- It's all in the planning - make a list of items you can comfortably muddle through with! A rule of thumb is to have three items on the BBQ such as a burger, sausage and a corn on the cob per person. Then add some pre-prepared or shop bought salads and breads
- Use a Flamer Firelighter to get your fire going and once it is under control i.e. the flames have died down and the wood is glowing, now is the time to put your meats and vegetables on the grill.
- Your butcher can supply a range of sausages such as Lincolnshire, Cumberland, pork and leek, sweet chilli, chorizo or hot & spicy and many have pre-marinated meats such as beef, lamb or pork with mint, lemon & thyme, rosemary, garlic and chilli. You can take all the credit for the flavours and don't forget to spray unsweetened apple juice put into a hand garden sprayer onto the meat every few minutes as it is cooking to keep it moist and give it a lovely caramelisation. Then during the final few minutes of cooking brush some warmed BBQ sauce onto the meats or vegetables. Your family and friends will be impressed and you'll be crowned the BBQ King or Queen!
- Potatoes are a favourite healthy side dish on the BBQ and you want a potato high in starch such as Russet as when cooked the texture is very soft. Wash the potato and wrap in foil and don't forget smaller potatoes take less time. To check for doneness, you should feel some "give" when you squeeze it in a t-towel. You can also slice the potato into three slices, place a slice of onion and butter between each slice of potato, a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper and then wrap in foil.
- Corn on the cob is fantastic on the BBQ and something you can half-cook in advance. Cut the whole cob into three and boil in a saucepan for 20 minutes. Drain the water, cool and store in the fridge if prepared the day before. Sprinkle some paprika over the corn and place on the grill turning frequently and glaze with warmed BBQ sauce.
- Don't forget desserts. Bananas, peaches and pineapple are fabulous on the barbecue. Wrap a banana in foil and place on the grill. When it's soft to the touch, slice it open and pour in a generous measure of Irish cream. Simple, but delicious.
For more barbecue inspiration and top tips from BBQ Ben, check out the Haynes BBQ Manual by Benjamin Bartlett - available from www.haynes.co.uk at £21.99 (Book reference number H5116) .
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