We’re celebrating Canada Day long weekend, so what better time to share some summer BBQ tips? Unfortunately, we currently have humidity that’s making it feel like 45+ degrees Celsius. I’ve always said you don’t need air conditioning at cottages because of the glorious lake breeze, but this weekend is making me reconsider.
When it doesn’t get below 30 for days on end, you start to feel…sticky. You also refuse to put the oven or stove on (and who am I kidding, we’re barely turning on the lights). Everything we’ve eaten this weekend has been cooked outside, which inspired me to write this post. Don’t worry, a new recipe is coming next week!
James was a chef in a past life and as I told you in my grilled prosciutto pizza recipe, he’s a BBQ connoisseur. He works as an electrician, but he did many trades before choosing this one and can essentially fix anything (plus he takes really great pictures). He’s a pretty awesome dude who did all of the cooking this weekend, so I’m going to keep him.
10 summer BBQ tips
- Don’t char your meat. A growing body of research suggests eating charred meat exposes you to carcinogens. To have a safe feast, avoid fatty cuts of meat, which create more smoke, and cook your meat at a low temperature until it’s done, not blackened.
- Order some grill mats. You can use your BBQ to cook unconventional things, such as eggs, and not have to worry about small things, such as shrimps, falling through the cracks if you have a grill mat. They also make clean up a breeze!
- Use a high heat cooking oil. If you’re going to use oil, make sure you use a heat heat one, such as avocado or grapeseed, to avoid consuming any unhealthy fats.
- Use a spatula or tongs to flip your meat. If you pierce it with a fork, the juices will escape!
- Cook your vegetables in a grill basket. There’s nothing I love more than chopped up vegetables tossed in avocado oil with homemade seasoning grilled to perfection. We use a grill basket so we don’t lose any of the glorious pieces. Our organic garden is growing marvelously in our backyard oasis, but unfortunately nothing grill worthy yet!
- Marinade your meat overnight (or at least for an hour). The difference in taste is phenomenal! I have amazing homemade marinade and seasoning recipes…let me know in the comments below if you want to see a post with all my flavour secrets.
- Cook your food at room temperature. If the centre of your chicken is cold (or worse, frozen), then the outside could burn before the inside is fully cooked.
- Use a meat thermometer. To ensure your food is fully cooked and no one gets sick, check the temperature before serving.
- Clean your grill. Scrubbing your grill down with a cedar grill scraper and, you know, actually washing it every so often will help to prevent fires, rancid grease, and even mould – yuck! Wire brushes can scratch stainless steel grills and leave behind metal bristles.
- Soak your skewers! I love kabobs and if you’re using wood skewers, be sure to soak them in water first. Another alternative that is cheaper over the long term and more environmentally friendly is reusable skewers.
Despite the extreme heat, we spent our days outside on the lake and I made a lot of progress on my books after the sun went down. I’m hoping to be able to put Sweet Redemption in your hands soon! I was able to take a big step back and I’m feeling rested, recharged and ready to take on a new week.
What did you do this weekend?
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