It’s time to dust down the barbeque and dig out the tongs since summer season is fast approaching. You can expect to enjoy the long summer evenings with your friends, family, beer, and a smoked-filled garden. Preparing your barbeque tools in advance helps make sure your first steak hits the coals without a hitch. This article provides information on 10 important tips to make a serious barbecue connoisseur.
- Tools Are Important To Help You Become A Serious BBQ Connoisseur
You have got to have a few important tools if you plan to move from beginner to seasoned barbeque chef this summer. Invest in a long-handled pair of tongs to move heavier cuts safely and easily. The extra length of the longs will help keep your arms farther away from the grill and reduce any chances of nasty burns in the process. On the other hand, a quality temperature probe will do wonders for BBQs because it will tell you if the meat is cooked enough. You can make your herb brush to add extra flavor to the barbeque. Parsley, rosemary, and thyme are our recommended herbs to attach to the end of a wooden spoon with some twine. Dip the herbs in olive oil and brush over the meats before you grill them. Use a grilling basket when you barbeque flatfish like Whole Plaice. You may secure the fish in the basket and place it on top of the grill for an even and easy cook. Barbeque gloves are essential tools for anyone who wants to become an expert in barbequing. Barbeque gloves are made of heat-resistant materials to keep your hands safe from the flames when moving hot pans and arranging the coals.
- Preparation Matters
Take into account how much meat you need for barbequing. You may stick to a burger, sausage, and a lamb skewer per person as a starting point. In case you over-cater, the leftovers are a great mid-week meal. Burgers and fish don’t go well with most people. On the other hand, chicken, chops, and steak do make a great meal for most people. If you have kids to cater to, don’t forget to include sausages and skewers on the menu. Cut the sausages into manageable pieces so that the kids can eat as little or as much they need. Our Garlic, chicken, lemon, and thyme sausages have been a hit with the kids. Condiments and sides are also important. On the other hand, salads, cold meats, cheeses, and pies are perfect crowd-pleasers. The Somerset Cider Chorizo & Smoky Paprika dish has been a favorite with our guests. Don’t forget to take a close look at the condiments you select for the menu. You can choose from peppercorn sauce for steaks to barbeque staples like mustard and horseradish.
- Marinate The Meat
Marinate the meat by injecting some instant flavor into the cuts. The flavor should permeate the meat when you marinate them overnight. If not, you may simply add some of our ready marinated options into your box. There are a wide variety of meats that are pre-marinated including Teriyaki Beef Kebabs, sticky BBQ Chicken Thighs, and fiery Piri Chicken drumsticks and Wings. Shake off any excess marinade before you place the meat on the grill. This is important if the marinade contains oil. On the other hand, if the meat is too saucy, it is more likely to flare or burn and cause a bitter smoky flavor.
- Avoid The Fridge Chill
Take the raw meat or fish out of the refrigerator at least 20-30 minutes before barbequing. It helps lose the chill of the meat or fish and brings them down to room temperature before the BBQ process. When the meat or fish is too cold, it will burn on the outside before the meat or fish is cooked through to the middle. In case you are barbequing chicken, pork, or sausage, this point is very important for obvious reasons. It is also important to do this when barbequing steaks or beef burgers to make sure the meat is well done as you would like it to be.
- Choosing The Charcoal
Choosing your charcoal plays an important role in becoming a BBQ expert this summer. Lump charcoal can be lit fast and has a burn time of around one hour – which is a great choice when you are cooking meats. Briquettes come with a burning time of at least three hours with a consistent temperature. In fact, this type of charcoal is ideal if you plan to grill roasting joints. The charcoal will infuse different flavors into the meat you grill depending on which tree the charcoal came from. A subtle smoky caramel tone will be released into the meat if you rely on charcoal created from oak trees. On the other hand, charcoal from orange wood comes with a deep marmalade flavor and complements chicken, duck, and turkey meats. We prefer to soak oak wood chips in water before putting them on the hot coals for barbequing our meat and fish. The water will release steam which sends a gorgeous oaky flavor into the meats. This is ideal if you plan to barbeque pork. Don’t forget to try apple wood for a more sweet flavor.
