Forget a white Christmas, many Britons will dream of a dry December 25th this year when planning an outdoor celebration.
Despite the government's easing of Covid-19 restrictions during the holiday season, many families will no doubt opt for an outdoor affair versus indoor mixing.
Waitrose predicts an increase in households picking up their grills from the back of the shed to prepare their Christmas dinner. Online searches for BBQ charcoal on their website are up 176 percent, while Lakeland claims BBQ sales this month are up 433 percent compared to that time last year.
Martyn Lee, executive chef at Waitrose, said he cooks his turkey on the grill every Christmas and claims he keeps impressing.
"It's really easy, faster than cooking it in the oven, and it gives a wonderfully juicy taste with a crispy skin," he said. "And it's not just the turkey, you can cook on the grill all of Christmas – ingredients, desserts and everything."
For beginners, this is a daunting prospect. To help you out, FEMAIL has compiled a whole host of tips and tricks from BBQ experts and top chefs to help you prepare all of your garden meal.
Here you will find your very easy guide to grilling a Christmas party for the whole family, from turkey to Brussels sprouts.
Despite the government's easing of Covid-19 restrictions during the festive period, many families will no doubt opt for an outdoor affair at Christmas from mixing indoor households (archive image)
A tasty starter
To kick off the festivities, Tom Hixson of Smithfield Ambassador David McCormack of Wilson's BBQ shared a simple recipe for charcoal bruschetta.
Take a back baguette or sourdough bread and cut it into slices at an angle of about 1 cm. Then place them on a baking sheet.
Then cut the cloves of half a garlic bulb into thin slices and place in a pan with 200 ml of olive oil. Add the garlic and slowly toast it for 2-3 minutes until it is fragrant. Make sure the garlic doesn't turn brown and let the oil cool.
Drizzle each slice of bread with the garlic-enriched oil and let it work. You can throw away the garlic slices.
Make sure your charcoal is mostly white with a red glow in the middle. Then use tongs to toast both sides of each slice of bread until you get a crispy, crunchy bruschetta from the charcoal grill.
You can let them cool down or eat them while they are warm. For a twist, top each bruschetta with smoked salmon, roasted tomatoes, chorizo and basil, or other favorites.
James Hocking, a California wine importer and year-round barbecue fan, says he always cooks his turkey on the grill (pictured)
THE TURKEY – To brine or not to brine?
To get the best flavor from your turkey, Chef Martyn Lee says it's all about the brine.
UPGRADE YOUR BBQ – AND YOUR FUEL
James Hocking, a California wine importer and year-round barbecue enthusiast, recommends two different types of outdoor cooking systems for ultimate performance.
"The kamado-style grill like the Big Green Egg or Kamado Joe gives great and consistent results. We cooked our Christmas turkey on a Big Green Egg last year," he said.
& # 39; The other is a pellet grill like a porter. This is essentially a smoker and the meat is slowly cooked to be nice and tender. I'll be making our turkey on a Traeger Ironwood Grill this year.
“Local and sustainable charcoal is essential! Most of the UK has companies that produce small logs. Try buying apple wood if you can find it. It is a nice mild wood that can be used to cook poultry.
“Ideally, look for large clumps to get good airflow through the grill. Avoid bags of dusty charcoal and briquettes tied together with chemicals to make them stick.
“And please, NEVER, NEVER use lighter liquids! Pellet grills work with wood pellets that any decent grill shop will sell. If you're grilling pellets this year, give hickory pellets a try for your cook. & # 39;
"You have to immerse the turkey completely in the brine – with 80g of salt per liter of water – and then let it sit for about 24 hours to properly marinate," he said.
“I use my resting summer cooler for the task! You will then need to desalt in fresh water for an hour before you bring it to the grill.
“I love cooking the whole bird on the grill as everyone has the option to eat white or dark meat. I always remove the thighs and legs and cook them separately, however, as the dark meat will benefit from longer, slower cooking.
“Cooking both at the same time means that the white breast meat in front of the thighs and legs will overcook – resulting in the dreaded dry turkey!
