National BBQ week

Round & About

Get the grill out it’s time for national barbecue week

You know it’s summer when you can smell the distant whiff of charcoal burning and hear the cry of “burgers are ready”.

But barbequing has come such a long way since its traditional image of a group – usually men – stood huddled around a grill trying to keep it alight and judge the fine line between serving up raw sausages and burning them to a cinder.

Last year it is estimated the UK held around a staggering 135million BBQs; hooded BBQs are the most popular, closely followed by flat grills with rotary grills and smokers increasing in popularity.

When it comes to what we cook on them now it seems that while the humble burger and sausage are still favourites, our tastes are more eclectic now to include swordfish and more ‘exotic’ vegetables.

There are some great tips and advice available and whoever you ask will tell how they do it and what’s best but a few good ‘rules’ to follow are:

Marinated food tastes and grills better, as well as the taste, food is protected against the high grill temperatures. The longer you can marinate for the better but place food in a sealed bag in the fridge to improve the flavour

Temperature-wise, try the hand test – hold you hand around 6 inches from the grill, if you can hold it in place for around 2-3 minutes, that’s ideal

Don’t grill too quickly or on too high a heat – this will burn meat on the outside and leave it undercooked inside. The way to cook? Sear high and then low and slow

Safety first always – make sure your BBQ is well away from a hedge, fence or shrubbery; use only proper BBQ lighter fuel; if using a gas BBQ and it fails to light immediately, turn it off, leave for a while and try again.

Whatever you decide to cook on your BBQ, enjoy it and keep your fingers crossed for good weather!

Find our ideas and inspiration for barbecue sides here

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