Whether you’re cooking up a storm with the frying pan in your kitchen, or having a traditional barbecue outside, these essential steps will keep you right! The rewards are beautifully caramelised, juicy meat, delicious for al fresco dining.
1 Prepare & preheatAllow the meat to come to room temperature and remove from packaging 20 minutes before cooking, patting it dry with a kitchen towel. Make sure your pan is really hot but not smoking, or your barbecue is preheated or burning well, with a layer of ash covering the charcoal.
2 SizzleGently place the meat in the pan or on the barbecue. Cook patiently until browned and turn just once. Use tongs rather than a fork, so you don’t pierce the meat. Use the press test to check if your meat is done, or use a meat thermometer.
3 RestDon’t be tempted to serve your burgers, steaks and other cuts straight out of the pan or from the barbecue – this will lead them to seem tough and will let their juices run out. Rest the meat on a rack, loosely covered with foil in a warm place for up to 20 minutes, just as you would for your favourite roast.
- Season or marinate your meat prior to cooking if you like, but don’t salt meat until the last moment, as it will draw out its juices.
- For a healthier option, brush the oil directly onto the meat rather than pouring some into the pan – you will use less.
- When barbecuing, if anything looks like it may burn, move it further away from the heat so it will cook more slowly. 30cm above the coals should be just right.
- Cover your barbecue with a lid as much as possible during the cooking process. This helps the meat cook more evenly, locks in the barbecue flavours and prevents flare-ups.