The key to a good beach BBQ is all in the preparation. Other than the obvious; food, BBQ and fuel, we’ve got a few ideas to make your BBQ go as smoothly as possible. Pick meat that’s easy to grill; steaks, burgers and sausages will all cook quickly but a plump chicken breast will take much longer. If possible don’t cook straight from the cool box, letting your meat warm up will allow the middle to cook faster and can avoid chargrilled outsides.
Before you set off make sure the rolls are cut and buttered, you’ve got foil to wrap the food (and clean up hot coals after) and, most importantly, don’t forget the easily forgettables - utensils, sauces, fire lighters, plates, wet wipes and salads (you can forget the salad if you like). Before you set off it's probably worth checking you can carry everything.
Then pick your location, all council run beaches in Cornwall allow people to BBQ responsibly. The more adventurous the spot the better in our book, but make sure to check the tide and weather before you go, nobody wants their BBQ to be put out by a rogue wave.
Once you’ve picked the ideal space, set up a sheltered spot for your BBQ. Nothing sucks heat out of a BBQ faster than sand, so if possible raise your BBQ up in the air, or wrap some foil around the bottom. Wind is the next biggest foe, use rocks to shelter your BBQ, or if you have them, set up wind breaks to keep the gusts out.
A beach blanket is the best way to keep sand out of the food, although if you are feeling particularly Celtic, a sheepskin rug will do an even better job.
Once the BBQ is going make sure to let the coals turn grey with no flame before cooking. Cooking with a flame leads to burnt outsides and upset stomachs. Get the kids ready to chase off any hungry seagulls and unwrap food just as you’re ready to cook it to keep safe from sand and the birds.
Don’t over prod your food, it takes time for a caramelized crust to build up on your food. Only flip food once or twice to maximize the flavour. If possible let your meat rest before eating it, this will let the fibres relax and re-absorb juices before you eat.
Once you’ve finished eating it’s time to clear up. Too often beaches are taken for granted and in Cornwall we see a huge amount of rubbish left on them after the holiday season. BBQs are tricky as they need to be cooled down, check to see if your beach has a BBQ disposal bin and use some sea water to help cool the coals once they’ve burnt down.
Once the embers are cold, scrape them into a large piece of tin foil, wrap them up and dispose of them in a non-combustible bin. Don’t forget that charcoal ash can be a great fertiliser for your garden if you can get it home, but make sure you were using charcoal without any additives before putting it over your flower beds.
Once the BBQ is sorted out make sure to collect up all of your belongings and rubbish to take home. Bottle caps are a nuisance as they are hard to see but quite painful to step on!