How to barbecue like a champ

    How to barbecue like a champ

    How to barbecue like a champ

    With barbecuing food – as in most things in life – there is a right way and a wrong way to do things.

    For instance, when it comes to grilling outdoors you should give your food the same respect as if you were preparing a culinary cordon bleu feast for your boss and his other half indoors. That means it’s not just a case of whacking a big juicy steak onto the Barbie, thumping and poking it around a few times and hoping for the best.

    No, you should be thinking in terms of removing the steak from the fridge and allowing it to warm to room temperature before you even touch it. Then you might want to throw a bit of seasoning and butter on the steak and finally strategically place it on the barbecue so it gets the best of the heat but not too many flames so that it gets slightly charred or, worse still, burnt.

    How to barbecue like a champ
    How to barbecue like a champ

    How to barbecue like a champ, the English way

    And if you’ve already had a steak marinading in the fridge for some time prior to your cook-out then do take time to scrape the excess marinade off before putting the steak on the barbecue otherwise the sauce too could result in flames were it to drip onto the coals.

    Another tip when it comes to cooking steaks is not to saturate it with oil. Too much oil will cause the meat to blacken on the flames. Instead just dab a small amount of olive oil onto the steak and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. The method is simple, yet effective.

    Another common fault with barbecuing is assuming every area of the grill will be roughly the same temperature. This isn’t actually the case as some parts will in fact be hotter than others. And these are the parts you want to cook your steak on.

    Vegetables, on the other hand, can be cooked at lower temperatures and moved around depending on how well they’re cooking. The worst thing you can do is just bung everything on at the same time and hope for the best – because the best, that way, is never going to happen!

    A favourite – and easy to cook – barbecue dish which just about every one of your guests will love, is Ratatouille.
    The main thing to look out for here is burning the vegetables but the following recipe is a guide:

    Get two medium sized examples of the following vegetables – courgette, aubergines, red peppers, green peppers and onions.
    You’ll also need a small box of tomatoes, a head of celery, eight cloves of garlic, just over half a cup of olive oil and some seasoning such as parsley, oregano or coriander.

    How to barbecue like a champ, the English way
    How to barbecue like a champ, the English way

    To cook, get the barbecue cooking to a medium temperature then place the vegetables in a baking tray with most of the olive oil and toss. It would also be a good idea to add the salt and pepper around this time.
    Next, place the vegetables on the barbecue and cook for around eight minutes (keep the barbecue lid open) and turn the vegetables half way through.

    Remove the tomatoes, put down the barbecue lid and let the remaining vegetables grill for around another three minutes.
    Take the vegetables from the heat and chop into large chunks then add to the tomatoes along with the coriander and oregano.
    The dish will then be ready to serve and will cater easily for up to 10 people.

    Barbecue Traditions

    Barbecue Traditions

    Barbecue Traditions

    Whilst many people are just excited for a few months of good weather and some great food; there are a few of us out there who are interested in knowing a bit more about this tradition. Where did it first start? What does it mean? Why did it get so popular? Why has it stuck around until 2013? We’ll try and answer all of those questions to the best of our knowledge (but remember, we aren’t experts, just enthusiasts!)

    As a true British Citizen, I can tell you a few things for sure: I love the three weeks of sunshine we get a year and I love spending that time gathered around a barbecue with friends. I have no doubt that a load of other Brits are nodding their head in agreement with me – maybe even drooling at the thought of some grilled steak – calm yourself.

    Where did the term barbecue originally come from?

    This is quite a highly contested question with no 100% correct answer/s. However, there are many plausible theories, but one stands out more than the others as can be seen from the below points:

    • The word “barbecue” was actually derived from a Spanish word often used by countries in the Caribbean Sea – “barbacoa”. This term actually referred to the framework / structure that was used in the cooking or smoking of meat; as such it slowly became associated with what we know barbecuing as nowadays.
    • According to the renowned OED (Oxford English Dictionary), the word barbecue or barbeque has been linked back to Haiti as far back as the 16th Century, which closely links with the above point.
    • Many people believe that the French term “barbe à queue” which means from head (or beard to toe) has developed into barbeque over time. This may only be a possibility for those cooking entire animals over a BBQ – hence “from head to toe” of the animal
    • Other sources reckon that the most likely explanation of this word coming to term is simply from indigenous people adopting the phrase during the colonial period which originated with “barbacoa”.
    Where did the term barbecue originally come from?
    Where did the term barbecue originally come from?

