NCB membership top tips for BBQ season 2023
It’s fair to say that within National Craft Butchers we have a good few BBQ experts. Thank you to those members and corporate member, Innovative Food Ingredients, who lent us their expertise on the cuts and flavours making waves in the BBQ world.
The Beef Packer brisket (unrolled and untrimmed) remains king of the slow cook cuts for NCB BBQ aficionados. Cooked to an internal temperature of 90 degrees over 7-10 hours depending on the weight this becomes a tender, melt-in-your-mouth feast. For those looking to serve a large group of family or friends (20-30) it’s perfect.
The Boston Butt (a pork shoulder cut) is the go to cut for the best pulled pork. A relatively inexpensive cut that will serve 10-20 with a mouth-watering smoky barbecue result. Cook to 95 degrees internal temperature for 5-8 hours hours depending on weight to ensure a good pull.
Spatchcock Lamb leg is incredibly versatile when it comes to flavouring. Rosemary and garlic is a classic, but this would work well with the growing trend for Greek flavours, like oregano, mint and bay, or warmer Turkish spices like cumin, sumac and cinammon. With a shorter cook time of 40-60 minutes to meet 58 degrees internal temp and serving 6-8 it’s a sure-fire winner!
Denver Steaks cut from the chuck are a comparatively inexpensive cut but are normally extremely tender, well-marbled, full of flavour and great for grilling.
Tomahawk Steaks are the Big Daddy of the BBQ and perfect for sharing. Those who take their BBQ and beef seriously will cook to 48-52 degrees internally, rest and then reverse sear just before serving.
Innovative Food Ingredients (IFI), which specialises in rubs, sauces and marinades for barbecue flavours from all over the world say BBQ consumers are becoming more discerning and looking for new flavours they haven’t tried before. Commercial Manager, Chantelle Brennand, recommends their on trend Korean BBQ marinade, Japanese Red Miso and Black Garlic marinades from their AVO range to add the wow factor to a butchers BBQ range. IFI also stock wood pellets from The Alfresco Chef, which enable the customer to infuse a variety of natural , smoky flavours into their BBQ food.
Barbecuing on a budget
With pressure on family budgets entertaining at home is almost certain to be THE theme of the summer. But hosting a BBQ can be an expensive experience. We’ve put together some key suugestions to show how butchers can help their customers throw a great BBQ party without breaking the bank.
Value meat swaps
Of course a good BBQ begins with the meat. Here, butchers come into their own, being able to guide their customers to simple swaps that will keep costs down without compromising on flavour. How about:
- Bavette, Hanger or Flat iron steaks instead of Rib-eye or sirloin?
- Lamb breast instead of leg?
- Pork shoulder (Boston butt) instead of steaks or tenderloin?
- Chicken wings instead of breasts?
Bulk out the BBQ
Although meat is the centrepiece a great BBQ needs delicious sides, which can be pretty cheap and cooked on the BBQ itself. Chargrilled seasonal veg such as courgettes are an ideal choice. Potatoes wrapped in foil and cooked directly on the charcoal need nothing more than a knob of butter to be fantastic. Fans of American style BBQs will find macaroni cheese goes down a treat with ribs or a Boston Butt.
Get thrifty with fuel
How often have we stacked up our BBQ with charcoal only to find that it’s still at cook ready temperature hours after everything has been cooked? Less can be more with charcoal and this also allows for keeping one side of the BBQ for slow cooking. Better quality, large lump charcoal burns slower so is more cost effective too. For customers cooking with gas BBQ’s remind them to check the pre-heat times for their machine. They could be burning fuel needlessly.
Image top right: AHDB Breast of lamb with Caribbean spices www.simplybeefandlamb.co.uk/recipes/slow-cooked-breast-of-lamb-with-caribbean-spices/