"Pour half a bottle of beer over a heated BBQ then rub with newspaper for a clean grill."
Forget the limp, supermarket sausages and bland, tasteless burgers – we’ve got the perfect guide to a summer BBQ to impress, as well as the best grilling machines to invest in if you’re needing an upgrade, and even tips from Michelin-starred chef Steve Smith on how to clean the grill after you’re done.
Summer BBQ recipes with a difference
Prawn Bruschetta Skewers
These are a really easy method to barbecue prawns, using classic flavour combinations and a lovely variety of texture.
Prawns (big fat tiger prawns are always the best) | Ciabatta, focaccia or similar chewy, crusty bread, cut into cubes | Olive oil | Garlic | Lemon | Chopped parsley
On each skewer, thread the prawns and bread, alternating between each. Drizzle with olive oil and scatter with garlic. Cook on the barbecue until the bread is toasted, and whilst the skewers are still cooking, squeeze over the lemon then remove, season, drizzle with a bit more oil and scatter with parsley.
Soy and Brown Sugar Salmon
This is a perfect salty and sweet alternative to classic barbecued salmon. Remember to marinate a couple of hours before grilling.
Salmon fillets | 5 tablespoons soy sauce | 4 tablespoons dark brown soft sugar | 2 minced garlic cloves | Black pepper | 5 tablespoons water | 4 tablespoons vegetable oil | Grated zest of 1 lemon
Stir together all the marinade ingredients in a bowl until the sugar dissolves. Put the fish in a Ziploc bag, add the marinade and refrigerate for two hours. Then, just lightly oil the barbecue and grill for about 6-8 minutes per side.
Cola-glazed Barbecue Ribs
These are outrageously sticky and absolutely delicious. They do take some preparation time but are well worth the extra effort.
Pork rib racks | 2 cans cola | 2 tsp toasted sesame seed
For the sauce:
8 tablespoons tomato ketchup | 8 tablespoons soft brown sugar | 2 tablespoons soy sauce | 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce | 2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce | 1 teaspoons paprika
Preheat your oven to 160C. Put the ribs in a roasting tin and pour over the cola and enough water to cover the ribs, then cover the tin tightly with foil. Roast for 2-3 hrs, turning halfway through.
Put all the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Gently heat then bubble for about 2 minutes whilst stirring continuously.
When the ribs are done, carefully lift each out of the tin and sit on kitchen paper to dry. Tip away the liquid and wipe out the tin, then put the dry ribs back in the tin and coat with the sauce. Cover and chill for at least 1 hr to marinate.
Heat the ribs on the grill for 20 mins, turning occasionally, and basting often with the remaining sauce. When the ribs are crisping on the outside, scatter with the sesame seeds.
Harissa Butter Corns-on-the-cob
It’s easy to add simple ingredients to butter to really bring out the flavours in barbecued corn cobs.
Corn cobs | 100g butter | 1 tablespoon honey | 1 tablespoon ketchup | 2 cloves garlic | 2 tablespoons harissa | Salt and pepper
Mash together the butter with the honey, ketchup, garlic, harissa and seasoning. Then simply wrap each cob twice in foil and barbecue for about half an hour, turning once. When they’re done, just put them on a plate and coat in the spicy butter. Delicious.
The best grills
So you know how to put together a veritable outdoor feast, but what about the machine itself? Obviously you can always by a bag of charcoal and do it the cheap way, but feast your eyes on these beauties…
Kalamazoo K750GS Gaucho Wood-fired Freestanding Grill with Side Burner
Hand-built to order in Michigan, this frankly ridiculous outdoor kitchen will set you back an eye-watering $24,000, or about £16,500. Featuring a 30-inch spoked wheel to allow you to raise and lower the many grill grates and rotisseries, the K750GS can be customised with laser-cut grilling surfaces and other personalised options.
Backwoods G2 Competitor
An enormous Southern-style smoking barbecue, the G2 can cook six 12-pound turkeys, 26 racks of ribs or 12 briskets at once. I don’t know what kind of meat festival you’re thinking of throwing this summer but this machine could probably handle it.
Weber Summit S670
This flashy stainless steel number comes in at a comparatively reasonable £3,999, and includes a replaceable centre grate for searing, griddling and wok cooking, as well as a tuck-away rotisserie and “Flavorizer bars”, which sound very exciting.
Calflame Grand Pavilion GPV3100
Less of a barbecue and more of an all-in-one outdoor entertainment suite, the GPV3100 comes with a 5-burner grill, deep fryer, an iPod docking station with built-in speakers, an ice maker, and countless other silly add-ons, measuring over 15 feet wide.
Röshults Kitchen Outdoor BBQ Grill 300
Possibly the most aesthetically pleasing barbecue I’ve ever seen, the gas-fired Röshults 300 is designed by award-winning designers and features huge stainless steel grates with four burners per section and easy-emptying coal ash trays. Beautiful.
Available for £3,928 at chaplins.co.uk
How to clean your barbecue – tips from Steve Smith
So you’ve finished wining and dining your guests, and the last thing you want to do is spend hours cleaning the grill. So, Michelin-starred chef Steve Smith has provided his tips on how to clean your barbecue as easily and as quickly as possible - it’s important to clean your grill regularly to prevent food poisoning and to prolong the life of the barbecue.
Preheat the Grill
Clean the grill just after preheating it, this way the grease and food will scrape off easily.
Grab an Onion
To remove all of the grit, place a half cut onion on the end of a fork and rub onto a hot grill.
Clean your grill with soapy water after cooking, then rinse and dry immediately and rub vegetable oil across the grill to prevent rust.
Don’t throw water
If you are using a charcoal grill, then do not throw cold water over the coals after cooking as this will create a mess.
Crack open a Beer
Pour half a bottle of beer over a heated BBQ then rub with newspaper for a clean grill. Then you enjoy the rest of the beer for yourself!
Create a Paste
Mix baking soda and water to make a paste then cover the grill in it with a wire brush. Let it dry for 15 minutes then wipe the grill with a dry cloth and place it over the hot coals for 15 minutes to burn off any remains before cooking the food.
Steve Smith is the head chef at Bohemia - the only restaurant in the Channel Islands to be listed in The Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants and is ranked at number 49. Bohemia also recently received the highest score in the Channel Islands in the Good Food Guide 2016 with a glowing score of 7, its highest score yet, and was listed as the best restaurant in Jersey in the guide’s ‘Top 50 Restaurants in the UK’.