The last thing you want after inviting guests round for a BBQ is to have them be disappointed. Therefore, we have put together a list of our top 10 tips to help you host the perfect BBQ. No more will your guests complain of raw insides or burnt burgers, but they instead will be eagerly watching you as you prepare the food with their taste buds tingling.
Our tips include how to go about preparing your barbecue, what to think of before the big day as well as the best food to provide.
10 Tips for Hosting the Perfect BBQ
1. Turn up the Heat
Before you begin cooking, make sure to check whether the coals are hot enough. Ideally, you want to be heating your BBQ up around 20 minutes before you plan to start cooking your food. The general rule for cooking on the barbecue is that 200°C is likely to be too hot and 160°C will be too low. Therefore, you ideally want to be aiming for a cooking temperature of 180°C.
2. Don’t Forget your Tools
When barbecuing, using a regular set of cutlery won’t be effective at cooking your food. They are also likely to put you at risk of being burnt. Therefore, using a set of tongs is ideal. However, don’t limit yourself to one set, keep two close at hand. For instance, you can have one for turning the meat and another for turning the coals. Or, if you are catering for vegetarians, use one set of tongs to handle the meat and another for merely treating any vegetables you are cooking on your barbecue.
3. Oil the Grill
The last thing you want when preparing some delicious food is for a good part of it to become stuck to the barbecue. This event can also be a pain to clean up after. Therefore, before you put any food on the barbecue, brush a touch of olive oil over the grill. If you are inclined, you can also add a pinch of salt. Personally, when cooking lamb, we enjoy swapping the pastry brush to a bunch of rosemary which helps to give the meat an aromatic touch.
4. Drizzle some Apple Juice
Apple juice isn’t just a refreshingly tasty drink to have when it’s warm outside. Drizzling the meat with apple juice will help ensure the meat is moist, tender and full of flavour. This method works particularly well on pork.
5. Don’t burn the Food
This may sound obvious, but getting carried away while cooking at the barbecue, talking to friends, changing the music and gulping down a few drinks can quickly lead to your food becoming burnt. If you get caught out and notice your food beginning to burn, spray some water on the outside of the burnt food. This will help slow down the colouring process.
A great way to avoid burnt food on the BBQ is to avoid flames in general. You should only add food to the grill once you can see the coals glowing at a light grey colour. This is evidence that the grill is at its optimum temperature, and that the heat is likely to be evenly distributed across the grill.
Take a look at our deadly grilling mistakes to find out more about how
Skewers are a firm favourite amongst us Brits. To make a successful skewer here are a few tips. Firstly, soak the skewers in water for at least 30 minutes. Then choose the food you are going to put on the skewer. If it’s meat, why not try lamb, chicken thighs or pork shoulder. Ideally, you want to thinly slice both meat and vegetables before grilling to allow it to be cooked and tender quickly. Then, sprinkle your choice of flavourings on the skewer and head to the grill. The ideal temperature for skewers is a medium-high heat. Using this heat, your skewers are likely to be ready in around 5-7 minutes.
7. Don’t Forget the Veggie Guests
With the number of vegetarians ever increasing, it is crucial to ensure you cater for them. Providing them with merely a potato salad and a bread roll is highly unlikely to satisfy them. Therefore, add some halloumi and mixed vegetable kebabs to the grill. There are plenty of tasty kebab variations out there that are sure to wow your vegetarian guests. We enjoy roasted carrots and peppers wrapped in some foil and grilled on the BBQ.
8. Allow the Meet to Sear
We know how tempting it can be to begin flipping your food as soon as the meat has made contact with the grill. Especially when you are hungry and want to eat as quickly as possible. However, we recommend that you first leave the food to get a good sear. To get an idea as to when the food is ready to be flipped, using your tongs, give the meat a slight nudge. If there is no resistance, then start flipping!
9. Pudding Perfection
People can often feel the pressure to be providing outstanding puddings at a BBQ. However, chances are your guests will be so full from the fantastic food cooked on your barbecue that they won’t mind what’s for pudding. An easy dessert to provide is just a bowl of chopped up fruit. Even add some cream, ice cream or jelly, this pudding is bound to be a people pleaser. Alternatively, to make the most of your BBQ, purchase some marshmallows and melt them over the barbecue. Make smores, or even toast some chocolate filled bananas. This will certainly make your guests feel like they are at a world away from home.
10. Clean your BBQ and Cooking Utensils
Once your party is over, it’s a good idea to clean your barbecue and cooking utensils there and then. This means you will be ready to go for the next grill and won’t need to have a last minute panic the day of the barbecue.
There are numerous ways you can clean your BBQ. For instance using an onion attached to a fork, soaking the barbecue in coffee, or spraying the barbecue with vinegar spray. Don’t forget about your utensils either, soak your cooking utensils in a bowl of hot water with some dish soap. Once the grease begins to rid, scrub the utensils with a rough sponge or brush, and you’ll soon have a shiny set of cooking utensils.
Not only will ensuring your best value BBQ is kept clean make your food taste better, but it will also reduce the risk of fire. This is as a build-up of grease is known to be a leading cause of grill fires.