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Your Total Guide To eating and drinking

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Total Guide to BBQs in Bristol

In the age of gas barbecues and those handy disposable ones, cooking outdoors has never been easier!

Children love the novelty of it all and they’re a lot easier to clear up afterwards.

Check out our top tips for the perfect summer barbecue in Bristol.

Fire Safety

First things first, make sure your barbecue is on a steady flat surface, and that it’s away from any trees or plants! It’s always good to make sure you’re barbecuing in an open space, with plenty of ventilation.

Cooking Meat on a Barbecue

When you’re cooking any sort of meat on a barbecue you have to make sure the coals are glowing amber with a powdery grey surface before you can even start cooking, otherwise the coals won’t be hot enough! You also have to make sure frozen meat is properly defrosted before you throw it on the grill and that you turn the meat frequently, moving it around so it cooks evenly. After all you don’t want to catch food poisoning.

It’s good to remember that meat is only safe to eat only when:

·         Clear juices run.

·         The centre is piping hot.

·         There is no visible pink meat.

Food

If you’ve got a barbecue with a lid, perfect! Use it as much as possible! It actually helps to cook your meat better; you end up with a succulent barbecue taste and ensure its nice and moist inside.

If you don’t want to cook the conventional hot dogs and burgers on the barbie this summer then why not try to out kebabs. Customize them exactly how you want them. Chicken, pork or even marinated vegetables, the possibilities are endless. We especially like serving them up with a variety of dipping sauces.

If you’re planning on serving up fish, make sure to wrap it up in some greaseproof paper and then wrap it up again in aluminium foil and then leave it to steam for a little while. This way you get the best colour and reduce the chances of it drying out.

BBQ Wine Partners

Barbecue food is one of wine's favourite friends. The sweetness and moist flavours match really well with wine's tannin and acidity. The team at Novel Wines have selected some corkers to enjoy!

If you love smoky flavours in your BBQ you must have a look at some of the wines India is making. They use charred oak and produce off-dry wines like Shiraz to make the best beefy partner. Sula Vineyards Dindori Res. Shiraz is our favourite and you'll either love it or hate it.

For a more classic, spicy red partner you could go Malbec or leap outside your comfort zone and try an amazing Bull's Blood blend from Hungary. Spicy, ripe deep fruits are brimming in these wines and young winemaker Janos Bolyki has conquered the art in his Bolyki "Bull's Blood" Bikaver.

You could also pair some fizz, especially with grilled prawns or veg BBQs. If you're on a bit of a budget, the Casa Valduga Arte Tradicional offers you Champagne grade quality at great value for money. If you fancy something upmarket, the English Raimes Classic is one of the finest fizz we've tried.

Volcanic soil wines also go really well with BBQ food. You can find these along the Danube in Croatia or Hungary or in Med countries like Greece and Sicily. For the connoisseur, try Tasca Ghiaia Nera Nerello Mascalese from Mount Etna, a really great Sicilian red wine. White wine experts should give G'aia Wile Ferment Assyrtiko from Santorini in Greece a try. If you want a volcanic wine at entry level, St. Donat Csopak Olaszrizling from Lake Balaton in Hungary is bound to impress.

The Location

Bristol has some of the best parks and gardens around, so you really are spoilt for choice when it comes to discovering your perfect barbecue location.

Whether you're venturing out to the Ashton Court Estate or just chilling at home, there's plenty of options. Plus when you’ve done with your lunch there’s masses of parkland to explore. 

Preparation

We always get ourselves a mini table to sit alongside our barbecue. It’s a great place to prep meat, hold the skewers and store the buns! Your barbecue might even have a mini side table of its own, but if you’re like us you’ll want to be away from the heat in between burger flips.

Another great idea is to have some hot soapy water and a towel close by to avoid getting your greasy hands everywhere.

From our experiences we’ve learnt cooking the biggest piece of steak possible isn’t the most practical. If you try and use smaller cuts of meat they’ll actually cook more evenly and are less prone to burn especially if you place them at the edge of the grill.

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