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TV chef says 'you must throw out' common barbecue tool which 'does more harm than good'

Cooking on a barbecue is one of the joys of warm weather, but it’s not without its pitfalls.

The primary worry might be under or over-cooked meat, but an expert chef has revealed the “biggest mistake” people make when grilling food outdoors.

Whether you’re cooking vegetable skewers or beef burgers over hot coals, top-notch ingredients and a dependable set of tools are crucial for success.

However, Mike Reid, culinary director of Rare Restaurants, suggests that this is where many people falter.

Speaking previously to Express.co.uk, Mike, who featured alongside Michel Roux Jr. on Five Star Kitchen: Britain’s Next Great Chef, stated: “One of the biggest mistakes many people make is owning a barbecue fork!.”

He elaborated that while it may seem insignificant, this popular cooking tool can negatively impact the food.

Mike added: “If you own one, I’d advise you to throw it out now; they do more harm than good when grilling as they leave holes in your food which allows all the juices to pour out.

“In my experience, the best barbecue tools are a great pair of tongs, along with a good barbecue spatula and brushes for adding marinades.”

The seasoned chef shared that sausages, koftas, and kebabs top his barbecue menu, adding: “You can use cheaper cuts of meat and make them taste incredible, they’re also quick and easy to cook too.”

Aside from good quality ingredients and tools, Mike noted the importance of heat control. He advised: “It’s all about controlling your heat – to master the barbecue you must first master the flame.

“If you are cooking with coal or wood make sure you give it time to die down before cooking on it.”

He suggested checking the grill’s “hotspots” by holding a hand above it to gauge the temperature. He explained: “Depending on how long you can hold your hand there is a reflection of the temperature. One second is the hottest and five seconds is the coolest.”

In terms of what to grill, Mike said that both meat and vegetables generally love high heat.

However, he noted: “Although a good rule to follow is the higher the fat content (ribeye or sirloin) the higher the heat it can handle, whereas more leaner cuts (fillet or rump) prefer a cooler heat.”

He further added that charred vegetables are full of flavour due to their natural sugars, and concluded: “Keep basting, keep turning and watch a boring cabbage morph into a charred delicious crispy thing of beauty.”


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