Nothing heralds the beginning of summer like the first barbecue of the season. Knowing when the first of the perfect barbecue weather is going to arrive is almost impossible in the UK, so make sure that you have plenty of Calor gas bottles, coal and anything else you will need ready.
Cooking on a barbecue is a completely different way of cooking, so make sure you avoid these common mistakes.
Don't burn your food!
Eating uncooked meat is a terrible idea and should be avoided at any cost but that is no reason to cremate your food. A simple trick is to set up two zones on your grill, one indirect heat zone which you will use to cook your food and one direct heat zone to brown the exterior. Having your entire grill at maximum heat will not give you the best results. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that you don't have to burn the food to be sure it is cooked well enough. The lid that came with your barbecue is not just to simply keep the rain off your food. It is designed to trap heat and smoke so that you can conserve the heat beneath it. This will help your food cook all the way through as opposed to just burning on the outside and it remaining uncooked on the inside.
Bad grill techniques
Always preheat your grill for at least 10 minutes prior to cooking on it. This will ensure that the heat will be more evenly distributed and cooks your food far more safely and effectively. Don't overcrowd your grill, always ensure that at least a quarter of its surface area is kept clear. Always grease the food not the grill, as grease applied to the grill will simply drip off and cause your barbecue to flare up. If it does flare up, be prepared to raise the grill.
Last but not least – stay safe!
Barbecues are not inherently dangerous, they only become dangerous when people fail to take simple safety steps. If you are cooking with gas bottles, always check them for damage prior to use and never add lighter fuel to already lit coals.