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Our Head Chef Adam shares his best ultimate barbecue secrets!

There’s nothing better than gathering with friends for a few drinks and a grill in the garden, and whether it’s on a gas or wood-fired barbecue, it’s defintely my favourite way to cook.

The key to a successful barbecue is marinating your meat and vegetables a day or two in advance, so for convenience I have a dry rub on stand-by which can be used whenever it looks like barbecue weather. This can be stored in an airtight jar for up to a month:

Adam’s (Not So) Secret Dry Rub Mix

  • 30g cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

When it comes to the actual cooking, it’s essential to season the grill before use. Wait until the grill is hot, then dip a clean cloth into some neutral oil with a long pair of tongs (to avoid burning yourself) and generously cover the grill until the oil starts to smoke slightly. This step may have to be repeated several times but it will create a non-stick layer on your grill which will help when cooking anything delicate, like fish. Another tip is to place fish on top of thinly sliced lemons, which will not only stop it sticking to the grill but will also add a wonderful flavour.

More people are turning now to plant-based options and vegetables are both easy and impressive to cook on the grill. Whenever possible, I prefer to source my ingredients locally, so I often cook asparagus, which grows in abundance around Verbier. A simple marinade of balsamic vinegar and fresh lemon juice brings this vegetable alive.

Essential to any barbecue is getting that smoky flavour. I’m lucky enough live in an area surrounded by pine trees, so I like to toss a bunch of pine needles onto the embers then shut the lid for the last five minutes of cooking, say, a rack of lamb. If you use a (non-plastic) pastry brush to baste the meat with a little butter the flavour will cling to the fats giving it a great finish. If you don’t happen to be in the Alps, rosemary or simple hay are also great alternatives!

Creating the ultimate barbecue is such an easy way to cook and with everything going onto the grill, there’s an added bonus of no pots and pans to wash up… every chef’s dream!

Polly Hancock

Author Polly Hancock

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