* Set-up – make sure the marinating of the meat is done 24 hours prior to cooking to enhance the flavours you want to create. Once marinated leave in the fridge.
* Light the barbecue before guests arrive – your guests will arrive to either the smell of meat being cooked or the sound of the barbecue. I always recommend using a coal barbecue, as it allows for the best cooking conditions and provides a fantastic taste. Make sure you allow longer for a charcoal barbeque to heat, approximately 40 minutes.
* Ensure that your coals are ready to cook on – the coals need to be glowing red with a powdery grey surface before you start cooking, this will mean that they are hot enough to cook on.
* Allow the meat slightly to warm before cooking – take the meat out of the fridge around an hour before you cook it, bringing it to room temperature. This will make sure it cooks faster, with the meat just below the surface not being overcooked.
* Be organised – especially around the barbecue. Keep cooked meat away from raw and make sure that all utensils are also kept separate.
* Use the best possible ingredients – ensure the meat is of a high quality, check it is organic, free range or from a reputable source. Make sure you have exciting salads, cheese and vegetables to go alongside what you are barbecuing.
* Don’t be afraid to include extras – on your meat such as cheese which is a great accompaniment to any barbecue. I would recommend Leerdammer® Toastie and Burger which is natural, thick and creamy sliced cheese.
* Stay with the barbecue – to ensure the food is properly cooked and that nothing gets burnt.
* Move the meat – if you can, have different racks that allow meat to be moved off the main barbecue when they are cooked, this will ensure they are kept warm and more importantly allows you to rest the meat. You can also place the food in foil.
* Check the meat is cooked – use a knife and fork to cut into the meat to test that it has been cooked properly and use a meat thermometer to assess the desired temperature.
* Rest the meat – leaving the meat to rest once it has been cooked allows it to absorb the juices, and will be tenderer.
Darragh O’Shea of O’Shea’s Butchers is helping to promote Leerdammer® Toastie and Burger cheese. Leerdammer® Toastie and Burger is the perfect accompaniment to any barbecue this summer.
For further barbecue inspiration, Leerdammer® has also created a set of burger recipes which can be viewed here: http://leerdammer.co.uk/recipes.html