Posted 15th Jun 2017
With the nicer weather upon us, it's the ideal time to stock up on delicious barbecue food and fire up the coals
However, while the weather plays a big part, it takes more than a bit of sunshine to make a barbecue a success. Expert butcher Gary England from GourmetMeatClub.co.uk shares his top tips for achieving barbecue greatness this summer - whether you're the host or a guest.
1 Friends and family will always appreciate the extra effort that goes into making a dish from scratch. Whether this is marinating the chicken with your favourite herbs and spices, or hand making the burgers, it will give your barbecue a unique spin and also provide you with the chance to impress everyone with your cooking skills.
2 Remember that not everyone will eat meat, and they could also have specific dietary requirements. Ensure you've checked with all of your guests prior to the event to make sure there will be enough food choices for everyone to enjoy. If it's required, make sure you keep special dishes to one side. This will mean they won't get mixed up with regular options. You should also check whether the food needs cooking on a separate part of the grill.
3 Even if the weather forecast says the sun will be shining, you can never be too sure. Rain clouds can appear at any moment, but that doesn't mean the party needs to end. Make sure you have a back-up plan, whether it's a gazebo or a shelter for the guests to sit in or enough room indoors should the weather take a turn for the worst. You can always decorate your indoor area with a tiki theme too - that way, even if it is raining, it will still feel like summer.
4 If you're a guest, don't turn up empty handed. Barbecues are meant to be fun and relaxing, and a great way to soak up some sunshine and good company. Yet for the host it will mean hours of preparation and a hefty food bill. Therefore make sure you show your gratitude by turning up with something, be it for the barbecue, drinks or a gift for the host.
5 It's not a barbecue if you don't have tomato ketchup! However, why not try brown sauce, mustard or a relish too? Interesting condiment selections can make a barbecue for a foodie guest, so give them plenty of options.
6 Variety will be your friend here. A survey of 2,000 Brits by GourmetMeatClub.co.uk found quality burgers (34 per cent) and sausages (20 per cent) were the most popular barbecue choices. Eight per cent favoured both chicken kebabs and steak, while one in 20 prefer lamb.
7 Cooking on a barbecue is not without it's difficulties. Food can look burnt when in reality it is still raw in the middle. Make sure the food is cooked properly before serving. If you're using coals, make sure the flames have died down so you will not be burning the outside, and move the meat around the grill, as otherwise, it will be difficult to regulate a consistent heat. If you're still unsure you can use a meat thermometer to check the temperature - it's better to be safe than sorry.
Tips courtesy of GourmetMeatClub.co.uk
Image courtesy of Pixabay