Cooking on Barbecues and Open Fires
Getting the equipment together
Long-handled tongs make handling barbecue food safer and easier, as shorter tools quickly get hot. Oven mittens are also essential, and a cloth and bowl of water for dealing with any sudden flare-ups.
How to tell when the fire’s hot enough
When your coals are hot enough to cook over they will be ash-grey or white rather than bright red.
Cooking all the way through or make sure larger pieces of meat or chicken cook right through, partially cook them in a microwave or conventional oven first, then put them on the barbecue to finish off.
Corn on the cob
Fresh corn can be cooked over a fire in its husk. Remove the large outer husk; then pull back the inner husks and remove the silky threads inside. Rinse the corn in cold water and spread it generously with butter. Replace the husks and tie them over the corn with fine wire. Cook on the barbecue for 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove the husks before serving, using gloves if necessary.
For an unusual barbecue dessert, cook bananas in their skins over a low fire for about eight minutes.
To cook sausages evenly and make turning easier, skewer them from end to end with metal skewers.
Catering for vegetarians
• Vegetable kebabs work well on a barbecue. Try chunks of vegetables such as courgettes, green and red peppers, baby corn, onions and carrots, or use whole cherry tomatoes or button mushrooms. A few pieces of soaked, dried fruit such as apple or apricot will add a tangy taste. Brush the kebabs with a glaze made from honey and soya sauce seasoned with cayenne pepper, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. Or use oil flavoured with chilli or Worcestershire sauce, chopped herbs and lemon juice.
• Make or buy lentil or nut burgers to serve in buns.
• Wrap up foil parcels of vegetables with herbs and butter to cook on the barbecue.
• Make small parcels of Brie or goat’s cheese wrapped in vine leaves. Cook over the fire until the cheese is melted.