May was officially the sunniest month on record for the UK with a whopping 265.5 hours of sunshine! There’s no better way to enjoy this weather than with a good, old-fashioned BBQ. So whether it’s already had its first outing this year or not, follow our top 10 tips for an unbeatable BBQ:
1. Choose charcoal. Ok, this may be personal preference, but we love the smoky flavour when using a charcoal BBQ. If you’re looking for a new charcoal BBQ, check out our great value 44cm kettle grill, which was also featured in the Daily Mirror’s Best Barbecues for 2019! There are definitely advantages to gas BBQs, they’re more convenient and you don’t have to wait for the coals to get hot. You’ll be able to cook delicious al fresco feasts with this fantastic Charles Bentley 2 burner gas barbecue.
2. Keep a lid on it. It’s well worth investing in a BBQ with a lid. It’ll lock in the flavour and keep the temperature nice and consistent.
3. Patience is a virtue! As tempting as it is to light the BBQ and instantly stick on the food, it’s a good idea to wait until the flames have died down and the coals are white hot. This’ll give you a hot, even level of heat. Talking of temperature control, if you keep the majority of the coals to one side, you’ll then have a side with no direct heat, which is perfect when you’ve got a lot of guests and want to serve everything in one go – simply leave the cooked meat on this side.
If you’ve run out of charcoal, you’ve come to the right place! Our charcoal is dead easy to use, with no firelighters or lighter fluid needed. Simply light one of the inner bags and you’re good to go.
4. Don’t cook it cold. Remove your meat from the fridge before you prepare your BBQ – this way you’ll bring it back to room temperature before you cook it. Doing this will make the meat easier to cook all the way through without burning the surface to a crisp.
5. One good turn deserves another. The caramelised crust takes longer to develop if you’re constantly flipping your meat over. Try and turn it just once or twice, and don’t prick the meat as the juices will run free – leaving it a little bit dry. Using tongs can help prevent you accidentally pricking your food.
6. Be flavour of the month. You can really make your BBQs the stuff of legend by adding wood chips, giving your meat a smoky flavour. Simply throw a handful of smoking chips onto your coals once they’re hot. Experiment with whisky smoking chips for an even stronger taste, beech smoking chips to jazz up fish and vegetables or hickory smoking chips for pork and ribs. Mmm… delicious!
7. Get up in your grill. Always start with a clean grill. Removing cooked on bits of food will give your meat a much better flavour, and giving your grill a good coating of vegetable oil before you start helps to stop your meat from sticking to it.
8. Marvellous marinade. If you have time, marinate all your meat the night before cooking for a much better taste. If you’re adding barbecue sauce or a similar marinade to your meat on the day of the BBQ, make sure this is done just before the meat has finished cooking. Barbecue sauce contains a lot of sugar which burns easily.
9. Be a super soaker. If you’re making kebabs, soak your wooden skewers in water about 30 minutes before cooking to stop them from burning.
10. Keep it clean! You don’t want to send someone home from your BBQ with a dicky tummy, so make sure you always put your cooked food onto a clean plate or chopping board, and never add a marinade that has also been used on raw meat.
For even more inspiration to make the most of your garden this summer, check out our full outdoor living range at wilko.com