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!"
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.
5. Making the ultimate barbecue sauce
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."