After the glorious weekend weather we’ve just had, the time is nigh to dust off the barbecue in preparation for (hopefully) lots of alfresco dining in the sunshine.
We all know the risks of undercooked chicken and ‘black and white’ sausages (burned on the outside and completely raw on the inside!), but it’s very easy to throw caution to the wind after a beer or two and forget our food hygiene basics.
|There’s nothing like a barbecue when the weather’s warm|
Here are some helpful reminders from Michelin Star Chef Steve Smith who runs the Bohemia Restaurant at The Club Hotel & Spa in Jersey.
Since Bohemia is the only restaurant in the Channel Islands to be listed in The Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants and is ranked at number 49, I think it’s worth paying attention.
It may seem obvious but if you want to avoid any disasters then you need to make sure the BBQ is lit properly and is not in the proximity of anything that is potentially flammable!
Heat the Meat
Make sure that any poultry or pork items are thoroughly cooked to avoid food poisoning. To know if you have the right temperature to cook with you just need to wait for the flames to die down, and check the colour of the coals. They should glow red underneath and be white on the top or you can buy BBQ thermometers from any good BBQ retailer.
|Michelin Star Chef Steve Smith @Bohemia Restaurant, Jersey|
Generally any type of fish, lamb or beef are the safest items to cook for those concerned about becoming ill at a BBQ, as they are low risk meats. You can cook them rare, medium, well done or as you would normally. Also you should always use separate utensils for cooking and serving.
Don’t Take Risks
Any pork and chicken items are the highest risk food generally cooked on the BBQ and you need to check that they are thoroughly cooked. Also make sure they are consumed immediately. If you leave them outside on a nice day for more than 30 minutes you are running a risk of giving someone food poisoning! Also try not to serve any form of rice salad, as it will likely spend the entire day sat out in warm conditions.
Impress Your Guests
BBQs are not just about meat, any type of vegetable kebabs are great! Be bold and use vegetables such as onions, peppers, aubergines, and kholarbi.
|Best to have a fire extinguisher on stand-by|
Don’t Leave Leftovers
Many people think that leftovers can be used the following day. This is generally a no no. Cook only what you need for the BBQ or you will just have to eat it all!
How many of these no-no’s have you done? I’m guilty of at least two!
From a general safety point of view, remember that children, pets and barbecues don’t mix and make sure you keep your babies, furry or otherwise well away from anything hot.
Let’s hope for another sunny weekend and if you do light the barbecue, make sure you stay safe.