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our top bbq tips

May 25, 2021

Finally. Summer is here!

The sun is out and it must be BBQ season. Our grills are fired up all year round, but if you’re looking for a bit of inspiration for your BBQ at home, here are some of our top tips:

Kit

The big choice - gas or coal? It’s a balance on the reliability of the gas or the added smoky flavours that you get from coals. It’s a personal choice at the end of the day, but whichever you choose, make sure it’s fired up well in advance to get the grill nice and hot.

If you go for the gas, have areas of your grill at different heat levels so you can cook at the right temperature depending on what’s going on your BBQ. With coals, give them plenty of time to turn grey and glowing (you want them white hot) as this will give you the hottest and most even heat. Keep a section to the side without any coals underneath to have an area without direct heat!

And if you weren't convinced summer was ever going to come and haven't got the kit in time, don't sweat it. If you're desperate for the BBQ flavour, a disposable will do - but just be sure not to be too overambitious with these. A block of halloumi and a few peppers and it'll be pretty maxed out.

Drinks

Drink in one hand, tongs in the other. The sweet, smoky smell of summer wafting over the neighbourhood (making everyone else jealous). Life is good.

Hosting a BBQ can be pretty thirsty work - and it's easy to spend all day prepping and cooking without taking a break. Your guests may be happy chatting away with beers and nibbles, but don't forget about YOU! Whip up a quick cocktail and take a breather, you deserve it.

TOP TIP: Hosting a bbq? If you're providing the food, then get the guests to sort the booze! It's easy to make a big bowl of Reggae Rum Punch or Koko Kolada - just multiply the quantities in the recipes below by as many servings as you'd like!

Reggae Rum Punch

Koko Kolada

If you want the taste of Turtle Bay at Home, our cocktails are available on delivery or collection.

Food

Meat? Veggie? Fish? There is a huge choice you can go for, and a top tip is to not get too overwhelmed! If you're finding yourself spending far too long staring at the fridges in Tesco with no idea where to start, then go simple and stick to just one meat and one veggie choice. Burgers are a great shout - and a real crowd-pleaser. And is it even a BBQ if you don't have a block of halloumi?

Whatever you choose, a top tip is to give it enough time out of the fridge (around 20mins) before putting on the grill, as if it is too cold in the centre, the outside may well burn before the inside is cooked.

We’re big fans of marinades, as they not only flavour the meat or vegetables, but they also tenderise. Be extra prepared and marinate overnight where you can for maximum flavour. And the beauty of a marinade is that you can create something delicious without too many ingredients. In fact, some of the best come from substituting recipe ingredients out with what you have on your shelves or fridge.

One more tip when cooking marinated dishes, is to scrape off any excess marinade before you pop it on the grill, to stop it burning or flaring up, which gives a smoky bitter flavour. Save the excess and then brush on to the meat/veg/fish every 10mins as it cooks to add moisture, flavour and caramelise gently.

Check out our favourite – Jerk Chicken marinade recipe here.

Sides

These can make or break a BBQ - its’s ALL about the sides. The meat, fish or veg will be about a third of your plate, so what are you going to create to take it to another level?

Our favourites include: Festival Salad (rocket, butternut squash, shaved coconut, carrot and watermelon), , creamy slaw and a roti bread finished on the BBQ. But the beauty of sides is you can keep it low key or go as big as you want, the options are endless!

TOP TIP - just like booze, if you're hosting a BBQ for a group of mates, rope a few mates in to sort the sides. They're easy to transport and there's always supermarket coleslaw if all else fails!

Tunes

Last but by no means least – all good BBQs need a great soundtrack. Check out our summer and carnival playlists (and many more) on our Spotify page and bring some island party sounds to your garden.

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