- Direct And Indirect Cooking
Direct cooking is more common in barbequing. The method is ideal for thin cuts such as burgers, steaks, sausages, and fish since they can be placed directly over the heat. High temperature within the BBQ creates the perfect condition for seeing that gives a great texture and flavor to the meat you cook. This is one of the main advantages of choosing the direct method of cooking. On the other hand, the indirect cooking method is more advanced than direct cooking. You should place the meat next to the heat source and not directly over the heat source when using the indirect cooking method. Once the coal is warm, separate the coals into two piles at the opposite ends of the grill. Now place the drip tray under the grill between the coals. The meat should go on the grill between the space over the drip tray. The BBQ will act just like an oven with this method. This method is great for cuts like roasting joints that need slower cooking on a lower heat source.
- Test The Meat
If you plan to cook for a lot of people, it can be hard to tell if the meat is cooked enough by its sight alone. That is why you need to test the meat by cutting into the pork and chicken. Check whether the juices are running clear or use the temperature probe for the process.
- Rest The Meat
The meat should be rested for a few minutes once it is cooked to your liking. The meat will reabsorb the juices and become more tender in the process. The best way to rest the meat is to use a warm foil-covered tray for the process. Place it on the top rack of the BBQ away from direct heat. The longer the rest should be, the bigger the cuts are. Make sure you keep the dog out of the way when resting the meat.
- Use The Kitchen Pans As Back-up
Be prepared to face adverse weather. Have the oven and griddle pans prepared to finish off any BBQ items that may get caught in a sudden downpour.
- Our Recommended Cuts
We prefer barbequing steak and always recommend Ribeye. In fact, grass-fed fats are ideal for hot grilling. The fats will melt and help keep the steak juicy. We also prefer barbequing meat skewers. Our grass-fed beef skewers are pre-marinated in honey, brown sugar, and soy sauce for at least 48 hours. It helps create a flavorsome teriyaki sauce to suit your tastebuds. We recommend a wide selection of burgers since it is good to offer a variety of flavors with traditional beef. Opt for garlic and thyme lamb burgers for the process. If not, you can even choose beef & chorizo burgers and wild venison burgers. Refer to our web page that is dedicated to cuts perfect for your barbeque. Choose classics like corn on the cob, courgette, tomato, or vegetable kebabs made with pepper for vegetables. If you want something sweet to compliment the main event, choose grilled pineapple which is quite delicious.
Great BBQ Recipes
- Cheeseburger Kebabs
A burger is an essential item in any BBQ. No BBQ is a BBQ without a burger. That is why cheeseburger kebabs feature at the top of our list. We have taken the classic cheeseburger and given it a little twist to make it our own. Burgers involve a few important components which make them less ideal when you are catering to a large group. Your cooking space will significantly diminish once you have got all the patties on the grill. That way, you may have to feed your guests only with burgers or wait until the burgers are properly cooked before moving to cook something else.
One way to get around this is to grab some BBQ skewers instead of traditional burgers and fill them up with ground beef, pickles, onions, and tomatoes and cook them on the BBQ. Don’t forget to cover them in melty American cheese for better flavor. These burgers will help free up a lot of space on the BBQ. On the other hand, you won’t have to prepare any other ingredients, and your guests will love your creativity too.
- Chicken Wings – Honey Glazed
Honey glazed chicken wings are definitely a crowd-pleaser when hosting a BBQ. They are also easy to prepare in large quantities. First, cook the chicken in the oven to make sure they are thoroughly cooked before placing them on the grill. Your guests will thank you for saving them from food poisoning. Don’t forget to finish them on the BBQ grill to give the chicken wings that delicious smoked taste. In fact, your guests won’t know the difference at all. You can marinate the chicken overnight so that each wing soaks up much flavor as possible. Keep some of the sauce aside so that you can coat the wings once again when they are on the BBQ. It helps give the chicken wings a lovely gooey finish in the process.
