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Barbecue; Tips for British-type

1. Always light the charcoal about 45 minutes before you want to start cooking (or 10 minutes for a gas model).

2. It"s easier lighting charcoal with gel or fire lighters - follow the instructions on individual packets.

3. When the coals begin to glow red, spread them evenly over the base nd leave them for about a further 20 minutes.

4. Start cooking when the flames have died down and the coals are under a thin layer of grey ash.

5. To prolong the cooking time, add fresh coals around the hot ones. Don"t put them on top, because this will kill off the heat.

6. Make sure that frozen food has completely thawed before cooking, and keep everything covered and out of the sun.

7. Poultry and pork, in particular, must be thoroughly cooked (even if this means "cheating" and partially cooking it earlier in the day. If you do this, return it to fridge temperature until you wish to finish the cooking process. If you"re worried about whether meat is cooked, pierce it at its thickest point with a sharp knife, and ensure that the juices are clear and not pink.

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards.

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