Everyone loves a good barbecue, but if greasy burgers and burnt sausages topped with lashings of Heinz ketchup is not your idea of edible food, why not impress your friends (and your taste buds) with a 5-star gourmet barbecue instead?
1. Quality is King
You can ruin a good burger by overcooking it, but you can’t make a burger taste great that is low quality to start with. The basics of any gourmet meal are first class ingredients.
It will also make your job easier if you don’t have to obsess over creating gourmet flavours with fancy toppings and sauces, you’ll be able to let the raw ingredients speak for themselves!
When buying time comes around, skip the supermarket and head straight to your local butcher for some fresh slabs of beef or some freshly-ground mince to make your deluxe burgers, then go on to pick up vegetables for your salad at a local farmer’s market or greengrocer.
Hint: Sniff tomatoes before you buy them! No matter how red and juicy they look, if they don’t smell of anything they won’t taste of anything either.
2. Leave Plenty of Time
Nothing ruins fine dining like a bit of rushing and panicking. For a truly gourmet get-together, plan your barbecue well in advance so there’s time to recover if things go wrong.
If the store doesn’t have any bread buns left over on the morning of your barbecue you’re pretty screwed, but go shopping a couple of days before and there will always be ‘tomorrow’ to make another trip.
When it comes to marinating, timing is crucial – adding a delicious sauce to those chicken wings right before they hit the grill is fine for an amateur, but when you’ve left the meat in a pool of marinade for a good twelve hours and the flavours have really soaked in, now that’s a true gourmet flavour to die for!
3. Be Adventurous
Have you ever gone to a Michelin-star restaurant and ordered fish ‘n’ chips? There is a time and a place for ‘junk’ food and your wannabe gourmet barbecue certainly isn’t it.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with foods you wouldn’t normally put on your gas BBQ such as salmon fillets in place of burgers, asparagus stems as a side and grilled fruit kebabs as a unique dessert to finish on, yum.
4. Invest in the Best
‘A bad workman blames his tools’ and in this case rightly so!
A cheap barbecue is fine for a bit of family fun in the park, but it’s not going to give you those mouth-watering flavours that a high quality barbecue can.
Weber barbecues are some of the best, and remember that by investing in quality you’re getting yourself a barbecue you can use for years to come, not just this summer. If you’re using a coal barbecue, add some special barbecue wood chips to add that smoky, woody flavour back into your cooking.
I’d like to tell you that if you follow these tips nothing can go wrong, but this is a barbecue we’re talking about – whether it’s because the rain has come or you run out of beer, remember that things very rarely go exactly to plan.
But that’s also part of the fun, so sit back, relax and enjoy your barbecue like you should be doing, and the food will be delicious!
Do you have any gourmet barbecue tips of your own you’d like to share with me?
About the Author: Estelle Page is a self-employed interior designer on a mission to make the world a prettier place to live in, one home at a time. Inspired by antique homes and the great outdoors, it’s her passion to help every person to find that perfect balance between aesthetics and functionality in their own home. She’s also a keen DIYer and gardener with an interest in eco-friendly, green design.