Here at the Great British BBQ, we’ve been busy doing all we can to transform Britain into a nation of year-round barbecuers. First we launched our winter pledge competition, giving you the chance to win everything you could possibly need to host the perfect winter BBQ. Then we introduced you to Mr Drink ‘n’ Eat, to help you make the most seasonal grub on the BBQ by pairing it with perfect drinks. And now, we bring you a collection of tips from top chefs and celebs that will guarantee to make your winter BBQs a success!
We met Daniel Doherty, the Executive Chef of Duck and Waffle whilst at Meatopia during the summer, where he was busy serving up Pigs Head to a long queue of eager BBQ enthusiasts! This year, Dan has been named ‘Rising Star Chef” in the 2013 Tatler Restaurant Awards and Duck and Waffle was named as one of the top 100 places to dine in the UK by Restaurant magazine. When discussing his top tips for winter barbecuing, Daniel said “Don’t be scared of it – play around with it and don’t worry about messing up.” He went on to speak about the ingredients he chooses to use, advising that when barbecuing, “the worst that could happen is you burn the food, but then you just start again. If you use cheap cuts like me then there’s no waste!”
John Hargate was another chef that we ran into at Meatopia. He has a wealth of fascinating stories that have led him to his current role, where he runs BBQ shack from the World’s End Pub in Brighton. In the past he has been a chef for Gary Rhodes and John Torode but it was whilst spending time in America as a DJ, that he learnt his BBQ skills in a Texas kitchen. Since returning to Britain, he has won numerous awards and become a renowned name on the BBQ circuit. His top tip for barbecuing during the winter is to “try smoking turkey, especially if you’re only used to traditional English roasts.” His advice was to, “Brine it first, which is easy on a Weber Kettle. A turkey crown will take the same time on the BBQ as a whole bird in the oven.” Give it a go this Christmas.
DJ BBQ hosted the Cutting Room stage at Meatopia and with the help of meat merchant Peter Hannan and his award-winning Himalayan salt-aged beef, he made no secret of his love for barbecued steak. DJ BBQ said “You’ve got to drink beer when barbecuing steaks” which we are considering a winter tip in itself! But Peter Hannan’s tip was to BBQ your steaks this winter, giving them “a good blast of heat, around 250-270 degrees, then turn it down and cook it out.” This will result in the tastiest steaks, perfect on crisp winter evenings.
Jon at Grillstock, who pulled out all the stops with his tri-tip beef and mac & cheese at Meatopia this year, recommends carefully selecting dishes that require cooking slow and low over the winter - that way you can spend much of the cooking time in the warm! Being a year-round barbecuer himself, Jon said we should all “get a BBQ with a lid and wear warm clothes! Choose dishes that cook low & slow so you don’t have to be constantly outside.” A suggestion further backed by ex-Corrie star, and now BBQ enthusiast, Charlie Lawson aka Jim McDonald, who says to “put something on your head and a warm jacket on - that’s all you need”.
Nate Nolan aka Mr Drink ‘n’ Eat and Kim from the Marshmallowists have that covered. Nate has recommended three drinks that are perfect to accompany seasonal recipes on the BBQ, which you can see alongside our December Christmas turkey recipe, and (if you’ve got room!) Kim from the Marshmallowists recommends “toasting flavoured marshmallows on skewers for dessert as they taste best when the flavour is intense.” A simple, warming classic that will warm you up in no time!