Bbq with coals

7 tips to host the best barbecue ever

Want to get the barbie started? Chef and author Rich Harris tells us how

By Rebecca Shepherd, 26 April 2017
7 tips to host the best barbecue ever

Getting ready to clean off that layer of dust which has gathered nicely on your barbecue must mean it’s nearing summer, right?

"Barbecuing is about getting everyone around for a good time, having a bit of a feed and you should be able to enjoy yourself!"

We can already smell the mouthwatering scent of juicy sausages sizzling away on the barbecue and well-seasoned burgers charring to perfection on the grill. 

And who better to give us some top tips when it comes to barbecuing and getting your meat right every time, than chef and author of BBQ - Fire & Smoke, Rich Harris?

The 32-year-old from Brighton said: “For me barbecuing is about getting everyone around for a good time, having a bit of a feed and you should be able to enjoy yourself without slaving over the grill for the whole time.

“The results that you get from cooking over fire can be really special, those really lovely smoky flavours come through with meat, fish or vegetables.” 

We all love a barbie but getting it right isn't as easy as it looks. Picture this; cremated sausages and charred but raw chicken. To ensure you don't suffer any epic barbecue fails this summer, Rich has listed a few pointers to help you get it right. From choosing the right dessert to making the ultimate barbecue sauce, make sure you follow these tips. 

1. Cleaning the grill right

Rich said: "To clean your grill for the first time since last summer, cut a large onion in half, prong it onto a big fork and just keep rubbing it backwards and forwards over the hot grill to get rid of all the sticky bits. Then you can start cooking straight away with no nasty chemicals getting on your food."

2. Avoid the biggest mistake when it comes to barbecuing

Rich said: "The biggest mistake people make is trying to cook immediately on a barbecue – particularly when using charcoal grills. You need to stick to a 30-minute rule. Light your barbecue, get your meat out of the fridge, wait half an hour and then your coals will be ready and your meat will be ready to grill.

"Also - don’t leave a piece of meat sitting in the same position on the grill, turn it over and move it around to stop it charring."

3. Choosing the right craft beer

Rich said: "Brewdog beers are good, the lovely thing about crafts beers is they tend to be heavily hopped and you get these big, citrusy flavours so they match up to strong-flavoured barbecue food quite well."

4. Making the best barbecue dessert

Rich said: "Make sure you’re armed with a dessert! Even if it’s just ice-cream or those lovely big American marshmallows, after all of that rich, smoky food everybody’s palates turn to something sweet.

"Or, chuck on a couple of whole bananas wrapped in foil, I like to cut them open and shove some chocolate in. Sliced up Mars Bars work well." Try our delicious chocolate banana parcels here.

5. Making the ultimate barbecue sauce

Rich said: "Mix equal parts of French’s Classic Yellow Mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise. It's really nice!"

6. How to get that smoky flavour

Rich said: "If you want that really lovely smoky flavour, add some smoke chips to your barbecue. Soak them in water for 15 mins first so they smoulder rather than burn and then sprinkle a layer on top of your charcoals, or wrap in tin foil with holes poked in the top and leave on the grill with the lid shut.

7. Essential kit to buy

Rich said: "You need a long handled fork and a good pair of tongs, because it allows you to control the food easily; the stronger the better. Marinades that include honey or syrup really stick to the grill, so a good, solid wire brush is essential for cleaning. A barbecue thermometer is also a great bit of kit particularly if you’re cooking something like poultry or pork."

Feeling barbecue ready? Make sure you head over to Asda to stock up on everything you'll need or pop into your local store