Dualit's top tips for a successful barbecue:
- When barbecuing meat, check the temperature! To be certain use a meat thermometer; sausages, for example, should be piping hot throughout reaching 70° on the thermometer when inserted into the middle of a sausage.
- Make sure any meat you are cooking is defrosted BEFORE putting it on the barbecue. Barbecuing frozen meat is a sure fire way of ending up with meat that is burnt on the outside but still raw on the inside. Not remotely appetising!
- If you have a charcoal barbecue, don't overfill it with coal. Wait for about half an hour after lighting before starting to cook. You don't want flames burning your food. The best barbecues are when the food is cooked slowly, so you need to wait until the initial temperature has cooled a little. It is ready to use when all the charcoal has turned white.
- Ideally, separate your cooking zone into areas of high, medium and low heat. This is easier to do on a gas barbeque. If you use charcoal, split the barbecue into 3 areas; one with a double layer of charcoal, then a single layer and then an area with no charcoal that can be used for warming.
- Lightly grease the wire racks; this will stop food sticking and make cleaning up a much easier job.
- Depending on what you are cooking, place a few sprigs of thyme or rosemary amongst the coals to add flavour. A handful of woodchips would also work well.
- Wash your hands after handling raw meat and keep meat and fish in the fridge until the barbecue is hot enough to start cooking. Once cooked, we recommend leaving food outside for no longer than two hours.
- Fed-up of hot dogs? Jazz things up a little by cooking continental sausages such as Merguez or chorizo on skewers mixed with cubes of cheese.
- Fish and shellfish take on a new level of taste when barbecued. One of our favourites is scallops wrapped in pancetta and skewered with a sprig of rosemary - delicious as a starter.
- Rather than standard shop-bought fare, try making your own burgers. Add ingredients for extra flavour such as red onion, peppers, garlic and bacon, different varieties of cheese, chopped herbs and spices.Our recipe for Beef Burgers with Mint and Parsley is a simple one to try.
- Barbecues don't have to be all about meat. Try kebabs made up with chunks of halloumi, whole mushrooms, peppers and courgettes, or vegetables with Mexican inspired spices
- Baked potatoes and sweet potatoes are a popular accompaniment; they are best cooked wrapped in foil and placed next to the charcoal rather than on top of.
- Don't forget the drinks!
Keeping a bucket of water or sand near your barbeque, in case of emergencies is a good idea. Have a spray bottle filled with water to hand to dampen down any flare ups. You just never know….