I just want to put it out there…I absolutely love BBQs.
For me, they are the epitome of fun, food, family and friends–in whatever order you like–hopefully and occasionally mixed-in with a splash of sunshine!
The start of my BBQ season is–with a bit of luck–around late-March time, and heralds thoughts of another sunny Spring, Summer, and Autumn full of enjoyment, laughter, stories, gossip and generally good times. The freeing of the BBQ from the garage, where it’s been stored over the Winter, is always a great day!
I’ve been BBQing since I was a youngster, starting with charcoal briquettes and firelighters on my Dad’s red, round, and slightly rusty old thing, moving through the ages to a half barrel – which actually didn’t work out so well – and finally on to the gas BBQ that I have now.
I know a lot of people don’t think of BBQing with gas as authentic BBQing but, for me, it’s the perfect way to cook outdoors as I can get a lot more control on the temperature and timing of the food, than I ever could with a charcoal BBQ.
Long gone are the days of sausages burnt on the outside and still raw in the middle, that then had to be rescued through scraping and spending a bit of time in the oven, while trying to explain to my guests, as they avoided the flames of the BBQ, that the food was “enthusiastically crisp” and just needed a bit of TLC…
The essential secret to cooking great food on a BBQ is to make it “low and slow”: keeping the temperature down and the lid on, which allows some great colour and texture on the outside of the food to develop, whilst ensuring it’s beautifully tender and cooked-through on the inside. This works just as well for a whole range of vegetarian BBQ food, as it does with meat dishes.
Oh, and make sure you’ve always got loads of marinade to stop the food from drying out in the first place!