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7 ways for you to improve barbecue

This is a collaborative post.

Whether your culinary preferences lean more towards meat or veggies, you could have a lot to learn if you want to do a good job of grilling them on your barbecue this summer.

There are many dos and don’ts of effective BBQ grilling — and you can find a fair few of them in this article alone, enabling you to prepare a range of succulent food.

Be careful what barbecue you use

You might already have a barbecue ready and waiting to be used. Alternatively, maybe you are looking to buy one — and trying to choose between charcoal and gas barbecue grills.

Real Homes insists that “despite what expert barbecue cooks say, one isn’t necessarily better than the other — there are pros and cons for each.” For example, charcoal BBQs result in a smoker taste, but gas BBQs can be easier to use.

Buy a few accessories

You can probably recall past BBQ sessions when someone accidentally let a sausage slip between grills or flipped a burger over the barbecue’s edge.

However, you can counter the risks of similar mishaps occurring if, in advance, you buy a decent fish slice, a heavy-duty oven glove and a good pair of tongs.

Consider getting hold of a grill pan

This can be especially convenient for use in grilling veggies in large batches and would spare you the time-consuming job of having to skewer all of those food morsels instead.

Grilling pro, Jamie Purviance tells Better Homes & Gardens that using a grill pan in the process of grilling delicate fish fillets and small foods prevents them from falling through the cooking grate.

Wait for the flames to die down

The term ‘flame-grilled’ is very misleading — as, when using a barbecue, you shouldn’t actually start grilling until its flames have faded.

Any coals on your BBQ should be grey and glowing, as this would indicate that you have achieved an especially even heat.

Use your hand to test the temperature

The Jamieoliver.com website advises: “Hold your hand about 12cm/5inches above the grill and see how long you can hold it there comfortably (i.e. without screaming).”

If you manage six seconds, the heat is still relatively low. It would be a better sign if you reach four seconds, as the BBQ would evidently be of a medium level of heat.

Get the basics right when making a marinade

Those basics should include, as Purviance has explained to Better Homes & Gardens, “a little acid, like lemon juice, vinegar, or mango chutney; a little oil; and a whole bunch of good flavours. I usually start with a 1:3 ratio of acidity to oil like in salad dressings.”

However, avoid over-marinating

“When marinating, I recommend a relatively short soak for most foods — 30 minutes to two hours,” fellow grilling guru Elizabeth Karmel has also told Better Homes & Gardens, adding: “My rule of thumb is the smaller and more delicate the food, the shorter the soak.” Marinating food excessively can leave it too soft and mushy in texture.

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