Make the most of the bank holiday with Levi Roots’ top BBQ tips

Try plantain, mix up your charcoal and baste, baste, baste

Make the most of the bank holiday with Levi Roots’ top BBQ tips

Who's ready for a three day weekend? We're praying for sunshine so we can get the BBQ out and spend some quality time outdoors with family and friends.

To help us all make the most of any Bank Holiday sunshine, we've enlisted the help of Reggae Reggae sauce founder and all round BBQ expert, Levi Roots.

Here are Levi's top tips for making the most of your Bank Holiday barbie.

add flavour to your charcoal

Rather than reaching for that bag of briquettes you've been keeping in the shed since last summer, why not try something new?

"What you cook on will help to determine the final flavours in your BBQ banquet," says Levi.

"You could try adding wood shavings to your charcoal - sweet wood and pimento wood shavings are both widely available and give the meat a really smart flavour. It will really give your food a zing!"

invest in some STURDY UTENSILS 

You need some proper BBQ tools if you're going to have a successful cooking experience. 

Levi explains: "Everyone should invest in some safe, long tongs. You don't want to get burnt: long tongs give you great control over your meat from a safe distance, meaning you're also less likely to drop any between the bars."

use smaller pieces of meat

Nobody likes waiting around for their food - especially in the UK when it's sunshine and blue skies one minute and dark clouds the next.

Levi says: "Bigger cuts of meat take longer to cook, and you always risk the inside never being quite cooked through. Rather than opting for a spatchcock whole chicken or thick and dense breasts, choose smaller parts, like chicken wings, which take just minutes. Legs and thighs are other important and really tasty parts of the chicken and will cook quicker than the whole bird."

there's no need for hours of marinating

With Levi's Coat 'n Cook marinade, no prep is needed.

He says: "Sometimes you want something which is quick and really gives you the same flavour as if you were cooking something for 2-3 hours. This marinade gives you just that - you don’t sacrifice any flavour."

Simply pour over your desired meat, whether it's chicken, fish or ribs, and get cooking!

keep basting

Want to know how the top chefs keep their meat oh-so-tasty and juicy? Baste the meat while it cooks.

Levi says: "It’s a good idea to marinate and keep the flavours going by basting and adding back the flavours as they run off and out of the meat. It will add flavour and moisture back into the finished joint."


According to Levi, there's one specific vegetarian product which will help your barbecue stand out from the crowd...

"Plantain used to be something that people would have at the carnival once a year. But now it's in supermarkets too. You can barbecue it, cook it, fry it or boil it. Or put it in Reggae Reggae Sauce - that’s one of my go-to dishes. It’s a fantastic vegetarian option."

RICE AND PEAS are the ultimate side

"When it comes to Caribbean food, rice and peas is such a staple and goes with everything," says Levi.

"Curry goat, jerk chicken, oxtail or whatever it is you're doing - rice and peas make the perfect side dish for it all! A nice juicy chicken drumstick needs a bed of tasty rice and peas to sit on!"

You can make them by frying an onion, then adding rice, water and coconut milk before bringing to the boil. Then add kidney beans and seasoning and cook until soft. Easy peasy.

try a banana for dessert

Barbecues aren't just about all the glorious meats and savoury sides. Some desserts work really well on the grill, too.

Levi explains: ​"I love to grill fruits on the BBQ, like ripe bananas. Put the peeled, ripe banana on the grill, flavour it with some rum, butter, nutmeg and some vanilla. It tastes absolutely fantastic with clotted cream."

If you're cooking for kids, opt for our marshmallow, chocolate and caramel banana boats...

Feeling inspired to cook up a feast this bank holiday? Make sure you stock up on everything you need at Asda or pop into your local store