As the summer gets going, we thought we’d share our top tips on how to throw the perfect BBQ. From the staples, like burgers and sausages, to something a little bit different, we’ve got everything covered to make you a true Grill Master.
How to throw the perfect BBQ
Make sure your grill is hot hot hot.
Always start with a clean, oiled grill and make sure it is hot enough before grilling. If you’re using a gas grill, simply turn it on and allow 15 minutes for the barbecue to warm up. If you’re using a charcoal barbecue, well things aren’t quite as straightforward. Over time you will develop a keen eye and nose for lighting your coals and deciding when their ready. But if you’re new to barbecuing, here’s a great video to get you started.
Your charcoal barbecue will take around 30 minutes to heat up, and you can tell when they are ready as the briquettes will have developed a white ash exterior. When the coals are ready, you can spread them out evenly and start cooking.
Whether your’re cooking on a gas or charcoal barbecue, make sure to turn the meat once when cooking so that it cooks evenly all the way through. Once cooked, it’s important to allow the meat to rest on a warm plate under a tent of foil. This will allow the meat to reabsorb all the juices, making it juicier, more tender and just generally tastier.
Plan the perfect menu.
While burgers and sausages are the mainstay of any barbecue, it’s always nice to consider adding variety to your menu. Whether that’s kebabs, fish, or grilled veggies and potatoes, make sure you have a selection of food to keep everyone happy. If you’re throwing a smaller barbecue, you may choose to add more detail to the menu, but for larger groups, stick to a menu that you can easily prep ahead of time, leaving you to enjoy spending time with your guests.
We’ve got some great sausages, burgers and steaks here at British Corner Shop to get your barbecue started. Why not try making your own burgers using Jon Thorners mince beef? Simply mix the mince with bread crumbs, a diced onion, an egg, and add in some seasoning: salt, pepper and a sprinkling of parsley or basil depending on your preference. Divide the mixture into four and shape into patties, then leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. This a great thing to make the night before or in the morning to get ahead with preparations.
And if you’ve got some vegetarian guests, thankfully the experts at Quorn have created these tasty ‘beef’ and red onion veggie burgers that you can also whack on the grill. Just be sure to keep them separate from all the meat you’re cooking.
For a little variety, why not try making up lamb and veggie kebabs? Simply slide chunks of Jon Thorner’s diced lamb onto a metal skewer, along with sliced courgette, red peppers and onions – whatever takes your fancy. And if you want to marinade your lamb, combine 2 tablespoon of olive oil with 2 crushed garlic cloves and the zest and juice of one lemon. Season with salt and pepper, and toss in the meat. Allow to marinade for at least a couple of hours, but ideally overnight.
Most importantly, if you can do any of the prep the night before or in the morning, do it! There’s no need for any barbecue anxiety, and if you can get to a place where, once your guests arrive, all you have to do is grill, then that’s a pretty great place to be in.
And don’t forget the sides…
No perfect BBQ would be complete without your favourite side dishes. Whether that’s potato salad, coleslaw, or a plain green salad, side dishes are just as important as the main event. These can prepped beforehand as well, and kept in the fridge until ready for serving. Side dishes are a great opportunity to go for bold flavours, and add some colour to your barbecue.
Finally, make sure you have plenty of condiments on hand. Everyone has their preference for burgers and sausages: tomato ketchup, mayonnaise, burger sauce or mustard. Have everything out on the table in a shady spot in the garden, away from direct sunlight, so your guests can just help themselves.
Do you have any top tips for the perfect BBQ? Or have you got a great recipe you’d love to share? Leave your comments and suggestions below.
**Featured image via Jun Seita