Playing with fire: Worship at the altar of millennial barbeques

With a sizzling summer underway, in our minds if not in our gardens, it’s getting hot on the coals!

Wannabe barbeque maestros up and down the UK are testing their fire-lighting, fat-spitting, burger-flipping, prodding, marinading, dipping and eating skills. It’s a commercial in the making. In the backyard, in the park, on the beach.

But what if your barbeque inspiration is down the pan? All cheap, cremated burgers washed down with warm cans of weak lager (and the risk of food poisoning thrown in for good measure).

We say move your barbeque towards the ceremonial! After all millennials wouldn’t be seen dead with butchers’ floor sausages and limp lettuce on plastic plates. Make it low-and-slow-and-smoking and always over the finest charcoal or for the real connoisseurs carefully selected wood. Applewood for pork; oak for beef but never for shellfish. Take your pick. But whether you want it fast and easy, or you want to pull out all the stops and make yours something of a modern ritual of outdoor cooking, a bit of planning will make all the difference.

The starting point to make your barbeque a high altar of summer eating is the shopping. Divine cuts of meat from beef shortribs to premium brisket, Japanese Wagyu beef burgers, pork or lamb shoulder roasts and smoked chicken. Don’t forget ingredients for sauces, marinades and rubs, and taste enhancers that can make all the difference like Tabasco sauce. You can make it artisan, organic, locally raised! It’s everything the weekend farmer’s market has to offer.

 

If you’re going for real richness and diversity, you’ll be going nowhere without getting the prep of your choice cuts done just right. Add in that essential rub, marinade or cooking sauce and you’ve got a dose of London’s multicultural smorgasbord on your menu. Hot Jamaican jerk chicken or deep Nigerian spiced flavours made easy with something like Tabasco’s Chipotle sauce (you need to get the perfect smoking flavour from somewhere), or Filipino chicken wings using Tabasco Green Sauce to give it a kick. Then you’re really turbocharging your rubs and sauces to bring out the natural flavours of BBQ cooking.

Full of flavour, full of vibrancy. Let’s get the barbeque party started right?