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Ready, Set, Grill!

FORTNUM'S BBQ TIPS

Spring is in the air and with it the smell of a nearby BBQ... with a simple whiff of delicious charring meat, mouths begins to water and the urge to break out the tongs takes over us instantly. But barbecuing requires skill, and it takes time to master the technique, which makes it all the more difficult as we tend to choose this method of cooking outside when the sun is shining, we’re catching up with friends and relaxing with a chilled glass of wine in hand. So before you stoke up the fire, we’ve compiled all of our grilling wisdom right here, with the help of our experts from each department at Fortnum’s.

 

If you want your food cooked to perfection, read our 12 useful tips below and you’ll become a Pitmaster quicker than you can say sausages.

1

Temperature is Key

Your grill shouldn’t be too hot, too much heat will cause the flames to flare up which will give an overly smoked flavour which will overpower your meat. Ensure the barbecue is cool enough before you start cooking. If you get flare ups take your meat off and wait for the barbecue to cool. Your coals should be white and there should be no flame.

2

Know your Degrees

The temperature of what you’re cooking is also vital, as it’s easy to overcook things on a barbecue. A temperature probe, such as the Meater+ is a great way to ensure your food is perfectly cooked without having to cut into it – you should aim for around 55° internal temperature for medium rare beef, 70° for chicken and 57° degrees for fish.

3

Rest your Meat

Just because you are cooking over a BBQ doesn’t mean you don’t need to rest your meat after cooking. It's important to let the juices take their time to redistribute, otherwise they will just flow away, leaving you with a tough piece of meat. If you’re cooking steak, you should leave the meat for at least five minutes before cutting into it.

4

Get Out your Pans

Cooking burgers in a pan or solid metal tray on top of the barbecue is a great way to retain the fat and moisture. You’ll still get that smokiness and once cooked, you can flash each side on the bars for that delicious charr. Cooking in a pan also works well with fish and anything that risks sticking.

5

The Bigger, the Better

A larger cut of meat can often be easier to cook on the barbecue as you’re less likely to overcook it. It is also a great centrepiece for your al fresco feasting. For beef, try our exclusive Glenarm Salt-Aged Côte de Boeuf. This most decadent cut is sliced from the ribs and is full of juicy, steak flavour.

6

Season your Meats

Our collection of rubs and seasonings are packed with flavour and range from the seriously spicy to pleasantly mild and are great for ribs, grilling meat and fish, as well as grilled halloumi. If you have a gas barbecue this can also be a good way of dialling up the flavour of your food.

7

Add More Flavour

Our Beetroot Ketchup is a sweet and rewarding topping for burgers and our Butcher’s Sauce the definitive addition to any meat. For something a little more spicy, our Habanero Chilli Relish will liven up any grilled meat or fish – but be warned, this is only recommended if you can handle heat!

8

Grill your Vegetables

Vegetables are divine when grilled. Grill corn on the BBQ before cutting off the cob and making into a charred corn salad with a spicy honey dressing. For a twist on a classic potato salad, boil then finish on the BBQ to impart some smokiness then dress with a light, mustard sauce

9

Flame your Fruits

Seasonal fruits are amazing barbecued. Halve and remove the stone from the fruit, drizzle with a little oil to prevent sticking. Place your fruit the BBQ until the it has taken on good grill marks. Serve with a sprinkle of good quality sea salt, a drizzle of honey and vanilla ice cream.

10

Chill your Reds

In Portugal, Port is chilled when temperatures soar, so you should never be afraid to chill red wines when serving on a hot day. Beaujolais lends itself particularly well, owing to their light body and bright berry flavours, though any red can be chilled if the weather warrants. Lowering the temperature softens the tannins and accentuates its acidity, it becomes refreshing while delivering all the complimentary flavours to flame grilled food.

11

Don't Forget the Beers

We love to seek perfect BBQ food pairings from across the wine department, though sometimes only a crisp Pilsner or bright IPA is right to slake one’s thirst as the coals turn white. Ensuring you are stocked in the beer department is fundamental to a successful barbecue. Our flavoursome and crisp Pilsner is a princely partner to pork and leek sausages, whilst our bright, hoppy IPA is fabulous with spicy chicken or fish. All of our Beer is vegan friendly and gluten-free.

12

The More, the Merrier

Everything tastes better when served from a magnum! Wine ages more gracefully in larger bottles, owing to the smaller volume of air in contact with the wine – versus the standard bottle. This means aromas and flavours develop more complexity, and the wine can mature for longer before hitting its peak. Our Rioja Crianza Magnum, full of toasted black fruits with sweet vanilla spice and a touch of smoke is the ultimate pairing to grilled red meats.