Some like it too hot: why are so many Brits ‘going for the burn’ with their BBQ?
While the UK might be famous for its unpredictable and rather disappointing summer weather, us Brits never seem to shy away from a good old barbecue. It comes as no surprise then that the UK continues to be Europe’s leading barbecue nation, with families hosting on average 9 barbecues every year.
Yet, it appears we’re a little less confident when it comes to cooking our meat correctly. The Food Standards Agency notes that cases of food poisoning almost double during the summer season, and undercooked meat and cross-contamination from barbecues are among the main reasons for this rise.
To help educate people about cooking their meat in the healthiest and safest way, Thermapen has joined forces with BBQ specialist and expert Richard Holden to highlight the importance of their campaign “Is It Cooked”. The SuperFast Thermapen digital thermometer featuring a reduced tip probe for easy measurement can be used to test the temperature of barbecued meats, providing an accurate reading in just three seconds!
Richard Holden is passionate about getting the nation to experience barbecuing the every-day, healthy way. He says, “not only is barbecued food delicious but with a bit of ‘know-how’ it’s a healthy and quick way to cook and can be done any time you like. Thermapen is one of my ‘must-have’ tools whenever I BBQ, and I’ve seen first-hand how it helps people to feel confident in cooking their meat safely.”
By following Richard’s Top 10 BBQ Tips, you’re sure to serve up your most delicious BBQ this summer:
- Use a lid
Cook with the lid down and you will achieve a wonderful authentic BBQ flavour as fats drip onto hot coals and create aromatic smoke! Lid on cooking also helps reduce flare-ups and will cook your foods faster.
- Grill at 250 °C
This will give you the control and time to cook foods through before they have a chance to over colour and burn on the outside!
- Use Rapeseed Oil
It has a much higher burn point than olive oil so won’t ruin the taste of your food. You can also use it to oil the grill and as the base for salad dressings.
- Leave a small section of your BBQ without fuel
This is called indirect heat. With the lid down this creates a safety zone where meat can be put to cook through, rather than just burning.
- Cook meat from room temperature
Bring meats up to room temperature for 30-40 minutes before putting them on the BBQ. The high heat will penetrate the meat easier, cooking it faster and keeping it tender.
- Preheat your BBQ
Ensure your BBQ is burning for 10 minutes before cooking. This will burn off anything left over from your last BBQ and sterilise the cooking grate. It will also help your BBQ to hold its temperature while you cook.
- Get a wire brush
Clean your cooking grates with a wire brush after the grill has preheated and before you put your food on. This will get them smooth before cooking.
- Use two sets of tools
Use one for raw, uncooked meat and one for taking cooked food off the grill. This will avoid any chance of contaminating your grilled food.
Not you – the meat! For tender, mouth-watering results, leave meat to rest once you’ve taken it off the BBQ. For steaks and smaller pieces of meat allow 10 minutes, for bigger pieces like joints a good 20-30 minutes will do them the world of good. Rest on a warm serving plate, under foil and insulate with a clean t-towel. You’ll really notice the difference.
- Use a thermometer
Temperature is King when it comes to BBQ. A digital thermometer will guarantee your food is safely cooked every time. 75 stay alive is how I encourage people to remember the target temperature for anything that is cooked through.
The SuperFast Thermapen is already a kitchen essential for many celebrity chefs and professional cooks, but it’s also fast becoming a must-have gadget for the everyday household, and can be used to perfect dishes of all varieties from barbecued meats, to breads, sauces, tempered chocolate, jam and confectionery.
So, while you may not be so confident about the weather this summer, you can feel confident that your barbecued meat is cooked. With the help of a Thermapen there’ll be no more asking: Is It Cooked?