Get set for bar­be­cue sea­son

The Galloway News - - BURST INTO BLOOM - Lor­raine Howard

Sum­mer is the time when the bar­be­cue comes out, friends ar­rive and food and en­ter­tain­ment take over.

There is noth­ing so lovely as an im­promptu get-to­gether with friends or fam­ily at an al fresco sum­mer bar­be­cue.

But which type of bar­be­cue is best­suited to your needs?

It de­pends on how keen an out­door chef you are and how many peo­ple you cater for.

Gas bar­be­cues de­liver in­stant heat at the touch of a but­ton and are cleaner, as they pro­duce no ash.

Fla­vorizer bars, which sit above the burn­ers, va­por­ise juices as they drip down from the meat, thereby help­ing to flavour the food.

They run on bot­tled propane gas and the more burn­ers the bar­be­cue has, the quicker the gas gets used. These are ideal for peo­ple who reg­u­larly dine out­side and don’t want to wait for their sup­per or who love to en­ter­tain large groups of guests.

How­ever, they do cost more than char­coal bar­be­cues.

The char­coal op­tion means wait­ing up to 45 min­utes to en­sure the bri­quettes are white hot be­fore cook­ing can be­gin.

Food tends to taste smok­ier but, as these bar­be­cues come in dif­fer­ent sizes, they are of­ten greater value so are worth con­sid­er­ing.

Here are our top tips to en­joy­ing a safe bar­be­cue.

Never leave a lit bar­be­cue unat­tended – it’s com­mon sense but it’s easy to get dis­tracted when you are so­cial­is­ing.

Make sure that your bar­be­cue is on level ground and is well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or gar­den waste;

Keep a bucket of wa­ter, sand or a gar­den hose nearby so that you can quickly deal with any emer­gen­cies;

Keep chil­dren, gar­den games and pets well away from the cook­ing area;

Make sure your bar­be­cue is in good work­ing or­der and fol­low the safety in­struc­tions pro­vided when you use it;

If you are us­ing char­coal, use only enough to cover the base of the bar­be­cue to a depth of about 5cm (two inches);

Only use fire lighters or starter fuel to light it, never use petrol:

If you are us­ing gas, make sure the tap is turned off be­fore chang­ing the gas cylin­der:

When you have fin­ished cook­ing, turn the gas cylin­der off be­fore turn­ing off at the con­trols to en­sure any gas in the pipe work is used up:

Make sure the bar­be­cue is cool be­fore try­ing to move it.

Get the kids in­volved Pro­vide a bright per­son­alised planter just for them

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