What’s your top barbecue tip to achieve grilling perfection?
A round-up of top barbecue tips from Cornish chef James Strawbridge and 44Foods to get you started
We know some of you on FoodTribe are absolute barbecue pros. Any excuse, any time of year, any day of the week, you'll be out there grilling anything and everything you can get your hands on.
But not everyone knows their way around every corner of the barbecue, and may want an extra pointer or two before getting those grills out.
Fortunately, Cornish chef and sustainability expert James Strawbridge has got some top tips to ensure all your summer – and maybe even autumn, or winter (if you’re feeling brave) – barbecues, are absolute perfection. He’s teamed up with 44Foods, who deliver ethically-sourced and sustainable produce to your door (everything from fruit and veg, to meat and coffee).
Here are James' top tips – and we'd love to hear yours
Cook over embers not flames - be patient and wait for charcoal or wood to really burn down to achieve a strong constant heat to cook with. Once you have hot embers it reduces the chance of flare ups and gives you much more control on the grill.
Veg power - try grilling vegetables over embers as the star of the show rather than just serving salads and veg kebabs on the side. Spring greens work really well, cauliflower steaks, radishes or peas in the pod can all be cooked in a grill basket.
Low n Slow - have a go at a slow cooked recipe this summer with some wood chips for smokey flavour. Try your own beef brisket hot smoked down at 120˚C with an internal temp of 94˚C for 5-6 hours for an authentic tasting BBQ.
Get down and dirty - try onions thrown straight onto the hot coals and cooked in their skins for 45 mins. Once blackened slice in half to remove the sweet, tender onions from their charred outer layers and toss with parsley and butter.
Chimney lighting - to avoid waiting till sundown to tuck into your BBQ get efficient and buy a chimney to light your charcoal. They are really quick and easy to use and massively reduce the set up time before you can start cooking.
Don’t forget the mop - to avoid your food drying out remember to baste, glaze or mop with a tasty BBQ sauce. Also try adding a bowl of water into your BBQ oven if indirect grilling to keep your meat moisture.
Ole smoky - Add a handful of wood chips to your BBQ for a woody aroma and deep smoke ring. Try using apple, oak, hickory and cherry shavings.
Probe safety - invest in a meat probe to keep an eye on the internal temperature of your food. They are really easy to use and help to understand what’s going on inside the BBQ.
Burn baby burn - buy sustainably sourced charcoal to cook over rather than imported briquettes.
Keep smiling - if you’re not smiling then you are doing it all wrong! Enjoy cooking over fire this summer and be creative with your recipes.
I’d rate myself as *pretty good* when it comes to barbecues, but also believe there’s always room for improvement. I embraced James’ tips, cooked up the entirety of my 44 Foods bbq bundle on my Kamado Joe, and was crowned Doug’s burger of the month, so I reckon my upskilling paid off!