Top Tips for the perfect BIG BBQ You’ve put the date in the diary, invited your guests, planned the food and have your fingers crossed for fine weather. All that’s left to do now is follow Antony Worrall Thompson’s top tips to ensure your BIG BBQ goes without a hitch. Safety first Most food safety is common sense, but it’s something that can easily be forgotten, especially when catching up with friends and family! Basic rules: Wash your hands before cooking and eating. Use a separate chopping board for raw and cooked foods (and always keep these foods apart). Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Buy a meat probe to test whether the meat, especially poultry, is cooked properly - poultry needs to reach at least 75C/165F to kill harmful bacteria. Set up your barbecue on a flat surface away from trees, fences, sheds, or shrubs. Keep children and pets away from the BBQ area. Top Tip: Have a look at our BIG BBQ fundraising ideas for some fun ways to entertain the little ones. Last but not least, never leave the barbecue unattended. Preparation is key We want you to enjoy your BIG BBQ, so organise what you can in advance and get everyone involved. Arrange your salads and sides into serving dishes in the morning, cover and chill. Assemble your equipment. Pop your tongs, trays and plates within easy reaching distance so they’re to hand when needed. Lay the table and perhaps have a separate area for drinks, so that people can help themselves rather than coming to you every time they need a top up. Get Grilling The main event! Use the tips below to ensure you really raise the ‘steaks’! Always light your barbecue at least 30 mins before you want to use it and leave the charcoal alone until the flames have burned out. Dried herbs such as rosemary, thyme and oregano, or a handful of fragrant wood chips on the coals, will infuse the food with lovely flavours. Wipe off excess marinade before placing items on the coals as these can create flare-ups that will burn the food. If you have a kettle barbecue, try cooking with the lid down so that the food is permeated with gorgeous smoky flavour. Some items, like sausages, are even tastier if cooked before popping them on the barbecue. Try poaching them in stock until cooked, then grill them on the BBQ until golden brown. The other option is to start things on the barbecue, then transfer them to the oven to finish off cooking. Remember to rest your meat before serving. This is probably one of the easiest yet most forgotten tips. Failing to do so could result in tough meat, but just 5-10 minutes resting time will make all the difference. COVID-19 Information Pease follow government guidelines and current Covid regulations when hosting your event and subsequent fundraising activities.