AL FRESCO TOP 10 BBQ TIPS
Cooking with fire is what sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom – and nothing says ‘I am human’ more than cremating sausages on a BBQ. But there is more to cooking over coals than just turning edible food into charcoal – here are our top 10 BBQ tips.
It doesn’t matter whether you are cooking on gas or charcoal grilling, follow our simple rules and you will be crowned your holiday’s BBQ Boss!
1. REMEMBER YOU ARE IN CONTROL
It is easy to panic when your sausages start to catch or your burgers cause flames to lick your elbows. Have a plate on standby where you can move your grilled goodies should they start to burn, or when you have a flare up – then finish them off when everything is back under control.
2. IT'S HOT!
By their very nature BBQs are hot. Very hot. So you need the correct tools for the job – make sure you have a good pair of long tongs and not just a fork out the cutlery drawer! You are there to cook the food not yourself!
3. CHEERS TO THE BEERS
Whilst you should never attempt to BBQ if you’ve had a few too many ‘refreshments’, having a bottle of beer to hand when you are tackling the charcoal can be beneficial. Use to stop flare ups in their tracks and cool down any hot spots with a gentle sprinkling of the amber stuff.
4. PUT A LID ON IT
Never has the phrase ‘use it if you got it’ been more apt. The lid on your BBQ is an important friend and should be used as much as possible. It serves two great purposes – it stops flare ups and gives your food more of a smoky flavour, as the smoke surrounds the food and is absorbed more. Plus the ‘min oven’ it creates means the food cooks more evenly.
5. MARINADES MAKETH THE MEAT
Never underestimate how much better steak tastes when it has sat it a simple marinate of oil, vinegar, soy, mustard and garlic for a few hours. Chicken loves Indian spice infused yoghurt and fish can’t get enough of a quick dip with oil, garlic, lemon and chopped herbs. Basically, just marinate to the max.
6. IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN, YOU PLAN TO FAIL
You can’t just light a BBQ and stick everything on it willy-nilly, that way chaos lies! You have to have a plan. What takes longest to cook? What suits a high heat? What will people want to eat first? Is it really worth cooking those vegetable kebabs that no one really wants?
7. VARIATION, THAT'S WHAT YOU NEED
Most people have all their BBQ as one heat and that is why when something starts to burn it just keeps burning! If you are cooking on a gas BBQ have one burner on high and one burner on the lowest setting, and if you are cooking with charcoal bank your coals on one side, so they coals which are further away from the food creates a less hot area. Once you have a nice colour from the hot side/area you can move your food over to the cooler area and let it cook through nicely.
8. IT'LL BE READY WHEN IT'S READY
Don’t rush it, let your coals get a covering of white ash on them before you start grilling and give your gas BBQ a chance to heat up before you start. Remember food will stick to a cold grill, so make sure your grill is good and hot before you start those sausages.
9. SACRIFICE TO THE BBQ GODS
As with all forms of war, there will be casualties and when it comes to the battle between coals and man that usually means at least a couple of sausages, if not one of those steaks that you had your eye on! Don’t try and rescue it, that will just lead to losing more – just accept it and move on. The BBQ gods will look more kindly upon you!
10. SAFETY FIRST
Your BBQ should never be used on your mobile home decking, at be positioned at least 1m from your mobile home and anything combustible, that includes Aunty Lynn!!