I had high hopes for the British summer this year. We seemed to have some cracking weather before the kids broke up but since its been a bit of a mixed bag really. Last week alone I think we doubled the usual rainfall for July.
However, first sign of sun and its time to fire up the BBQ for me! We can’t grill as much as we’d like in the UK, so when we do get the weather, it is best to take full advantage. You just can’t beat the taste of BBQ fish, meat and veg.
Lazy Susans top BBQ Tips and Trends
It is easier than ever before to get high quality grills at affordable prices, and as an industry, the manufacturers have brought a raft of innovations to assist and enhance the BBQ experience.
So with that said, here’s some of Lazy Susan’s favourite BBQ tips and trends for summer 2015. Get them in and get ready to fire up the grill next time we get a bit of sunshine.
Grilling vs. BBQ
This isn’t so much of a tip, more just something I wanted to clarify with our readers. I have to hold my hand up and say I use both words and I think its fair to say that many Brits don’t know the difference.
When you BBQ you’re cooking low and slow in a closed unit with the heat and smoke circulating around the food. Think of those Texas smokehouse places you see on programs such as Man vs Food and Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.
Grilling on the other hand is cooking with the lid up and direct heat on the bottom, instead of all around the food So in other words you would grill your burgers, sausages, steak or fish, and you would BBQ your brisket, ribs etc. Does that make sense? The video below explains this way better than I can…
The Social BBQ
Have you ever been to one of those Japanese restaurants where they grill your food in front of you? Well this is the home BBQ version of that.
If you’ve got the room and a nice big outdoor dining table like our 6+ seaters, then this is the trend for you.
Lakeland have this fab Social Grill (pictured above), which is basically a large rectanglar table top grilling tray. The sociable way to barbecue food, where all your guests get to cook exactly what they want.
The heat-resistant tray protects your outdoor table, its large enough to cater for up to 6 people and is constructed from durable carbon steel. You can buy it now from their website.
I guess this is where I was heading with the Grill vs. BBQ debate. Grilling is easy, you can get what you need from the local supermarket or DIY store. Real BBQ is a little more tricky.
With the A-Maze-N-Tube (shown above) you can get that Texas BBQ taste with the need to install a large smoker in your back garden. It is incredible, making your BBQ food taste fantastic, and giving meat, veg or fish a lovely smokey char.
The video above shows it in action, but basically the 6″ tube (A-Maze-N also do 12″ and 18″ tubes) produces authentic wood tasting smoke for up to 2 hours on your gas or charcoal grill. They’re supplied pre-filled with 6oz of Pitmasters Choice Pellets.
BBQ Grill Shish Kebob
How about the above for a bit of serious kit. This Shish Kabob Rotisserie Grill from the fantastically named Kabob-E-Que cooks everything from Souvlaki, Churrasco, Shashlik, Rotisserie and of course Shish Kabob!
It features two levels of automatically rotating skewers as well as a high quality porcelain grill for conventional grilling of burgers etc. With a super silent heavy duty 9 watt motor for rotating the food, you can also shut the lid turning the grill into a smoker too.
Beef ribs are the new spare ribs
If you want to get serious about your BBQ, then you need to know your ribs. You need to know the difference between your Baby Back and your Spare. By slow-cooking, smoking, marinating and adding spices to your ribs you can increase the tenderness and max the taste.
The spare ribs are taken from the belly area and are generally less meaty than baby back ribs, which come from from the upper and lower back area of the spine and ribs. The baby back ribs are generally smaller, but are usually much meatier than spare ribs.
However, the big trend in recent years is to opt for beef over pork. Short Ribs, to give beef ribs their correct nom de plume, are a rib portion along with a cut of chuck too. You get a lot more meat, which after all is what you want, plus they taste incredible!
Jamie Oliver has a great recipe over on his website and you can even do them in the oven if the weather is spoiling the party.
Say goodbye to flare ups and waiting for the flames to die down, this is the future of BBQ grilling, Infrared Grills are the latest BBQ buzzword.
They’ve been around for many years, especially for commercial use, but only now are prices dropping closer to the level of a top end gas BBQ, and domestic models are hitting the high street.
Think of it as the Microwave of outdoor cooking if you like. They use powerful burners to directly heat the food. They heat up fast, delivering even heat over the entire surface, and with their low air circulation they lock in moisture and enhance the flavour of your food.
And if you’re going Infrared, then Char-Broil is the Aston Martin of Infrared Grills. Their Performance T-36G (pictured above) with TRU-Infrared is a three-burner gas barbecue with side burner, perfect for both leisurely weekend cookouts or quick family dinners during the week.
Grilled pizza has been around for a long time. What is new is the recent market explosion of specialist accessories specifically designed for cooking pizza on a BBQ.
From pizza stones that give you that authentic Neapolitan crisp thin crust you get from a wood-burning pizza oven to dome-shaped pizza oven grill attachments that turn your BBQ into a wood-burning oven.
You can even now purchase free-standing portable gas-fired pizza ovens like the Pizzacraft Pizzeria Pronto (shown in the video above). This amazing outdoor pizza oven can hit temperatures of 700 degrees in as little as 5 minutes.
I’m sorry but my life is complete. I’m off to buy a Pizzacraft Pizzeria Pronto. Here’s hoping we get a decent summer 2015 and you can check out more barbecue tips and tricks over on our Pinterest board!