Whether you are planning a casual lunch or a candlelit supper, a kid’s party or something special for friends, this new outdoor living room can be as smart as you want to make it. You can dress it up for glamorous entertaining or down for an informal family grill. Whatever you’re doing, a Weber grill at the heart of your outdoor kitchen will make your garden that extra bit special.
But before we get you too excited, here are a few things to keep in mind…
The perfect position
Before you light up, find the correct place to put your grill. Make sure it is safe and stable. Don’t put it too close to your house or your neighbours’.
The right tools
The correct equipment — tongs, forks, spatulas and skewers etc. — make grilling so much easier. Take a look at the stylish Weber Accessories range for some great ideas on how to make grilling much easier and more fun.
Lumpwood or briquettes — is there a difference?
Yes! Lumpwood charcoal burns extremely quickly, making it much more difficult to control your cooking and creating excessive fly-away ash that can contaminate your food. Compressed to a high density, premium quality Weber charcoal briquettes burn longer, resulting in a much more consistent and even distribution of cooking heat and giving you much better results on the grill.
Keep a lid on it!
Remember to close the lid. Just about everything should be grilled with the lid on. The lid helps maintain a steady temperature, captures the smoky flavour better and provides for faster cooking, which means juicer steaks and more succulent seafood. Also the uneven air flow you get on an open grill contributes to flare-ups.
Warm up your meat
Getting it out the fridge and letting your meat sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before you pop it on the grill will help allows the fibres to warm up and relax a little and prevents the slight drop in grill temperature that occurs when cold meat is placed on it, making for faster cooking and juicier meat!
Only turn once or twice
Many cooks succumb to the temptation to turn their food too often. If the heat is right, most foods only need to be turned once or maybe twice during cooking. Patience allows for caramelisation, the process that gives food cooked on a grill its special flavour. The longer food sits in one place, the deeper its flavour will be — provided you don’t burn it, of course.
Many people shy away from fish because they think it’s going to stick to the grill and fall apart. These fears also lead to them cooking the fish on a delicate heat, when, in fact, cooking quickly on a high heat better prevents sticking.
When adding seasoning, bear in mind that the grates on the grill mean that as much as 20% of it will drop into the fire. Salt is probably your most important condiment, but wait until the last 10-15 minutes before braaing to add it — salt too early and you could draw a lot of needed moisture out from the meat.
For fantastic Weber recipes, click here.