Most people enjoy a barbeque.
On a hot sunny day there is nothing better than eating al fresco
with friends and family. In the UK this time is usually fairly short
as summers can be unpredictable at best, which means that planning
a weekend of outdoor cooking is somewhat hit and miss.
Burgers, sausages and perhaps pieces of chicken are the usual favourites
of a British barbeque, and very often that is how it stays. The
following tips for food, preparation and cooking will hopefully
give you some new angles to try and bring more excitement and variety
to the summer BBQ.
Only get meat out of the fridge just before it is to be used. This
also goes for any party foods that may be accompanying the BBQ.
Many people go down with food poisioning through not adhereing to
this obvious piece of advice.
Lighting a BBQ can be a pain for those of us who don't get to do
it so often, and like other places in the world, for some unknown
reason it's usually the man's job to cook! Use firelighters if ossible,
and keep to a minimum the use of BBQ lighter fluid. It is easy to
use too much fluid and this can transfer a taste to some of the
food you are cooking early on. Using solid firelighters, or small
pieces of kindling for the more adventurous, place them with the
coals and light them, placing coals over the top so as to get as
many pieces of charcoal lit as you can.
Start the barbeque early enough. To light a barbeque and then immediately
expect to cook is unrealistic. The charcoal needs to get hot and
for this it needs time. Light the coals at least half an hour before
you start cooking. The coals should be turning grey before you put
your first meat on. Very often the BBQ is at it hottest an hour
or so after lighting.
Try and do fatty foods first, the fat runs onto the coals and adds
to the smells and flavours, making sure that everyone feels hungry!
If your BBQ is big enough use two racks, one for the vegetarians
and one for the carnivores. This way there will be no complaints
from the veggies about meat residues.
Do you like cooked onions with your meal? If so and you always forget
to pre-cook any, then slice your onions and place them with a little
oil in a foil tray (you can keep and wash out an old takeaway tray
for this). Placed on the BBQ at the same time as your first lot
of meat should see some nice soft onions to go with whatever you
Fish is great on a BBQ and fish grillers can be bought at most shops
selling BBQ equipment. Gut and remove the head from Rainbow Trout,
and place either directly on the BBQ or wrapped in foil. If in foil
the fish should be ready in around 15 minutes.
Wrap mackerel fillets in foil with a little butter, they will cook
quickly and have a wonderful flavour.
If you like good pieces of meat, get a fillet of your choice, steak,
chicken, lamb etc., and baste the meat in curry paste before putting
on the BBQ. It's not to everyone taste, but I have friends who love
For the vegetarians there are lots they can have. Apart from very
good quality sausages and burgers, a good BBQ item is the good old
kebab. Take pieces of raw mushroom, capsicums (bell peppers), onion,
courgette (Zuccini), and any other vegetable you like and place
them on a metal skewer. Wooden ones can also be used but can also
burn! The smell is great and the smokey taste from the coals is
Desserts can be made on a BBQ. If you want a simple easy to do treat
just put unpeeled bananas on the BBQ. When the skins has all gone
brown carefully peel the bananas to reveal soft hot fruit. With
cream or ice cream it's fantastic.
A variation on the bananas theme is to peel the banana and wrap
in foil with a sprinkling of brown sugar. Ten minutes should see
you eating a sweet sticky caramelised banana. I could go on and
on with my tips for BBQ's but one final point I have to say, and
I have a 3 year old so I know what I am talking about. KEEP CHILDREN
AWAY FROM THE BBQ! I know it's obvious, but you can be surprised
by how quickly the little blighters can move when there is something
interesting to see.
Have fun in your garden and enjoy the summer.
Do you have a question, comment or would like to
submit a favorite recipe of your own? We'd love to hear
from you! We are especially interested in recipes which have
a cultural significance, or story behind them, or which are associated
with various holidays around the world. Drop us a line and tell
us about it. The Fat Man's Kitchen