It can be hard to find the time to fire up the BBQ as much as you would like. If you look back over the last year, have you really barbecued as much as you would have liked to? Whether you ran out of inspiring recipes, life got a little too busy or the weather just wasn’t right, there are plenty of reasons why it didn’t happen but here are 5 tips to help you BBQ more this year.
1. Have dedicated BBQ meals every week
Have you ever heard someone say “Saturday nights are Curry night”? Well why not have one or two nights in the week that are BBQ night? We have pizza night on Wednesdays when we throw the pizza stone on the grill and make pizzas from scratch. Pick something that the whole family loves, is quick to prepare and decide that one night a week you are going to fire up the BBQ and cook it. When we got tired of eating pizza every week we changed it to burger nights. We made our own burger patties, cooked them on the BBQ and then the entire family build their own ideal burger. The great thing about these two options is that everyone can choose what toppings they want on their pizzas or what fillings they want in their burger so it keeps everyone interested!
The traditional Sunday roast is another great meal to move out to the BBQ. Most people have a little more spare time at the weekend so plan a roast dinner with all the trimmings and cook as much of it on the BBQ as possible. There is real satisfaction in serving a roast beef dinner complete with Yorkshire Puddings and saying to yourself “I cooked it all on my barbecue!”
2. Make it easy to fire up the grill
You will decide to put something in the oven if it is easier than setting up and lighting the barbecue. You may have your grill packed away in your garage or it’s under a cover in your yard with 6 bungee cords wrapped around it to stop the cover ending up in the next door neighbour yard. I don’t know anyone who would go through the hassle of unpacking all that just to cook 6 sausages! My grills sit out 365 days a year and the one’s I use most often don’t have covers. If you’ve bought a quality grill then it shouldn’t need a cover! Set them up as close to the house as possible so it is as easy to step out your back door and fire it up as it is to turn on the oven.
3. Invite Friends and Family over
Do your parents have a milestone birthday coming up? A close friend just got a new job? Excellent! Everyone over to my house this weekend for a barbecue to celebrate. Take any chance you can to cook up a feast. If someone calls you to ask you out to dinner, suggest they come over to your house for a barbecue. Cooking for big groups of people gives you a chance to try out multiple recipes or even try larger cooks like brisket which would otherwise be too much for two or three people.
This also has one other benefit. You get that little buzz from everyone complimenting the food and saying things like ” I had no idea you could do that on a BBQ” and that buzz alone gives you the enthusiasm to BBQ more!
4. Develop your own signature rubs or sauces
There are so many different sauces, rubs and seasonings out there you could probably never use the same one twice and when you start out with barbecue, they are a great way to learn about matching flavours with meat. As you develop your own taste you can start to tweak other recipes to make them more personal to you. The best way to fine tune these personal recipes is to use them over and over again until you have the balance of flavours just right. You will then have a rub or sauce with a mix of flavours that is unique and you will have cooked a lot of BBQ in the process.
5. Make a BBQ Bucket List
This one is a pretty simple idea but it really works! You may have a number of recipes that you would love to try but have never got around to it. You may simply have a recipe that you want to perfect. Write them all down in a list and start knocking them out one by one. Not only does this give you the encouragement to try something new but you will learn a ton of new skills along the way. It may take a few attempts to perfect a recipe but each time you do it you will get better! This is one that I can’t wait to try out this year and share my progress with you all.
I hope some of these tips are helpful to you and give you the encouragement to BBQ more in 2017. Barbecue isn’t just for sunny summer days! It’s a year round way of life that anyone can be a part of. You just need to get outside and do it!
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