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8 foolproof tips for a perfect Irish BBQ

Our window of opportunity is now. Let’s do it right.

FINALLY, THE SUN has appeared in Ireland and that means one thing.

A barbecue. A BBQ. Whatever you call it, a fine day around the country makes everyone want to grill it up outside. So, here are some tips to make the most of it:

1. Don’t cook meat straight from the fridge

BBQ Source: phalinn

Make sure it’s room temperature before you throw it on the grill. You want to be able to cook the inside of the meat without burning the outside, and the best way to do this is to have it at a consistent room temperature throughout.

2. You’ll really need two pairs of tongs

BBQ Source: Jun Seita

One for handling the actual food on the grill and the other to deal with the messy lumps of charcoal – if that’s what you’re using underneath. This way the pair of tongs for the food doesn’t get messed up by the coal or any other dirty job that needs doing with it.

3. Get a rack system going if possible

Canadian BBQ Source: Venture Vancouver

This means that you can control the temperature of the meat by moving them up and down away from the heat of the grill. Or, if you can’t get racks, just move the meat around the barbecue depending on which is the hottest area. If you leave them on the same spots, even when turning them, one area will burn and the other will be undercooked.

4. Preheat the grill for a some time before starting

Flame Grilled Source: curtis.kennington

The BBQ Life Facebook page says that it’s fairly important to have the grill piping hot:

If you’re going to get a good crust on your food and that lovely BBQ flavour, you need your barbie to be hot before you start cooking. This also helps if you’ve been a bit slack in the cleaning department.

So, no throwing it on just when the flames get going.

5. Prep the night before

BBQ 2011 Source: the_studios

If you’re planning ahead make sure to chop all the vegetables, marinate the meat and prepare anything else that doesn’t need to be cooked. Then you’re just left with the actual grilling on the night.

AllRecipes has a load of spectacular marinating options for you to choose from, depending on what you’re making.

6. Don’t just focus on the meat

Jaslyn and Masey's Salad Source: avlxyz

Yes, yes, meat and BBQ go together well, but getting in loads of sides will only improve the meal for everyone there. RealSimple has 16 easy side dish recipes that go very well with all barbecues.

 7. Always test for ‘doneness’

BBQ Sausage Source: Christopher Craig

Cut into the meat to see if it’s good to go. Don’t worry about losing any juices, it’ll be grand. For chicken, burgers and sausages this is obviously a very important test.

8. Let the steak rest for a little while after

Mother's Day Steaks Source: mamamusings

SeriousEats says to let the steak rest for 10 minutes after it’s done. This locks in the juices and distributes them more evenly. It’s tempting to tuck in straight away, but no. Not wise.


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About the author:

David Elkin

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