It’s Barbecue Time

16 Dec 2015
POSTED BY Y Magazine
With winter ushering in the cooler months, it’s the perfect time to start al fresco living again

As we head towards the end of December, the sweltering temperatures and unbearable humidity of summer should be nothing more than a distant memory and it’s all about being outdoors again.



This time of year is when Oman really comes into its own, with the opportunity to spend weekends outside enjoying the diverse environments the Sultanate offers, from stunning coastlines to dramatic mountain landscapes. For urbanites, parks and beaches can become second homes in the winter, where families and friends can make the most of their time together. Pop down to Qurum Natural Park on a weekend and you’ll see a slice of winter park life at play.

Winter is also when the humble barbecue comes into its own. Wander down to the grass verge bordering the beach at Shatti al Qurum in Muscat to see just what we mean – you’ll see dozens of thin trails of smoke rising into the air from barbecue grills, along with the smell of freshly cooked meat. Elsewhere, barbecues will be lighting up on apartment balconies, backyards and gardens. That’s the beauty of a barbecue – it can be made virtually anywhere there’s outside space.

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Cooking outside and the ritual of a barbecue is an integral part of the Omani winter and our social lives in the cooler months. It’s no surprise that people love to barbecue. Friends, family, food and fire all come together in wonderful synchronicity. Getting this combination right is essential for a good barbecue, which is why Y is bringing you this “Good Barbecue Guide” to make sure you’re al fresco food gatherings are a hit every time.

As the barbecue season gets into full swing, Helpling (helpling.ae), an online platform for home cleaners, has listed some simple things to do to take care of your barbecue and ensure it is in prime condition to make flawless steaks.

CHARCOAL GRILLS

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  • Use a stiff wire brush to clean your grill. It’s always best if you do this after you cook, not before as the remaining food particles will still be loose and get on your food.
  • If your grill is made of iron, brush on some oil with a paper towel and wipe over the surface. This will prevent rusting and allow your barbecue to age well.
  • Make sure you clean the grate of the grill. Ensure that all the ash is brushed out and there is no leftover food under the grate. Be sure to do this when the barbecue is off and the plates are cold to avoid injury.
  • And at least once a year, depending on how often you use it, take time to give it a really good clean with soapy water.

GAS GRILLS

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  • Use a sturdy spatula to scrape off all residue right after you grill. The heat will help to easily remove foods and oils.
  • Be sure to empty the container that retains the fat and wash with hot water and soap. If this gets blocked, the grill filtration will stop working and require a new one in order to fully cook your food.
  • Once the barbecue is cold, soak the grills in soapy water for a couple of hours and then scrub with a sponge. The dirt will come off easily and make for a nicer flavour the next time you cook.
  • Dilute one tablespoon of baking soda and another with vinegar in one litre of warm water and put it on the external parts of the grill. This mixture will remove grime and dirt and will leave your barbeque shining.
  • Disconnect the gas and lift out the grill parts layer by layer. Once you get to the burners, make sure you inspect them thoroughly and scrape off any residue.
  • Look for any blockages in the gas pipe and make sure this is coming through freely.
  • After you remove each piece, wash with warm soap and water. Make sure to rinse off everything and dry before putting back in its place.
  • Now that it’s clean, make sure you let the grill heat completely, just to ensure there’s no soap residue left. Put the lid on to create a little steam, which will reduce soap smells and you’re ready to go!

SAUCY TIPS

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  • Leave a sponge soaked with white vinegar by the barbecue. It prevents smoke from spreading and leaving your house smelling like a cooked steak.
  • When preparing your meat for barbecuing, rub the cutting board with lemon and salt to kill germs from previous cooking and wash after.
  • If the barbecue temperature needs to be increased, make sure you add a lit charcoal piece to the existing fire, do not add un-lit charcoal or it will become too smokey.
  • If you want to stay chemical free, you can clean any grill with half an onion. Rub the hot grill with half a cut onion (cut side down). This will loosen up baked on grime and basically take it right off the grill. Make sure to heat the grill up first, and then rub it hard with an onion stuck on the end of a fork.


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