Barbeque Season tips and tricks
The great British weather means that when we do light the barbeque, we all want a stress- and hassle-free event, especially when we are entertaining others.
These days there are many choices on shapes and sizes if you have to purchase a barbeque. At Cameler Spice Co. HQ we would probably suggest charcoal, although we appreciate that gas is probably more user and arguably more environmentally friendly.
Flavoured woodchips and charcoal are a great way of adding extra flavour. Cherry wood, chestnut, hickory and apple are some fantastic choices. The Oxford charcoal company offer a great variety of gourmet flavours that are sustainably sourced. Nevertheless, with our fine spice blends we are sure plain charcoal or wood chip will be just as good.
We would always suggest investing in a barbeque with a lid so that you can trap in the smoky barbeque flavour. However, if you don’t have a lid, you can always use a non-coated saucepan and turn it upside down, to trap in the flavour of your ingredients.
Always light the barbeque away from flammables, bushes, fences, making sure the ground/base surface is flat with a bucket of water close by, just in case.
Old news papers are great for lighting the barbeque, as is the infill from the box that you will have received our “postal” spice jars in. Just scrunch up the infill into little balls and light. If you are using wood chips or charcoal for fuel, make sure you light the barbeque for a minimum of 30 minutes to an hour before you are ready to cook. You want the fuel to be white hot, pale in colour with no big flames.
These days, you have to cater to so many needs. We would suggest cooking any vegetable/fruit/vegan-based products first and then moving onto the meat options.
We would recommend our Baharat Gulf of Arabia for marinated Lamb chops and chicken burgers. Our Mitmita range goes great with grilled pineapple and prawns and makes the best beef burgers, that your guests will be talking about for hours. Just the right kick of flavour and heat for the barbeque. A sprinkling of Baqa with a dollop of mayonnaise goes great with the burgers and our Vegeto makes a beautiful dressing for a side salad. The Vegeto also goes great with Mushrooms and a drizzle of olive oil and some hispi cabbage cut in quarters with a drizzle of olive oil and cooked for about 10 minutes. Golden corn and the cob and halloumi will be firm favourites. It can be difficult to give exact times as not all barbeques have thermometers.
To avoid your ingredients drying out you should try to use thicker cuts of meat, fish and even veg. You should try to avoid basting and saucing too early. Easier said than done but you need to try and avoid burning the meat. Charcoal doesn’t me incineration. You should also try to have the right tools. Utensils borrowed from the kitchen will suffice if you don’t have a kit. You don’t want your sausage or prawns falling into the coal embers because you don’t have a set of tongs to hand. Even an apron wouldn’t go a miss and some gloves if you’re a little clumsy like us. If you’re going to cook a whole fish, you must invest in a grilling basket. John Lewis or fire mountain have ones available for a tenner. Don’t forget to pay a visit to your independent butcher or fish monger if you are fortunate to have one in the neighbourhood.
Its super important that you don’t keep mixing tools between cooked and raw. A meat thermometer might be a good investment. Staggering the cooking times, flipping as and when and testing is very important, especially when it comes to chicken. All chicken, thighs, breast, drumsticks and wings should be cooked to 73 degrees Celsius. Fifty degrees is considered rare, sixty degrees is considered medium and seventy degrees is considered well done. You should always try to keep meat and fish on the side to rest as this will make it more succulent and typically the meat will carry on cooking on residual heat once it has been removed from the grill. When you dispose of the charcoal or woodchip, some of them may not be appropriate for the compost bin. We suggest you read the packet or do your own research, albeit most are.
Finally, after you have enjoyed all your delicious produce, you should try and clean the barbeque there and then whilst it’s still warm and fresh in your mind. A half raw onion or dried newspaper with some left-over beer is a great way to remove the grease. Don’t be afraid to use your scrapping tools to remove the burnt bits. Brushing over with some vegetable oil once cleaned is a great way to stop food from sticking when you next fire up the grill and it should stop the metal grill from rusting.
Enjoying a meal shouldn’t be a stressful exercise.