More often than we Brits care to think about, BBQ plans are threatened by the forecast of rain and wild ideas surface. Maybe an umbrella can be propped over the grill? Maybe we can part cook the meat in the oven and finish it off on the barbecue in between rain showers? Yes, we’ve all been there.
But when have we ever let a little drizzle get in our way? This year, with the tips below, you’ll be able to light your BBQ with ease, even with dark clouds overhead. And our recipes, tried and tested around the office, are guaranteed to jazz up the standard BBQ fare. Come rain or come shine it’s time to get your grill on…
Top Tips for Lighting Your BBQ
- Clean your BBQ first of all – leftover ash from previous cooking could be blocking the air vents which’ll make your BBQ harder to start. We have a dedicated BBQ cleaner if you need it, to help you remove barbecue ash and grease with less elbow grease!
- Choose your barbecue fuel wisely:
– Lump charcoal is said to give the best flavour, but can be trickier to light.
– Briquettes (made from compacted coal dust) burn for longer but have a less natural smell.
– Easy lighting charcoal is easier to light (the trick is in the name!), but again can have a more artificial flavour.
- Know your options for helping you light your BBQ too:
– Lighter fluid works well, but it may impact the taste of your food.
– A chimney starter provides the optimum conditions to light your charcoal so if you find lighting the barbecue tricky it may be worth getting one.
– Scrunched up newspapers and matches are the tried and tested traditional method.
- Wait for flames to die down before you begin cooking on your BBQ– once coals have a light
grey coating of ash it’s all systems go!
- You can pile up more coal on one side of BBQ than the other so you have different heats to cook with. More layers of coal will create more intense heat.
Our 3 Favourite Ways to Excite the BBQ Tastebuds!
We here in the eSpares team don’t settle for bland burgers or humdrum hot dogs! These three recipes – Chorizo and Halloumi Skewers, Beer-Braised Onions & Ginger Barbecue Sauce – are office favourites to liven up our alfresco feasts.
Chorizo and Halloumi Skewers (with Lime, Garlic and Mint)
Don’t get us wrong, vegetable skewers are nice. We like mushrooms, peppers, and tomatoes as much as the next person. But we also like to take our skewers to the next level by adding chorizo sausage and/or halloumi cheese!
- Olive oil
- Crushed garlic cloves
- Lime zest and juice
- Chopped mint
What do you add to your BBQ hotdogs? Ketchup? Well, we raise you with beer-braised onions and melted cheese!
- A splash of olive oil
- A knob of butter
- A bottle of ale (500ml)
- A tablespoon of honey
- Ditto mustard
- Onions (of course)
- Grated cheese
Simply add the butter and oil to a frying pan, toss in the onions and once they’re soft add the ale. Once the ale has almost completely evaporated, stir in the honey and mustard and keep frying until the sauce is sticky and the onions are lovely and golden.
Add the onions to your sausage bap and sprinkle on some grated cheese. The heat from the sausage and onions will melt the cheese. (It’s making our mouths water just thinking about it.) And don’t worry; you don’t have to forego the ketchup.
Ginger Barbecue Sauce
Adding a fiery ginger kick to barbecue sauce transforms it so we love this marinade to liven up chicken.
Grab these ingredients:
- 1 small chopped onion
- 3 tbsp of…
– brown sugar
– soy sauce
– Worcester sauce
– tomato ketchup
– balsamic vinegar
- 750ml non-alcoholic ginger beer
Simmer all the ingredients together for about half an hour until sticky. Add half the sauce to the chicken before cooking it, then just before the chicken is done, baste again with the sauce. Heat the remaining sauce and pour it over your chicken before serving. Such a good way to treat the taste buds!
If you’re without a BBQ and this article has made you salivate and cry a bitter tear of isolation, the solution is simple. Get yourself a barbie! If you can’t decide between gas or charcoal, or the various other features on offer, we’ve put together a guide to help you choose the BBQ for you!