For many it’s time to think about barbecuing. Winter has started to relax it’s grip and even if it’s still chilly where you are, after months of only being able to cook indoors, I’m sure the urge is there to get cooking outdoors.
Now we are assuming that you like to grill outdoors so what styles of grilling options do you have? Also if setting up a area to do your barbecuing is something you have been thinking about doing then what better time than early spring to get that rolling?
Here in the Bahamas, you might think that we grill outdoors year round but sadly that’s not the case. On the island we live on the wind blows for a good part of the year and we have this type of grill. Live sparks flying around is not in anyone’s best interest.
There are two reasons we use this grill to barbecue and one is that we believe the flavor of the food cooked over charcoal is actually better than a gas grill. The second is that propane is very expensive here. This grill gives us the option to cook with charcoal and even real wood, both of which are easily obtained here. The downside to this grill is that you have to plan ahead for when you want to cook.
Another thing to consider if you are planning an outdoor barbecue are is the smoke that will result.
If you plan to have your grill in an closed, semi closed or area where the resulting smoke would blow back into your home then it’s a good idea to add in extra ventilation so that the smoke isn’t a problem. In the above photo a ventilation hood has been installed which should adequately do the job except on overly windy days.
In areas such as this porch having ventilation is vital. Porches extend when you can use your grill as you aren’t dependent on the weather and you are also protected from bugs if you are barbecuing in the evenings when bugs tend to be out.
If you have the desire to build an entire outdoor kitchen for grilling and live in a climate that makes this possible, there are many options that you will have. In designing areas such as in the below photo, barbecuing takes on a whole other dimension as there are sinks, water supplies, electricity and refrigeration items that make up the area.
Naturally all of this type of design and appliances have to be of the finest quality due to being outside all of the time and stainless steel is the logical first choice for fixtures and appliances. Another aspect that will be dictated by your climate and yourself is whether or not to have some type of roof covering. An area that receives a great deal of hot sun might want to add something like a pergola to break the sun and provide a bit of shade.
As you can see in the above photo, the pergola adds the benefit of shade and the choice of materials such as stone, tile and stainless steel appliances create a wonderful setting that will be able to weather the elements.
Barbecuing is something that goes back to our earlier roots to a time when all foods were cooked on open fires. Once we start using our grill, we grill everything from meats to vegetables on the grill. If you’ve never had grilled zucchini, eggplant or sweet corn on the grill you are messing half the tastes of barbecuing.
Now we all can’t afford to build areas that I’ve shown above but almost anyone can create a barbecuing area in the yard. It doesn’t have to be a large area but it should have a few common items. First, of course, is a grill. This can be a simple charcoal grill or a propane model. The next is a place or table to place your trays for bringing out your items to grill as well as any tongs, utensils and condiments that you will need. Having everything close by just makes the preparation all that much easier.
However, whatever choices you make wether it be a simple area with a grill where you can enjoy family, friends and some great outdoor barbecuing or something bit more complex project such as below in the second photo,
barbecuing and grilling outdoors is something that so many enjoy for so many reasons. So now that spring is here are you set to barbecue? If not, have you started to plan out where you will be grilling this summer? Shortly here in Eleuthera, the winds we slow down and we can get back to our barbecuing which also is an added benefit as the heat from cooking is better staying outside as our daily temperatures start to rise.
So start dreaming and start planning, barbecue season is fast approaching and oh how I love shish kebobs!