JAY’S SIX BBQ ESSENTIALS
Summer days mean lazy afternoons and backyard barbecues with friends and family.
We asked barbecue and brewing expert Jay Morgan from Hooked on Brewing and BBQ Ballina to name his top six barbecue essentials to make your next barbie as stress-free and enjoyable as possible. Here’s his picks:
The number one summer barbecue essential is a meat thermometer, according to Jay. “Being able to know exactly what temp your meats are internally and also your grill is paramount to awesome cooking,” he says. There are heaps to choose from in Jay’s store (which stocks the biggest range in the whole of Northern NSW) and you can go as low or high-tech as you like. “We have everything from the fast read probe to a four-probe wireless unit that can be linked to your phone and tell you what’s happening from 300 metres away.”
2.UTENSILS AND ACCESSORIES
The right utensils will make your barbecue easier and more enjoyable, says Jay. Top three? “Tongs, heatproof proof gloves and a grill lifter,” he says. Jay’s other must-haves include pork claws (for perfect pulled pork) and marinade injectors to add more moisture and flavour to meats.
3.THE RIGHT FUEL
Fuel is key to a barbecue and its influence on your food can be the difference between good and fantastic, says Jay. The heat produced by charcoal, for example, can help you achieve excellent sears and crusts, while cooking over different woods impart that beautiful smoky flavour. “Clean heat beads, good Aussie hardwood charcoal and Redgum can all produce great results, depending what you’re after,” says Jay.”the Redgum we stock is double split especially for stick burners/offsets and is sourced from over the range to ensure its well-seasoned, extremely dense and heavy due to its slow growth. “
4.RUBS AND SAUCES
These are an integral part of barbecue whether you are seasoning, finishing, marinating or basting, says Jay. There is a huge range of rubs and sauces to suit all meats including fish and chicken and plenty of gluten free choices.
5. THE RIGHT BBQ
Gas? Charcoal? Pellet? Stick burner? Choosing a barbecue can be a daunting task. Jay recommends talking to an expert to work out what best suits you, your space, your lifestyle and what you intend to cook on it. “Helping to select the right equipment for our customers is part of the service we offer in store,and having brands like Hark, Big Green Egg, Green Mountain Grills, Kitchenaid and Proq gives our customers all the options they could ever need.
6. A KEGERATOR
OK, so perhaps not an essential, but a kegerator (a refrigerator for a keg that can be used to pour cold beer on tap) will give you some serious barbecue cred. “You don’t have to homebrew to use these as they can be plumbed for either home brew or commercial beers. I don’t know anyone who enjoys a cold beer that wouldn’t love one of these for Christmas,” says Jay.