Our clients love using their Garden Rooms and Summerhouses all year round, especially during summer. From having weeknight feasts to Sunday dinners, our garden rooms are a must for anyone who loves hosting outdoor dinner parties, and with summer only around the corner that means one thing…BBQ season.
Unfortunately, not everyone has been blessed with the natural skills it takes to be an outdoor chef extraordinaire, but we think we can help. We’ve compiled a list of our top tips you need to master this most important of British skills!
If you prefer to use charcoal to grill with, always look for additive-free lump charcoal. Not only will it light easier, but it burns hotter and produces less ash – making cleaning up a lot easier. Also stay away from using lighter fluid, as this can release an unpleasant residue on the food and releases Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
2. Heat It Up
You should look to heat up your BBQ around 15 to 20 minutes before you start grilling to make sure it reaches the optimal temperature. Why not use a digital thermometer to check the temperature of your grill beforehand? Use our below guidelines:
High – 400 – 450oF Medium – 300 – 350oF Medium – High – 350 – 400oF Low – 250 – 300oF
A properly heated grill will sear the food on contact, caramelising the food and improving overall flavour.
3. Tame the Flame
Using meat with plenty of fat on is great for flavour. But, the grease that is extracted will create flare ups that can scorch the food and create a burnt flavour if not handled correctly. Consider using lean cuts of meat, or trim away large chunks of the fat to reduce the chances of flare ups.
If a flare up does occur, shut the BBQ lid and turn off all burners if possible. Never use water on a BBQ flare up or on any grease fire.
4. Heat Resistant Gloves
When entertaining friends and family, you want to be able to relax and have fun, not constantly focus on any potential hazards. Heat resistant gloves are a must to allow you to handle hot items quickly, easily and without the fuss. Look out for FDA-approved options, as well as ones that offer sufficient grip to ensure you have a safe handle on your barbecuing equipment.
5. Make Your Own Burgers
Taking the time to make your own food is what will turn your BBQ meal from good to great. Making your own burgers is easy. It takes very little effort and can be done with three simple ingredients: salt, pepper and of course, quality meat.
Buy mince that has plenty of fat on, or buy some minced flank from the butchers - whether you like them pink in the middle or cooked right through you’ll get burgers that are full of flavour.
6. Marinade, Marinade, Marinade!
It’s a golden rule in cooking that you should leave meat to rest before carving, so why not apply this thinking with your marinades? Cover your meat in marinade and leave to rest overnight. When barbecuing, continue to brush the marinade over the meat every 30 seconds to ensure moisture is locked into the meat and it caramelises nicely.
7. Size Up Your Veggies
Many people shy away from barbecuing their vegetables, thinking they will burn easily and therefore resulting to cook them in the oven. In fact, you can easily BBQ your vegetables with zero hassle.
Prep your vegetables beforehand and make sure they’re all cut to similar sizes, this will ensure they are all cooked evenly and around the same time. Be aware of the hot spots on your BBQ, and move your vegetables round when they begin to brown; however don’t take them off until they’ve had time to sear, which usually takes around 3 to 4 minutes.
8. Pizza Oven
Take your outdoor cooking one step further with your very own pizza oven. This can be great to get your guests to help out as you can host pizza parties where they can customise their own!
Of course, you could always cook your guest’s pizza in your regular oven, but let’s be honest it’s never going to be quite as good. This is the ultimate luxury in barbecuing and is 100% guaranteed to leave your guests feeling impressed.
9. Waffle Iron
Don’t focus solely on the main course, consider options for desserts using your BBQ.
Cast iron waffle shells are a great addition to any BBQ, as it can heat up and cook the delicious contents without much fuss. The best thing about these waffles is that they work both as a savoury addition to your main or as a dessert! Plus, you can get as creative as you want with the waffle toppings. Fruit, ice cream, chocolate, syrup… nothing is off the table!
Our Superior Sheds are robust and ideal for the storage of any garden equipment. Most importantly, at Cranes we offer a unique security pack option which consists of a heavy duty sliding bolt, seven-lever lock, security screws for door hinges and 13mm stainless steel window bars. This will make it near impossible for anyone to get their hands on your valuable BBQ tools.
Of course, we also provide luxury garden entertainment spaces. Want somewhere to sit out in the sun, with the space for a table to pack with delicious food? We'd highly recommend our chalet-style Morston Summerhouse, highly popular amongst our customers for its large veranda.
If you're interested in our Garden Buildings, we’d like to invite you to view our full bespoke range at one of our Seven UK Show Centres. All of our buildings are hand-crafted to your unique specifications, not to mention delivered and installed by our expert team.