- Grilled Shrimp Skewers
Grilled shrimp skewers are quite easy to prepare for large groups of people. They are ideal for people who like to stay away from meat. The small skewers from “Sous Chef” are great in case you prefer to serve them as sides to a larger dish.
- Mac ‘N’ Cheese
Mac ‘N’ Cheese is great for veggies and is a BBQ favorite across the country. It may seem like more of a kid’s dinner, but it is quite versatile and offers the perfect match for your BBQ party. Add some bacon pieces and cheeses to put your own twist onto it or keep it simple and plain. Amazing Ribs has a great recipe where they cook up a killer Mac N Cheese. In fact, they dub the dish the ultimate wingman for a BBQ.
- Steak Fajitas
You need a few rib-eye steaks and tortillas for this recipe. You may choose any other tasty fillings to please your guests. Seal the steaks in a pan using one of your preferred marinades before cooking them to your liking on the BBQ grill. It will give an unmistakable charcoal taste when cooked properly. Once they are cooked properly, slice the steak into strips and serve them to your guests. The guests can then fill up the fajitas with whatever fillings they prefer. Some of our favorite fillings include salsa, guacamole, grilled pepper strips, and soured cream to be finished with a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon. That way you can’t go wrong.
- Pulled Pork Brioche Buns
Pulled Pork Brioche Buns are one of the most requested BBQ dishes on our private BBQ events. They are a great option for large parties and are always a hit with guests who have the greatest appetite. If you plan to cater to a large BBQ group, the pulled pork brioche buns should be a preferred item in the event. You can easily finish them off with some delicious seasoned fries and spicy rice salad. Check out our menus to get more details about how we can cook up for you and your guests.
- Sweet And Sticky BBQ Salmon
If you are thinking about a favorite fish dish for your BBQ party, you should try out the sweet and sticky BBQ salmon dish. All seafood lovers will love this dish and reach for this dish first. It is tender, delicious, and full of flavor. Wrapped in foil and cooked on the BBQ grill, the salmon is easy to prepare and will impress even the fussiest guests. Make sure to cover the salmon in a gooey honey glaze for better flavor and taste. Refer All Recipes for a delicious honey marinade to take your salmon fillets to the next level.
- DIY Hotdog Bar
The hotdog is a close friend to the BBQ burger. This item is another great food item that all guests expect to see at any respectable BBQ event. You can use American-style hotdogs or regular sausages to provide a great food station for your guests to get involved in. Simply place as many sausages as you can fit on the BBQ grill and have a hotdog bar ready for your guests. The bar should be complete with hotdog buns and a wide range of toppings. You can get really creative with the toppings and let the guest make a meal completely to their unique tastes. Make sure you have every kind of sauce that you can think about for this purpose. Why not include little hotdog baskets to please your guests? If you want some amazing ideas to create the best hotdog bar at the event, take a look at this guide – Hot dog toppings inspired by each American state.
Not all BBQ dishes need to be cooked on a traditional barbeque grill. You should be more creative and provide the guests with a dish that is really unique and tasty. Paella is commonly sold in street food markets across the country, In fact, Paella can be cooked in large batches which is ideal for parties that accommodate large groups of people. If you are wondering how to cook up paella for your large group of guests, you have come to the right place. It isn’t that difficult as most people would think. Paellas range in different sizes, and you will definitely be able to find one suitable for the number of guests you are expecting for the event. The Tapas Lunch Company sells paella burners so that you can take the paella outside and cook in your garden. In fact, paella recipes are quite versatile since they can be filled with your favorite ingredients. Here are 21 delicious paella recipes from BBC Good Food for you to choose from.
