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Tips for hosting a brilliant summer barbecue

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26 May 2016 | Lifestyle

Summer is here - so invite your friends over, dust off the barbecue and get it firing on the patio.


Here's our top five tips to help you become the host with the most.


1. Make the most of marinades

Coat chicken and steak in a marinade the night before and refrigerate for the best flavours.

There are plenty to choose from in the shops, or make your own - pepper, teriyaki and honey are some of the flavours which will bring a bit of zing to meat.

You could also follow this simple recipe to create your own barbecue sauce.


2. Be prepared

Prepare all of your salads and sides before lighting the barbecue - it will save you rushing about, and will mean that everything will be ready to serve at once.

Any frozen meat to go on the barbecue should be defrosted thoroughly, while chilled meat should be stored in the fridge until it is about to go on the grill.


3. Think beyond burgers

... and sausages or chicken. Of course, meat is a staple of any barbecue, but you can be creative - fish is great for barbecuing if it is placed in tinfoil. 

Corn on the cob is delicious chargrilled, while stuffed peppers, marinated skewered vegetables or marinated spiced potatoes cooked in tinfoil will all grill nicely.


4. Don't rush it

Barbecuing is all about timing, so don’t get caught up in the term flame-grilled - wait for up to half an hour after lighting, until the charcoal is grey and glowing, before you cook.

This will ensure the food will cook properly - starting too soon will mean your food will be overcooked on the outside and may not be properly cooked inside.


5. Make sure your food is cooked

The last thing you want to do is serve anyone undercooked food - so before serving, pierce the meat right through to check it is cooked throughout and the juices are running clear.

When cooking fish, press a fork against the skin - if it flakes away, it’s ready to eat.


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