The Kiwi and I have got the routine down to a tee now. The after-work BBQ has become somewhat of a meat-fuelled military exercise with temperatures above 18 degrees and a BBQ meat deal in the Co-op being the triggers for WWTwo burgers please.
I leave work at 4:30pm precisely on BBQ day and arrive home at 17:10. The Kiwi waits in the window of our second floor flat for the first sighting of a red Ford KA, burning it’s clutch out navigating the cattle grids on the hill up to our home. Then it’s a swift nod of acknowledgement through the glass before he’s outside packing up the car with the pre-packed BBQ arsonry. I haven’t even had a chance to switch off the engine.
Now, if you are unsure of how to conduct the perfect BBQ and in need of some guidance, here are our top tips for conducting the perfect Cornish beach BBQ.
1) Find your beach BBQ destination! All council owned beaches in Cornwall allow people to BBQ responsibly. By this they mean don’t litter, responsibly dispose of your embers and no gas BBQ’s.
2) Watch the weather. Make sure you check the forecast a couple of days ahead so you can plan where you go, what to take, and what time to get the coals going. Remember that Cornwall can have four seasons in one day, and even 4 seasons on 3 coasts. If it’s bad weather on the North coast, it may not necessarily be on the South. Check ahead and don’t get disheartened if your first choice is rained/mizzled off.
3) Become romantically involved with a large meat-eater. Not in some 50 Shades of Jurassic Park style. An 18 stone New Zealander works for me.
4) According to the above photo – wear a vest?!
5) Prepare your ingredients and gear in advance. Think the meal through from start to finish and you will begin to think of things to pack that you may have forgotten in a rush. Think sauces, salads, buns and utensils.
6) Remove all negativity from your life, starting with vegetarians.
Now before this causes upset amongst the plant-eaters – may I inform you that my sister is a vegetarian.
I bought her this card.
I believe it is rather relevant to the point I am trying to illustrate here.
7) Set your BBQ up in an area with some shelter from the wind. Wind can whip up a flame from embers or worse, blow it out completely.
8) Let the coals turn grey with no flame before cooking. Trying to cook with a flame is a sure route to burnt outsides and raw insides. Better known as salmonella poisoning.
9) Know your enemies. A seagull named Cyril poses the ultimate threat to your chipolatas as do his mates, Git, Sod and Get Lost.
10) Prepare the ultimate BBQ accessories. For the cooking utensils you will need tongs, a flipper and a fork and remember – all need to be metal. As well as these, you may want to consider the following:
- A heavy duty bag or storage tub for stowing your finished BBQ back in the car. After taking your clean BBQ to the beach – you’ve got to get the dirty one back! To avoid un-pleasantries on your upholsteries, nominate a bag or storage container as your new BBQ car-boot box.
- Paper Towel and/or Wet wipes for those sticky fingers. Sticky fingers and sand are a recipe straight from BBQ hell and you don’t want to keep having to run to the sea every time you want to rinse your hands.
- A bag to keep the rubbish in: With packaging from raw meat being an unfortunate by-product of the Cornish BBQ, take a small bag with you to keep the rubbish separate from your other BBQ belongings. And remember – never leave litter. Love the beach – but leave it as if you were never there.
- A cool bag with ice packs: …kept in the shade on the beach should keep your meat cool until ready to cook in the evening.
- Tin foil is your friend. Not only is it great for wrapping fish and bananas to grill on the BBQ (although not together), it also is the key to disposing of your ashes. See below…
11) Be prepared to wrap up your rubbish. Beach BBQ’s are all fun and burger consumption until you realise that you’ve essentially got to dispose of something hotter than the face of the sun. To get rid of your hot coals and ashes:
- First check to see if your beach has facilities to dispose of them (normally a metal bin marked out for the task).
- If not, leave the BBQ to burn down as long as you can and then take it somewhere away from people.
- Pour a little water on to the BBQ and move it around carefully, taking care not to spill, (your metal tongs are perfect for this) until the embers are COLD!
- Then, making sure that the embers are completely cold and completely out, scrape them into the middle of a large square of tin foil (Your metal burger flipper is perfect for this!).
- Wrap the cool embers up in the tin foil and it is now safe to dispose of in a non-combustible bin.
12) …or alternatively, recycle! If you have a garden, your plants can get a feed from your BBQ too! Charcoal ash is a great source of potash which is a vital nutrient for some plants and can increase the pH level of your flower beds. If you cooked using charcoals with no additives, instead of binning those cooled embers – you can take them away and use them as fertiliser or put them into your compost bin. Make sure that you check your charcoal content first though. Briquettes and some types of charcoals contain chemicals to help get your fire started. These are not suitable for your garden and should be binned!
13) Leave the beach as if you were never there. Not just as you found it. It’s so important that we stress this. There’s nothing worse than seeing litter in the beautiful Cornish coves and it can have a real detrimental effect on the wildlife and people’s enjoyment of these places. Did you know that sand absorbs heat so much so that if you cheekily buried your hot coals in the sand – in a few hours people would seriously burn their feet walking over the top?
14) …And most importantly – take friends!” There’s nothing nicer than rounding up a group after work and heading for the beach. And it’s even better when you can get them to carry your stuff for you.
And lend you a sausage.
And there you have it! Our top tips for the perfect Cornish beach BBQ in honour of National Burger Day.
What tips do you have for the perfect Cornish beach BBQ? Got any recipes? Any favourite dishes? Comment below or Tweet us so we can steal your suggestions and pass them off as our own at our next BBQ. Alternatively, send us a snap on Instagram with the hashtag #kiwiinkernow for your chance to feature in our next week’s food themed Instachart!