6 BBQ Essentials

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Whether you're planning the burger and banger blowout of the century or a more classy affair with salads and green stuff, there are six things a barbecue just can't do without.

1. A pre-prepared snack selection

It's inevitable - you'll always have one or two impatient guests, some lost sausages and a burnt burger or two. Avoid disappointment by preparing snacks like sausage rolls, cheese bites and other finger food in advance. Extras that can be toasted, like cocktail sausages or marshmallows, are excellent gap fillers too.

2. Firelighters

Never mind relighting your fire - Take That never mentioned how hard it can be to get one going in the first place. Be prepared with a decent stash of matches and fire lighting aids, and take your pick from balled up newspaper, lighting fluid or briquettes. It's easy to get carried away, but remember to use them sparingly - you only need a small amount to get things smokin'.

3. Firestoppers

It's much more important to be ready for a barbecue that's 'too successful' than one that won't start at all. Always have a fire extinguisher or a bucket of water or sand handy in case things get out of control. Remember to always put hot coals out before leaving a barbecue or fire unattended.

4. Ice ice baby

Having a few stylish ice buckets and a cool box to hand will ensure that the meat stays fresh and the drinks stay cold. If you're serving juices, try freezing a few boxes or bottles beforehand, and use them to cool the buckets instead of working your way through tray after tray of ice.

5. Condiments

Whether you're an expert barbecue chef looking to top off your creations or an aspiring amateur looking to mask the slightly carbon taste of your burgers, condiments are your best friend. A wide selection will satisfy even the pickiest guests, and if you're feeling really inspired, you can make your own by using mayonnaise as a base and mixing in other sauces and herbs to create your own trademark flavour.

6. Garden games

Barbecues aren't just about the food - they're about having a fun-filled party outside! Ensure your guests are always entertained with a good selection of games. They could be a classic like garden bowls, an active free-for-all like Frisbee, or a party game played al fresco like Twister. The world's your oyster.

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