10 Ways to Up Your Barbecue Game this Summer
A good old barbie is a lovely way to spend a summer’s afternoon or evening with family and friends. But it’s easy to fall into a rut when it comes to cooking alfresco and with relatively limited equipment. However, unless your barbecue really is a last-minute event decided by expectedly fine weather, a little advance planning and some creative thinking will bring it to the next level. Here are some ideas from the Luxury Family Hotels team.
• Get smart with marinades. Spicy, smoky or herby ones are all easy ways to add a flavour punch to fish, meat and veg. Think 4-48 hours for meat, 30 minutes to 24 hours for fish, and 5-30 minutes for vegetables. Find inspiration with these marinade recipes from the Guardian.
• Give marinades extra oomph by brushing them onto your ingredients using large sprigs of thyme, rosemary or oregano. You can also use these to baste ingredients with oil.
• Glaze meats with wine, beer, cider, ginger beer or cola to give them a sweet tang.
• Boost flavour by sprinkling herbs and spices such as bay leaves or cinnamon sticks around the sides of your coals.
• Be creative with veg – Little Gem or romaine lettuce work well lightly char-grilled, while mini corn-cobs can be jazzed up with chopped herbs and a dash of piri-piri salt or chilli powder.
• Think beyond the ubiquitous beef burgers and chipolatas. Try spicy merguez sausages, lamb kofta skewers and even barbecue meatballs.
• Go to town on your choice of sauces – there’s a stupendous range these days, from classic mustard to Chinese hoisin, Japanese teriyaki, and American and Caribbean hot sauces. And don’t forget tongue tinglers such as pickled cucumbers, gherkins and jalapeños.
• Be creative with desserts. Bake bananas in foil, stuffed with chocolate and marshmallows, or brush thickly sliced sponge cake with melted butter and grill then serve with fresh berries.
• Don’t overlook drinks prep. The best barbecues are accompanied by big iced pitchers of fruity cocktails, both boozy and non-alcoholic.
See also our tips for successful family barbecues.