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Top tips for a smashing barbecue

Student Life

With the weather finally turning its nice side to us, the barbecue season begins and so we have top tips that will win you the “MasterChef” title among your friends!

  • Plan well

To host a truly memorable barbecue, there is a lot of planning involved. You need to plan how much food you need, what kind of food you want to serve your guests but also check the weather and prepare some shelter in case it rains. Try to prepare as much as you can in advance, from food to drinks to decorations, in order to reduce stress on the day. Finally, remember to light the barbecue early enough as it might take a while until the charcoal is ready and you don’t want your guests to have to wait for their food for hours.

  • Marinate overnight

If you want irresistibly tasty meat and fish, you must start marinating the night before. Use olive oil, spices and condiments of choice (i.e. mustard, ketchup and hot sauce) to give your meat unique flavour. We also recommend making your own homemade marinade. Not only does it taste better than store-bought ones but you can also customise it to your liking.

  • Leave salt for last minute seasoning

There is an exception for the use of spices in the overnight marinade. Pepper will do fine overtime but leave salt be until the moment your meat is about to go on the barbecue. Only ever season with fine salt (not flaked sea salt as it will likely fall off on the grill) just before it goes over the flames to ensure your meat doesn’t lose valuable juices, which will then drip into your grill.

  • Let the meat lose its chill

It is recommended that after you’ve marinated your meat you take it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before you start barbecuing. This is to let the meat lose its fridge chill. This way you will avoid the meat burning on the outside when it is still raw in the middle and achieve a well cooked-through food.

  • Patience!

As Aesop said, “slow and steady wins the race”. We like to believe he was talking about barbecues as it is so true. Firstly, be patient with the flames and let them die down a little first before you start putting any food on it. Secondly, make sure to cook the meat (and fish) for long enough to make it tender and cooked all the way through (especially chicken).

  • Experiment

Barbecues don’t need to be just burgers and lamb koftas. Get creative and try some new recipes, be it a new marinade, a different type of meat or an interesting side dish. Give stuffed mushrooms a go or opt for chargrilled courgettes and aubergines. If you throw in an exotic salad and homemade sangria, you are guaranteed to win the prize for the best barbecue around!

  • Put some music on

Standing over the barbecue at all times is essential as you need to keep making sure nothing gets burnt whilst keeping the fire at an ideal state. Nevertheless, it can get slightly boring if all your friends are having fun at the table without you. Putting some music on will make time fly faster and maybe your barbecue party will even turn out into a spontaneous karaoke night!

  • Have fun!

Last but not least, spend some time with your guests and remember to have fun. With so many things to be managed around the barbecue, it can get stressful. Barbecue is still a social occasion though so don’t overstretch yourself, have some food and also some fun!

With our great top tips, we know you’re going to host a smashing barbecue this summer! So where is our invitation?! 

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