Summer is on the way, bring on the BBQ and own it! Love the smell and taste of charcoal-grilled cooking? Beers on the side? Here’s a few great tips from head chef Nicola Melilo from jerk restaurant Rudies to get you started…

1. Clean your bbq grill thoroughly, before lighting it.

2. Don’t use any BBQ lighting fuel. Instead use eco-friendly compressed wood paper blocks. It will burn longer and it won’t release any toxic fumes or bad odours.

3. When lighting your grill (especially when using oil drums – customised stainless steel oil drum shaped BBQs) try building a small “camp fire” in the middle of it. It will be easier and faster, and it will be a good base once all the charcoals have become red hot. Spread it out and then add new charcoals over the hot ones.

4. Feed your fire constantly with small amounts of charcoal to keep it burning for long periods of time.

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5. Depending on what you are grilling, with jerk chicken we tend not to keep it too close to open flames. We aim for a long cooking time (35-45 min) with a  smoky result. Our chickens look dark amber when they come out.

6. Make sure to use some bay leaves, rosemary or sage if you like it. Soak it in water and throw some of it on while grilling your meat, fish and veg. Baste your food if it is lean with an oil-based marinade while cooking it. It will help preserve the moisture.

7. If cooking poultry or pork, make sure you have reached a safe temperature by using a BBQ probe. Look for the ones with different meat-cooking temperatures labelled. Juicy is good, but undercooked is dangerous!

Get your BBQ on, with a great Jerk Chicken recipe from Rudie’s here.

Rudies | 50 Stoke Newington Road, London N16 7XB

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