5 ways you can be a barbecue boss



If you’re anything like us, you’ll find there are very few things that can beat the flavour of great barbecued food. It doesn’t matter if you’re a vegetarian or a meat eater, there aren’t many foods that don’t benefit from the smoky flame grilled flavour you get from barbecuing.

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If you’re anything like us, you’ll find there are very few things that can beat the flavour of great barbecued food. It doesn’t matter if you’re a vegetarian or a meat eater, there aren’t many foods that don’t benefit from the smoky flame grilled flavour you get from barbecuing.

There can be something primal about cooking over the hot coals armed only with a pair of tongs. It’s you against the sausages in a battle to get them cooked all the way through without burning the outside to a crisp. We’ve put together some top tips to help your barbecue be a flaming success.

BE PREPARED

Although barbecuing is quite a quick way of cooking, your food can taste better if you’ve thought ahead and had your food resting in marinades for several hours, or prepared a spice rub that will give your meat a delicious savoury crust.

As well as adding heaps of flavour, marinades can also help to tenderise meat which can make bargain cuts taste like butcher’s best. Once you’ve taken the meat out of the marinade, boil it up to kill any bacteria from the raw meat and you can use it as a baste or sauce as you cook.

PREHEAT BEFORE COOKING

A barbecue is most effective when it’s roasting hot and has heated up the griddle so anything put on is seared straight away.

If you’re using coals, it normally takes about 15 to 20 minutes from when you light the charcoal for it to be ready. Put the grill in place while it heats up, and you should be ready to start cooking when the coals stop smoking and are glowing red with a fine coating of white ash.

A gas BBQ should preheat for a good ten minutes, with the grills in place. You want the metal to be really hot so it sears the meat as soon as you put it on.

 SMOKE YOUR FOOD

One of the best things about a barbecue is how easy it is to enhance the delicious smoky flavour by adding some wood chips while cooking.

If you’re using charcoal, you can simply add the wood chips to the charcoal when it’s up to heat. As soon as they start smoking, start cooking and put on the barbecue’s lid.

If you’re using a gas barbecue, put the chips in an aluminium drip tray. Rest this over the flames and cook your food when they start to smoke, closing the lid.

Different types of wood chips will produce different flavours.Popular woods include oak, apple, hickory and mesquite, and you can get bags of chips for smoking from good BBQ equipment suppliers.

 

COOK TO PERFECTION WITH A MEAT THERMOMETER

One of the most essential pieces of barbecue kit is often overlooked by many people – a meat thermometer.

There are two great reasons why you should have a meat thermometer. The first is that undercooked meat can cause some pretty nasty stomach upsets. A meat thermometer gives you an accurate guide to the temperature your food has reached so you’ll know when any bacteria have been killed and it’s safe to eat.

The second reason is you’ll be able to see exactly when your food is cooked to perfection. As soon as the meat reaches the recommended temperature you can remove it from the barbecue – There’ll be no dried out steaks or worryingly pink chicken.

You can get all sorts of meat thermometers, but one of our favourites is the iDevices iGrill 2. This clever little device syncs up to your smartphone and will let you know the moment your food is cooked to perfection. You get more time to socialise and everyone wonders how you manage to turn out such amazing meat every time.

CONSIDER THE VEGGIES

Barbecues are often pretty poor for veggies, and it’s even worse if the food that’s prepared for them is cooked alongside meat or picked up with the same tongs. This may mean they can’t eat anything.

Use separate tongs for vegetables, and either cook the veggie food before you put the meat on, or separate a section of the grill just for that food. For example, you could make a tray out of foil to stop the veg touching any meat cooking at the same time.

View the Bodum portable BBQ here

View the Bodum Fyrkat grill tools here