A BBQ is a great occasion for family and friends to gather but often, it feels like a typical dinner done outdoors with frozen meat simply heated up with charcoal. Fret not! Creating the perfect BBQ is not rocket science – a few tips and tricks are all you need.
Themes will add an extra splash of camaraderie to the table. Akin to a sports team wearing jerseys, dressing up in a thematic attire will create a sense of community especially if it is a large group. Just make sure that it suits the occasion — no one wants to wear a suit in the middle of a hot day right in front of the grill! What’s more, a theme meaningfully narrows down the menu options and decor, helping you focus on quality, not quantity.
Not all of your guests are talkers. Some prefer to chill at the side, watching their loved ones in their company. Others prefer the small talk while being mostly engaged with a game, be it board games or sports. Getting a variety of entertainment options will surely fit the bill — horseshoe and darts are perfect for the outdoors without requiring the players to sweat too much. If you have children and you want to keep them occupied, water guns and foam Frisbees have proven to keep them busy.
So what makes a good BBQ a memorable one? Food. Delicious food. The simplest change can make significant differences to the BBQ experience.
There are two main types of charcoals, lump wood and briquettes. Lump wood is made by slowly and carefully burning wood pieces without oxygen till the natural chemicals, moisture and saps are out of the wood. This leaves us with less harmful charcoal that burns less carbon, leaves very little ash and burns hotter than briquettes. On the other hand, briquettes are made from saw dust, wood left overs and additives to hold them together. For a great BBQ experience, always choose lump wood charcoal. Furthermore, you can add wood chips such as alder and fruit woods to add a hint of fruitiness or oak and hickory for a more distinct smoke flavor.
It is best to preheat the grill before the cooking begins. Give yourself enough time to heat the charcoal till they are white, not when they are still red and flaming. When they are all white, an easy way to gauge the heat is to place your hand about 12 cm above the grill and count the number of seconds you can hold there comfortably — 6 seconds for low heat, 4 for medium and 2 for high. If you need a combination of heat settings, use the half-half method where you put the charcoal only on one side of the grill to keep the other side less hot.
To keep the meat juicy, avoid pressing the meat and using the fork to flip them. Use a spatula or tong and limit the flips to only once per item. Once the juices are out, they are gone for good so keep them where they should be — in the meat and into your tummy.
Whatever you have prepared for a great BBQ will be limited by the quality of the meat you are grilling. Obviously, the higher the grade of the meat, the better. But what makes them command their higher prices? An example is the Prime Steer Beef. When compared to the other 6 grades of beef, this grade of meat will have an abundance of marbling in its thick cuts, optimally covered with creamy white fat. When eaten, they melt in your mouth and you will be begging for more.
But at the end of the day, what makes a great BBQ is great company. Gather up your best mates, bring them round the table and simply enjoy the precious few hours together away from the hustles and bustles of the city.