Why do I love BBQ
If you haven’t already gathered yet I love to BBQ. When I talk to friends and colleagues about BBQ, with my enthusiasm bubbling over, I am not sure they always get it. I have been fortunate to connect with a thriving BBQ community who have fuelled my enthusiasm even more.
Recently, there has also been some really negative press from national companies (Harvester) attempting to put people off BBQ, in a ploy to attract people to their restaurants. Their approach has been to scaremonger and pray on people’s BBQ anxieties, all in the name of profit. I think BBQ is the greatest way to enjoy food. This includes preparing the food, cooking the food and the all important part of sharing it with friends and family.
Here are 9 reasons why I love BBQ / Grilling so much.
(1) The Food Tastes Great
Regardless of whether you are smoking a big hulk of meat or simply doing some sausages and burgers the food tastes so good. Cooking over a natural flame and getting the food infused with the smoke really makes for great tasting food. It doesn’t just have to be meat. Fish, veggies and cheese (Halloumi) also taste great on the barbie.
Using gas can also get great flavour. Through the use of a Smoking Box (or a foil wrap) filled with woodchips you can infuse your food with some natural smokiness.
(2) It’s a Social Way to Eat
When I grill I will tend to cook each dish, serve, eat and then repeat. Some of my friends and family cook everything up front and then serve up. Regardless of which way you serve up it gets the whole family, young and old, outside around the table which makes it an incredibly social and enjoyable way to eat.
(3) It can be Healthy
This might be a bit of contentious one but I do believe it can be really healthy. BBQ / Grilling does not need to be all about red meat. Yes, it does taste great but marinated fish and chicken can be outstanding. Veggies can also be cooked easily and can taste really different on the grill compared with doing them ‘traditional’ ways.
You don’t have to use any additional fat to grill your food and some of the the fat in the food will sizzle away.
(4) The Whole Family can get Involved
This doesn’t just apply to BBQ but the whole family can really get involved with the BBQ. Some BBQ food is really easy to prepare and it is great getting the kids involved with making things like burgers and BBQ sauces. Kids get so enthusiastic and excited when they make these items then seeing them enjoyed by all the guests. Not only is it fun but starts giving them really practical skills.
You can also get kids to be your ‘runner’ to get the food from the BBQ so you don’t need to leave it unattended.
(5) A Great Way to Experiment with Food
Cooking food over an open flame really does give it a different flavour, specially when infused with smoke. One reason I love BBQ is that it can be very scientific, in terms of cooking temperatures and times, but also can be great to experiment with and try foods not traditionally associated with BBQ. Trying fruit on the BBQ is great. Grilled mango and watermelon tastes great, as do more delicate items like scallops, clams and mussels. You can within reason cook anything on the BBQ and put your own signature on different dishes.
(6) Can do it Home or Away
I’ve eaten at many restaurants where you are paying for a view rather than the quality of the food. What I love about BBQ is you can take it anywhere and eat in some stunning locations. Some favourites of mine have been by the River Thames, on the cliff tops at Whitsand Bay in Cornwall and on the shores of Lake Coniston.
We have been able to eat great food in stunning and romantic locations and at a fraction of the price.
(7) BBQ’s are not just for Summer
Traditionally in the UK we tend to BBQ over the warmer summer months. However, the BBQ is something I use all year round. You can cook your Sunday lunches, whether it is a chicken, beef, pork or lamb joint, together with are the trimmings including Yorkshire Pudding. Many people now also cook their Christmas dinner on the BBQ. I’ve not done it yet but it is on the bucket list.
(8) A Simple, Safe and Fun way to Cook
Despite the scaremongering articles that find their way into the press and onto social media, BBQ is a really simple, safe and fun way to cook. Like anything, much is in the preparation and following some simple rules.
Firstly, make sure you have the right tools to BBQ. If cooking on a live flame worries you start your BBQ journey using gas. You will soon get the bug and be progressing on a charcoal BBQ. Some people would advocate getting a fire extinguisher and blanket, which is sensible especially if you are worried.
Never leave the BBQ unattended or drink excessively when doing your BBQ. Sounds like common sense but this is when problems can occur.
Finally, do as much food preparation up front. This will help when you come to cook the food and will help keep the stress levels down.
(9) A Great Way to learn about Food
I like to try lots of different foods on the BBQ. This has included Partridge, Clams, Mussels, Whole Sea Bass, Scotch Eggs together with the more traditional food associated with BBQ, such as Baby Back Ribs, Beef Ribs and Pork Shoulder. One thing it has forced me to do is research how to prepare and cook these foods. Invariably through the research, you learn tonnes about the different foods, which will help in your all round cooking so it is not just relevant to BBQ.
There are so many sources out there on the internet to learn how to cook different dishes but also some fantastic BBQ experts on social media who will be only too happy to help.
I would love to hear your thoughts why you BBQ and what you enjoy most about it.