Tips on How to Have an Indoor Barbecue Party

Tips on How to Have an Indoor Barbecue Party
Tips on How to Have an Indoor Barbecue Party
We’ve talked about having a barbecue during winter before, but now that it’s spring in the UK you’d have thought you can throw those tips right out of the window until the end of the year. Unfortunately the weather in the UK has other ideas, and during the last week we’ve seen the coldest spring since 1963 and enough snow dumped on us to guarantee that all the swimming pools around the country would never go empty for at least another decade! Since you probably don’t want to go outside in this weather (and we don’t blame you) why not have an indoor barbecue party instead? Tips on How to Have an Indoor Barbecue Party

Tips on How to Have an Indoor Barbecue Party

Bad weather shouldn’t mean that you have to miss out on the lovely mouth-watering taste of barbecue food, who wants to wait for the good weather to roll around again just so you can enjoy the taste of a grilled sausage? A word of warning though, never – and we mean NEVER EVER – bring an outdoor barbecue inside. Charcoal and gas barbecues produce carbon monoxide, which can build up indoors and can kill. Stories like this one should serve as a warning to keep outdoor grills firmly outside where they belong. Given this problem, what can you do to have an indoor barbecue party?

Indoor Grilling

If you still want to brave outdoor cooking in cold weather, take a look at these tips to still cook outdoors when you’re having the party indoors. However, here we’re talking about cooking indoors here, so what can you use? Thankfully there are plenty of electric barbecues available that will give you the experience of a barbecue indoors. These are usually compact models that you can fit on to your countertop; made up of open grills, not that much different from your outside barbecue, and contact barbecues that will cook the meat on both sides (meaning you don’t have to flip). If you’ve ever used a George Foreman grill the latter will be familiar to you and the nasty clean-up afterwards too! You could even cook your food on an oven grill, although this won’t do as good as a job as other ways. Tips on How to Have an Indoor Barbecue Party The problem with indoor grilling is that the heat won’t be nearly as high as cooking outdoors, so you can expect longer cooking times. To get around this flaw try to use thinner cuts of meat. You’ve also got the problem that you’re probably not going to have as much space as you would on an outdoor barbecue, so plan accordingly to make sure you have enough time to feed everyone. Take a look at this video for some great indoor barbecue techniques: Unfortunately grilling indoors will never taste as good as doing it on a proper outdoor barbecue, but there are ways to get it close enough to that authentic taste of a lip-smacking summer barbecue. Tips on How to Have an Indoor Barbecue Party

Marinating All Night Long!

One way to ensure that you’ve got a good flavour on your meat is to prepare the marinade the night before. Create your own marinade, or have a look in your local supermarket, placing into a bowl along with the meat and mixing together. Keep it in the fridge overnight and the meat will absorb the marinade, taking on a tasty flavour. Other alternatives are sprinkling Cajun spices, paprika or barbecue rub on just before cooking. It’s all about getting a bit of flavour into your food.

Keep an Eye On It

It’s easy to get distracted when you’re indoors and something is cooking in the kitchen. Outside everyone will be gathered near the barbecue, so you could have a conversation while you’re watching your meat grilling. People may be spread around the house at an indoor party rather than gathered in the kitchen, so don’t want off and leave your food to burn. Getting that smoky taste on a barbecue is great, but you can’t do that on an indoor grill and you’ll only end up with burnt food instead. Tips on How to Have an Indoor Barbecue Party

Party Stuff

Make sure you’re stocked up on all the party essentials, which shouldn’t be much different from if you were having the party outside. Get some paper plates and plastic knives and forks, simply because no-one likes washing up all the party debris, plus that way you know that you’ll have enough for everyone and won’t run out halfway through. You’ll also want the inevitable alcohol and fizzy drinks! Tips on How to Have an Indoor Barbecue Party Aside from meat, and for those who are veggies, you’ll want a range of side dishes to go with it. Try to avoid cold salads if the weather is bad, and instead opt for roast or baked potatoes, pasta and winter vegetables like courgettes and carrots. Hopefully that will give you some idea of how to plan for an indoor barbecue party and not let the weather ruin your plans!

Roasting Coffee on a Barbecue Grill

Roasting Coffee on a Barbecue Grill
Roasting Coffee on a Barbecue Grill

Roasting Coffee on a Barbecue Grill

We love our coffee here in the UK (I’m definitely proof of that, with at least 2 a day and a coffee machine at home). Coffee is rapidly overtaking the traditional cup of tea as our national drink, and coffee shops have sprung up in every corner of the country over the last few years. But an addiction to your daily espresso or tall skinny latte can get expensive when you tot up how much you spend over a month or year. Many coffee aficionados are exploring other ways of roasting and grinding their own beans at home as both a way of cutting costs and getting an individual product, and one of the best and easiest ways of roasting beans at home is on a standard barbecue grill.

What Sort of Beans are Suitable for Roasting?

Most of the coffee which we drink in coffee shops are made from a blend of different sorts of coffee beans. There are lots of websites online which will give recommendations about what sorts of beans to buy and which make the best blends, but as with everything else, the choice of beans is very much down to a matter of personal taste. The best advice is to buy small quantities of different beans and experiment with different roasts and different mixes of beans to find out what mix you like best. Roasting Coffee on a Barbecue Grill When shopping for beans, make sure you are buying “green” or unroasted beans rather than ones which have already been roasted and are designed purely for grinding at home. Roasted beans are best used fresh, so roast regularly and in small quantities so your beans are always beautifully fresh.

Benefits of Using the Barbecue

It’s perfectly possible to use any stove to prepare your coffee beans at home, and many people roast using a frying pan on their cooker. Roasting beans can get a bit messy and smelly though, so working in the open air means you take the mess and smell out of the house. The temperature has to be high to roast beans though, so it is best to use a gas fired barbecue to roast beans. It can be difficult to get the temperature high enough on a charcoal grill. As the beans are contained within a roaster while you are working, you can also cook food on the grill at the same time, if you wish.

Do I need Special Equipment?

Some real coffee experts have special machines and pans with paddles which are turned around to ensure an even and professional roast. These are quite expensive though and aren’t really necessary for someone who is just beginning. Any flat frying pan or shallow pan will do to roast your beans in, but it is best to choose one with a metal handle as plastic handles may well melt in the high temperatures experienced on the grill. The surface area of the pan will determine how many beans you can roast at once, so the larger the pan the better. You will also need gloves to handle the pan and the hot beans once they have roasted, and some sort of storage container to keep your green and roasted beans in.

Getting Started

Always heat your pan before starting to roast your beans. Putting the beans into a cold pan is not going to work as well as putting them into a pan which has already got up to temperature. Put a thin layer of beans into the pan, leaving enough room to move the beans around on the surface. The length of time you roast the beans for will determine the strength of flavour. Again this is a matter of personal preference.

Cracking

The beans are green when you first put them into the pan and will first start to turn yellow, smell a bit like grass and start to steam a little. You will then hear a crack, and then the beans start to roast as the sugars in the beans start to caramelise. The length of time you allow the beans to roast at this stage determines the strength of your coffee. Most roasters will take their beans out of the pan at this stage. The beans will eventually crack for a second time and by this stage the roast is very dark. At this stage it is best to take the beans off the heat – any longer and they will burn.

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