Nothing says British Summer like a BBQ. Here’s how to cook the perfect BBQ Feast with or without a BBQ.
Avoid fridge chill
Try taking the raw meat or fish out of the fridge at least 20 minutes before barbecuing. Leaving it to sit out of the fridge means it will lose its chill and get back down to room temperate. If the meat is too cold when it hits the grill, then there is a danger it could burn on the outside before cooking through to the middle. While this is especially important with chicken, sausages and any other pork for food safety reasons, it’s also important with beef burgers and steaks to ensure your meat is how you like it.
Choose your charcoal
Your choice of charcoal is important. Lump charcoal is fast lighting with a burn time of around an hour, so a good choice if you’re cooking a wide range of meat. Briquettes, on the other hand, can burn for up to three hours at a consistent temperature, making them ideal for grilling roasting joints.
Charcoal can even affect the flavour of your meat, giving it a subtle smoky flavour. If, for example, you opt for charcoal created from oak trees it will release subtle smoky caramel tones, while coal from orange wood carries a deep marmalade flavour that compliments chicken, duck and turkey. Tip! Try soaking oak wood chips in water and put them on the hot coals when you’re ready to BBQ. They create a heavy smoke flavour, so ideal for red meats, game and fish. If you like things smoky, this is the one! Apple wood also gives off a lovely sweeter flavour, which would work well with pork.
Don’t own a BBQ grill? No problem! Our BBQ Feast range allow you to “grill” indoors (that’s pop it in the oven, to you and I). For great-looking grill marks, a grill pan is a handy investment. Or, try pan-frying the meat at a high temperature so it chars before adding to the oven. This method will also replicate a smoky flavour similar to what you’d get on an outdoor grill.
Direct and Indirect Cooking Methods
Did you know, there are different barbecue cooking techniques? Well, now you do! Direct cooking is the most common method on the barbecue. It is where you place the meat or fish directly over the heat. The result is perfect conditions for searing, meaning you will have the best results using this method for thin cuts of meat like steaks, fish and sausages.
The indirect cooking method is a little more advanced and it is where the barbecue acts like an oven. It can be achieved by placing the meat next to, not directly over, the burning coals or igniting only some burners if you’re using a gas barbecue. One warm, separate your coals into two piles at opposite ends of the grill. Place a drip tray underneath the grill, between the two pile of coals. Your meat goes on the grill in the space over the drip tray. This method is best suited to larger cuts or food that needs to be cooked slower. Think roasts, whole chickens, turkeys, ribs, bread or pork shoulders.
Test the meat
It’s important to check your meat after cooking on a barbecue, and it can be hard to tell how well-done meat is by sight alone. An easy way to test chicken and pork is to cut into the meat and check whether the juices run clear or, alternatively, invest a temperature probe.
Rest the meat
By allowing the meat to rest for a few minutes after it is cooked, it will reabsorb its juices and become more tender (and more delicious!) Chef Mimi recommends to rest meat on a warm, foil covered tray on the top of the rack of the BBQ, away from any direct heat.
Prepare a back-up
Ah, British weather. It can’t always be trusted and is temperamental at the best of times. Have a grill pan and oven prepared should you be greeted with a sudden downpour!
Want to add our new limited edition BBQ Feast recipes to your box each week? Click below!