How to make the most of your summer barbecues
Charlie Nadin discusses the pros and cons of summer barbecues and how to make them an enjoyable experience for all.
I am conflicted on how I feel about a barbecue: on the one hand, it is a great reason to get friends and family around, and hopefully enjoy some sun; on the other hand, I don’t consider the barbecue synonymous with Summer – and I don’t like it when people treat it as the pinnacle of what the season has to offer. barbecues can be very irritating: what if it rains? What if the infinite barbecues that the neighbours have just to smoke out your garden? And on top of this, since going vegan, I feel like an obstacle when I attend family barbecues. But perhaps there is a silver lining.
First, food safety is less of a concern when you go plant-based. Under-cooked beyond burgers may not be pleasant, but they can’t hurt you like raw chicken. That isn’t to say that it is risk-free. The AEG highlighted concerns over Brits storing leftover food following barbecues, as harmful bacteria can be bred if left out in the sun for a day, Devon Live reported on 29 May. Regardless of what you cook, remember to allow your barbecued goodies to cool and then refrigerate within one to two hours after cooking.
Regardless of what you cook, remember to allow your barbecued goodies to cool and then refrigerate within one to two hours after cooking
As for vegan alternatives to meat, though it sometimes seems lacking, there are so many mock meats available in most supermarkets. If you’re not about processed food, however, then you could try the viral recipe for banana peel pulled pork. Before I turned vegan, my favourite thing in the world was grilled halloumi. So now I sometimes get a well-pressed piece of firm tofu, marinate it in a salty tangy marinade, grill it and bam: a vegan halloumi burger (kind of).
Maybe this doesn’t fix the weather, nor how annoying an impromptu over-the-fence barbecue can be. But the humble barbecue can certainly be a means to an end when it comes to enjoying those long summer days. Regardless of your thoughts on the barbecue, generosity and sociability are a universal love language that everyone should embrace in the summer.