Did you enjoy a barbecue over the glorious Easter weekend? The warmer weather might have whetted your appetite for more al fresco dining and get togethers with friends and family, but how do you make your barbecues go with a bang?
Spruce up your outside space
If your garden is looking a little worse for wear, there are things you can do to create the perfect outdoor dining and drinking area. Invest in some new garden furniture, or if your budget won’t stretch, get new seat covers or give wooden items a lick of paint. Decking can also give your outdoor space a new lease of life, and for special occasions, why not invest in solar fairy lights which can look amazing when they’re placed in a tree or hung along a fence.
Hide your wheelie bins
Wheelie bins might be practical, but they don’t exactly scream ‘stylish outdoor space.’ So to hide them out of sight, invest in some wheelie bin storage. You can buy single, double, or triple units in a range of sizes and designs that will fit in the style of your garden.
Prepare the meat
Marinade the meat for the barbecue beforehand to give it some flavour and leave it nice and tender. A marinade of rosemary, black pepper, olive oil, crushed garlic and a sprinkle of paprika is amazing for steaks. Don’t believe us? Just try it. Remember not to leave meat in marinade of salt, lemon or lime juice for more than two hours though or it will be tough as old boots!
The art of cooking the meat
Don’t panic and do it in a rush. If you don’t allow your coals time to smoulder, you can end up with meat that’s charred on the outside but raw in the middle-and nobody wants food poisoning! Once the meat is cooking, don’t be tempted to move it around or turn it over too much. And let the meat settle, otherwise you’ll bite into your burger and the juices will end up all over you.
Dressing your table
Invest in a good quality table cloth and some nice bowls, dishes and cutlery in co-ordinating colours.
Don’t forget the drinks
It’s a good idea to invest in shatter-proof plastic glasses for drinking outdoors, and make sure that you have plenty of ice- nobody wants warm drinks on a hot day!
Last but not least-clean up afterwards
This can be the most tiring bit, but if you don’t want your barbecue to be a hot mess the next time you wheel it out, rinse it thoroughly with washing up liquid, and give it a good scrub either with a brush or a brillo pad. You can also try using half a lemon to clean any greasy residue off the grill.