Summer is finally here and with a few days of nice weather ahead of us that means houses all over the country are wheeling dusty grills and BBQs out of sheds and garages. Here are some suggestions to make sure your summer evenings at home are ones to remember for all the right reasons.
Preparation is key for a good BBQ. F. X. Buckley’s have been providing top quality meat to Dublin since 1930 so they know exactly what you need in order to produce delicious and exciting food:
– Clean the grill thoroughly before you use it
– Use the best ingredients from your local butcher
– Marinate your meat in flavours that complement the meat
– Meat should be cooked at room temperature
– Wipe off extra marinade and trim off fatty excess
– Don’t poke and prod the meat or squash it down
– Rest your meat before serving
What to cook
Make your menu stand out and surprise your guests by serving different types and cuts of meat; your butcher can recommend great alternative options for the BBQ. If you find yourself tired of meat try some fish and poultry recipes like Beer Can Chicken, Seared Monkfish or Grilled Langoustines.
Adventurous chefs who want to push the culinary boat out should visit Downey’s Butchers in Terenure where you can find Kangaroo steaks from Australia, Ostrich, Crocodile and Wild Boar Steaks and gorgeous Wild Boar sausages all imported from South Africa.
Vegetarian options are a must have, especially if guests are coming where you don’t know their foodie preferences. It can be awkward having nothing to feed a guest but potato salad and there are plenty of recipes out there that are quick, simple and delicious. Find your veggie muse in Dee Collins aka ‘The Veggie Queen’.
Lots of people are so busy focusing on the meat for the BBQ they forget about providing interesting side dishes to complement the food. You don’t want to end up serving limp lettuce so make sure and get inspiration from your favourite BBQ joints like Pitt Bros and stock the fridge with exciting salads and accompaniments from quality delis such as Caviston’s and Avoca.
What tools to use
ProQ Ranger Hot & Cold Smoker Set from HotSmoked.co.uk €230
Everybody loves the great flavour of wood smoked food. This beginners set is all you need to get started with both smoking techniques. Just the job for the adventurous BBQ foodie.
PolyScience Smoking Gun from Nisbets.ie €74.99
A more convenient tool to infuse your food with delicious smokiness. If you are stuck for time and space, this hand held, battery operated gun can bring the magic of smoking food and drinks right up to the table and make sure your guests are talking about your BBQ for years!
Bamboo Hamburger Grill from designist.ie €36.50
This non-stick grill is meant to be for burgers but can be used to grill all your BBQ favourites without them falling through the grate. Also makes flipping and turning idiot proof!
Barbeque Steak Stamp by Luckies €36.25
Never mix up your steaks again! Personalise your grilled goodies by heating the stamp and when the steak is cooked how you want it brand it with ‘Black & Blue’, ‘Little Bit of Blood’ or ‘Nearly Burnt’.
Long Neck Drizzler by Typhoon @ Brown Thomas €9.60
This drizzler is suitable for oil and vinegar so it is the perfect vessel for adding seasoning and dressing to your food. You can also experiment by adding herbs and chillies to create delicious infused oils that look amazing and totally professional.
Water & Wine Serving Paddle by LSA Glassware @ Brown Thomas €68
Perfect for entertaining, your guests will love this beautiful way of presenting wine. Indentations make everything safe so it’s wind proof and easy to carry between the kitchen, garden and dining room.
Legless – Pirate Corkscrew from designist.ie €12.50
Add a bit of humour with some novelty gadgets. We like the whimsical but reliable “Waiter’s Friend” pirate corkscrew. It also sets you up for plenty of jokes: What’s a pirate’s favourite wine? Ch-ARR-donnay.
Drink Dispenser from Marks & Spencer €40
This beautiful dispenser is perfect for BBQs. Whip up your favourite juices and cocktails and simply leave it on a side table for guests to help themselves.
Mason Drinking Jars masonjars.ie from €5-€12
Your cocktails will taste incredible out of these quirky and affordable jars. Mix and match with their range of sizes and colours for a party atmosphere.
Colour in Picnic Blanket by Eggnogg €40
Keep the kids entertained with some gigantic colouring! Washable and durable, this canvas picnic blanket is just the thing for BBQs at home or away.
Carnival Throw by Avoca Handweavers €69.95/€129.95
BBQs in Ireland always become chilly so make sure your guests are comfortable by draping some throws around the seating area. We love this colourful cashmere blend throw, available in small and large.
Pompom Garlands by Get it Rapt €29
Liven up your garden by stringing bunting and decorations from trees and hedges. These soft pompom garlands are the perfect summer garden accessory and will give your BBQ a splash of colour.
Heart Jar T-Light Holder by dressmyhome.ie €3.95
Lighting is very important in creating a nice atmosphere in your garden. You can set a romantic tone by adding candlelight and these jars are perfect for the table or hanging from a height.
Where to eat – 3 of the best
If you want to sample the best that BBQ has to offer but don’t fancy the washing up, visit these grill heavens:
At Asador on Haddington Road everything is cooked over fires of lump-wood charcoal and oak & apple hard woods. Must Try – Baby Back Ribs asador.ie
Brasserie 66 launched a smoked BBQ menu in May and they are providing classics alongside a pairing cocktail menu. Must Try – Smoky Tobacco Old Fashioned brasseriesixty6.com
Pitt Bros are cooking it low ‘n slow the American way with custom-made smokers infusing all their meats with flavour. Must Try – Bone Marrow Mash and Hush Puppies pittbrosbbq.com
Want to improve your grill skills?
Cooks Academy are running a Weber Grill Academy for the summer months right through September. The course is a fun, hands on session covering a range of cooking methods including “lid-on” BBQ techniques. Perfect your BBQ staples and some alternative options like Beer Can Chicken and Coal Roasted Sweet Potato.
For some excellent wine suggestions that will go perfectly with your BBQ check out July BBQ Wines by The Motley Cru