As soon as the sun comes out and the temperature rises above 15 degrees, us Brits have a tendency to act like we’re suddenly in the Mediterranean. Out come the sandals, the paddling pools and – maybe best of all – the barbecues.
We love using the good weather as an excuse to have a barbecue basically every weekend. Plus, it’s a great way to catch up with friends and family while enjoying the sunshine. But while you may consider yourself a barbecuing expert, there’s probably a good chance not everything gets cooked to perfection.
That might be because you’re making a simple mistake that’s actually quite key to the cooking process. Consumer brand Which? shared a post to Instagram showing the four mistakes many of us make when we barbecue and we must admit, we’re guilty.
The first is that you’re not letting meat come up to room temperature. Ever had a burger on the barbie for ages only to find it’s still cold in the middle? For safe and better cooking of meat, it’s recommended you take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before it hits the hot barbecue.
Speaking of which, if the barbecue is too hot, this can mean your food gets charred on the outside but is still raw in the middle. Be sure to wait for the flames to die down before placing food on it.
We know there’s a real temptation to poke and prod food when it’s cooking, but to ensure burgers and other meats stay juicy and flavoursome, resist pressing down on them. And the fourth common mistake is not cleaning the BBQ after every use. Yes, every use. You don’t want last week’s sausage grease ruining your halloumi slices.
So all in all, there are four key things to remember for how to barbecue food well:
- Take meat out 30 minutes before cooking
- Let the flames die down
- Don’t press down on burgers
- Clean the BBQ after every use. To make it even easier, we’ve got some helpful barbecue cleaning hacks here.
And for what to cook? Bring your A-game to the barbecue with award-winning food writer Helen Graves’s sizzling hot recipes.