Summer BBQs are a great time for all the family and whilst it can be very tempting to indulge in rich sauce smothered joints and sides, there are ways to make your grilling experience healthier (whilst remaining delicious!)
Barbecuing adds so much flavour through the smoke and searing of the food that it is easy to maintain a yummy flavour without overdoing it. Read on to find out how to make the most of healthy grilling:
Opt for a light starter
Rather than sticking with crisps and dips, venture into the world of starters cooked on your very own grill. Bruschetta with grilled tomato, olive oil and herbs is a wonderful alternative which will satisfy your guests without taking up too much space for the main course! You could create some vegetable skewers (think aubergine, peppers, mushrooms, etc) infused with herbs and marinade to give a little extra taste. Again, this is a light option to keep your guests occupied whilst you focus on preparing the main.
Keep it colourful
Grill some summer vegetables to fill your guests’ plates with colour. You can present them as a main course or as a sumptuous side to a lighter option of prawns or grilled fish. Try grilling lemon halves until caramelised and squeeze them over your veg, or add some onions for a pop of flavour.
Use herbs and oils – but choose wisely!
Marinades do not have to be fatty or sugary to taste great. Barbecuing should speak for itself and does not require a complex sauce to compliment this. Stick to the basics: olive oil, lemon juice, chilli, salt, balsamic vinegar and herbs such as rosemary.
Be more selective
Swap out processed meat bought at the supermarket for locally sourced beef or pork from your local butcher. If you choose to prepare your meat alongside salad and veg, create a homemade marinade to rub into the meat which keeps things healthy and delicious.
Fish is a fantastic healthy alternative, wild trout or salmon is the perfect addition to the barbecue as they have many benefits. Dice up some pineapple, add a little chilli and prepare for gorgeous flavour!
With a little pre-planning and thinking outside the box, you can create delicious healthy grilled foods so you can eat to your hearts content without the guilt of indulging in fatty BBQ food.
One of the best features of our spit roasting ovens is the possibility to cook a variety of food, not limiting you to a traditional hog roast. Although roasting a pig is still a widely enjoyed option for many events, it is always good to know what other food and services you can provide. Thanks to our machines being so versatile, the choices are almost limitless! Below we have listed some of our favourite alternatives, perhaps you will find something new to try OR post in the comments if you have your own recipes!
Thanks to the versatility of the machine and the ability to switch the spit for our roasting cradle, full chickens are easy to cook making them beautifully tender and flavourful. This is a brilliant choice if you are feeding a lot of people as you can cook up to 24 full chickens at a time and it is a simple way to still supply a good amount of meat. Chicken can be served in a bun or with salad or veg, meaning it is fantastic for summer garden parties where a lighter option is preferred.
Duck can be cooked similarly to chicken, either on the spit or cradle. A delicious flavour and something a little bit different, you will be surprised by how well this will be received! Duck can be served in a few ways but why not try it in a wrap or with some homemade sauce and sides. Another great thing about cooking duck is that none of the run off fat need be wasted. Position the duck above your potatoes in the roasting trays, the fat will seep into the potatoes giving them a wonderful finish your guests will rave about.
Toad in the Hole
A staple dish but not what you expect to see prepared on a roasting oven! Toad in the hole is surprisingly easy to make, preparing your batter in advance definitely helps to make the event run smoothly and other than that all you need to do is choose how you’d like to cook it. We find the roasting trays to be good option if you are wanting to make a big portion. However, if you are wanting a smaller size which you can serve to guests individually – try cooking a single portion in a small disposable tray (similar to what you’d get from a takeaway) using the roasting cradle attachment. This is a handy trick as it means all you will need is some napkins so that the guests can hold the trays whilst hot – other than that it is a meal ready to eat!