    There are other theories put forth by magazines and online entities – but these are all a bit far-fetched and quite frankly we’d be wasting your time even explaining them. We’re more than happy to believe that the term evolved from “barbacoa” as it seems to be the most well documented and likely, since the area it originated from was notorious for barbecuing; unlike the French.

    Barbecue Slang – Barbie, BBQ or Barbeque?

    Realistically, there’s no right answer; it’s all dependent upon where you’re from and what you were taught from a young age. Regardless of how it’s spelt, it shouldn’t really make a huge difference.

    Again, we’re going to refer to the Oxford English Dictionary – they state that barbecue is the correct spelling with a common misspelling actually being “barbeque”. However, this is contradicted by Mirriam Webster (a publishing company renowned for dictionaries) since they list it as an alternative spelling…

    Not confusing enough for you yet? Good. There are also truncations of the word, most commonly BBQ which is used often in shorthand and advertising and “bar-b-que” or “bar-b-q” – for unknown reasons. We can only hazard a guess that it’s similar to a form of text talk…

    If you’re from Australia or enjoy sounding like you’re from Oz, then maybe you’ll be more familiar with “barbie” – not the doll, just the slang for barbecue. However, if you’re from South Africa a barbecue is simply known as a braai (which is coincidently a model from the Cadac range).

    Barbecue Slang – Barbie, BBQ or Barbeque?
    Barbecue Slang – Barbie, BBQ or Barbeque?

    Now onto the topic at hand; why are we still barbecuing nowadays when there are alternative, more ‘modern’ ways to cook our food? And why is it still so popular? It’s not as if only a few people in the country barbecue – in fact, statistics show that the majority of families (over 90%) attend a barbecue every year at the very least.

    So, WHY is barbecuing so popular?

    Whilst barbecuing can be linked back to age-old times when cavemen would light up a fire and cook their latest catch over it – we have advanced and evolved, yet the barbecue is still with us. Although the barbecue has also come leaps and bounds since those times; the essence of a BBQ is still the same and that’s possibly what draws us [humans] to it; a link back to our roots, a nod at the caveman inside us.

    But it’s not just this relationship with our primitive selves that make barbecuing as widespread as it is today. Not at all, in fact, there are a lot of reasons – some obvious and some less so:

    • The taste of barbecued or smoked food is believed by many people to be unrivalled by any form of cooking. Even if you have a top chef like Gordon Ramsey cooking you favourite slab of meat on the most expensive cooker in the world, people will still prefer a barbecued steak. Is the taste truly superior? That’s for you to decide. We personally believe that grilled food is on a different level to other types of cooking; it’s unique and that’s what we love about it.
    • A barbecue is a cause for a celebration or vice versa. People love a reason to celebrate, even if it’s just for the sake that we’re having a bit of sun or there’s a football match on, we’re easily pleased people. In fact, this is such a popular reason for barbecuing, we even wrote an entire post dedicated to it: Organising a Barbecue for Special Occasions.
    • It’s a reason to gather and socialise in a relaxed setting without making a huge dent in your wallet. Arguably you could go to a restaurant, but that usually costs considerably more than a BBQ – or, you could host a dinner party yourself, but that usually incurs a lot of stress which detracts from the fun.
    • Don’t forget that some people consider barbecuing to be a hobby. Like every other hobby out there, it takes time, it takes practice and you can constantly get better and better at it. Perfecting recipes and trying out new things are just some of the things you might find yourself doing on the grill!
    So, WHY is barbecuing so popular?
    So, WHY is barbecuing so popular?

    Hopefully this quick list makes it easy to see why barbecuing has stayed with us all these years and why it’s still such a popular method of cooking. Now you’ve brushed up on a bit of reading for the day, get outside and start up a barbecue – who knows, it might slowly become your hobby…!