BBQ season is in full swing now! Which means men everywhere are donning their aprons, grabbing the kitchen utensils and heading into the garden to cook up a feast.
As much as we men like to think of ourselves as BBQing experts, some of us just aren’t. To help you avoid any BBQ related drama throughout the summer, we’re going to be providing you with some valuable advice on how to cook on a BBQ and provide your friends and family with the best BBQ they’ve ever had.
Thermapen are the creators of ultra-fast and reliable digital food thermometers that are ideal for using to ensure safe and delicious cooking and they’ve teamed up with BBQ guru Richard Hanson to provide the nation with some top BBQ cooking tips.
Pre-Heat the BBQ
The cooking process starts far before your food hits the grill. So to become the ultimate BBQ cooking king, you need to familiarise yourself with pre-heating the BBQ.
You wouldn’t put food straight in the oven or under the grill without giving them chance to warm up first, would you? So why would you throw your burgers on the BBQ without giving it chance to reach temperature?
Richard recommends leaving your BBQ for at least 10 minutes before you put any food near it as this will help burn off any dirt and sterilise the grates and will bring the BBQ to the right temperature for cooking and ensure it stays at that temperature.
Cook Your Meat from Room Temperature
No one wants food that’s burnt on the outside and raw on the inside which can easily happen if you pull your meat straight out the fridge and pop it straight on the BBQ but by leaving your meat to come to room temperature first, you can help avoid this.
Richard suggests meat should be left to climatize for 30-40 minutes before cooking and explains how this will help the meat cook faster but stay tender.
250˚C is the Golden Temperature
It’s tempting to get the BBQ as hot as humanly possible and attempt to cook food as quickly as you can but according to Thermapen, 250˚C is the golden number when it comes to BBQs.
Not too hot and not too cold, grilling at this temperature should cook your food in perfect time whilst still giving you the control to keep food tender and avoid over colouring and burning on the outside before the inside is cooked.
Different Tools for Raw and Cooked Food
According to a survey conducted by Thermapen, 80% of people do not know the correct minimum temperature for cooked chicken (74˚C for anyone wondering) but we’re pretty confident in saying that everyone knows touching food such as raw chicken with a utensil and then touching cooked food with the same one is going to cause problems.
Although some of these top BBQing tips have been about taste, this one is about health and hygiene and Richard stresses how using different tools for your raw and cooked food is key to a safe and successful BBQ!
Whether you get different coloured utensils, add some coloured tape to the handle of one to make it stand out or simply move the raw utensils once used, so you can’t get mixed up, make sure you find a way to separate them.
Rapeseed Oil Could be the Answer to Avoiding That Burnt Taste
You can try and call it a ‘smoky flavour’ but we all know what burnt food tastes like and it just isn’t nice and no matter how much you play it cool, it wasn’t the result you were aiming for.
According to Thermapen’s top tips, using rapeseed oil to baste your food and oil your grill is better than using other oils such as olive oil as it has a higher burning point and is less likely to give your food that burnt taste as it is less likely to catch and burn.
Keep a Food Thermometer on Hand
As well as not knowing the correct temperature for cooked chicken, 80% of the people that took part in Thermapen’s research didn’t know the right temperature for a cooked burger either, which is 70˚C, so whether you want to avoid undercooked or overcooked food, having a good thermometer on hand is the answer.
The Thermapen is a digital thermometer which makes it super easy to read and thanks to the Superfast range, you can know pretty much instantly whether your food is ready for serving. BBQ legend Richard Hanson lives by the motto ’75, Stay Alive’, to determine whether meat is thoroughly cooked through and an enjoyable temperature for eating.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve not got the best record for BBQing, using these tips is sure to help you turn things around and become an expert at al fresco cooking.
Have you got your own top tips for preparing the ultimate BBQ? Let us know on Twitter or Instagram!