5 food prep tips for the perfect barbecue

Take your BBQ to the next level with these simple food prep secrets

Want to be named the undisputed king or queen of the grill this National BBQ Week?

Then we’ll let you in on a secret: the perfect barbecue is all in the preparation. Even before you step outside into the sunshine, there are techniques you can use in the kitchen to make sure you get juicy, flavoursome results, instead of the usual burnt bangers!

Read on to discover our five top BBQ preparation tips for summer.

Mouth-watering marinade

Supercharge the flavour of your barbecued ribs or chicken wings with a mouth-watering marinade. Add a few tablespoons each of honey and olive oil to a large jar then mix in a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, a teaspoon each of paprika, cumin and oregano and two chopped garlic cloves. Add your meat to the jar, close the lid and shake for an even coating, then store in the fridge overnight to let the flavours marinate before lighting up the barbecue. For an extra tip, spritz the meat with apple juice while grilling to keep it moist and perfectly caramelised.

The stick trick

It’s not all about the meat! Make your BBQ veggie friendly with gloriously colourful vegetable kebabs. Soak the wooden sticks in water for 30 minutes before making the skewers to ensure they don’t burn on the barbecue and help the vegetables slide on smoother. Then drizzle with olive oil and your choice of herbs and spices before cooking on the barbecue.

Beautiful burgers

The trick to juicy burgers is to use mince with an 80:20 fat ratio, as this will prevent the meat becoming too dry. Work with cold mince straight out of the fridge and use gentle pressure to form meat into a ball then press into a flat burger, as pressing the meat too tightly together can also lead to dry burgers. A helpful secret to stop burgers sticking to the grill is to rub half an onion over the wire rack before lighting the coals. Finally, why not pre-prepare toppings like grated cheese, sliced tomatoes, pickles, chillies and sauces then place each topping in a different section of a muffin tin, for a mess-free build-your-own burger station that all the family will love.

Perfect potatoes

Baked potatoes are another great vegetarian-friendly barbecue option, but they can be time-consuming to cook on coals alone. Speed up the process by pre-cooking in the microwave or oven until almost done, ready to stick on the barbecue wrapped in foil to crisp up the skin while keeping the inside fluffy and light. For an even more tempting treat, stuff your pre-cooked potato with grated cheese and baked beans before foil-wrapping, leaving you with a deliciously gooey centre.

Fish of the day

Create a taste-sensation by taking a whole salmon or trout and stuffing the insides with garlic cloves, sprigs of parsley, cracked black pepper and lemon wedges. That way, the flavours will infuse into the fish as it cooks. To keep the fish moist, some chefs recommend wrapping inside several layers of newspaper and soaking in water, as this will stop steam from escaping and seal all the juices inside the fish.

What are you cooking up for National Barbecue Week? Share your tempting BBQ food photos & secret recipes with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Category: Advice