Planning on having friends round for a barbeque? Make sure you do it right by following our tips.
When taking your barbeque out of storage, be sure to give it a thorough clean before you get started. Hopefully you were good enough to give it the once-over before putting it away, but you should always give it (especially the grill) another scrub before lighting it into life for the coming season. A tough wire brush and hot soapy water should do the trick. Also, consider spraying the grill with oil before you start cooking; this will make it less prone to sticking. Especially if you’re using charcoal, prep your barbeque well ahead of the guests’ arrival. Picking at a couscous salad for two hours while the sausages cook is no fun.
Set the scene for your perfect barbeque by buying some new patio furniture, splashing out on some fairy lights or outdoor candles, and making sure you’ve got enough matching crockery and cutlery for everyone. Details like tablecloths and ice buckets all point to the fact you’ve made the extra effort. It’s also a nice touch to throw a few fresh herbs (such as rosemary and thyme) onto the coals before you start cooking the food. This creates a bucolic smell that will put your guests in a summery mood. The first barbeque of the season makes a great excuse to manicure the garden (after all you wouldn’t invite people round to dinner with a messy dining room). Cut the grass, trim the hedge, de-weed the pond, and hide away the kids’ toys in the shed.
Although it’s important there’s enough food for everyone, quality ingredients wins every time. Buy meat from the local butcher where possible. Also, when you’ve got something like chicken wings or kebabs, an overnight marinade makes all the difference in the world. Generally, if you’re putting a few pasta and salad options on the side, guests will only eat a few pieces of meat each. Make sure they’re über-tasty. Needless to say, provide one or two veggie options (for grilling, not just salads). It’s also nice to do something simple with fish (whole trout, prawn skewers).
What do you think makes the perfect barbeque? Let us know in the comments below!