Simple is sometimes best when it comes to choosing a meal everyone will like. Don’t over-complicate things and go for this option when it is a big event that you will want to turn out lots of food, especially if you are looking to incorporate veggie or vegan options too. The roasting cradle can fit up to 150 potatoes, meaning you can spend more time chatting with your guests and deciding what you would like to serve them with. You could go for simple options such as cheese or beans, but why not step it up and go for pulled pork or a chill mix to really get the taste buds watering.
Thanks to our brand-new addition of the pizza cradle, pizza is sure to be a fast favourite amongst caterers. With a huge margin (up to 88%!!) and profit to be made, offering pizza has the potential to transform your business. Preparing your dough and toppings in advance helps to maintain the flow of cooking in vast quantities, it also means you can work out your costs easily and where you would like to splurge a little more (E.g. is it worth paying a few pence more for the tastier tomato sauce base?). With the pizza cradle attachment, you can cook up to 12, 9” pizzas in approx. 5 minutes. A great option for any street food event, a fun alternative at wedding parties and something that you can offer to vegetarians too – everyone will find something to love about this option and you are sure to reap the benefits!
Summer is just around the corner, and that means the return of the British barbeque! Sunny evenings with great food, family and friends are on the menu, and we are sharing our top tips on how to have the perfect barbeque!
Get Your Equipment Ready
If you want to upgrade your barbeque skills, you need the proper equipment and tools. A long handled pair of tongs to keep your arms away from the hot grill are essential, and a temperature probe is also be required, especially for outdoor cooking as it is harder to tell meat is cooked through.
Of course, you also need the equipment and might be in need of an upgrade. Take a look at our grills and hog roast spits for sale. Having good quality equipment can make all the difference to a successful barbeque, and it will also last for longer, meaning you know you will be enjoying barbeques for years to come!
Prepare in Time
Preparation can make all the difference when it comes to cooking for a large number of people. Having a burger and sausage per person, and a good assortment of steaks and chops is a good idea for where to start. If you overdo it, have freezer space ready for leftovers; steaks and chops keep well, burgers and fish don’t so try to use them up. Once you have the meat, it needs marinating for some flavour. Marinate overnight – we have some excellent choices for homemade sauces and marinades – so the meat has the fullest flavour. You may want to leave some aside un-marinated if people like it unseasoned.
It’s not just the meat you need to prepare – get the condiments, sauces and sides ready too! Cold meats, cheese, chips and salads are all popular for barbeques, and you may find you have vegetarians among your guests you need to cater for.
Avoid Fridge Chill
Before you put the meat or fish onto the barbeque, take it out of the fridge at least 20 minutes beforehand, so it loses its chill. Putting the meat on the grill when it is too cold could burn the outside before it is cooked in the centre. This is important for white meats such as chicken and pork especially. Burgers should also be defrosted before putting them on the grill so they will be cooked to the centre.
Getting the right charcoal for your barbeque is important, especially when cooking a variety of meats. Lump charcoal burns for an hour while briquettes burn for three hours, making it good for roasting joints. Charcoal can add flavour to your meat too; charcoal from oak trees can give subtle smoky caramel flavour, and charcoal from orange wood has a marmalade flavour that is great for bird meat. You can also add hickory wood chips for a smoky taste or apple wood to try something sweeter.
Test and Rest the Meat
Before serving out the meat, test it to ensure it is cooked through. It can be hard to tell if the meat is cooked properly on a barbeque from look alone. Cut into the chicken and pork and check whether the juices run clear, or use your temperature probe.
Along with testing the meat is properly cooked through, you should rest it for a few minutes before eating. This allows it to reabsorb the juices and becomes more tender. Keep it warm by placing it on a tray, cover with foil and place away from the direct heat of the barbeque. Bigger cuts should be rested for longer.
Be Prepared for a Change in Weather
British barbeques can’t always rely on the weather, so be prepared for a sudden change in the weather is a good idea. Have griddle pans and the oven prepared in the event of a rain shower so that the barbeque vibes can continue!
Take a look at our other blogs for ideas and tips on catering and barbeques!