Here at create, we love nothing better than a BBQ.
During the summer months we can be found at some of our favourite venues grilling, charring and spit roasting. We love it so much that our new venue Cannon Bridge Roof Gardens is dedicated to the great British 'barbie'. As we speak the trusty create BBQ is being hoisted up (by crane!) to it's new home above the station, in preparation for tonight's Cannon Bridge Roof Garden Summer Launch.
In honour of our exciting new project we thought we should share with you some of our tips, ideas and general BBQ expertise ahead of the big event.
We never thought we would say it but BBQing isn't all about meat. Fish and particularly shellfish are a great alternative; what could be nicer than a half
lobster and crab claws basted with lots of delicious flavoured butter, or scallops cooked in the shell giving off salty toasted sand aromas.
Grilled cheese is always a winner, but try thinking beyond haloumi. Why not bake some feta or goats cheese in a tin foil parcel with oregano and lemon juice.
Or how about baking a whole wheel of brie in it's wooden box studded with garlic, thyme and honey (just remember to soak the wooden box first, I have known people to soak it in white wine but water does just as well!)
A delicious homemade marinade is a marvellous thing, you ideally want to marinade overnight but avoid using:
extra virgin olive oil - it will burn at a lower temperature and produce a lot of
smoke, use a light olive or vegetable oil and save the extra virgin for your vinaigrette or dressings
citrus fruits - will break down the proteins of the meat and dry it out although a good squeeze over the meat during cooking is a better option, you can always rub the grill with half a lemon once the grill is hot, this will also remove any grease, add some flavour and hopefully stop the meat from sticking!
be adventurous - try using a few unusual flavours in your marinades, buttermilk tenderises meat and hold spicy flavours really well, but just don't pack too much punch, you want to be able to taste the meat not mouth fulls of marinade!
3. GETTING STARTED
BBQ'ing is still cooking! You're best to have someone at the BBQ who can cook rather than a have-a-go hero, if they can't cook inside they shouldn't be cooking outside!
Try putting some fresh herbs on the BBQ coals. Sage, rosemary and thyme work particularly well and will give off amazing smells as well as imparting a
flavour into the food. You can always throw on some soaked wood chips to impart a smokey flavour to the coals if you aren't using wood.
Don't use lighter fluid, it will taint the food you are grilling!
Try not to overload the BBQ, you run the risk of the food steaming rather than caramelising!
Don't prod, poke, turn frequently or flatten the meat with your BBQ tools, although it may look good or like you are doing something beneficial, it actually just forces the juices out of the meat and reduces the likeliness of an all over golden crust. Just put the meat on, turn once or twice during the cooking and sit back with a glass of Pimms.
You don't just have to use the grill, you can use the coals or wood embers. Wrapping vegetables like potatoes in heavy duty tin foil and placing around the edge of the fire will allow you to concentrate on getting everything else cooked to perfection (or making that special glass of Pimms.)
Time to go condimental; no BBQ is complete without an array of sauces.
Here at create we like to do things ourselves from making our own BBQ sauce using left over coca cola, to roasting apples until soft and sweet for hog roasts.
Even the humble chicken thigh will taste amazing with some herby homemade mayonnaise.