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Be a BBQ king

Now that the weather is as cold as it gets, its time to crank out the BBQ's and get back to nature, just you, meat and fire. Discussing the intricacies of correct cooking may not be the manliest of pastimes, but when it involves barbequing, it rarely gets manlier. (Get it? Rarely? Nevermind.) Whip on that ‘Mumma's Chef' apron and show your friends exactly how hunter-gatherer you can be.

Gas, Charcoal, or portable?
First of all you need to decide whether you want to gas, charcoal or portable. If you're out camping and couldn't quite fit in the drum BBQ then use a portable, but this is about the only time they should be used, although they're convenient, they cook badly and taste worse. If you're a no nonsense chef who likes his meat exactly right, as fast as possible, with as little fuss as possible then get a gas BBQ. Although why not just do it on the cooker indoors? No. The real man's BBQ must be charcoal, full of authentic, wood fire, smoky flavour and what's more you get to build your own fire!

Build it and light it.

There are some absolute rules when it comes to fire building, and they are as follows:

1) Make sure you have plenty at charcoal, least a bag for every three people eating, lighter fluid and matches.
2) Make a pyramid shape out of the charcoal, and douse it with lighter fluid, and let it soak for 2 minutes.
3) Light a match, throw it in, and watch the show.
4) Once the briquettes are covered in white ash, about half an hour, spread them evenly over the bottom of the barbecue.
5) Place the grill on the barbecue and turn the coals periodically while cooking.

Get the basics right
There are three basics types of food to any BBQ - Steak, chicken, burgers. It's important to be able to get these down before moving on to more adventurous tastes like prawn or fish.

1) Marinate the raw steaks for at least 2 hours in the sauce of your choice in the fridge (e.g teriyaki, BBQ, red wine)
2) Add them to a hot grill, they should sizzle when they go on.
3) Cook 5-10 minutes each side. Rare steaks may be tasty, but they're not very good for you.
4) Only add sauces and toppings (BBQ glaze, etc) two minutes before removing the steaks.

1) If it's a full chicken, make sure it's dead and plucked, and put it on to a medium-hot grill, i.e. not too much sizzle.
2) It has to be cooked well, so at least 35-40 minutes. Even if it's cutlets, give them half an hour, turning every 10 minutes.
3) In the last 10 minutes, add any glazes or sauces, then remove and serve (cut into the thickest part of the meat, and the juices should be clear.)

1) Make your own burgers from fresh mince (maybe add some chopped onions) and form into 0.5-inch thick patties.
2) Add to medium-hot grill, a bit of sizzle, but not much, and cook 5-7 minutes each side, darkening each side, but not letting them burn.
3) Do not press the burgers with your spatula to squeeze juices out, it dries the meat and sticks them to the grill

In Season... Avocado
The season for creamy sweet, rough-skinned Hass and subtle-tasting smooth-skinned Fuerte avocados has now started. Both can be transformed into fantastic salads and salsas with minimum effort. Serve them sliced in a mixed leaf salad with mango and other fresh fruit. Handle avocados carefully to prevent bruising and store at room temperature. They're ripe when they yield to a gentle pressure.

Everybody's eating... Duck Crepes
Tasty and classy, these are the choice of the month for all hardened restaurant-goers. Served ready made or even build them yourself adding your own ingredients to personalise them.

Hot Tip
Rub half a lemon over the grill before you cook, adds taste and stops sticking.

Source: Arabian Man
Posted: 26/06/2008

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