Cooking Bacon on a Barbecue

Cooking Bacon On A Barbecue
Cooking Bacon On A Barbecue
Every few Sundays there’s one smell that I love coming down to in the morning. It’s a smell that prompts memories of childhood, of Sunday breakfast before a day of enjoying the outdoors with friends or sitting inside playing video games if the heavens opened up (and sometimes even if the rain stayed away, depending on how far I was into Final Fantasy VII). It’s a day if being told off because I hadn’t done my homework and I had school the morning after, and a day of having to sit through another dull episode of Last of the Summer Wine whilst we ate tea before realising that, yes, school was coming in the morning and you were sat watching a comedy that you were sure that only old people could understand. But, despite whatever that Sunday would bring, you started the day with bacon and you knew that it didn’t get much better than that. Cooking Bacon on a Barbecue.

Cooking Bacon on a Barbecue....Reallly

These days I don’t have bacon as much; largely because I don’t really eat substantial breakfasts anymore and I tend to reserve it as a little treat for us to have every now and again. When we do have it though we prefer to cook it on the grill in the oven rather than frying it in a pan, but during the warmer months when it’s time to pull the barbecue out of its dusty enclosure we whack it on there instead. I prefer cooking bacon on a barbecue grill because it leaves that wonderful smoky flavour you can only get with barbecues. It’s also great to take one with you when you go camping, and bacon is always a quick and easy way to get some good outdoor grub. You also won’t get that bacon smell lingering in your home all day, although personally I don’t mind it. Let’s move on from nostalgia and on to cooking these little slices of heaven. Cooking Up a Sizzling Bacon Barbecue

Cooking Up a Sizzling Bacon Barbecue

Aside from your barbecue (of course) you’ll need aluminium foil, a decent pair of tongs and whatever bacon takes your fancy. I tend to cook with thicker bacon on the barbecue so it doesn’t get too burnt, but you should be keeping an eye on it at all times anyway so it shouldn’t be much of a problem. You can use a gas or charcoal barbecue, although using charcoal will obviously take a bit longer in preparation time. You’ll want to get a medium heat from your barbecue too, although if you prepare your bacon really crispy you can crank it up higher and simply reduce the cooking time. Before the barbecue starts heating up you’ll want to lay your aluminium foil across it, making sure to fold up the edges to bar the grease from spilling over. It’s a good idea to use foil for three reasons; it stops the fat from dripping down through the grill into the fire – which can cause flare ups – it allows the bacon to sizzle in its own fat and it makes clean up far easier, as all you have to do is throw away the foil. Cooking Bacon on a Barbecue.

Lay the bacon out in strips along the foil, leaving gaps between each side.

Cooking times vary depending on how high the heat is and how thick your bacon is, but you’ll want to be flipping the bacon over every 5 minutes or so. You’ll know when the bacon is ready to eat when it starts to form little white bubbles that sizzle on the surface of the bacon and your bacon will become a golden brown colour in fatty parts and taking on a darker appearance in areas where there’s more meat. The reason I don’t cook it directly on the grill is from experience. I once tried it when I’d run out of tin foil and the flare ups were a lot to handle as the fat kept dripping down into the flames. You can do it this way if you wish, but be prepared to keep a constant watch on it to avoid a burnt disaster. With all this bacon talk we’re now wishing it was March again. Why? It’s Bacon Connoisseurs Week of course, and the perfect excuse to eat as much bacon on a barbecue as you can!

Beat the bugs at your barbecue this summer

Beat the bugs at your barbecue this summer
Beat the bugs at your barbecue this summer
Barbecues are all about fun and enjoying a laugh in the sunshine (or a crisp autumn weekend) with friends and family. What’s not so much fun however, is feeling awful the next day or two (in some cases up to week) because of some under-cooked food or poor food hygiene at an outdoor eating event.

