In the summer, barbecues provide the perfect time to catch up with our family and friends over some good food (and a few drinks, surely).
However, it’s never easy to master cooking on a barbecue or know when the right time to serve your food is. Here are the biggest, most common mistakes that you should avoid at all costs if you want to be the master (and fool your guests into thinking you’re a genius).
Store your coal in a dry place
This is the most common mistake when it comes to barbecuing. We tend to store our coal in a shed at the bottom of the garden or in the basement and it sometimes ends up staying there for a long time. Coal is very sensitive to humidity and it is therefore important to store your coal in a dry place. Lighting a barbecue is impossible with wet coal, so if you notice that it is wet, it’s best to just buy a new bag.
Clean your grill after each use
Some people don’t always clean their grill between barbecues. You have to clean your grill to get rid of the burnt bits and the lingering bacteria that is left behind. We suggest cleaning it with a sponge and white vinegar and if you have stubborn grease, try a bit of baking soda. If you don’t clean your grill properly, your food may taste bitter next time. And that would be a shame, wouldn’t it?
Don’t clutter your grill
When we have lots of people to cook for, we tend to want to throw everything on the grill at once thinking it will cook quicker. Wrong! If your grill is too full, your meat might not cook properly. You have to leave space between your skewers so that everything can cook evenly, even on the sides. So leave a few centimetres between your sausages, okay?
Control how hot your embers are
Not all meat cooks in the same way or in the same amount of time. Depending on the type of meat you are cooking, you will need to alter the temperature of the BBQ:
- Beef, lamb and duck should be done on high heat and will cook rather quickly
- Pork should be cooked over medium heat for long enough
Chicken and turkey should be done over medium heat but without being too close to the embers
If you want to make your barbecue hotter, you will need to ventilate the fire. Conversely, if you want a softer fire, you can use a water spray to moisten the coals and reduce the heat.
Finally, remember that even when off the grill, meat still continues to cook. As a result, you should remove it before you serve it and leave it to rest on a covered plate so it can gently continue to cook to perfection.
Don't poke holes in the sausages
Lots of people tend to poke holes in their sausages when cooking them to remove water and fat, but this is a mistake. If you do this, you dry the meat out and it won’t be as tasty when it is done.
Now you know everything you need to know to become a master barbecuer and impress your friends!