10 tips for a perfect BBQ
It’s summer and every night the smell of charcoal fills up the air – from the backyards, balconies, on the beach or wherever one can safely set up a grill. With good weather on our side, we fire up the grill, getting ready for our friends and the fine food – meat, fish or vegetables – that the cook has prepared.
If it’s your turn to have guests over for barbecue, we have a few secrets that will help you prepare even tastier food:
- Whether you are using a charcoal grill or a gas grill, make sure to begin by properly cleaning your cooking surface. Make sure that you have enough clean utensils for the cooked food, in order to prevent a potential contamination from contact with raw food.
- By marinating your food, you can boost the flavour of both meat and fish. A few herbs and spices, a squeeze of lemon and some mustard are perfect ingredients for any marinade. Alcohol (brandy or rum etc), onions and peppers go well with meat. If you are cooking fish, you can add a bit of oil and lemon sauce and oregano. Marinate the food for as long as possible, so that it soaks up all the flavour. However, before putting it on the grill, pat the food dry so that it doesn’t burn when it touches the grill.
- Preheat the grill and just before you place the food on top, lather with oil, with a brush or an oil spray, so that you keep the meat from sticking on the grill.
- Don’t add salt before cooking, since the salt will absorb the juices and the meat will become stiff and hard. It’s preferable to add salt while the meat is still cooking, and ideally, coarse salt.
- Keep in mind that the meat will continue to cook for a few moments after it’s removed from the heat. After cooking, put it in aluminium foil or a special thermos so as to keep it warm.
- Avoid using forks to turn the meat or sausages, as they will lose their juices. Use barbecue pliers instead. Likewise, when the burgers are cooking, don’t press on them with a spatula as they will lose their juices.
- If you’re preparing homemade burgers ask your butcher to provide you with fatty mince, so that your burgers come out as juicy as possible.
- If you’re cooking fish, you could try cutting it in half lengthwise and seasoning it with lemon, salt and dill.
- Vegetables don’t need to be covered in oil prior to cooking; just add a bit of oil and vinegar after they’ve cooked, to enhance their flavour.
- Don’t forget the side dishes! A potato salad with coriander or mayonnaise, sweetcorn and grilled pitta or bread, a few onions and greens, dips or a quick couscous will be the ideal sides to your meal.