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!
With the weather heating up and summer just around the corner it’s time to get ready for your BBQ events and luckily, we’re here to help. It doesn’t matter if you have just purchased a grill from us or if you’re dusting off last years ready for action – follow the key tips below to help guarantee a successful day!
Preparation is Key
Try to have all your key ingredients and essentials ready to go the day before the BBQ. This also means cleaning your oven in preparation for use and marinating any meat to be cooked. Having your cutlery, napkins and music playlist ready to go will help things on the day to run as smoothly as possible. Try to be ahead of the game and get the BBQ fired up before your guests arrive to make the cooking process nice and easy.
Split your BBQ
Separate the BBQ top into two clear cooking areas. One of these zones should allow you to sear food directly over the flames whilst the other zone should be used for the meat to be cooked indirectly in order to achieve a thorough cook. Try and manage the work space efficiently by working out how many grill loads you are cooking and allocating foil trays to each group of meat that you cook. Keep a selection of kitchen utensils to hand as should you need them in the moment you will not want to abandon your cooking station.
Slow and Steady – it’s not a race!
Avoid the temptation to rush yourself when barbecuing – try to ignore any impatient guests and focus on giving a top-notch BBQ experience! Patience is paramount and allowing the meat some space and time to cook properly will mean that the result has been more than worth the wait. You should also limit how much you interact with the meat itself as too much poking and pressing will result in it losing the delicious juices that make it so great!
Nobody wants overcooked or under cooked meat and it’s up to you to make sure that doesn’t happen. Thoroughly check the meat by cutting into the thickest part, usually the centre, to ensure that juices are running clear and meat is cooked throughout – in particular, white meat such a chicken should not be pink. You should also use a temperature probe to insert into the meat and check it is at the prime temperature, this may vary depending on what it is you are cooking.
Adding a glaze or sauce to your BBQ meat is a fantastic way to add a pop of flavour but you want to make sure you wait until the opportune moment to do so. Our advice is to wait until most of the cooking is done as this will help boost flavour without burning the sauce. As glazes contain such high sugar levels, they are susceptible to burning easily making the taste very bitter. Be sure to avoid this otherwise all that time and money spent cooking will be for nothing!
As fantastic as BBQ food can be, why not branch out a little and try some out of the box side dishes to keep your guests interested? A yummy Greek salad with feta or a home cooked ratatouille can really add something to the meal as well as offering an option for any veggies you may be catering for. Speaking of which, don’t be afraid to skewer up some tomatoes, peppers and onions for the grill to add a delicious warm option they will be sure to love.
National BBQ Week returns for the 22nd year on Monday 28th May, ending on Sunday 3rd June 2018, and the country will be breaking out the barbeques, grills and hog roasts to fill the air with that delicious smell that is synonymous with British summer.
The British BBQ has developed over the years, as the food, tastes, cuisines and methods have changed to make barbeques become artisan, hip and a favourite for many. Not much can’t be cooked on a barbeque grill, yet it still has its roots in fun, relaxing social gatherings with family and friends.
Join in celebrating National BBQ Week by firing up your grill, treating yourself to a hog roast spit for sale or trying a new recipe for the barbeque. Remember to share your barbeque adventures on social media too!
Here are three of our favourite recipes for you to try in National BBQ Week along with burgers, sausages and steak:
Glazed Spare Ribs
A delicious – and messy – staple of summer barbeques, this glazed spare ribs recipe is sure to be a favourite and can be done in the oven if grey skies appear. If a whole rack is too much, you can divide it, though don’t go smaller than three or it is likely to become overcooked.
1 to 2 rack of ribs
2 to 3 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp English mustard
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 tbsp vinegar
Crush the garlic and salt together with a fork to make a paste in a bowl. Add all the other ingredients for the marinade, saving vinegar until last. Add the vinegar in small doses, mixing well till it becomes a thick emulsion.
Spread the marinade over the ribs until it is coated on all sides. Leave it from one to five hours, adding an extra coat of the marinade.
When the barbeque is at a medium to hot heat, place the ribs over without wiping off any marinade. Avoid over blackening by turning frequently, and add extra marinade as you go. The ribs should be cooked within 15 minutes.
For vegetarians at your barbeque, these stuffed peppers will be very popular, and they are a healthy option for people who don’t want to gorge on meat.
2 tbsp olive oil
50g pine nuts
140 long grain rice
2 garlic cloves, chopped
350g vegetable stock
1 bunch spring onions, thinly sliced
140g cherry tomatoes halved
150g ball mozzarella, chopped
A handful of parsley and basil, chopped
3 red and 3 yellow peppers
Start with the stuffing; heat the oil in a medium pan with a lid and fry the pine nuts until they are roasted, then add the rice and fry until it is glossy. Stir in the garlic, then add the stock. Bring it to boil, cover and cook it for 10 minutes until the rice is tender. Remove from the heat, letting it cool slightly and stir in the spring onions, tomatoes, cheese and herbs. Season and leave to cool.
Take the peppers, cut them in half and remove the seeds, membrane and stalk. Spoon in the stuffing into the pepper, being careful not to overfill, and place the other half over the top, to create a whole pepper. Take a length of string and tie it around the pepper securely.
Grill the stuffed peppers on a moderate heat for 15 to 20 minutes, turning the peppers until they are evenly browned.
Spit Roast Bourbon Pork
A delicious pork spit roast recipe that you will want to make over and over again, the bourbon marinade brings out all the amazing flavours of pork, and the spit roast will keep the meat moist and cooked to perfection.
2.5kg boneless pork shoulder
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tsp black peppercorns
2 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
240 ml bourbon
64g light brown sugar
1 small onion, finely chopped
60 ml ketchup
60 ml corn syrup
30 ml brown mustard
Use a food mixer to blend the peppercorns and mustard seed into a fine powder, and add the two tbsp light brown sugar, paprika, garlic and onion powder. Rub the mixture all over the pork shoulder, then wrap it in cling film and leave in the fridge for 12 hours.
Remove the pork should from the fridge and let it stand at room temperature for 45 minutes. Season with salt before placing on the spit roast. While the roast is resting out of the fridge start on the marinade, simply whisk all the remaining ingredients together in a bowl.
Secure the shoulder onto the spit roast, and cook over low heat for 3 and a half to four hours. The internal temperature should be around 63 degrees Celsius when done. After the first hour of cooking, apply the marinade every 20 minutes.
Remove the pork shoulder from the spit roast, cover it with foil and leave it to stand before serving.
Will you be trying out some of your favourite barbeques and spit roast recipes throughout National BBQ Week? Let us know via our social media channels!