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The sweet smell of smoky goodness is starting to fill the neighbourhood and there’s no doubt about it: BBQ season is back, baby! To enjoy the summer months to the max, we’ve put together a comprehensive skewer guide, with recipe ideas for everything from appetizer to dessert. 

Degree of doneness: a key element

Here are three tips for obtaining the perfect doneness

Barbecuing is the ideal cooking method when it comes to skewers, as long as you follow certain guidelines. Here are the golden rules to follow if you want to become a grill master this season:

  • Cut your ingredients into equal sizes to ensure uniform doneness.
  • To accelerate the cooking time of certain vegetables, blanche them prior to grilling them on the BBQ.
  • When assembling your vegetable skewers, group them together by cooking time. For example, peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini go well together as they all take about the same time to cook.

Direct or indirect heat?

Direct heat is great for food that requires a short cooking time (20 minutes or less). It’s perfect for small skewers. Seeing as temperatures can reach 250°C or more, it’s best to always keep an eye on your food . . . otherwise you could end up with a charred supper and starving guests!  

Indirect heat is the ideal method for bigger cuts of meat, which require a cooking time of 20 minutes or more. In such cases, place your food on the side of the grill that’s farthest away from the flames.

Marinade: a must

Do your guests always tell you that your skewers have a little je-ne-sais-quoi? If so, it’s probably because you’ve mastered the art of the marinade! This step is crucial when it comes to adding flavour to your meals . . . and for getting showered with praise for your culinary talent.  

Dry rubs for express dinners

Hosting an impromptu BBQ with friends? If you’re pressed for time, you can opt for a dry rub. Typically made with salt, spices, and herbs, a dry rub seals all those yummy flavours under a delicious crust of goodness.  

Liquid marinades for a burst of flavour

If you have ample time in front of you, opt instead for a liquid marinade. A successful liquid marinade strikes the perfect balance between three components: a fatty substance, an acidic element, and aromatic ingredients. The acidic element helps tenderize the meat, while the fatty substance ensures it doesn’t dry out. For the final touch, the aromatic ingredients add a ton of flavour. In terms of proportions, go with three parts fatty substance for one part acidic element.

BBQ essentials

This BBQ season, make sure to always have the essentials on hand: Greek yogurt, cream, or olive oil (for your fatty substance), and lemon or lime juice, cider, wine, or balsamic vinegar (for your acidic element). Other great flavourful add-ins include soya sauce, maple syrup, and Worcestershire sauce. As for spices, we recommend opting for versatile ones, such as oregano, thyme, garlic, and parsley.  

Marinading time

Your marinading time will vary depending on the type and thickness of meat. However, a general rule of thumb would be to marinade white meat for 1 to 2 hours and red meat for 4 to 5 hours. For fish and seafood, think 30 minutes max!  

A skewer soirée!

Kick off BBQ season with an all-skewer supper. Here are a few tasty ideas that are sure to impress your guests.

Appetizer skewers

Whet your guests’ appetites by serving up a variety of original skewers. For a flavourful medley, combine grilled fruit with charcuterie meat and cheese, drizzled with a balsamic reduction or pesto. Think skewers of melon, bocconcini, and prosciutto, or halloumi, peaches, and ham . . . the possibilities are endless!  

Main course skewers

The key to savoury skewers? Dare to try original combinations, like mango and shrimp, chorizo and scallops, or apples and pork. Want to really impress your guests? Serve your skewers with store-bought dips (we love tzatziki, hummus, and spicy mayo!).  

Dessert skewers

End the evening on a high note by serving some decadent sweet skewers. Opt for fruit that can handle heat, such as pineapple, melon, bananas, and strawberries. Add chunks of store-bought brownie, doughnuts, or cake, and drizzle with chocolate fondue or caramel.

Mastering the art of the grill is not rocket science. Thanks to these handy tips, you’ll not only become a BBQ pro, you’ll also be inspired to create gourmet meals all summer long!