Make Your Barbi The Best!
If you’re careful you can make yourself look like a real grill-star, increasing the level of smoke or ‘flaring’ the flames to create a real grill-master effect, but be careful to practice, as it can go wrong, so here are some tips to help get it right!
Before you start, choosing an overall theme for the food, and drink, especially if you’re entertaining, is a great idea. The US, particularly the South, Australian and South Africa are all key BBQ regions and great bases to plan from. It also helps that they produce excellent wine! The Caribbean, South America and North Africa make equally great themes for a more exotic BBQ.
BBQ’s look great with a mix of colours – red, green or yellow bell peppers look and taste fantastic and can be flame-roasted to increase their flavour; once the skin has begun to blacken, place in a plastic bag and allow to cool before removing skin. Green and yellow courgettes also look good and grill well, as do chillies, asparagus and aubergine.
Fruit, Veg &…
You know you can grill many vegetables, but did you know you can also grill lots of fruit including bananas, pineapple, papaya and mango, all of which add colour, flavour and taste on the Barbi.
Believe it or not there’s no end to what you can cook on the Barbi; the classic English breakfast, yes even an egg can be BBQ’ed, easier on a griddle plate or plancha for fried-egg, alternatively simply pierce the shell with a needle and place directly on the grill-bars! However, perhaps the most impressive BBQ dish is a Pavlova, difficult to do, and to make a success, it’s all down to accurate temperature control, but it will enhance your BBQ and street-cred, no end!
Increasing the smoke level should only really be done on charcoal and can be achieved by throwing on either wet wood chips (fruit wood is best) or herb branches, even vine clippings which work really well. A similar effect can be achieved on gas, as long as the grill has a lava-rock bed.
Flaring the flames can easily be done on either gas or charcoal and is achieved by briefly pressing down, hard on meat or poultry with either long-handled spatula or tongs, which will release the natural fats/oils onto the grill causing a brief ‘flare-up’. However please take care when attempting this as flame volume can be widespread, so keep your body well clear of the grill. Do not, under any circumstances, try to enhance the effect by adding extra oil!
To achieve professional ‘cross-hatch’ grill-lines, sear meat, poultry, fish or fruit/vegetables on highest heat at right angle to grill bars, remove, lightly wipe oiled cloth, then turn and repeat. Once both sides are seared, turn food lengthwise to grill-bars and repeat. Once achieved, return food to normal cooking heat.
A combination of good music, food, beer, wine and the right company all helps makes for a great BBQ.
Blues, Booze & BBQ’s
In fact great BBQ planning should be based around the 3-B’s Blues (or any music you fancy), Booze & BBQ’s – Enjoy!