- Baby Back Pork Ribs
The baby back pork ribs are another great addition to your BBQ event. It helps you deliver a real show stopper to your guests. In fact, your guests can dig into a rack of pork ribs to end the event. The baby back pork ribs went down great with most of our guests we had recently. If you have a large guest list to cater to, you should miss out on the opportunity to include this delicious food item on your menu. If you are tempted to ask for our help in preparing the meal, why not call us to see how we can help you in the process. We will provide food items that your diners love and take all the pressure off your shoulders. In fact, you will be completely free to relax and mingle with your guests in the process.
Common Grilling Mistakes
BBQs are great and most people love them as long as they go smoothly. But BBQs can go wrong at any time. Here are some tips to avoid a BBQ disaster:
- You Didn’t Light The BBQ Early Enough
A BBQ takes at least 30 minutes to light properly and be at a cookable temperature. If you wait until the guests show up to start the BBQ, you may not have enough time to cook the food properly. Light the BBQ early and start cooking when the coals are ready and keep the food warm in a low oven – covered loosely with a foil.
- Place The Food On The Grill Once You Light The BBQ
Aside from quick-cooking chops and steaks, every other food item like sausages, chicken, and drumsticks should be put on the grill when the flames have died down as well as the embers are white. Don’t put the meat on when you first light the BBQ since it may lead to scorched outsides or raw insides.
- You Haven’t Cooked The Food For Long Enough
Even though the meat might look done, it might be raw on the insides. You should keep the meat on the grill for enough time to avoid food poisoning issues. Check the internal temperature of the meat using a digital thermometer. It should be 70°C for chicken and 65°C for pork or beef.
- You Are Not Pre-Cooking When You Should
Sausages should be precooked to keep them juicy. Make sure you poach them in stock until cooked enough. Now pop them on the grill until they become golden. Another method is to start cooking on the BBQ grill and then transfer the food to a baking tray and place them in the oven to finish the cooking.
- Don’t Cook For Too Long
Cooking for too long will char your food. In fact, your guests won’t like a dry burger.
- You Are Not Using The BBQ To Its Fullest Potential
BBQs are not just for meat. You can wrap potatoes in foil and place them directly on the embers of the grill. You may also bake fruits in a similar manner.
- You Are Using A Disposable BBQ
Unless you don’t have space to store the grill, you shouldn’t be using a disposable BBQ. They may be cheap and convenient, but they don’t have even heat and enough space. These units won’t last long and may end up being a hassle than help. You can always opt for an affordable yet small kettle BBQ instead.
- You Don’t Prep Beforehand
You should prepare all things before you start the BBQ. In fact, you can’t BBQ while chopping things or looking for the tongs. Make sure the sides and salads are sorted out in advance before you engage in the process. Assemble the equipment beforehand to save time and effort. Have discernible and separate equipment, plates, and trays to place the cooked food.
- You’re Cutting The Halloumi The Wrong Way
Halloumi is a pesky thing to cook on the grill when preparing a veggie BBQ. These little slices will easily fall apart and slip through the bars. Hence, you should cut them horizontally into equal slices instead of cutting across the block. You can serve them as burger alternatives or cut them into smaller parts after grilling.
- Your Side Dishes Are Average
If you have to go through the trouble of lighting a BBQ, a few limp leaves will do the trick for you. Make sure your side dishes are ideal to please your guests.
- You Are Not BBQing The Buns
In fact, you should toast the cut sides of bread over the coals to give it extra flavor.
- You Are Not Seasoning Food Properly
All food items – whether meat, fish, or vegetables – should be seasoned properly. Season them with either salt, pepper, or a spiced rub. In fact, coriander and ground cumin work well.
- And finally – You Are Not Spending Enough Time With The Guests
A barbeque is a social occasion that is all about food. You don’t have to overstretch yourself by trying to make too much. In fact, one or two meat dishes, a couple of sides, and a veggie option would do.