“If you'd rather focus on the turkey crown or plan a smaller gathering, this will cook wonderfully too.
“Grilling a turkey requires indirect heat – it's very different from grilling a steak or grilling burgers over hot coals.
“The best way to do this is to stack coals on one side of the grill and the meat on the other. My tip would be to use foil if needed to help deflect heat. & # 39;
GOT GAS BBQ?
If you are able to control the temperature of your grill, this simple cooking method by Paul Kelly of Kelly Bronze Turkeys (www.kellybronze.co.uk) may be better for you as he insists that your bird is roasted is not required.
Paul claims there's no need to feel discouraged when cooking your turkey on the grill – just treat it like it is a big chicken.
"When you have a fully matured bird like a Kelly Bronze, all you have to do is baste or add salt and pepper spices," he said.
“Take your turkey out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for at least an hour.
“Don't fill it either, as this will prevent heat from getting through the bird and cooking evenly.
'With the lid closed, heat the grill to 180 ° C and place the turkey breast breast down in a foil pan. Most of the fat deposits are in the bird's back. When it cooks, the fat runs through the bird and tinkers itself.
The Kamado-style grill like the Big Green Egg or Kamado Joe will give great, even results when grilling your turkey
Season with Maldon sea salt and add 0.5 liters of water to the tray. Place the turkey in the tray and cook it with the grill lid closed for half the recommended cooking time (this depends on the size of your bird). Keep the temperature inside the grill at 180 ° C.
Turn the bird over halfway through the recommended cooking time. Season again and poke a hole in the skin on the inside of each thigh to let the juices flow and let the heat in.
& # 39; Check the temperature by inserting the thermometer into the thickest part of the chest (without touching the bone). Remove the thermometer, close the lid and check again after five minutes until the core temperature is reached. For a Kelly Bronze this is 60 ° C. For a normal turkey it is 72 ° C.
When the temperature is right, place the turkey on a platter to rest uncovered in the kitchen for at least 30 minutes. The internal temperature continues to rise during this time. Then serve and enjoy! & # 39;
David McCormack of Wilson's BBQ suggests putting your hand under the turkey's skin and lifting it off the meat. That way, you'll get crisper skin that you can easily cut through and prevent a gummy texture.
He added, “About an hour before the bird is fully cooked, start tacking the surface, repeating every 10 minutes. Make the perfect turkey broth by melting unsalted butter in a pan and adding fresh thyme, fresh sage, a little bit of chicken broth, half the juice and the lemon zest. & # 39;
Paul Kelly insists that you don't need to be discouraged about cooking your turkey on the grill – just treat it like it is a big chicken.
Smoked Christmas Gamon
If you want to take a break from turkey or serve two meat dishes this year, try this delicious smoked ham dish with jam and ginger jam glaze courtesy of David McCormack …
– unsmoked ham joint
– 200 g of jam
– 100 g canned ginger
– 1 teaspoon of fresh or ground nutmeg
– 350 g of brown sugar
– 2 teaspoons of salt
– 2 tablespoons of paprika
Mix the brown sugar, salt, and paprika in a bowl. Brush the entire piece of ham with the brown sugar mixture.
Set up your grill for smoking, ideally with a fruit wood like cherry or apple.
Slowly smoke the joint at approx. 135 ° C until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the joint reaches 68 ° C (1 hour 15 m per 450 g of meat).
While the joint is boiling, add the jam, ginger jam, nutmeg, and a splash of water to a pan. Five to 10 minutes before the joint reaches 68 ° C, warm through the jam and ginger icing until it is completely combined and loosened in texture.
When the joint has reached the desired internal temperature, generously glaze the entire ham with the jam and ginger sauce.
Put it on the grill for another 30-35 minutes, or until the icing is set (make sure the sugar isn't burning).
Rest the joint for 45 minutes, or as long as you want.
THE IMPORTANT TRIMMINGS
HONEY AND ORANGE FRIED PARSNIPPS AND CARROTS
For this side dish, David McCormack recommends heating the grill to a temperature of 200 ° C.
