Now that we’ve said goodbye to winter chill, it’s time to officially welcome grilling season! With the weather warm enough to hang out outdoors, we can now barbecue to our hearts’ content.
But before you bust out your grill, there are some things you need to keep in mind to ensure the perfect cookout. From prepping your gear to choosing the best meats, here are some ideas to jumpstart spring grilling the right way.
Check your grill.
Most people will have cooked less over winter, so your grills and firepits may need a cleanup before grilling in spring. Be sure to take out ash from the base of the barbecue, clear the vents of any debris, and wipe down the inside of your grill.
Make sure to clean the cooking grates as well. Submerge in hot, soapy water for a few hours to make cleaning easier. Use steel wool for stainless grates and a non scratch scourer for hot plate style cooktops. You can also heat up the grill for 10 minutes, then use a BBQ brush to clean the grates while they are hot, before using it for grilling.
Stock up on fuel.
Whatever your preferred fuel source, make sure you have enough on hand to fire up your grill. Check out Firebrand’s line of high quality fuel, from our Briquette Charcoal and Hardwood Lump Charcoal to our Ironbark and Wood Pellets. If you want to add a special smokey flavour to your cooks, make sure to try our Smoking Wood Chips.
Serve fast cooking protein.
Most people like meat to be the centrepiece of their cookout. During spring, chicken, pork, and lamb are popular choices because they are quick and easy to grill over charcoal. Steak is also a must on the menu, no matter what the season.
Skewers are always great for spring grilling – they are fast to cook, and always a hit with everyone! There are endless pairings you can include in skewers, from proteins to vegetables, and you can whip up your own sauce and rub combos as well.
Pair vegetables with your meat.
Seasonal vegetables that hold their shape are best for grilling. Think mushrooms, zucchini, corn on the cob, capsicum and cherry tomatoes. To prepare, mix and match on a skewer and arrange a colourful array of veggies to match brighter spring vibes. Season well with salt and pepper and olive oil, then just drizzle balsamic vinegar before serving!
Choose a light rub for your protein.
For a light but tasty rub, try Lanes BBQ Garlic² BBQ Seasoning. It’s a great flavour enhancer when grilling your vegetables.
If you’re unsure which marinade will go with your protein, go for an all purpose rub instead. Try Rum and Que All Purpose Meat Rub, which pairs especially well with red meat, or the Smoke Chamber BBQ All Purpose Dust Down Rub, which you can use on pretty much all cuts of protein to salads and vegetables. There’s also Jacoubs All Purpose Seasoning, which adds subtle flavour to meats and vegetables, and the Tuffy Stone The Big Umami All Purpose Rub, which can be used on meat, vegetables, seafood, and even on fries, soups and burgers!
Use your barbecue beyond grilling.
While the grill is the star of your backyard barbie, you can also use it to steam cook food like seasoned salmon or potatoes. Wrap the salmon fillets in foil with lemon, butter, and fennel slices finished with a hint of soy sauce. No need to flip the foil packs. Once your meal is cooked through, you can serve it right away!
It can still be a little chilly when you host your spring cookout early in the season, so it’s the perfect time to bust out your portable grills or fire pits for a bonfire. Your guests can cosy up to the fire to warm themselves, and you can make s’mores for dessert after gorging on delicious BBQ. Check out The Original Pit Barrel Cooker, which is lightweight and compact. It’s designed with portability in mind, so it’s great for family picnics or camping trips. There’s also the Hellrazr NOMADA Live Fire cooking BBQ and Firepit, which doubles as a portable camping fire pit and barbecue. Cook, reheat, and grill, and keep warm during your party!
Looking for delicious recipes for spring grilling? Head to our Firebrand blog here for some inspiration!