The sign of a good dinner party is guests leaving well fed, having had fun and full of praise for the host. With this summer set to be a scorcher and plenty of good reasons to host a BBQ for friends and family, there’s never been a better time to earn a reputation as the king or queen of the outdoor party.
Meat Cooking Temperatures
First and foremost, you’ll want to serve tasty food that shows off your culinary prowess. Ensuring that meat reaches the perfect temperature in the middle is the key to achieving this. For example, it’s important that the internal temperature of chicken or pork is high enough to kill off harmful bacteria and be cooked all the way through. Whereas, keeping an eye on the internal temperature of steak will allow you serve it to your guest’s tastes. Turning meat regularly will help you cook it evenly and safely.
The different flavours can be enhanced with marinades, sides, perfect drink matching and your own charming hosting.
Top Tip: Preventing flare-ups will stop charring, for better flavours and an even, healthy cook.
BBQ Fire Safety
A fire safety issue at a BBQ can be more damaging to your reputation as a host than a biblical downpour just as you serve the food. However, with a few simple steps, it’s easy to remove the majority of risks.
Firstly, it’s imperative to prepare properly; cleaning and maintaining your BBQ will help avoid risks. If you have a gas BBQ, annual checks by an authorised expert will also decrease the chance of accidents. Selecting the right spot for the BBQ is also important – be pragmatic; ensure it is away from hazards and in a place where you can concentrate on the task in hand, but not so far away that you’ll deny your guests of your sparkling wit.
Top Tip: Beware of shirt tails, sleeves, apron strings, ties, long beards… BBQing is as much about spectating as it is about the taste, just keep people at a safe distance.
Meat Heat: the Ultimate BBQ Cheat Sheet
Following our handy guide will help you to take care of the basics and ensure that you are are an attentive host, serving up perfectly cooked food and avoiding any safety mishaps.
Although some BBQ safety advice may seem like common sense, it is a key part of the art of outdoor dining. If you get the safety element right, all the other parts of being a great host will build from there. That should mean the only things you’ll have to consider after the event are disposing of ashes or empty gas canisters and, of course, what to cook for your next event.
For more tips on making the most of your outdoor space with great BBQs, take a look at our guide to barbecuing for guests with dietary requirements or the Everdure by Heston Blumenthal BBQ recipe page.