Summer is here, meaning barbecue season is upon us!
Cooking well over fire takes skill, but mastering this technique will give you a great sense of achievement, and what’s more, you’ll cook up an enviable feast for your friends and family. Here are our top bbq tips, armed with which, you’ll soon become master of the flame. So, get fired up, because it’s grilling time…
First things first – where are you going to hold your barbecue? One of the easiest places to enjoy barbecuing is from the comfort of your own holiday home. With washing-up facilities, and the convenience of having a fridge, crockery and cutlery on site, this is a stress free way to cook for family or friends this summer.
If you would prefer to enjoy your barbecue as part of a day out, why not head to the beach? Many South Devon beaches permit barbecuing, for full details read our South Devon beach bible. For a fun experience, why not fish for mackerel for your barbecue? Take your fishing rods to Slapton Sands beach at Torcross, and if you are lucky enough to catch some fish, cook it on a disposable barbecue whilst relaxing on the pebbles and watching the sun go down. For all your barbecuing (and fishing!) equipment needs, head to nearby Ashby’s Easy Stores, where you can pick up everything you might require.
Here are our top bbq tips, certain to earn you the title of barbecue connoisseur:
- Use charcoals for fuel if you want that extra smokey flavour
- Find the perfect grill temperature. As a guide, hold your hand around 5 inches above the grill (without burning it!) and see how long you can withstand the heat. If this is for 6 seconds or more, the barbecue is burning at a low heat, 4 seconds burns a medium heat, and 2 seconds is scorchio, so choose you’re ideal temperature, depending on how you’d like your food cooked
- Be organised, with plenty of workspace and tools to hand
- You can’t beat a good burger, especially when served with lashings of local Sharpham cheese and South Devon Chilli Farm Habanero Salsa, so why not try making your own burger using local mince from the butcher in Salcombe or Dartmouth?
- Aim for absolute control of the temperature across the grill. The easiest technique is to put all the coals to one side, then you will have a super hot side and one with no direct heat
- Marinade, marinade, marinade! If you can, marinade your food overnight, but if not, leave it for at least a few hours. Don’t forget to save a little marinade, and brush your meat or fish every 10 minutes as it cooks to add maximum moisture
- Don’t forget about the veggies. Flames work wonders on vegetables if cooked correctly, so be sure to slice them thin and grill straight away, minus the oil, and seasoning. Once they are cooked, add a little flavour with some olive oil and a bit of vinegar
- Get the sides right and don’t leave them as an afterthought. Corn on the cob, couscous and potato salad are barbecue classics, but for further inspiration, download our South Devon cookbook.
Barbecue food and drink…
Wherever you decide to enjoy your barbecue, the most important thing is the food and drink. South Devon offers an abundance of delicious local food, including mouth-watering meats reared on rolling Devon hills, fabulous seafood caught off the Start Bay coastline, and beautiful salad grown in the fields across the region. There are also a number of various drink producers, including local breweries and vineyards.
If you’re looking for further foodie inspiration, take a look at our food and drink pages in our South Devon Guide.
Whether you’re looking for steak, burgers or sausages, Aune Valley Meats is a wonderful butcher selling locally sourced meats, perfect for barbecue season. They also have a small farm shop, selling a selection of high quality salad and vegetables that you might need. Pay a visit to the rurally located establishment, and stop for a coffee and a cake at the adjacent Valley View Café! You can also arrange a food hamper delivery service straight to your door, with South Devon companies including our friends at Pretty Local, whose source all food locally and can even compile a barbecue box, complete with all the trimmings.
For a comprehensive guide to sourcing the best local produce, including organic meats, local cheeses and sumptuous Salcombe ice-cream, read our article on ‘preparing a South Devon feast‘.
For scrumptious seafood including wonderful king prawns and scallops, visit one the local fishmongers like Salcombe Fishmongers. To complete your meal, head to The Bake House in Salcombe for some fantastic freshly baked bread rolls or French stick – the perfect finishing touch to you barbecue menu!
So there we have it – all of our ultimate bbq tips, and everything you need to consider for a delicious barbecue in South Devon this summer. If all of this sounds like a lot of work, but you would still like to enjoy the authentic barbecue experience, head to the Winking Prawn in Salcombe – they hold regular barbecues on their terrace. Relax with delicious food, whilst enjoying views across North Sands beach!