Weber BBQ Cancer Research Campaign
Cancer Research UK encouraged people nationwide to throw a barbecue this 19-20th July and raise money to fight cancer, and Weber Barbeques is one of the supporters of the Cancer Research BBQ weekend. So I had a great time when they invited me to spend a sunny afternoon with them to share some BBQ secrets, food and the odd beer or two.
The first thing to do is to set the BBQ up – light the coals and get the thing going. Good Quality Weber Coals or charcoal last for over 4 hours, so you can allow the BBQ to heat up fully and have plenty of time to cook on it. Using the Weber chimney to get the coals alight makes it a simple job. It makes lighting the coals so easy that it’s hard to imagine not using one now.
Placing the lit coals either side of the Weber BBQ allows for a ‘non-direct’ heating area in the middle. A tray of water can be added to make a steam heating area for fish or veg. Planning needs to be done to ensure you have space to cook all the food you want, but this isn’t usually a problem.
First on were the ribs, as they take longest to cook properly. Always a good BBQ choice, a good marinade using a high temperature Teflon brush makes all the difference. The brush allows you to repeatedly cover the ribs in sauce giving an all-over succulent flavour to them.
Cancer Research are having the BBQ event to raise funds from what is always a social gathering, but also to raise awareness of small changes that can make your food healthier for you (and taste better)
• BBQing is not all about burgers and sausages, so for a healthier and more varied spread, try popping some marinated chicken, fish or veg on your grill – and max out on salads and veg side dishes too! Not everything has to be put on the BBQ.
• Cook meat thoroughly but try not to burn it as cooking red or processed meats at high temperatures or charring them can lead to harmful burning. Use the full shape of the BBQ.
• Think about your drinks – make sure you have plenty of non-alcoholic options on offer, like summery and refreshing mocktails. Making simple swaps is a great way to cut down on alcohol without even noticing.
So, thinking on the above comments, salmon steaks go on the BBQ. Really simple to do, place them on the centre indirect heat area on an open tray and cook for 20 minutes.
Vegetables can be steamed or roasted, but the fiddly ones, like asparagus can be ‘caught’ in a vegetable cage to it is easy to cook them on one side, flip the tray and then do the other. Nothing to fall through the grill.
You can even poach eggs on the BBQ, although I think most would do that in the kitchen!
The finished dish put together, with a bit of Knorr green dressing? I’d say perfect.
Both meat and vegetables benefit from marinade or rubs, and these can easily be applied using a plastic bag. Simply drop the item in, and the oils or rubs and then squish the bag around. Its so simple yet really covers the food without having to burn your fingers treating each piece later on the BBQ.
Want more flavours? Simply use some scented woods to add a smokey taste. Hickory is the most common, but try some of the others.
It seems so simple to get your BBQ meal to look as good as this…
But if the weekend was just a bit too stormy, or the other half was indoors watching sport, then its definitely worth continuing the BBQ for Charity spirit. By hosting a BBQ, and asking your guests to contribute to the Cancer Research charity you can become a true BBQ Hero.
There are lots of reasons why BBQ’s are a good way to help raise money and awareness:
• Say ‘burger off’ to cancer and raise money for vital research to help beat cancer sooner
• Fewer dishes to clean when you cook on a grill
• Quality time with family and friends
• You only need a small outdoor space to host a BBQ
• It’s easy to keep it simple, or go as far as you want to
There are an estimated 120 million BBQ’s a year in Europe. If every guest gave just a pound to the charity, think what a real difference it could make.