Need help with the barbie this summer? We've got ten top tips from two chefs used to firing up the coals.
Martin Gabler, South African Executive Chef at the Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel in Belgravia, specialises in seafood and grilled dishes, serving them on the terrace of his restaurant outside. He was named runner-up in the British BBQ Championships 2012.
Next is head chef at Chelsea Brasserie & Bar Simon Henbery, who is an ambassador for Welsh Lamb. His approach is to use only the best seasonal ingredients in his eclectic approach to modern cooking. He’s renowned for his amazing steaks.
Top 10 tips
1. Martin: Using a marinade when barbequing helps to tenderise the meat and retain the juices. I would recommend mixing up some ketchup, olive oil, Worcester sauce and a touch of Dijon mustard. Try to avoid using sweet ingredients such as honey as these tend to catch while cooking causing the meat to turn black in colour.
2. Simon: Move the grills away from the coals a little to allow for a slower, more gentle cook. Colour is not always flavour!
3. Martin: Pre-cook the meat in the oven when cooking large joints of chicken, and then finish the joints off on the BBQ. It ensures the chicken is nicely cooked through and stops the meat turning black.
4. Simon: Try some slower cuts like lamb shoulder with the bone out, and cooked long and slow over the coals.
5. Martin: To really add some flavour to fish dishes, slice half a lemon in half and grill it on the fleshy side for two to four minutes. It will give it a grilled flavour as well as making it juicier.
6. Simon: Marinade your meats for at least 24 hours before putting on the BBQ.
7. Martin: A great starter idea is barbecuing flat cap mushrooms. Grill them for two minutes on each side, before adding a spoonful of crumbled goats cheese and chopped sun blushed tomatoes on top of the mushrooms whilst still on the BBQ until they start to melt. Serve with a mixed salad and vinaigrette.
8. Simon: Make sure the BBQ is red hot and that the coals are going white before cooking on your barbecue.
9. Martin: I would recommend always using a probe when barbecuing to ensure that the meat is completely cooked through on both sides before serving.
10. Martin: Try frying a handful of green peppercorns and sliced lemons in a pan for two minutes, then add yoghurt to create a delicious marinade to use with chicken.
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