Summer's here! Grab your grills and let’s cook… but first, some fiery words of wisdom.
1. Flavour by nature (I should be a poet)
If you’re in search of extra flavour, try adding fruit tree wood chips to your charcoal. Branches and stems from common edible plants can also add a savoury taste. You could also soak wood chips into water overnight before draining them, then wrap them in foil and add to your grill – the extra water content makes the chips produce more smoke…which means more flavour!
2. Watch the meat!!!
In preparation, don’t leave meat out at room temperature for more than an hour. Otherwise, it will be less fresh with bacteria growing at an exponential rate - I mean, that doesn’t sound at all tasty.
3. Don’t forget to light…
Be sure to start the grill at least 30 minutes before cooking. At this point the fire should be completely out, and the charcoal an ash-grey colour with some glowing red underneath – any hotter and you risk your meat tasting like fuel. Point made.
4. Hands for hire
Ever wanted to go Hogwarts? That won't happen because it’s not a real place BUT… there’s magic in your hands. Test the doneness - yes that is a real word - of your steak with a simple touch test (make sure your hands are clean). If the meat feels like you are pressing your thumb, then it’s currently rare. If it feels like the area between your thumb and palm, then it’s currently medium. If it feels like the middle of your palm, then it’s currently well done.
5. Hands for hire 2
There’s even more! You can also test the heat of your grill with your hands (be careful). Extend your palm over the grill at a safe distance. If you need to pull your hand away after 1-2 seconds, the heat is high (450-500 degrees). If you need to pull your hand away after 4-5 seconds, the heat is medium (350-400 degrees). If you need to pull your hand away after 7-9 seconds, the heat is low (250-300 degrees). You’re a wizard ‘insert name’!
6. Prongs are wrong
You shouldn’t pierce your meat with forks, prongs etc. This will allow juices to escape, making the meat drier and less flavoursome. With barbecuing, tongs and spatulas will be your best friends.
7. Soy sorry… but hold off on the sauce
Wait until the last few minutes of grilling before you add any sauces. If you sauce too early, the sugars might burn – a heart breaking loss of flavour.
8. Large pots only - the steaks are high
After the meat is cooked, it’s best to use a large pot to transport it inside. This will help keep your barbecue warm and moist – cue the mouth-watering.
9. Please sir, can I have some more S’mores?
Looking for a BBQ dessert – look no more! Banana s’mores are quick and easy. Split your banana lengthwise, stuff some chocolate chips and marshmallows inside, and get grilling!
10. Aluminium foil - bang and the dirt is Gone! (just doesn’t have the same ring)
Let’s be frank – no-one likes cleaning. If you’re looking to speed things up, try lining the inside bottom of your cooker with some aluminium foil sheets. Then only, add your briquettes in. Also, If you make a ball out of the foil, you’ve found yourself a replacement for a grill brush. This should make cleaning up any ash and coal a hell of a lot quicker!
Enough talk – let’s get grilling!