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Best of BBQ: Impress Your Friends This Summer

By Jennideep Hayre

Posted: 8th August 2014 12:07

Summertime means one thing and one thing only: Barbecue.  And who can resist when the kitchen is taken outside? It can be taken literally anywhere too....beach, forest and garden, wherever you want you can enjoy your chargrilled favourites in any setting!  Have a look at our handy tips to make your barbecue stand out from the crowd and be a memorable one!

Picking the right Barbecue

Gas

Some call it lazy, others inspired but a gas barbecue is convenient.  It is essentially a combined gas hob and grill that you can use outside on your patio.  Burners, fed by gas, provide a source of instant heat and food is cooked over this heat on the metal grill.

Growing in popularity, they heat immediately, cook quickly and you can instantly adjust the temperature to suit the type of food you’re cooking, whether it’s thick steaks or lightly grilled vegetables!

Charcoal

No frills spared, this traditional mainstay of the Barbecue scene gives you that classic chargrilled taste.  Remember for any charcoal barbecue, you only begin grilling food once the charcoal is white-hot, the smoke from sizzling fat juices help give it that authentic chargrilled taste.

You can buy charcoal – either lump charcoal or briquettes – from most DIY stores, hardware shops and petrol stations.  During the summer months you’ll also find it in supermarkets.

Disposable

This usually is a signifier of someone who has decided to have a barbecue last minute, grabbed a cheap disposable from the local shop and bundled on whatever meat was to hand.  It’s great if you’re having a barbecue on a beach...just be warned that chicken does not always cook thoroughly on there and you might need more than one if you are a catering for a few people!

Preparing the Food

The Burgers

Burgers are so easy to make from scratch. Impress your friends with a wide variety of flavours that would put a pubs “beer and burger” range to shame.

Mix your minced meat in a bowl with some flavourings such as grated onion, finely chopped spring onion, crushed garlic, ground spices (cumin, coriander, ground chili, fajita spice mix). You can use an egg, salt or breadcrumbs to help bind the patty together but this is not essential. Once the ingredients have been combined it is time to press and shape the burger together – after all, you do not want rugby shaped burgers! Next up, chuck it on the Barbie and cook it. Bon appétit.

Flavour Combinations:

Minted Lamb Burgers – Ground cumin, garlic and mint

Pork & Apple Burgers – Small apple, small onion, garlic, ground cumin, black pepper.

Spicy Beef Burger – ground cumin, coriander, chili seeds, onion .

Kebab Skewers

Making kebab skewers is as simple as cutting meat and vegetables into chunks and stabbing them onto a stick. Could it really get any simpler than that? Experiment, come up with new ideas and impress your friends with your flavoursome creations.

Flavour Combinations:

Honey-glazed chicken & Pineapple – marinate the chicken chunks in a bowl of honey overnight.

Vegetable Kebabs – chestnut mushrooms, red onion, yellow and orange pepper and plum tomatoes.

Meat Kebab – chunks of meat and lots of it.

Chicken Yakitori – marinate the chicken in soy sauce, sake (or dry sherry), ginger and chives. Place the chicken on the skewer with spring onions.

Unusual Additions

Barbecued Chocolate Banana’s

1) Make a slit in the banana lengthways.

2) Place two chunks of chocolate in each banana.

3) Cook on the barbecue until the skins have blackened and the chocolate has melted.

4) For an extra Caribbean treat, include a dash of Rum before grilling.

Pizza

1) Roll out (use a rolling pin or empty wine bottle) and place directly onto the grill.

2) After grill marks start to appear, flip with tongs and coat the cooked side with olive oil.

3) Once grill marks appear on the new bottom side, flip it over, throw your cooked toppings on the pizza and cover until they are heated through – should be only a minute or two so as not to over-cook the crust.

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