With the weather warming up, inevitably the BBQ’s will be getting hot. Many customers at Borough Market come to the Cumbrian Speciality Meats stall asking me how to BBQ different cuts of meat. And I tell them to imagine it is your oven, but instead of the heat emanating from the top it is coming from below. If the heat is high it is like your grill – perfect for thin sausages, flash ‘fry’ steaks and burgers.
If you let the coals cool down a little and close the lid it is good for cooking joints, and if a little cooler slow roasting joints and hot smoking. To smoke something simply add wood chips. Cumbrian Speciality Meats uses maple but there are plenty to choose from. The strength of the smoke flavour depends on the size of the meat and length of time you smoke it for. It is best to experiment for your own personal taste. My recommendation if buying speciality meats like ours is to do a delicate smoke so it doesn’t overpower the rare breed. Rare and heritage breed has a much fuller flavour in comparison to cheaper, tasteless meat.
Some are a little scared of poisoning people but if you take all your good food hygiene practices from the kitchen to the BBQ you should be ok. All the same rules apply.
1. Make sure your meat is over 75 degrees Celsius – buy a probe if unsure as it will also help you not overcook your meat. No one wants dry, tough meat. They are very inexpensive and available from most supermarkets.
2. Keep raw and cooked meats separate to avoid cross contamination.
3. Wash your hands regularly by taking a bucket of hot soapy water next to the BBQ.
4. Avoid chicken and pork if not confident as these are a higher risk than cooking beef and lamb, which can be eaten rare.
5. As a general rule get your meat closer to room temperature before cooking for a more even cook throughout.
We’ve just launched our Sermon on the Grill pack at Cumbrian Speciality Meats to celebrate the start of BBQ season, and it’s currently on special offer for the rest of May. Well worth a shout!
Stay safe and enjoy the BBQ season.