We love a BBQ here at True Bites, our family get togethers really have been centred around them for a long time. From Matt's 18th, when Uncle Chris drank WAY too much Skittles vodka (trying to keep up with the youngsters!), to Shirley's last landmark (she won't let us reveal the number) with a bouncy castle, which, shockingly, resulted in no hip injuries, and actually no serious injury at all! That wasn't the case during a bonfire night BBQ when Uncle Daz lost the 'rivets' out of his knee and had to go to A&E, or even that one where Dennis had to do the BBQ with several broken ribs after a day quad-biking. Let's just say he was VERY keen to win. Anyway, enough family history, let's get on to the tips.
Tip #1: Choose the Right Grill
The right grill can make all the difference when it comes to barbecuing. Make sure you choose a grill that will fit your needs, whether you’re looking for something small and portable or something large enough to feed the entire family. Also, don't forget to check out different fuel options such as charcoal, wood, electric, or gas grills. Charcoal or wood can create a beautiful extra layer of flavour, but if you're cooking for a long time, or if you've got a lot of hungry mouths to feed, you might want to make your life easier by going for a gas grill.
Tip #2: Start With Quality Meat
If you want your burgers and steaks to turn out juicy and delicious, then you should always start with quality meat. Get the best quality you can afford. Try and stick to fresh meat, and look for high-grade beef with good marbling. Remember, fat is flavour! We have a great Family BBQ Meat Box, which is the perfect place to start
Tip #3: Season Properly
You don't have to be an expert grill master to season your food properly; all you need is a little bit of knowledge and a bit of practice! In general, always add salt to the meat right before it goes on the grill, and add pepper right before you take it off the grill. Pepper can burn easily and add a bitter taste, so play it safe and add it last. Keep it simple with salt and pepper, or feel free to experiment with other herbs and spices. Just be careful not to overpower the natural flavour of the delicious barbecued meat itself.
Tip #4: Use Marinades
Marinating your food before cooking can help tenderise it and infuse it with added flavour. You can make your own at home using ingredients such as soy sauce, oil, garlic, ginger, herbs and spices, or buy pre marinated meats. We have a great selection of marinades in our Marinated Meats Collection.
Tip #5: Know How To (Safely) Handle Raw Meat
Raw meats contains harmful bacteria that must be killed by proper cooking temperatures in order for them to be safe for consumption. That means handling raw meats safely is essential when prepping them for the grill. Always use separate cutting boards or plates when handling raw meats; avoid cross-contamination by washing hands thoroughly after contact; never put cooked food on plates or cutting boards that held raw meat; and always cook foods until they reach their required internal temperature of 75°C/167°F, this is especially important with poultry and pork.
Tip #6: Preheat Your Grill
Always make sure your grill is hot before you start cooking. A preheated grill will help sear the meat to keep juices in and also help you get that tasty bark on the outside of your steaks. A cold grill will cause food to stick, will result in uneven cooking and a bit of a general mess. To preheat the grill, simply turn it on high for ten minutes and make sure the grates are clean - this will ensure your food cooks evenly.
Tip #7: Don’t Overcrowd the Grill
If your grill is too crowded, you will lose heat and your food won't cook properly. Make sure to give each piece of food enough room to cook evenly and don't be afraid to cook in batches if you need to.
Tip #8: Get Creative With Toppings & Sides
A nice side, or delicious topping can really elevate your food and make it stand out. Consider incorporating sides such as grilled vegetables, grilled cheese, such as halloumi, or even a nice fresh salad. Condiments and sauces can give your dishes a unique flavour. After all, no barbecue is complete without burger cheese and a quality BBQ sauce. Also, don't forget some bacon for adding on top of your burgers!
Tip #9: Don’t Overcook
The key to juicy burgers, steaks, and (especially) chicken is not overcooking them. To avoid this, we really recommend that you use a meat thermometer and take your meat off the grill when it reaches their appropriate internal temperature. 75C.
Tip #10: Enjoy Yourself!
Don't forget to have fun during your barbecue. After all, that's what it’s all about! So relax, be creative, open a cold one, and enjoy yourself as you create delicious meals for your friends and family to talk about for years to come.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to host a successful barbecue that everyone will enjoy, with hopefully zero trips to A&E! Whether you're grilling up burgers or slow-cooking ribs in the smoker, these tips will help ensure that everyone enjoys safe and delicious results every time they fire up the grill this summer! Happy grilling and thanks for reading!