Get rid of the bugs at your barbecue this summer

So if you don’t want to cause misery and illness to those around you when you plan your next big grilling party, it’s a good idea to heed the following words of wisdom: Get rid of the bugs at your barbecue this summer
  • Ensure food is cooked all the way through if you’ve got a lot of guests to cook for by doing it in the oven first then bringing it out to the barbecue to finish off and add flavour
  • The best way to make sure food is cooked all the way through (an internal temperature of 165 degrees is ideal) is to heat it at a low and steady temperature. That way you can avoid charred sausages, steaks etc too
  • When outside try not leave food lying around for a while before you start to cook. Keep it in a cool box (especially cold meats) which you’ve added plenty of ice and water to. This is better than a gel pack for keeping food cool. Don’t put drinks in the cool box beside the food though as you don’t want juices in the water
  • Moist wipes and throwaway hand sanitising cloths are a good idea, particularly if you’re picnicking outdoors and there’s no handy supply of running water nearby
The types of illnesses we’re referring to here are nasties such as E-coli 0157, campylobacter and, of course, salmonella – all of which can prove extremely serious and in some cases fatal so there’s no point taking any chances with your guests’ health. And remember too that in high summer temperatures bugs can multiply quickly to unsafe levels. Cooking meat properly on a barbecue

Cooking meat properly on a barbecue

Always make sure that the barbecue is hot enough before you start cooking. That means the charcoal should be red and powdered grey. Next, never throw a steak or burger (or any meat for that matter) onto the barbecue if it’s not properly thawed. Thirdly, your meat shouldn’t be pink anywhere – especially in the middle – as that’s a classic sign that it isn’t cooked properly all the way through.

The reality of raw meat

Raw meat is where the bug nasties begin. They can settle onto meats and then jump onto other foods such as burgers or salad if the raw meat touches them. This is why it’s important to keep raw meat separate from other foods. Also wash your hands too after handling raw meat otherwise if you pick up another food then …yep, you’ve guessed it, the bugs are passed on. Similarly, wash the cutting board you’ve been preparing the raw meat on. It’s also a good idea to use completely separate utensils to other foods. A common mistake at a barbecue is to lay out sauces or marinades for cooked food, which have already been used to season raw meat sandwiches etc. That’s a big no-no. The reality of raw meat Wherever you plan to barbecue this summer just remember these simple tips and we’re sure you’ll have a party to remember – for all the RIGHT reasons.

Make Your BBQ a Budget Meal

Make Your BBQ a Budget Meal
Make Your BBQ a Budget Meal
Cooking on a budget can be fun at first however once the cycle of budget meals has spun round the dinner table a few times, families often become bored. Favourite budget meals include egg and bacon, sausage and mash, roast chicken, or burgers and chips yet even the hungriest person can groan when offered these again and again.

Make Your BBQ on a Budget

There is a way to spice up every budget meal, to make it appear different without actually changing a thing. Using the barbecue to cook the food will add flavour, fun and jazz up those meal times that none is looking forward to. You can shop as you normally would buying the items that are on your budget list as there’s no need to buy extra for the household. This isn’t using a barbecue to entertain, this is using the barbecue solely for you and your family as a way to enjoy even the cheapest cuts of meat without feeling as though you’re scrimping and saving. Swap Sausage and Mash

Swap Sausage and Mash

Buy as you would the ingredients for the sausage and mash, yet instead of mashing the potatoes let them cook in the coals of the barbecue covered in foil. Grill the sausages and make a simple pea and mint salad out of the peas and hey presto a new meal al fresco!

Egg and Bacon

For egg and bacon make French toast using the barbecue to grill the bread. Mix the eggs with a little milk and cinnamon and then dip the bread until it is soaked through. Place carefully on the barbecue along with the bacon and serve with grilled tomatoes.

Burgers and Chips

You may not be able to fry chips on a barbecue however if you slice the potatoes thinly into discs and brush with oil you will make excellent fat crisps to serve with your burger. Burgers obviously grill great on an open flame absorbing the flame grilled flavour that many restaurants try and fail to replicate. Burgers and Chips

Change the Chicken

A whole chicken offers many meal alternatives and with just a little imagination you can cater to everyone’s tastes without leaving them hungry. Take the chicken apart piece by piece removing the breasts first. It is ideal to remove the wish bone before this process as it gives a cleaner cut and allows for the whole breast to be removed. You can then take off the drumsticks, thighs, and wings and use the carcass for a chicken soup the following day. Make a marinade for your chicken before grilling it on the barbecue, a cheap barbecue marinade can be constructed by mixing larder favourites such as ketchup and brown sauce with a little paprika. Serve with bread, baked or sliced potatoes and a little salad, saving the vegetables you’d use for a roast to add to the soup you will al enjoy the following day!

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