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  • Dec 05 / 2013
  • 0


Barbeque Man

After 9 months of well earned hibernation barbecue man emerges in late May. Soon the acrid smell of white spirit and burnt meat wafts over our summer gardens. Barbecue man never cooks inside the house, leaves most of the preparation (and clearing up) to his long suffering partner but outside, tongs in one hand, beer in the other…reigns supreme. Caveman walks again, speciality meat - any meat - burnt black on the outside, pink on the inside!

For more on bbq man and his rites of passage have a look at Tong Master.

It needn’t be that way, barbecues are great social occasions and food (usually) tastes better outdoors. As with most of the better things in life, sausages are an integral part of a good bbq - being eaten at a respectful 71% of all bbqs.

Barbecue sausages

Sausages are perfect for bbqs, easy to cook, succulent and portable. As with other outdoor food, simple, gutsy flavours work best - meaty plain pork, Boerwors, Cumberland, fresh Chorizo, Italian, Merguez and Toulouse are best.

A good tip is to poach sausages first in water and then brown them over the bbq. That way you guarantee that they are cooked and still get the barbecue flavours.

Use coiled sausages such as Cumberland, Boerwors and some Italian sausages, skewer them with wooden skewers (soak these first in water for at least 30 minutes), and then cook in one piece.

Make sausage kebabs using chunks of different sausages.

Mix runny honey and grain mustard together and use to glaze sausages.

Barbecue know how

One thing barbecue man is right about is meat. Despite the efforts of food writers searching for topical recipes, most bbqs are about simple, plain food. All you need is good meat, lots of sausages (of course), bread, salad and beer!

  • Strong, gutsy flavours are needed - keep things simple.
  • Be generous - people eat more outside.
  • Make sure meat is cooked right through - if in doubt check and cut a piece open, pink or bloody chicken should be cooked longer!
  • The Food Standards Agency has provided useful tips on safe outdoor eating.
  • Use charcoal or wood for the best flavour.
  • Light the charcoal at least 30 minutes before you want to start cooking, only start cooking when the coals are white or glowing red and the smoke has died down.
  • Spread the coals evenly over the bbq for a even cooking area or pile them higher on one side to make a hot and cold area.
  • Raise or lower the grill if the heat is too high/low
  • Brush meats with oil before they go on to the heat.
  • Use the right equipment - especially a pair of long armed tongs.
  • Remember to season the meat, have a tray of seasonings ready - salt, pepper, olive oil, lemons, herbs, soy sauce etc.
  • Marinade for as long as possible, ideally overnight and baste with the marinade juices during cooking.
  • Make homemade salads - coleslaw, potato salad, couscous and have plenty of crusty bread.
  • Remember that leftover marinade has been in contact with raw meat - don’t use it as a dipping sauce! (if you want to use spare marinade cook it first).
  • For quick marinades, place the meat and marinade in a plastic bag, seal, agitate gently and place in a cold fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  • Cheaper cuts of meat work better - don’t waste filet steak on the bbq!
  • Meat on the bone (chops, chicken legs, T-bone steaks) are easy to handle and the bone helps to conduct heat.
  • You can cook large joints or whole chickens but it’s easier to use smaller pieces. You can part cook large items in the oven and finish them over the barbecue to add the smoky taste.
  • Good joints are butterflied leg of lamb (a leg of lamb with the bone removed - most butchers will do this) or a piece of boned belly pork, these can be marinaded first and are easy to cook and impressive. Look in Recipes (internal link) for more information and ideas.
  • Try spatch cooked chicken or individual poussins.
  • Try home made burgers made with fresh beef, lamb or sausage meat.
  • Soak any wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent them burning.
  • For extra smoky flavour you can add small chips of well soaked aromatic wood to the fire (such as hickory or apple-wood).
  • Fresh herbs, such as rosemary and even lemongrass can add flavour, these should be sprinkled on the fire towards the end of cooking.
  • Serve fresh summer fruit or ice cream for dessert.

Marinades and rubs

Combine and add to meat for as long as possible

Sesame & Soy - chicken and pork

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange jest
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Large pinch cayenne pepper

Garlic & herb - chicken

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs - parsley. chives, rosemary, sage, thyme and coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Moroccan rub - chicken, lamb and pork

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon

Tuscan - chicken or beef

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons ground fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Juice of a large lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper