Getting ready for barbecue season

barbecue season

It’s a great time of year to fire up the barbecue and get cooking outdoors

The days and nights are warming up and that can only mean one thing – it’s barbecue season.  But before you dust off the barbecue and get cooking, there are a few things you should do to prepare.

Here are my tips for getting ready for barbecue season

  1. Check you have gas. How many times have you run out of gas in the middle of cooking? To avoid having to run off to the servo while the family wait for a meal, check it now.
  2. Clean the plate. Buy a good scraper so you can clean it easily. To remove the fat and grime, heat the barbecue first then pour boiling water over the fat and wipe off with either paper towel or newspaper.
  3. Clean the drip tray. Replace the fat absorber as a drip tray filled with old fat is a potential fire hazard.

Once you have the barbecue cleaned and ready, follow my tips below for a tasty delicious meal every time

Barbecuing is a healthy way to cook

Cooking your meat on the barbecue allows the fat from the meat to escape through the grill, making it a healthy way to cook meat.

The best meats to barbecue

I always say lean is best, the less fat the better. Any meat tastes great cooked on the barbie, but the key to cooking a good piece of meat is to only turn it once. Men are inclined to stand at the barbie and with a drink in hand continuously turning the meat, making it become dry and tough. If you only turn it once it will be moist and tender.

The best cuts of chicken to barbecue

Thigh is very popular, but I prefer chicken breast as it is lower in fat, just be careful not to overcook it. Avoid cooking drumsticks or wings on the barbecue as they will burn on the outside and still be raw in the middle; these are best cooked in the oven.

Barbecued seafood

Seafood is great cooked on the barbecue. Prawns and scallops can be skewered and cook in just a few short minutes. Fish fillets are great wrapped in foil with a slice of lemon and seasoned with cracked pepper. To test when cooked, just open one of the foil parcels and if the flesh is white and separates easily with a fork it’s cooked. Read my 3 tips for perfect fish to learn more.

A delicious marinade recipe

When cooking on the barbecue, my suggestion is to avoid marinades that contain honey as these tend to burn very quickly. The following marinade is from my Marinated BBQ Steak recipe in book 4  and it works well for other meats too.

½ cup dry white wine

2 tablespoons no-added-salt tomato paste

3 tablespoons Pad Thai paste (in jar)

3 tablespoons red curry paste (in jar)

1 teaspoon crushed garlic (in jar)

1 teaspoon crushed ginger (in jar)

Combine all ingredients and pour over meat, cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.

My final tips

Fresh corn cobs are great – peel off the husk then place the cob on the open grill to cook, turn frequently, you may like to brush with a little Flora Light Margarine. Sliced vegetables are delicious barbecued and if you want a low fat fried onion then cook it on the flat top using cooking spray prior to cooking the meat, remove and keep warm while you cook the remaining food.

Looking for more inspiration? Here’s my healthy eating tips

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