Summer is all about getting outside to eat with friends and family. To make this time extra special we are sharing our top ten BBQ tips, plus five simple recipes to help you create a fresh and colourful feast that goes beyond your standard barbecue of burgers, sausages and drumsticks.
Our Gourmet Grill series will have you outside and grilling delicious food in no time at all. Start by watching Al’s top ten tips in the video below, and then stay tuned on our social channels as we release one recipe video per week, to include:
1) Spiced Cote du Boeuf cooked ‘dirty’ [Link to video]
2) Smoky Baba ganoush
3) Griddled Courgette and Feta
4) Perfect Pork Souvlaki
5) Grilled Flatbreads
Al: Eating outside with friends and family is one of my absolute favourite things to do, and this summer we plan to do it as much as possible.
We often think of barbecuing as the most relaxed type of cooking. Grilling in flip flops, beer in hand and hanging out with friends at the same time. But managing the BBQ is far from an easy job. It takes a lot of concentration to make sure you don’t end up with a load of meat that’s burnt on the outside and raw on the inside.
At barbecues we often miss out on the special time sat down eating together, as people tend to eat in dribs and drabs when the next batch of meat is ready.
But it doesn’t have to be this way, follow our top ten tips for a feast of smoky flavours, which everyone can enjoy together.
Tip number 1) Light the BBQ early, and then wait until the flames have died down and the coals are white on the top and glowing underneath before you start cooking.
Tip number 2) Resist the temptation to stand by and constantly poke at the coals. If you’re a man, like me, you will find this very hard to do. But you must! Instead, use the time to make salads and sides.
Tip number 3) If you’re cooking a number of different things, it can be useful to create a hotter and cooler side of the barbecue, which allows you to control the cooking temperature, just like you would in a kitchen.
This gives you the best chance of ensuring everything can be ready at roughly the same time.
Tip number 4) Don’t go mad on the meat. It’s much nicer to focus on one or two really show stopping cuts of meat that are good quality, taste greatand will go well with a range of exciting, seasonal vegetable and salad dishes. Who wants the meat sweats anyway!
Tip number 5) Marinate the meat overnight to infuse it with spices and then remove the excess just before cooking, this stops if from burning.
Tip number 6) If you want a really smoky flavour, certain cuts of meat, like this beautiful Cote de Boeuf, lend themselves nicely to being cooked straight on the coals, this known as a ‘dirty steak’.
Tip number 7) Don’t forget the vegetables, we think they should be a big part of any barbecue.
Tip number 8) Cut vegetables lengthways to make them easier to turn nd stop them from falling down between the grill and burning.
Tip number 9) The big mistake people make with barbecuing veg is to soak them in olive oil before cooking them.
Don’t do it– you will end up with burnt oil and a load of smoke in your eyes!
Instead, dry grill them. Once cooked, dress with good quality olive oil and a little vinegar or lemon juice. Season and add flavours such as garlic, herbs, chilli, crumbled feta or goats cheese.
And finally, tip number 10) Aim for everyone to sit down together at the same time to eat, just like you would for any other meal.
Then bask in the glory of cooking and eating outside. What could be better!
If you’d like to create this lovely spread at home, stay tuned on our social channels for the recipe videos.