We’ve been in the great outdoors this week, firing up the barbecue in preparation for the Bank Holiday weekend! Check out some fabulous food, clever products and handy tips from our resident chef for the morning…
We were setting the sausages sizzling on two very different barbecues. The Big Green Egg is an impressive all-weather barbecue that will take your alfresco cooking way beyond burgers on a sunny afternoon. You can slow-cook meat overnight, and even do your Christmas turkey in it! At the other end of the scale, the CasusGrill is a whole new kind of disposable barbecue. Genuinely disposable (it’s biodegradable and you can throw it onto the campfire after use if you so desire), it’s ready to use in five minutes and despite its lavastone and bamboo charcoal making it look disarmingly unlike any other barbecue we’ve seen, cooks to perfection for up to an hour.
So are we cooking on gas? Well, we weren’t – though apparently 48% of us Brits do choose the convenience of a gas barbecue. We went down the more traditional route with the amazing smell and flavour of charcoal from The Oxford Charcoal Company. This is charcoal for the connoisseur with a choice of Oak, Cherry Wood, Sweet Chestnut, Maple and more.
Taking advice from William (in the apron!), we waited until there were no flames and the charcoal surface was grey, and brushed the grill bars with a little oil to avoid the food sticking – then on went a mouthwatering array of meat from Mountain’s, including – of course – the famous Boston Sausages. What we love most about these – apart from the amazing taste – is that they’re available mail order so it doesn’t matter where you live. And they are now such celebrities in their own right that they even go on tour – find out if they’re coming to an event or show near you!
Our main issue with barbecues, other than the British weather, is the niggling fear of poisoning friends and family with meat that is ‘well done’ on the outside and still raw in the middle. So we were delighted to discover the user-friendly thermometers from Thermapen. With the SuperFast Thermapen 4, it’s as simple as sticking the probe into the thickest part of your chicken kebab and checking it’s reached 75 degrees. The result was incredibly succulent meat that hadn’t been dried out due to that paranoid extra 10 minutes on the heat ‘just in case’! If your household contains a true gadget fan or gourmet chef, the ThermaQ takes this to a whole other level.
What are your sauces of choice? If your kids are ketchup-fiends but you worry about the sugar content, check out Blend Bros completely sugar-free Smoky BBQ, Sweet Chilli, Piri Piri and, yes, Ketchup sauces for marinading, serving and dipping. They’re £2 a bottle and are sold in Asda as well as direct online.
So there’s our recipe for a perfect barbecue! Watch the show for lots more.