How to BBQ in Your Garden

Eating out-of-doors is even more fun if you cook alfresco as well. ThereˇŻs nothing belter than a party of family and friends gathered around tables laden with salads and delicious bread and being tortured by the delicious smells of meal, fish and vegetables cooking on the barbecue.

Barbecues fall into two different basic types, built-in and free-standing. Within the second category are numerous different electric and gas-powered models for those who cannot stand mess, or the traditional charcoal-fuelled barbecue – the only choice for the real aficionado.

Free-standing barbecues vary enormously in size, weight and therefore portability. There are excellent small cast iron models which can be placed on a wall or bricks and which are ideal for a couple of people, or for picnics. For a family, a larger brazier, kettle or, for really serious barbe-euers. rolisserie grill, are more suitable.

It is a simple matter to build your own permanent barbecue. In decide on a site, lake into account the direction of the prevailing wind, distance from the kitchen and outdoor dining area, and safely, you will need stone or frost-proof bricks for the three walls and base, and a metal brazier and metal grill tray. Design the barbecue so that the trays can be easily removed for cleaning, and include enough storage space for fuel, as well as flat surfaces to take all the utensils, dishes and bowls you will need while cooking.

bbq garden How to BBQ in Your Garden

Plant a mass of herbs around the base of the barbecue and if it looks a little forlorn in winter, disguise it with planted containers or an attractive, removable wooden lid.

Eating out-of-doors seems to enhance flavours, so the simplest food tastes quite delicious. Yet it is also fun to experiment with different themes. That, Caribbean, Mexican and Spanish foods all lend themselves especially well to barbecuing. Their spicy, tangy flavours are offset beautifully by the bitter-sweet smokiness that cooking over an open flame produces.

Good planning and liming are essential for success. Meat marinated overnight will be more tender and tasty, and certain foods benefit immeasurably from being started1 off in the oven. This is especially important for joints of chicken, as nothing is more off-putting and potentially dangerous than being handed a piece of chicken which is virtually black on the outside but still pink and bloody in the middle. Whether you cook on charcoal or wood remember to allow sufficient time for the fuel to become hot enough for cooking.

Towards the end of cooking throw a few herbs or slivers of wet wood from fruit trees on to the barbecue to create deliciously aromatic smoke.

Certain barbecue foods are guaranteed to be a success with children. Sausages and kebabs are easy to eat as everything is already in bite-sized pieces and pork chops marinated overnight in crushed garlic, lemon juice and olive oil, will all be devoured by even the choosiest child.

Fresh fish barbecues well, especially swordfish and tuna (hat both have good solid flesh. Little sardines and mackerel are also quite delicious.

Always provide plenty of salads and bread. Other must-haveˇŻs are coleslaw, potato salad, and a Greek salad made from tomatoes, cucumber and feta cheese in a piquant dressing.

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