Whether you’re looking to throw together an intimate dinner with a bit of panache or hosting a birthday and catering for a dozen, no garden party is complete without the delicious taste of chargrilled BBQ food.
Whether you’re cooking on gas or grilling on charcoal this summer, getting it just right can seem a daunting task. That’s why, as the exclusive distributor of Everdure by Heston Blumenthal BBQs in the UK, we have provided some expert tips to make sure everyone can create their own spectacular BBQ spread.
Taking your time to start the charcoal fire properly using kindling, newspaper or card as a kick-start is essential. Buy natural lumpwood charcoal without chemicals, additives or artificial flavourings and don’t be tempted to reach for the lighter-fluid as nobody appreciates the taste of a gasoline-scented kebab or burger. Instead, use a single match to light some newspaper surrounded by coals and nurse the flame to full ignition.
Don’t over-do it on the heat
Flames and over-heated grills do not make for more thorough-cooking. If you cook your meat when the flames are too high you’ll end up with blackened meat that may not be thoroughly cooked. Remember, smoke is your friend, flame is your enemy. Create two zones of charcoal with one dense, high pile and another with none or only a thin layer to give you more control over cooking temperatures – we call this “charcoal management”.
Don’t play it too cool
Your natural instinct may be to take meat straight from the fridge to the BBQ, but you must resist! Allow meat at least half an hour out of the fridge before cooking to allow it to reach room temperature and be perfectly ready for thorough, even cooking. Click here for more tips on food safety.
Rest is crucial
No matter how hungry your baying crowd is, going straight from the grill to the plate is missing a trick. If you allow your meat to ‘rest’ for five minutes the food is able to relax, soaking up juices and adding another level to the taste.
Enjoy the experience
Going back to the caveman era, cooking over fire has been a social experience that brings people together. Make sure that you enjoy the BBQ experience this summer with friends and family – get them involved in the cooking; let them smell the food, watch the browning and taste the flavours. Remember to entertain and socialize and you’ll have the perfect garden party.