Invisible Kitchen’s BBQ Cooking Tips in Hong Kong
During the summer, there is nothing better than hosting a BBQ with family and friends. It is the perfect excuse to get everyone together, and to enjoy some good food and conversation. However, you don’t want the topic of conversation to be about how burnt your sausages were! With that being said, I have put together some of my top BBQ cooking tips. Read on to find out more.
The first thing you need to do when hosting a BBQ party in Hong Kong is make sure you get the barbecue hot enough. Otherwise, your guests could be waiting hours and hours for their food, or they could end up with food that is burnt on the outside and raw inside. I’ve got a bit of an unconventional way for testing the heat coming from the grill; I simply hold my hand about five inches above it and see how long I can hold it there comfortably. Of course, you need to be safe when doing this; don’t let your hand burn! If you can’t even hold your hand there, your grill is ridiculously hot. If you can hold it for two seconds, you’ve got the BBQ on a high heat, four seconds means it is on a medium heat, and six seconds is for a low heat.
Ensure you use the best BBQ tools
If your guests arrive to your event and see an old, battered BBQ, they aren’t going to be particularly excited about the food you are cooking on it. Everyone knows the importance of a grill that looks good, smells good, and above all, tastes good. But, you will also need a fantastic assortment of tools to help you create delicious food. This includes a large spatula, which is essential for flipping meat, and a marinade brush, which ensures you can apply the likes of a spicy marinade or barbecue sauce to the meat in an evenly manner.
Use basic ingredients
Stick with basic ingredients that you are familiar with and know how to cook. A party is not the time to try out new, fancy meats that you have no experience with. Moreover, when people go to BBQs, they love nothing more than tucking into sausages and a juicy burger. It is also wise to stick to fruits and vegetables that are in season when making your accompaniments, as this will ensure a fresh and delicious taste.
You should cook food slowly. Don’t put too many items on the grill at once. Overcrowding the BBQ can make it difficult to cook the meat, as you have to manage so many different pieces of food, and this can lead to some pieces being overcooked. Thus, it is wise to only cook four or five items on the BBQ at once, as this will ensure each item is cooked evenly. Moreover, as a BBQ is not a sit down meal, people expect to simply pick at food throughout the day, so you don’t need to worry about everyone eating at the exact same time. It is wise to cook only half of each grill item at a time, i.e. half of your burgers, then half of your sausages, and then half of the ribs, so that you still have food left for anyone that arrives later in the day.
Prepare plenty of side dishes
You should prepare plenty of side dishes for your event. No one wants to simply eat big slabs of meat. Moreover, the good thing about side dishes is that they can be prepared in advance, meaning you have less to do on the day of the event. Moreover, the likes of dips and bread give your guests something to tuck into while the other items are being grilled. There are lots of delicious side dishes you can make to complement the barbecued food, including coleslaw, potato salad, pasta salad, fries, potato wedges, homemade BBQ sauce, pitta bread and a selection of dips, and much more. Try to ensure there is a good selection of side dishes so that there is something to suit everyone. A few basic dishes are a necessity, as you may have fussy eaters amongst your guests.
Get everyone involved in cooking
When hosting an outdoor BBQ event in Hong Kong, it is a good idea to get everyone involved in the cooking. Otherwise, you are going to spend your whole day stood by the BBQ, and you aren’t going to be able to enjoy the event as much as you would like to. You should prepare food that is easy for people to cook themselves, for example, a selection of skewers is a good approach. There are many different skewers you can make, from lamb and chicken to beef and pork. You can also make halloumi and vegetable skewers for vegetarians. People are more likely to give these a go at cooking themselves, as they can easily pick them up and place them on the BBQ.
Follow the same principles when cooking for any event
If you were hosting a fine dining dinner party, you wouldn’t buy cheap, poor quality ingredients, would you? So, why would you do so for a BBQ? If truth be told, it is even more important to purchase quality meat for an outdoor BBQ, as you’re not going to fry the meat in oil and mask the flavor in different sauces. Therefore, make sure you source your meat from a quality provider, selecting organic produce and hormone free chicken. It is also wise to mince your own meat for the burgers. By doing so, you know exactly what is going into them. Aside from this, you should invest in long barbecue tongs, a grill brush, a meat thermometer, a grilling fork, sharp knives, stainless-steel skewers, and a grilling mat.
Stay organized and clean around you
Of course, you will need to clean the grill and the surfaces thoroughly before you guests come, but doing a little bit of cleaning as you go along can help to make the cooking process easier. Try to maintain some level of organisation as well.
Put safety first
The last thing you want is to poison all of your friends and family! Safety should always be your top priority when cooking food, especially cooking for other people. Some essential safety practices to follow include refrigerating food while it is marinating, and using separate platters, utensils, and cutting boards for cooked and raw foods.
Other tips and tricks for beginners
Here are a few more tips for BBQ beginners:
- Don’t add salt until the meat is cooked – If you add salt beforehand, it will draw away the moisture, which will lead to the meat getting tough and dry.
- Marinade meat overnight – This will ensure the best results!
- Don’t serve burgers rare – A lot of people enjoy their steaks cooked rare, but this does not mean you can serve beef burgers rare. There is more bacteria present in ground beef, meaning it needs to be cooked until there is no pink in the middle.
- Grilling vegetables – A quick, easy, and delicious way to grill vegetables, such as corn, is to coat them heavily in butter, sprinkle some salt, wrap in kitchen foil, and then throw on the grill.
- Don’t piece your meat with prongs or folks – You should use tongs or a spatula to flip and move your meat. If you piece the meat, it will become less flavorful and drier, as the juices will escape.