Published: Saturday, December 02, 2017    

By Sana Panjwani Cooler climes are here and that means one thing – it’s barbecue time! Here are five top tips to make the most of your grilling, as well as some delectable recipes to get you started

It’s finally outdoor dining weather here in the UAE. The sun has started to let up, the pleasant breeze has kicked in, the windows are being rolled down, and the patio chairs are being uncovered.

And while you can just simply kick back and enjoy the cool temperatures, you also have the perfect opportunity to partake in one of this season’s celebrated traditions – barbecuing.

But let’s face it, most of us are terrible at barbecuing. We often find our skills more useful in a crematorium (RIP patty number 3) than at the helm of a barbecue. Fear not, Oasis Living scoured online to bring you five tips to get you started off – they’ll be calling you Lord of the Tong in no time!

Get the right barbecue

Basic but there are two elementary items your burner needs – a charcoal barbecue and a lid. You might ask why not a gas barbie? Well, charcoal gives your food a smokier flavour. If you use gas, you might as well just drag your kitchen stove outside. As for the lid, it helps to lock in the flavour – let your meat fester in a temperature constant environment for a while.

Get the right fuel Considering how charcoal affects the taste of your food, it’d be wise to pay some thought into the kind of fuel you buy. Lump wood charcoal is a popular choice as it is natural. Once you become more of a pro, you can also start experimenting with woodchips – hickory or oak – with your charcoal to add some sweetness.

Be patient

The term flame-grilled is quite misleading as you want to wait for the flames to die down before slapping your food on to grill. You want the coals white hot – grey, really.

Get the right temperature

Just as you do in the kitchen while cooking, you need to control the heat on the grill too. There’s no technique to ‘hoping for the best’. One way is to test the heat with your hands. No, don’t touch the grill. Simply hold your hand about 12cm over it and see how long you can hold it there comfortably. Six seconds indicate low heat, four is medium, and two is high. If it’s zero seconds, we suggest you visit the closest emergency room.

Another thing to keep in mind is that between all the dishes you’re grilling, you’re going to need varying degrees of heat to cook simultaneously. Divide the coal ratio along the grill to have a heat scale.

Remember to marinade

Yes, smokiness is a huge factor in your barbecued meat but it’s crucial to marinade your meat beforehand too to make sure the flavours aren’t overridden by the smoke. Save some marinade to brush on the meat as you barbecue as well to add moisture.

Now that you’re all set, test out your skills with these easy-to-grill recipes:
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