Turn up the heat…it’s BBQ season!
The summer is officially here so get out your grills and let’s BBQ. Here are some of our favourite tips and tricks for you to use so that you can host the best Caribbean BBQ of the year.
1. Got the right tools for the job?
To carry out a successful barbeque you’re going to want to ensure you’ve got the tools to do it. Safety is a top priority in any cooking situation so be sure to have some protective barbeque or oven gloves on hand to prevent any hand burning. For even more protection, get some long-handled tongs to keep your arm away from the fiery grill while cooking.
Other tools to consider relate to what it is you are planning to cook. If it’s fish, we’d suggest getting a grill basket. You might also want a temperature probe to ensure you don’t give anyone food poisoning! (Nothing will ruin your barbequing status more than people getting sick from your food)
2. Choosing your charcoal
Choosing your charcoal is very important since it can have an effect on the taste of your food, so be sure to pick one that will give you the best flavour. And if you’re feeling really fancy why not try adding a few soaked wood chips to enhance the flavour even more. Using oak or hickory wood chips will give your meat a nice smoked oak flavour, whilst apple wood chips will add a beautiful sweet taste.
3. Prep, prep and more prep
Preparing is arguably the most important step to having a successful barbeque. You’ll want to make sure that all the chopping, cutting, slicing and dicing as well as all of the marinating is done beforehand. But you’ll also want to ask yourself questions like; Have you got enough food for everyone? How are you keeping the raw and the cooked food separate? Keep yourself organised so things will (hopefully) run smoothly.
4. Marinating is a must!
If you don’t use a marinade, you’re doing it wrong! Using a marinade not only adds fantastic flavours but also keeps your meats tender and juicy. For optimum flavour infusion and tenderness, it’s best to marinate from the night before. Marinate your meat and leave it in the fridge overnight. And remember take the meat out of the fridge and get it to room temperature before grilling. Hold back some marinade to gently brush over the meat whilst cooking to enhance the flavour. And for some extra flavour tie up some herbs such as rosemary and thyme to use as a brush for the extra tasty food!
5. Patience is key
Patience is a virtue especially when it comes to the grill. Do not make the mistake of putting your food on the grill too soon after lighting the fire. It’s best to let the barbeque preheat to ensure proper searing and cooking. You’ll want to wait until the coal has turned white to start placing your chosen meats, fish or vegetables onto the grill.
6. It’s getting hot in here!
It is so important to get your grill to the right temperature for cooking. When barbequing we like to use both direct and indirect techniques for cooking. To do this you’ll want to pile up your charcoal on one side of the grill. This will create zones for different cooking temperatures. High heat for smaller cuts and searing, and low heat for the larger, slow-cooked meats. But try not to open the grill too much as this can affect temperature and cause flare-ups!
7. Perfect sides
Every Good BBQ be accompanied by a great selection of sides. And the great thing is that anything goes. Is a yummy potato salad and coleslaw your favorite? Or maybe you want to put together an elaborate side salad to really spice things up. And don’t forget to make use of your grill and make some classic corn on the cob or roast sweet potatoe!
8. Don’t forget the veggies
For the most part, a BBQ is a meat lovers paradise but that doesn’t mean we can skip on the vegetables. And let’s not forget the vegetarians out there that want to get involved in the BBQ season fun. Try grilling some halloumi or mushroom burgers (separately from the meat) for your vegetarian guests. Or incorporate some vegetable skewers for some variety. And for a sweet treat, why not grill up some fruit.
9. Rest Time
Once your food is grilled to perfection, don’t forget to let the meats rest for a period before serving. This will ensure that the meat is super tender and juicy. The bigger cuts of meat will inevitably need a longer time to rest. We recommend keeping the meat wrapped in some foil away from the grill.
10. Look good and have fun!
Dress to impress your guests. Nothing beats a well-dressed, confident host around the barbeque. Whether you’re manning the grill or tending to your guests the absolute most important thing (after safety) is to relax and have fun. Your BBQ should be an enjoyable experience for all. Laugh, make memories and eat good food!
For some of your Caribbean BBQ essentials head over to The Culture Club Shop. We have some amazing summer pieces. From T-shirts to Sliders, we have pieces for you to bring your guests a taste of sunshine. If you’re looking for a great marinade to use, take a look at the selection of authentic Caribbean sauces and marinades we have available at The Culture Club.
Give your guests some of that Caribbean flavour!