With the sun high in the sky, white washing drying on the line and bumble bees buzzing about on a breeze that smells of freshly cut grass, it can only mean one thing…it’s time for a barbeque! If yours is gathering dust in the garden shed, why not wipe it down and invite your friends and family for dinner? All you’ll need is a well-stocked fridge, a can-do attitude and these seven fool proof tips from the Sophie Allport team…
- First, check the weather. While a blue sky is undoubtedly your best bet, a little bit of drizzle has never deterred a single member of the Sophie Allport team from a devouring a hotdog! Simply pop your barbeque in an area that’s sheltered from the elements, and stay safe by keeping flickering flames away from flammable material; you’ll have a blast come rain or shine!
Next, prepare dishes that need marinating. Here at Sophie Allport, we love Boston sausages cooked on a smokey coal barbeque (in fact, Boston Sausages are Sophie’s favourite!), but we like to add some spice to our dinners too. So, why not marinade some chicken or salmon ahead of time, serving up a refreshing salad on the side to cool down tingling tongues? We’d bring out plates of crunchy leaves and juicy raw veggies with heaps of tasty crisps and dips (served in our nibbles bowls, of course!).
Prepare your dining area. As everyone knows, barbeques are best eaten outdoors. So, clear the decking, sweep away the cobwebs and dress the table in a Sophie Allport table runner to make it feel like a real party. We also recommend making sure there are cushions and blankets on hand, as well as bug repelling candles to make sure your guests are comfortable enough to continue feasting after the sun has gone down.
- Next, pop your drinks in the fridge or freezer. Our (not very scientific) survey of the Sophie Allport office concludes that a jug of Pimms is almost mandatory for a British barbeque, as is chilled white wine and bottles of beer to wash down those sticky barbeque ribs. Don’t forget to make some drinks for the kids too, using juice, crushed ice and novelty umbrellas to make it feel special for everyone!
- Then, get the barbeque scorching hot. There’s plenty of debate among the Sophie Allport team as to whether gas or coal is better (and we suggest throwing dried herbs onto hot coals if you’re not using gas as they’ll give a subtle but delicious flavour to your burgers), but there’s no doubt that the smell of roasting meat is irresistible either way. Not sure your barbeque is hot enough? Hold your hand approximately 15cm away from the grill and see if how long you can keep it there. Anything longer than a couple of seconds suggests it’s too cool to cook on.
Next, cook your ‘higher risk’ meats (such as chicken and pork) first, giving them plenty of time to cook all the way through. Follow up with any fish and vegetables. We love veggie skewers and simple aubergines and courgette slices.
- Finally, set up a music player with a catchy playlist and organise some garden games for the kids. In our experience, this kind of atmosphere is perfect for creating the perfect summer barbeque!
Let us know if you have any good BBQ tips.