Barbecue Time!

Summertime and the living is easy – and it’s also time to invite your holiday home neighbours round for a barbecue so you can either get to know them a bit better or cement an existing friendship.

Here, Leisuredays gathers together some helpful hints and tips to ensure your event goes with a swing – and, more importantly, without any nasty incidents.

Before cooking, brush the grill five minutes before using to prevent food from sticking. And while it’s cooking, resist the urge to prod your food as this will only result in juices escaping and the meat becoming tough.

To avoid flare up while cooking, trim excess fat from steak and chops. Leaving only a quarter of inch of fat is sufficient to flavour the meat.

While cooking keep the lid closed. This will allow for the heat to circulate and cook the food evenly. Every time you lift the lid, you add extra cooking time.

It’s worth also taking the guesswork out of grilling. Use a thermometer as checking meats for internal temperatures is the best way to determine when food is properly cooked. Ask your butcher for a guide when buying the meat.

And once the food has been devoured it’s time to clear up. Many holiday home sinks are not big enough areas in which to place your dirty grill in so why not pop down to your local pet shop and buy a big enough cat litter tray which you can fill with warm soapy water instead. Then get to work with your wire brush!

Which barbecue?

Choosing a style of barbecue is a matter of personal taste. You may want a disposal one that costs just a few pounds to take down to the beach with the grandkids or perhaps you’ve room in your holiday home to store the latest state-of-the-art gas affair.

Most people are prepared to spend between about £20 and £200 for a unit, so here’s three examples fitting that price range. We’ve used these prices from one leading DIY and outdoor store but shop around online for some bargains.

Portable Bucket Charcoal Barbecue

  1. Portable Bucket Charcoal Barbecue – £6.25. It’ll only cook for one or two people at a time but for a beach companion this fits the bill perfectly – and the young ‘uns will love it for its bright colour (there’s a choice of green or red)! Pop their food on first and cook yours while they tuck into theirs.

Terranto Charcoal Barbecue

  1. Terranto Charcoal Barbecue – £19.99. Big enough to cater for between five and seven people so perfect for those balmy evenings with the next door neighbours. It offers three cooking positions and importantly for holiday home owners folds flat for storage so it won’t get in the way when not in use.

Weber Q200 Gas Barbecue

  1. Weber Q200 Gas Barbecue – £199. A sturdy and durable model, you get a cast iron cooking grate and cast aluminium lid, this will cook for between four and eight people – depending on how hungry they are! Ideal for anyone who hasn’t yet mastered the art of lighting charcoal.

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