Nothing beats a good BBQ. The smokiness of the food, good company and a nice cold drink, it’s the stuff that happy memories are made of. Here are some recipe tips for cooking a good BBQ and the 3 BBQ fundamentals to help you on your way.
Preparation is everything when it comes to BBQ. You can’t just get some meats and vegetable from the supermarket and slap it on the BBQ. A good BBQ requires some planning beforehand. It’s about getting the right cuts of meat and some creativity to cater for your vegetarian & vegan guests. At any rate, a good marinade is the basis for most BBQs. As with marinades, the longer you give it to work on your meat and vegetables, the better it is. The marinade helps you set the right taste profile straight away. Heavy soy, fish sauce and lemongrass marinade will transport you to East-Asian straight away. Heavy accents of cumin, cardamom and nutmeg will give you an Indian accent. Use ketchup, garlic and mustard for an American taste. Marinades are usually quite cheap to make, and you can test them weeks before your BBQ. Perfect your recipe and create your signature marinade. Any good BBQ chef will have 2-3 basic marinades that fit perfectly with different kind of meats and vegetables.
The BBQ itself needs some proper preparation as well. The size and shape of the BBQ matters mostly for the amount you need to cook in one go. What trumps size and shape is how you plan to get heat into your meats and vegetables. And on this topic, many roads lead to Rome. Dependant on the meat you will need to decide between direct or indirect heat. If you opt for direct heat, you just simply need to make sure your food is directly above the lit coals. If you choose for indirect heat, you might need to get some charcoal baskets to concentrate the heat source and disperse the heat across the BBQ. Then you will need to think of how long your cook will be. This then determines what your charcoal approach will be. Relatively cheap charcoal can burn at a moderate temperature but might burn through in half an hour. Some charcoal, usually a bit more expensive, can burn for much longer. If you are cooking simple burgers, the cheaper charcoal will do fine. If you are looking for a slow and long cook, you might be better off considering the more expensive kind. There is always the option to replace the charcoal mid-cook, but the hassle of having to replace and renew charcoal might be too much of a headache then it is effective.
Get yourself some throw-away serving trays and aluminium foil to cover. Once the BBQ is on, you just want to keep going. Not only is that more practical, but you also have your charcoal and heat management to consider as well. Being able to transport the food to distribution trays straight away will ensure it is a well-oiled BBQ machine. The foil will give you the security the food will stay warm for a while longer, so everyone can enjoy a hot burger or tasty vegetable kebab.