Tights and scarves are in the back of the closet and people are confidently stepping out in sandals. Itís finally June, the month of midsummer and the optimal time for al fresco dining.
Itís barbecue season. And in honour of the most essential summer feasting, weíve got a little list of dos and doníts to make sure your BBQ is a smoke show in the best possible way.
1. Donít leave it too late to light the coals
Simple, yes. And yet so many of us are guilty of only lurching into action with a lighter when the first of our guests is knocking at the front door. The coals need to turn grey Ė this is when they are at their hottest Ė before you start loading up with sausages and kebabs.
From a simple lemon, oil, salt and pepper coating to much more elaborate concoctions, Marinades take meat from the sublime to the ridiculously delicious.
We love the freshness of lime and coriander with barbecue chicken Ė you can kind of make it up as you go along but this is a simple and easy template for guaranteed success.
For anyone who loves ribs look no further than this classic recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. The marinate features vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and garlic resulting in something delicious and messy in equal measure.
3. Donít mess up the meat
Making sure meat is prepared safely is your number one priority as a host. It might seem rudimentary to many but things like regular handwashing, keeping raw food refrigerated, not picking at meat hours after it has been cooked are massively important in terms of keeping guests happy and healthy!
Obviously donít use plates which have had raw meat on them for the cooked meat.
Make sure that the meat is cooked through. Often, barbecue meat will char on the outside but be raw within. Donít be fooled!
One a more aesthetic level, hereís a tip for perfect burgers, which, if homemade (as they should be!) can fall apart when on the grill. To stop this happening, put the raw burgers in the freezer for a few minutes before you cook. This will retain the shape and stop them from being too dry.