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 How To Have The Perfect Barbecue 
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Post How To Have The Perfect Barbecue
How To Have The Perfect Barbecue
by: Naomi MacKay

Gas or charcoal BBQ?

If convenience is a major factor, a gas barbecue is the best choice. If you like to get home from work and dine al fresco in the evening, a gas bbq is ready at the flick of a switch. But you will sacrifice some of that smoky flavour. However, if you only tend to barbie at weekends, when you have plenty of time to get the fire started, a charcoal barbie is the one to choose.

‘Green’ barbecues

Try to buy charcoal that is sourced ethically. According to Friends of the Earth, 40 per cent of the charcoal we use is linked to deforestation in the tropics. But you can buy FSC charcoal and charcoal that is sourced locally, rather than charcoal that is imported and has been produced in depleted rainforests. Lump charcoal is better than briquettes, which may have undergone chemical processing. Proper charcoal is carbon-neutral, because it puts back into the atmosphere the CO2 that the tree absorbed while it was alive.

Healthy eating

Keep all raw and cooked meats separate in the fridge before your barbecue. To check sausages and burgers are cooked through, pierce with a skewer and make sure the juices are running clear. Make sure frozen meat is thawed before cooking (unless the instructions say it can be cooked from frozen), and never refreeze it. Use separate utensils for raw and cooked food.

Go with a banger

If sausages are the main ingredient for your barbecue, it’s worth investing in some decent ones (as well as some meat-free ones for vegetarians). You could poach them in water first, before browning them on the grill, to avoid the risk of burnt offerings!

Add some flavour

If you’re marinading meats, do it overnight to allow the flavours to permeate the meat. And remember that leftover marinade should not be used as a dipping sauce as it has been in contact with raw meat. Make extra marinade to use like that. Fresh herbs can add flavour to any barbecue dish – grow your own and they’ll be at hand. Remember to brush food with oil before grilling, and have seasoning such as salt and pepper ready too.

The right aromas

Add chips of well-soaked wood such as mesquite, hickory or applewood to your barbecue coals. Fresh herbs can be sprinkled on the fire towards the end of the cooking time too.

Keep vegetarians happy

Don’t leave your vegetarian guests to skulk over by the pasta salad! There are some delicious alternatives to meat. Halloumi cheese doesn’t melt away, Use it instead of fish or meat on kebabs. (Soak wood skewers in water to prevent them burning!) Sweetcorn (in its husk) will cook in about 20-30 minutes.

Generous portions

People tend to eat more outside, so allow more food per person than you would for a dinner party. Make sure there are plenty of extras, such as salads, pasta salad and coleslaw. Be prepared with some desserts too. Fruit kebabs or bananas and maple syrup wrapped in foil are delicious on the barbecue. Keep a tub of soft-scoop ice cream ready in the freezer.

About The Author
Naomi MacKay is a freelance writer and editor who writes for, a one-stop shop for garden products including buildings, garden offices, barbecues, garden furniture and much more, delivered direct to your door. Garden Eco also offers useful information and tips on all aspects of gardening.

The author invites you to visit:

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Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:07 pm
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