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Hot Tips for a Sizzling Barbecue:
Not long ago you may remember I was sent a wonderful barbeque hamper full of tasty meats from Asda to help celebrate the start of summer (and a great bottle of wine). I had a few previous engagements over the bank holiday weekend. And then the weather changed.
The result? I ended up cooking both the sausages and the ribs indoors. Very tasty they both were too, though I am sure they would have been better outside on the Grill.
Just before the chicken had to be eaten up, we had a couple of potential ‘barbecue’ days so, given there was plenty for a family, I called up some friends of mine. Simon, who writes By-Invitation has a 14-year-old daughter who is a keen rower. That means she’s ALWAYS hungry and needs to eat lots of high protein food. So, off I went to visit him. Now, I don’t have kids, but you know, I’m beginning to see the benefits of well-trained slaves children. One of the best things about the ASDA barbeque selection is that they come pre-marinaded in delicious sauces, so all you have to do is hand the packets over to your barbeque chefs (aka teenage children) and sip on a glass of red while they do all the work. Our favourite was the fruity chicken wings (although I have a suspicion that the sausages would have pipped the wings at the post had they made it to the finishing line). And Belle commented that the meat was a lot moister and tastier than normal (I’m not sure if she thought that was down to her barbeque skills or Asda!)
If you are not a confident barbeque chef, here are a few barbeque tips I picked up last year at the Weber Barbecue Academy and more recently at the Jumeirah Lowndes hotel masterclass.
- Most importantly, if you are using a charcoal barbeque light your barbeque early enough and let the flames die down before you start to grill. This was a gas grill so ready to use almost instantly.
- If you want to cook larger pieces of meat you need to use indirect heat – e.g. push the coals over to one side, place the meat on the grill over the side without the coals and use a barbeque with a lid. That helps to keep a consistent temperature (especially if you don’t keep peeking) and means the meat can cook through. A meat thermometer or probe will help show when everything is cooked through.
- Marinades are important to ensure that the meat itself doesn’t get over dry. But you don’t always need to marinade for a long time. The acid in marinades will ‘cook’ meat or fish, so use with caution. They don’t need to be complicated – yoghurt is a great marinade with a few fresh herbs. But you can also buy pre-marinaded meats for those last minute grilling opportunities!
- There’s no harm in cheating a bit with chicken and precooking it in the microwave or in the oven, then finishing it off on the grill.
- According to the Weber Academy, there’s no difference in taste between meat grilled on a charcoal barbeque and meat grilled on a gas barbeque.
- A few sprigs of rosemary or thyme on the barbeque coals will help flavour your meat and also make the garden smell great.
Now that I’ve written a little about barbeques we are guaranteed a dismal and wet summer, so, if you see any sunshine I’d grab the chance, get down to Asda and buy some barbeque packs. For me, the biggest advantage of these tasty pre-packed barbeque meats is the spontaneity that it allows you.
Disclaimer: I was sent a summer barbecue hamper free of charge by Asda but was not required to post a review.