15 barbecue hacks you definitely need to try
Summer has finally arrived in the UK bringing with it the opportunity for people across the country to crack out the barbecue and enjoy a couple of beers. However, there are a few easy barbecue hacks that you can follow to really take it up a notch:
1. Oil the grill
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Before you add any food, it's a good idea to add some oil to the grill to prevent food from sticking. Consider using a chilli or garlic oil to add some extra flavour.
2. Make grown-up lemonade
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If you're bored of supermarket lemonade, it's easy to make a smoky version by roasting lemon slices on the grill and blitzing them up with some sugar and water. For more grown-up drinks click here.
3. Cook a pizza
Few of us think of pizza as a traditional barbecue food, but barbecued pizza has a great smoky flavour and will crisp up nicely under the high temperatures.
4. Mix mayo with mince for burgers
By adding mayonnaise into the burger mixture, you'll ensure you get lovely juicy burgers every time.
5. Use a two-zone system
Having a barbecue at a single temperature is a bad idea. Use a good pair of tongs to move the coals or wood so that one half of the grill is hotter than the other, allowing you to regulate cooking temperatures.
6. Put vegetables in parcels
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If you have a vegetarian guest to cook for, put some of their favourite vegetables in a tin foil parcel along with some herbs and a splash of oil, and you have a tasty, yet simple, vegetarian main. By keeping the vegetables in the parcel they'll cook evenly, but also avoid coming into contact with meat products. If you really want to impress your veggie mates, you'll try this veggie burger recipe.
7. Put condiments in a muffin tray
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Condiments are king at barbecues, but having a table full of bottles isn't very visually appealing. Using a muffin tray to serve condiments looks nicer, and allows you to carry them from the kitchen with ease.
8. Use half an onion to clean the grill
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It’s a good idea to wipe down the grill before adding food—but it can be a real hassle, which puts lots of people off barbecuing. A good hack is to rub half an onion along the grill before you're ready to add your food—it will remove all of the grime without the fuss.
9. Microwave meat first
It might sound insane but try microwaving meat first in order to cook it through, and then finish it on the barbecue. It'll be evenly cooked but will still have the nice, smoky flavour.
10. Soak skewers in water
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If you're going to make kebabs, make sure you soak wooden or bamboo skewers in water for an hour before cooking to prevent burning.
11. Cook fish on lemon slices
A layer of lemon slices on the grill will prevent delicate fish from sticking, and will help to impart a citrus flavour.
12. Fill a spray bottle with apple juice
If you worry about food drying out, spray some apple juice onto meat while it cooks. You’ll get a great taste and aroma, and the food will be wonderfully moist.
13. Use herbs as a skewer
Rosemary works especially well as a substitute for boring wooden skewers, imparting great flavour while also looking great.
14. Marinade your chicken
Chicken breasts are infamous for drying out while cooking. Marinate them overnight in a mixture of oil and herbs to keep them moist and flavoursome.
15. Barbecues aren't just for savoury foods
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There are a whole host of desserts, which can be made on a barbecue. Marshmallow and strawberry kebabs and marshmallow and Nutella-filled banana skins are two the family are bound to love.
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