With the taste of summer in sight, outdoor dining and hosting is fast approaching. Having a BBQ should be enjoyable, standing out in the sun cooking, surrounded by friends and family. Yet it seems to take so much concentration, ensuring the sausages aren’t cremated, the chicken isn’t under cooked and everything is strategically loaded to be ready at the correct time! So, although we may not be there to cook and perfect your BBQ, we can provide some top tips to pull off a smashing BBQ.
The best thing you can do is over cater! When preparing the meat, work out how much you’ll need for people attending. If you over-cater people can have more and any leftovers make for an easy meal later in the week, Cold meats, salads, pies and cheeses are guaranteed crowd pleasers. Seasoning your meat prior to the event, is simple and a generous amount of salt and pepper is key. Add around 20% more than you normally would as the smoke form the BBQ will help accentuate the flavours. A simple but delicious marinade to use on chicken, fish, lamb and pork is lemon, olive oil, rosemary and garlic. But don’t’ forget about your veggies, which are also amazing when cooked on the BBQ. Rubbing cumin, chilli and olive oil on big wedges of butternut squash (skin-on) is one of the best things you could eat off a BBQ.
BRING A PLATE (OR A BOTTLE):
Whilst you have worked hard to organise the event and you’ll be the main chef on the night, why not encourage your guests to help-out. Maybe suggest a Pot-Luck dinner, so they can bring salad, bread, drinks or a dessert to complete the BBQ. Most people will be thrilled to be able to help and this takes the pressure off you.
SET THE VIBE:
Your music needs to scream summer! The songs you choose will keep you and your guests in a good mood all afternoon/evening. This will vary between people, but something upbeat to keep the crowd happy and possibly even dancing. There is no need to decorate and go too far with the set-up. You are most likely wanting a chilled-out vibe for the night, so some picnic blankets, outdoor lights and candles will do.
Keeping the lid down whilst preheating the BBQ, allows you to bring it to the correct temperature- 240C for grilling and 180C for roasting. Once the meat is on the BBQ, leaving the lid down is important as the majority of flavour comes from the fat dropping on to your fuel source. By closing the lid, you can create more flavoursome smoke as the circulation infuses the meat with more of the flavours.