Get the right charcoal for the job
Cooking with charcoal is an absolute must – for that lush smoky barbecue flavour. But which kind should you buy? There are two types of charcoal: lumpwood and briquettes. Use lumpwood if you’re grilling directly and want a high heat for cooking quickly; if you’re grilling fish for example. Use briquettes for slow and steady cooking such as roasting a joint.
Prep the fire
Invest in a chimney starter (you can pick these up in places like garden centres). Stand the chimney starter in the barbecue and burn your charcoal for about 20-40 minutes until all the coals are glowing orange. Gently shake them in to the barbecue and let them burn for another 10 minutes. It’s a great way to create the perfect fire to barbecue on, it’s quick too – so you have more time to chat to your guests.
Use the best quality food
The better your ingredients, the better the food will taste. No rocket science there, but it’s easily forgotten when you’re dashing around getting things ready and frantically checking the weather forecast to see if it’s going to rain. Buy fresh, quality ingredients for delicious results.
Get your guests involved
Crack open the drinks and get your guests involved in the preparation of the food. You’ll get to know their likes and dislikes so you can be sure to delight them with a menu that makes their mouths water.
Don’t forget the drinks
Picking the right drinks to serve with your food can really tickle the taste buds. All the usual rules apply about red wine with red meat; white wine with fish and so on; but I personally think that a crisp Prosecco is just heavenly with dishes like grilled seabass with hot potato salad.
So there you have it, my top tips on planning a barbecue. We’d love to hear your tips too so feel free to comment.