Here are some weird, wonderful and possibly believable Legends of the Grill, plus
some more simple tips & advice to make your Barbi the Best-ever!
Better Barbi – Legends, Tips & Advice!
Barbi Tips From The GrillMaster
BBQ Tip 1 – Hot Tip
A good guide to grill temperatures is the hand test. Hold your hand around 6” from the grill; if you can only keep it there for around a minute, the temperature is too hot, 2- 3 minutes is high and an ideal searing heat. 3-4 minutes means a medium temperature, ideal for normal grilling. 4-5 minutes is fairly warm and good for keeping food warm. Any longer and the grill is not ready.
BBQ Tip 2 – A Long Soak
Marinated food tastes great and grills better, as apart from enhanced flavour, it also helps protect food against high grill temperatures. Normally the longer the better, but a simple tip to cut marinating time is to place food in a sealed plastic bag, massage in marinade and place in fridge. This cuts marinating time by half.
BBQ Tip 4 Gas or Charcoal?
Most first time BBQ’ers buy a simple charcoal grill, but gas grills can now cost under £50. So just what’s the best? Well; gas is simpler to use and more easily controllable. Whilst charcoal is more traditional and adds that essential BBQ taste. A simple guide is ‘gas for ease’ and ‘charcoal for taste’.
BBQ Tip 3 Low & Slow
BBQ is not a race against time, so don’t grill too quickly or on too high a heat as this causes food to burn on the outside whilst being under cooked in the middle. The trick is to ‘sear on high’ and then take it ‘low and slow’. It helps if the grill-bars are well oiled, but don’t turn food to often as this reduces heat.
BBQ Tip 6 Follow Smoky Joe
Enhancing that true smoky BBQ taste is best done on charcoal by throwing wet wood chips, herb branches on the coals. Try different types of wood, apple is good or vine clippings. A similar, although not quite as good, a similar effect can be achieved on a gas grill with a lava rock bed.
BBQ Tip 5 Barbi Parties
Choose a theme, the US, Australia, South Africa and South America, especially this World Cup year are all good. It also helps that they have great wine and beer too! The Caribbean & Mexico are also cool. Remember great Barbi parties are based on the three ‘B’s’ – Blues (or any music you fancy), Booze & BBQ’s.
BBQ Tip 8 – Right here, Over
Introduce some colour to your Barbi food, red, green or yellow bell peppers are great flame-roasted to enhance flavours. Once skin has blackened, place in a plastic bag to cool. The skin will then easily peel-off. Green and yellow courgettes, also grill well as do chilies, asparagus and aubergine.
BBQ Tip 7 - Become a real Grill Star
Create some Barbi-theatre, by ‘fanning-the-flames’. Quickly press down on meats or poultry with a long-handled spatula; this releases natural fats, causing a brief ‘flare-up’. Please take great care when attempting and keep any clothing well clear. Do NOT attempt to enhance effect by adding extra oil.
BBQ Tip 10 Don’t forget its Safety First
Position BBQ’s on level ground, well away from hedges, fences, or overhanging shrubbery. When lighting charcoal, only use proper BBQ lighter fuel, never, ever use petrol or other flammable liquids. If using gas ensure grill lights immediately, if it fails, turn off gas, leave for a few minutes and try again.
BBQ Tip 9 – Be sure to be
To achieve professional, cross-hatch grill-lines, sear meat, fish, poultry or fruit/vegetables on a hi-heat, lengthwise to the grill-bars. Remove and quickly wipe grill bars with oil and repeat at right-angles. Once both sides are seared return to normal cooking, turning infrequently.
Better For You Advice
Better for you advice 2 – Pick n’Choose
Dining alfresco or having a Barbi is a more relaxed and informal occasion then a normal meal and indeed the choice of food much more varied. In fact you’ll probably get a wider choice of healthier food then you would indoors, with fish, lean meat, poultry, vegetable and even fruit all being high on the grill stakes!
Better for you advice 1 – Burnt is Bad!
Thankfully long gone are the days of a burnt banger in a bap, usually served with the cry, ‘if it ain’t - it ain’t BBQ!’ Burnt food is actually bad for you, it doesn’t look or taste good and it certainly doesn’t do you any good either! Happily the majority of today’s Barbi’s are the antithesis of the bad old burnt BBQ days.
Better for you advice 4 – Peer Pressure
The ever growing sophistication of BBQ is to a great extent the result of pressure from foodie friends and family to continually be able to offer an ever wider choice tantalising and healthy food. Another factor being most food looks great straight off the Barbi, with today’s grills being so much more user friendly.
Better for you advice 3 – Sausage
There has been a major evolution in the type of food now cooked at the average family BBQ, with a swordfish steak as likely to be served as a sausage or a brochette as a burger. In fact we’ve become a nation of foodies and no where has this been more apparent then on the Barbi, where gastro-grilling now rules.
