Posted 4th May 2016
May signals the arrival of summer in earnest and what better way to welcome in the new season than by celebrating outdoor cooking at its finest. The perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy some delicious al fresco meals, the end of May also marks the start National Barbecue Week. We chatted all things barbecue with outdoor-cooking experts Campingaz and asked them to share their top tips for a fantastic event.
1. Prep, prep, prep…
For a stress-free outdoor dining experience, follow in the footsteps of professional chefs and prepare as much as you can before heading outside to fire up the barbecue. Marinated meats will benefit from being left overnight and ensuring side dishes are ready before you start cooking will make sure everything is stress-free and ready to go as soon as everything is cooked.
2. Ditch barbecue clichés…
Outdoor dining doesn’t have to be limited to burgers and sausages anymore. Mix up what you cook outdoors; fish, veggies and firm cheeses like halloumi all make fantastic additions to barbecue menus. If using a barbecue with a range of culinary inserts like the Campingaz 3 Series Classic LS Plus, you can even use your barbecue to make delicious, crispy pizzas, tasty stir-fries or alternative outdoor roast dinners.
3. Gas vs Charcoal
If buying a new barbecue, the main decision you’ll have to make is Gas vs. Charcoal power. Both offer different benefits – charcoal barbecues give the cooked food a traditional, smoky taste but don’t offer the convenience and control of gas powered appliances. Gas barbecues can also be ready to go almost instantly, whereas charcoal generally requires longer to heat up in advance.
4. Dodge food poisoning!
The idea of cooking outside can make people worried about food safety but by following the right hygiene practices, you shouldn’t need to worry. Our top five safety tips are:
1. Wash your hands thoroughly before cooking and again after handling raw meat and fish.
2. Avoid leaving uncooked food out in hot sunshine where possible – cooked food should be left outside for a maximum of 2 hours.
3. Use different areas of the barbecue and utensils for meats, fish and vegetables to avoid cross contamination, this will also keep your vegetarian guests happy!
4. Ensure all meat and fish is thoroughly cooked through before serving. For larger joints of meat, try checking the internal temperature with a cooking thermometer.
5. Thoroughly defrost food before you start to cook. Especially on charcoal barbecues where you have less control of the cooking temperature… frozen meat can burn on the outside but be raw in the middle.
Barbecues are meant to be fun and offer a break from the stresses and strains of everyday life. Remember to make time to sit back and catch up with your loved ones. The great thing about barbecues is everyone loves to get stuck in and help so share the jobs around and have a great time too.
Founded in 1949, Campingaz has over 60 years of experience creating innovative outdoor cooking products. The latest barbecue collection ranges from high-performance four burner models with the innovative Culinary Modular Accessories and InstaClean systems to compact and portable 1 Series barbecues for taking on the move or those with limited space.
Click here to enter our competition to win a Campingaz 3 Series Classic Barbecue!