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A handy guide for a successful BBQ

The warmer weather is always a good excuse to head outside for a sizzling BBQ, but how do you avoid some of the common pitfalls of cooking al fresco? Here are some of our top tips for successful barbecuing.

A word of warning first

As the current coronavirus pandemic continues and social distancing measures are still in place, it may be worth checking with your local council to see if there are any guidelines or recommendations regarding having a BBQ. Even in isolation, some councils (including Wirral) are concerned about the effects of smoke inhalation on those with breathing difficulties.

Controlling the heat

Barbecues take around 30 minutes to get to the optimum cooking temperature, so make sure you light your charcoal early enough and don’t put your food on too soon. Let the flames burn down until the embers are gently glowing and a pale colour, then you can start putting the meat on. As the meat cooks, juices will drip onto the embers and the flames may start to grow, these are easily controlled with a spray bottle of water if things get too hot. Raising your rack will also stop the food from cooking too quickly on the outside and leaving the middle undercooked.

Prep well and add variety

Having all your ingredients to hand is crucial. It will be far too stressful, and a recipe for disaster, if you attempt to cook and prep all at the same time. Season meat well with a good variety of herbs and marinades, have an interesting choice of accompaniments, and don’t forget to include vegetarian options, such as veggie burgers or fruit.

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