There is no doubt that 2012 looks set to be the year of the barbecue - an early Easter, the Queen’s Jubilee, the European Football Championships and the London Olympics all mean that alfresco eating opportunities will abound from April to September. So if you want to avoid burnt sausages and blackened burgers this is definitely the time to invest in the BBQ: Owners’ Grilling Manual - the complete guide to buying, lighting and successfully cooking on a barbecue.
The author Ben Bartlett is twice winner of the 'Best BBQer’ award from the British Barbecue Association and is now the Association’s president and the UK’s most successful barbecue champion. Unlike most guides, the BBQ Manual covers all the basics - gas or charcoal, briquettes or lumpwood, direct or indirect cooking - it’s all here. Plus over 100 recipes, including marinades, rubs and relishes, advanced techniques such as spit roasting, hot smoking and southern barbecue pits.
And it’s not just barbecues - the book features a whole range of increasingly popular outdoor cooking tools, from chimneas to braziers, smoking ovens to fire pits. In typical easy-to-follow Haynes style, the BBQ Manual shows you how to choose the right barbecue, how to light it, what equipment to invest in, and vital health and safety information needed to prepare and cook food.
The book is peppered with Ben’s tips, here are his top five:
- Spray chicken with unsweetened apple juice to keep it moist and help prevent it from burning.
- Before cooking wrap chicken breasts in cling film and flatten them slightly to help them grill evenly.
- If you marinade any meat in a zip lock bag it will marinade in half the time.
- Sugar burns very easily so if your sauce contains sugar apply it at the end of cooking.
- When using a food thermometer to test meat cooked on the bone, make sure the probe doesn’t touch the bone, as this will give an inaccurate reading.
Despite the weakened economy, barbecue food sales remain strong. Last summer, Waitrose reported a 48% increase in their barbecue meat sales compared with the year before and John Lewis’s 2010 sales figures also suggested that consumers are willing to pay more for their barbecues. But you don’t need to spend a fortune to eat outdoors - the BBQ Manual shows you how to make a simple campfire, so anyone can get roasting.
Author Ben Bartlett says: "With major sporting events, the Queen’s Jubilee and the continuing trend for 'staycations’, this will be one of the biggest ever years for barbecues. So it is worth doing it right and making sure all your guests enjoy their food and stay healthy. In the summer months, many cases of food poisoning are caused by badly cooked barbecue food, so it is vital that you learn how to barbecue properly, making sure all the meat is well-cooked through."
Ben’s recipe selection proves that you really can cook anything on a barbecue. Going a step further than basic meat and fish grilling, it includes home smoking, a whole hog roast, puddings, pizzas and the once tried but never forgotten 'beer can chicken’.
Whether you are an old hand at barbecue cooking, or a first timer, this indispensable reference guide covers every aspect of eating outdoors.
'BBQ’ Ben Bartlett was the first ever winner of Britain’s 'Best BBQer’ title awarded by the National BBQ Association. As well as writing regularly for the trade press, he has written for the Guardian and Sunday Times and appeared on numerous TV programmes, including This Morning and Ready Steady Cook. He is president of the British BBQ Association and competes around the world with the Best of British BBQ Team.
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Haynes Manuals is the world's leading publisher of illustrated workshop car and motorcycle manuals, as well as producing manuals on a wide range of DIY, leisure and lifestyle subjects. These will continue to include motoring and motorsport related subjects.