Cut your carrots and parsnips lengthways – for optimal presentation – and toss them in a mixture of oil, salt, pepper, cumin, and finely chopped rosemary before placing them on the grill to fry.
For this side dish of roasted parsnips and carrots with honey and orange, David McCormack recommends heating the grill to a temperature of 200 ° C
Five minutes before they're done, drizzle lightly over honey and half the zest of an orange. Throw them again before serving.
Cauliflower cheese – grill style
If there's a vegetarian in the family, this side dish from Waitrose Chef Martyn Lee is a great meat-free option.
Give the classic cauliflower cheese a smoky makeover by grilling it
Give the classic cauliflower cheese a smoky makeover by grilling a whole cauliflower in its leaves.
Once it's adequately charred, dress it up in a seasoned cheddar sauce – if you're short on time, a pre-made one will work.
PIGS IN CEILINGS
David McCormack shared these pigs in blankets with whole grain mustard and honey dip recipe that can be used as a starter or as a side dish to the main course.
To make the chipolatas' skins “snap” better, place them uncovered on a rack in the refrigerator the night before you need them.
Set your grill to a cooking temperature of 180 ° C – add a piece of apple wood to the charcoal just before cooking for a particularly smoked taste.
Take your chipolatas out of the fridge and wrap each chipolata in a slice of smoked bacon strips.
THE BEST WINE FOR A BARBECUED FESTIVE FEAST
James Hocking says that many wines go with a roast on Christmas Day, but he suggests a good Alsatian or dry German Riesling for the table.
"For red, Pinot Noir is my first choice, and Russia's River Valley Pinot Noir from Benovia is the winner here," he adds
Place your bacon-wrapped chipolatas on a wire rack, keeping a distance of about 1 cm.
Put them on the grill and close the lid. Saute for about 35-40 minutes or until the ends of the chipolatas are browned and the bacon is really crispy.
While the pigs are cooking in blankets, mix 360 g of whole grain mustard and 180 g of liquid honey. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
As a starter, portion the honey-mustard-dipping sauce evenly in dipping casserole dishes and serve next to the pigs in blankets. Dive, eat, repeat.
The Weber grill specialists recommend seasoning your Brussels sprouts by cooking them on the coals with fresh chorizo sausage, thyme and shallots.
Simply peel and chop the shallots and place in a large mixing bowl. Then cut the chorizo into small pieces and add to the bowl.
Scatter the thyme on top, add the olive oil and mix well. Season well, then set up the grill for direct grilling over medium heat.
Place the chorizo and shallot mixture on a Weber-style vegetable basket and grill for five minutes. Set aside after cooking, then prepare the sprouts by removing the tough outer leaves and scratching the thick end of the stem.
Place them in a large foil dish and add 200 ml of water, cover with foil and grill them for 10 minutes over medium grill heat. Add the chopped shallots and chorizo to the sprouts and cook for another five minutes until the sprouts are soft. Finally season lightly and serve!
The Weber grill specialists recommend seasoning your Brussels sprouts by cooking them on the coals with fresh chorizo sausage, thyme and shallots
Once you've cooked your potatoes with a tablespoon of salt for 8-10 minutes until they are soft and crumble around the edges, the Weber experts recommend coating them with 80 g of ground almonds and seasoning them with salt.
Then preheat a roasting dish lined with six tablespoons of duck or goose fat until it is hot.
Gently add the potatoes to the hot fat and spoon over them to make sure they are evenly coated.
Roast in the grill for 45 minutes to an hour until golden yellow and crispy.
Fried spuds are easy to make on the grill – just make sure you line your griddle with duck or goose fat
Don't let the grill burn out after you are done with the turkey and ingredients.
For a festive twist, Martyn Lee suggests slicing a Christmas pudding and grilling it on the grill to add a touch of caramelization.
"Top each slice with brandy butter and let it melt for a delicious dessert that is sure to make the perfect sweet ending to a Christmas dinner barbecue," he said.
For a festive twist, Martyn Lee suggests slicing a Christmas pudding and grilling it on the grill to add a touch of caramelization
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