WITH a heatwave underway, many of us will be hoping to fire up the barbecue for family and friends.
Here are some top tips to make sure you heat it up properly and don't end up undercooking the chicken.
How to light a charcoal BBQ
You can nail your barbecue technique on the day by following our step-by-step guide…
Choose your spot wisely – it should rest on a flat, even surface away from any bushes – and get a bucket of water ready nearby, just in case.
Remove the grill from the barbecue and add a good layer of charcoal to the bottom, then scrunch up some newspaper into balls and place in the pile.
If needed, add a bit more coal to the pile to cover some of the newspaper.
Pour lighting gel over the coals and use long matches or a barbecue lighter to light the barbecue in a number of places.
Leave the barbecue for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until the coals are white.
When the flames have died down and the coals are pale in colour you are good to add the grill back on to start cooking.
How to light a gas BBQ
Light a gas BBQ is simple if you follow these few steps!
Gas barbecues can be a chef's best friend, as they don't require any lighting materials (except their gas fuel)
Compare to charcoal BBQ's they are much easier to light if you get the process right.
Firstly open up the lid, and the gas cylinder valve. Make sure you've got your controller on high and wait a few seconds to ensure gas is in the ignition chamber.
Press down on the igniter button, and your burner should start immediately.
Now your barbeque should be heating up nicer and ready for you to start cooking up a feast.
How to light an electric BBQ
Lighting an electric barbecue is really simple. You don’t need to use any fuel or any lighting aids.
All you need to do is simply plug the barbecue into a socket, turn the controller to ‘high’ and just let it heat up for around 25 minutes with the lid on.
And that's it. You'll be ready to cook in no time!
How do you know when food is cooked on a barbecue?
When cooking food on a barbecue you should add oil to the food and not the grill, to prevent it sticking.
If you have food that cooks at different times to each other, you can stagger adding them to the grill, or create a split level fire, with one side having more coal and being hotter, e.g. for meats.
Flip items as you go to ensure they cook throughout and use different utensils for cooked and raw meat.
Don’t press down on your burgers or chicken with a spatula when you are cooking as this will remove the juices.
To test if meat is cooked, you should invest in a thermometer to stick in.
For reference, 50C is usually considered rare, 60C is medium and 70C is well done.
Allow your food to rest for five to ten minutes after cooking so the juices inside can settle.
How to keep kids safe when using a barbecue
Kids are naturally interested in fire and accidents happen if they get too close when they are playing.
Children should always be supervised when a barbecue is lit, and they should be warned about the dangers.
If they wish to play in the garden, consider getting an adult to take them to the park so they can be out of harm’s way and work up an appetite for the food.
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