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Do’s and Don’ts: Queen’s former chef shares top tips for perfecting a summer BBQ

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With lockdown restrictions easing and up to 30 people allowed to gather in private gardens, BBQs are a perfect way to enjoy summer. With warm weather just around the corner, one chef has shared his top BBQing tips – and he’s cooked for the Queen.

Barbecuing is extremely popular, especially in the summer months, as it gives a chance for family and friends to socialise while enjoying tasty food.

It is also relatively inexpensive and can be tailored to anyone’s dietary requirements.

BBQs themselves can also be picked up cheaply, and disposable ones are easy to transport and make cleaning up a lot quicker.

From sausages to chicken to burgers, you can also cook fish on them as well as vegetables.

Expert Jeff Baker, Executive Development Chef at Farmison & Co, has shared top tips on how to perfect your BBQ.

The chef, who has cooked for the Queen, explained: “Do prepare in advance, jot down a job list and be realistic about what you can achieve on the BBQ.

“Trying too many different items will end in failure, a great tip is to do one slow cook such as a Boston Butt or brisket which will go a long way once shredded and served with flat breads, salad and condiments.

“Then just choose one or two quick cook items to cook last minute when the drinks are flowing so you’re not missing out on the fun!”

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The expert also recommends investing in good quality tongs and heat resistant gloves to make the experience an easier process.

He added: “Do use a high grape lump charcoal which will burn both cleaner and longer and do use a chimney starter to get the charcoal fired up both quickly and evenly.”

When cooking meat on the BBQ, it is also important to make sure it is cooked through properly before serving.

This can be done by using a heat thermometer. 

Jeff said: “For controlled cooking use a meat thermometer, always probe the meat/poultry at the thickest point and remember the temperature will continue to rise once you stop cooking, can be as much as an addition 10 degrees on thick joins.

“For enhanced smoke flavour, add the natural hardwood at the start of the cooking process so that the smoke flavour permeates the meat or poultry.”

The Queen’s chef also explained how resting your meat in a warm place while being loosely covered can help it to relax and lock in all the tasty juices.

The time for resting should be accounted for when planning your summer BBQ and it is recommended to leave it for around five to ten minutes.

Jeff also shared some things that you shouldn’t do when barbecuing.

He said: “Don’t keep opening the lid, however tempted you may be, as this will lose temperature and create an inconsistent cooking temperature.

“Don’t apply sweet sticky marinade until the final stage of cooking as the sugar can burn easily and don’t place oil directly on the grill as it will flare, the oil will burn and taint the meat or poultry.

“Don’t forget the BBQ is also really good for summer vegetables and stone fruits.”

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