Fire up the BBQ…In his new book Grill Smoke BBQ, chef Ben Tish takes the mystery out of everything from choosing equipment to conquering temperature control. Here, he shares his top tips for barbecuing success. There’s no better time to assume your new regal role as Queen of the Grill – we’re only too keen to get stuck in ourselves.
1 Anytime, anywhere
Bring out the barbie at any time of day. An elegant mid-morning spread puts a sophisticated spin on the classic grill up while a barbecue on a summer’s afternoon is a great option for entertaining larger parties. From smoky grilled watermelon to sticky chargrilled pineapple, we’ve got a barbecue recipe for all occasions.
2 Try something new
Try heavy root vegetables buried in the embers or cooking your meat for the Sunday roast low and slow on the BBQ. You can even make cakes – a lidded barbecue acts exactly like an oven.
3 Grab essential extras
Garlic aioli, rosemary and garlic potatoes and a Bloody Mary are my barbecue essentials.
4 Make a quick marinade
A blend of smoked paprika, crushed cumin and coriander seeds, garlic, chilli and yogurt goes with everything.
5 Experiment with fuels
Chestnut wood is fantastic with meat, lemon and orange woods work with fish, and oak wood is a great all-rounder.
6 Don’t panic!
The bottom line is people have been barbecuing for thousands of years. There’s far too much mysticism around the process. As long as you let the flames die down before cooking, you’ll be fine.
7 Know your heat
Didn’t think you could control the heat? You can. By arranging the embers in certain ways you can create different hot spots. Direct heat gives simple, faster results, 50/50 heat allows space on the barbecue for both fast and slow cooking while centred heat means you can focus heat on one area to avoid overcooking. Ben has even supplied us with foolproof diagrams which you can find in the June issue of Good Things magazine.