Better for you advice 6 – To Prep
Proper preparation is very important, with a lighter more ‘au natural’ style the key, without heavy, fattening sauces or accompaniments. Marinating is also very important with the use of olive oil and balsamic vinegars, plus the addition of garlic and chilies good health pointers and also enhancing taste.
Better for you advice 5 – Grill is Good!
Even the way that barbecued food is cooked is healthier, with the idea that a BBQ is a ‘fat reducing machine’, actually being not too far from the truth, as fats tend to evaporate during the grilling process, which also enhances flavour. BBQ’ed food also arguably retains more nutritional content; so grilling is good!
Better for you advice 8 – Play Catch-up
Healthy lifestyle benefits don’t fizzle out at the grill-end, yes it’s when you chill, that the final health advantages kick, as for many families the weekly alfresco meal is the one time that there able to take time-out, relax and catch-up on what’s going on. After-grill chillin’ is very beneficial to a relaxed state of mind.
Better for you advice 7 – Foodie,
BBQ’s are the antithesis of fast food, not only is the choice and type of food healthier, but there is also the ‘chill & grill’ element of creating a relaxed environment. Also important is the fact that food is consumed slowly and not ‘on the hoof’, which in turn aids proper digestion.
Better for you advice 10 – Better For You
Life alfresco isn’t all physiological there’s a healthy share of psychological benefits too. For most a BBQ is a form of emotional escapism, creating feelings of well-being and a desire for warmer, more relaxed climes, whether around the Med, or further a field in Australia, Caribbean the US West Coast, or South Africa. Barbi’s and alfresco living is here to stay and is genuinely better for you!
Better for you advice 9
Believe it or not spicy BBQ foods are healthy. Chilies have heart and anti-toxin benefits and the hotter the better! High Omega 3 foods like sardines, mackerel and tuna are real grill stars. Vegetables also notch up health points as do great grill fruits such as mango, papaya and bananas, all high in fibre and vitamins
Legends Of The Grill
No.2 Strangest Ever Barbi Meal
was in Northern Transvaal in 1952 when a crocodile ate a springbok, and was then coated in spiced mud and BBQ‘ed whole and was enough to feed 40 people.
No.1 Biggest BBQ Party Ever
was in 1997 in New Orleans when around 17,500 people attended a surprise 40th birthday party, drinking over 85,000 bottles of beer and gallons of rye whiskey.
No.4 World’s Toughest Ever Barbi
was in the Australian Outback when Bushmen on walkabout would grill specially prepared meat with ever more Bush herbs added daily to make it more palatable!
No.3 Longest Running BBQ
was in Montego Bay Jamaica in 1989 lasting for seven months until fatigue and a lack of any more food, drink or money brought this mammoth grill-in to a halt.
No.6 Weirdest Ever BBQ Party
was in Tijuana in 1999. A stag-night BBQ party, unwisely held in a graveyard with guests dressed as ghosts was stopped by the Polizei on suspicion of cannibalism!
No.5 Largest Ever Single BBQ Cook-off
was in 1975 in Kansas City when 5 steers were roasted in a huge pit for nearly 2 days, with a 100 gallons of BBQ sauce, the subsequent grill-fest lasted for 3 days.
No.9 Most Dangerous Ever BBQ
was held in Brazzaville, Congo when a troop of soldiers decided to have an impromptu BBQ in the shell of a burnt out tank, unfortunately there was still live ammo on board which exploded, just as the first burger was being grilled; luckily no one was hurt!
No.10 World’s Most Expensive
Ever BBQ Party
was held at The Colony Club on Malibu Beach, California in 2005, when 30 people attended a ‘glitzy’ Beach BBQ, in typically West Coast style, everything was done to excess including the Krug and Oysters with the total bill reaching a massive $1.1 million!
No.12 Most Regal BBQ meal ever
was held in a Memphis BBQ Rib shack on May 14th 2014 when both Princes William & Harry popped in for an impromptu Barbi meal wearing plaid cowboy shirts. Whilst not confirmed, it is rumoured that both took a stint at the grill to serve up Back Ribs and Pulled Pork sandwiches.
No.7 Scariest Ever BBQ Meal
was in the Canadian Rockies in 2002. A hunter’s Barbi was invaded by Grizzly bears who ate most of the food before departing after burning their paws on the fire!
No.11 Hottest Ever BBQ Event
was in Iceland in April 2010, when some scientists had a Barbi at the base of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, using the molten lava for charcoal and sensibly wearing heat protective suits and breathing equipment!
No.8 Most Extreme BBQ Ever
was held on Lake Walapoa in Auckland, New Zealand, when in 1996 a bungee jumper plunged down to a Barbi floating on a raft 250ft below to speed grill a burger!