It’s almost time to bring the trusty barbecue out of hibernation, mix a couple of cocktails and share some good food in the sunshine. We caught up with Marcus Bawdon and asked him to share his top tips for cooking outdoors this summer:
BBQing should be fun, it's a celebration of being outdoors with family and friends, enjoying good food. You can BBQ on some very simple kit: a campfire with a grate over the top, a simple kettle BBQ, or even a high tech pellet grill. There are wonderful ceramic BBQs that can cook at a wide range of temperatures, and portable wood fired ovens for pizza on the beach. My top kit to keep things simple is a digital probe thermometer, good quality sturdy tongs, some thick welders or heat proof gloves and, of course, a copy of my book, Food and Fire.
1. Use good charcoal
Charcoal is an ingredient in itself, and it makes a huge difference to your BBQing. Go for high quality lumpwood or cocoshell briquettes - you need less than you think.
2. Use your lid
Using your BBQ lid and reducing the amount of charcoal turns your grill into a smoky oven so you can cook things properly without burning.
3. Go indirect
Setting up your BBQ with a safe zone (without any charcoal at all) so you can cook indirectly with the lid on will also help you avoid burning the food.
Use a digital probe thermometer to check the internal temperature of your food - 74°C is safe for things like chicken and sausages. Knowing the temperature of the inside of your food will give you huge amounts of confidence.
5. Get smokey
Add a couple of smoking wood chunks - oak, apple, cherry are all good - to the charcoal or near the flame of a gas grill to turn your BBQ into a smoker.
Bonus tip: Keep well hydrated, everyone knows you can't BBQ without keeping topped up with your beverage of choice!
For more BBQ techniques and delicious recipes, check out Food and Fire by Marcus Bawdon. To get more great blog posts like this one - direct to your inbox – be sure to sign up to our mailing list here.