubt, and despite suggestions to the contrary, it is best to wash your barbecue with hot, soapy water and to do this on a regular basis
  • You can keep your barbecue cleaner to begin with by reducing the amount of low fat food such as fish and chicken sticking to your grill. This is achieved by the cunning means of marinading ie by allowing flesh or vegetables to marinade first meaning there’s enough juice for the flesh not to dry up and cause a mess on the barbecue.
  • Another trick to ensure a smooth grilling surface is to wipe down your barbecue with vegetable oil prior to cooking
  • The best way to remove fat and oil from a barbecue plate or grill is to switch on the barbecue and leave it heating with the cover down for around 15 minutes. The residing fat will then have melted and you can easily wipe it off using a cloth or even paper towels
  • It’s a good idea to wash your barbecue’s plates or grill with sugar soap or degreaser every now and again
  • Make sure there’s no blockages on your burner if you haven’t used it for a while eg spiders webs, fat or even birds nests can become hazards for a stored barbecue. If this is the case there’s no need to panic though. These can be cleaned out without any real problems by simply using a damp cloth and wiping dry

This week we’ve decided to leave you with a gorgeous low-fat recipe and definitely one of our favourites – Barbecued coconut chicken.

For this dish (which serves four adults) you’ll need four chicken thighs (with skin still on), a handful of mixed spices, one bay leaf, 135ml of coconut cream, one piece of lemongrass and 1.5 cups of chicken stock. You can add red chillies, depending on how spicy you want it to be!

To make the dish, mix together the chicken, mixed spice, bay leaf, chicken stock and lemongrass. Then bring to the boil in a pot. Leave to cook for around 20 minutes before adding the coconut cream and pepper.

Once that’s done, allow the chicken to cook for another 20 minutes, stirring routinely to ensure the sauce has become nice and thick. Now this has been achieved, remove the chicken from the pan and place on an already heated barbecue.

Give the chicken another 20 minutes on the barbecue, turning continually until it’s a lovely golden colour and you and your family or guests can’t wait to sink your teeth into it.

Remember, if you fancy something a little different this year, don't forget to check out our wide range of gas barbecues!