Summer is here and with it barbeque season! And whilst there’s something gloriously primal about cooking your food over a fire, there are many tips and tricks you can use to take your barbeque to the next level.
So we rounded up the very best ones out there…
- Firstly and most importantly – skip the gas. Nearly all experts agree that a charcoal grill is best, offering that inimitable smoky flavour.
- So you’re using charcoal – never start cooking until it turns grey and glows. Only then is it hot enough.
- No barbeque? No problem. A garden wheelbarrow makes the perfect base for a homemade barbeque, simply fill with charcoal and top with a wire rack.
- For a gourmet barbeque experience add wood chips from a fruit tree to your charcoal. They’ll give your food added flavour, but won’t be overpowering.
- To ensure maximum smoky flavour, soak your wood or wood chips in water for at least an hour but preferably longer before draining and wrapping in foil and adding to your grill. Higher water content in the wood = more smoke.
- Try using fresh rosemary sprigs as skewers for your meat or vegetables – they’re surprisingly strong and will infuse everything with a delicious aromatic flavour.
- If you do use wooden skewers, soak them in water at least 30 minutes prior to using to keep them from burning on the grill. You can even freeze them ahead of time if you want to be really organised.
- Wipe your grill down with an onion sliced in half before starting – it will clean the grate of any lingering grease and will create a nonstick surface for the meat you plan to cook.
- Using a rub on your meat? Make sure it’s applied at least an hour before cooking.
- Spiral cut hot dogs and sausages to ensure they are perfectly evenly cooked.
- Barbeque you fish on a bed of sliced lemons – they’ll stop it from sticking to the grill and the flavours complement each other beautifully.
- Some like it hot… and those people should add chilli oil to the grill before cooking anything to add a kick to your food.
- Pushed for time? Cook your meat or vegetables in the kitchen as you would normally and then simply finish off on the barbeque.
- This tip is one seriously popular among professionals – put some apple juice in a spray bottle and periodically spray your meat with it while it’s cooking. It’ll add flavour and an appetising golden colour to your food.
- Apprehensive of trying vegan food? A barbeque is the perfect opportunity, as the distinctive smokey flavour will help vegan options taste more familiar.
- Wrap your vegetables in foil when barbequing – they’re generally more delicate than meat and this will stop them catching on the grill and burning.
- If barbequed halloumi is on your menu, cut it in thick in horizontal slices through the block – like a burger. This will prevent you losing it through the gaps in the grill, or it falling apart as it cooks. You can always cut it into smaller pieces once it’s done.
- Never ever press down on your meat with a spatula or tongs while it’s cooking. Not unless you don’t want a juicy consistency or that lovely smoky crust.
- Cooking something with an uneven shape? Bricks wrapped in foil can be used to flatten things like chickens and help them cook more evenly.
- This one is obvious – but let your meat rest before digging in.
- Cook dessert on your barbeque too! Whip up some brownie batter in an ovenproof dish and cook over the flames.
Stay Allergen Safe this BBQ Season
Take a look at our free Allergen Guide to see common food containing allergens and what to look out for on the label.
Download the 14 Allergens Guide more information.