As part of #NationalBBQWeek Thermapen temperature instruments invited me to host a rooftop BBQ Masterclass for them and an assembled group of press, food writers and bloggers last night in London.
Thermapen are running a series of events throughout 2017 under the heading of “Is It Cooked?“, this being their Summer edition. For so many people this is one of the main concerns when cooking food outdoors on a BBQ, and so our focus was to raise awareness and understanding about the usefulness and relevance of temperature probes in everyday cooking.
The majority of recipes out there give guidance in-terms of time, but this can lead to so much variance in the food we eat. A classic example of 20 mins per 500g, plus 20 minutes can be misleading, and could make some home cooks feel they have failed because of the results they get. This type of nominal guideline tries to account for so many things, not least whether food has been brought to room temperature before cooking, how efficient your cooking appliance is, even the variances that can come from the same cut of meat but from difference suppliers.
Note 1 of the Food Standards Agency document shows us that, “cooking food until the CORE TEMPERATURE is 75c or above will ensure that harmful bacteria are destroyed.“ This is the reason why I use the saying “75 – Stay Alive!” to help people remember the final temperature of well done meats. If you read further down the document you will see there are other variations, but for the bulk of what we do at home, cooking food to an internal temperature of 75c will mean you serve up food that is safely cooked, time and time again. It will also save so many people from overcooking food and allowing it to become dry and tough.
It was so great to see such an interest in the genre of BBQ, and the questions and conversation throughout the event was really engaging. In my blog post just a few days ago I mentioned how this time of year we seem to see the same cliches rolled out in media when it comes to discussing the topic, but last night showed me there was a genuine thirst to get more out of our BBQ cooking. The idea of creating a BBQ culture that is more UK-centric was also one that really peaked my interest when I heard it mentioned, because we have such a culture of food in Britain, and to see this evolve to incorporate alfresco cooking would simply be amazing.
The menu we chose allowed us to really showcase direct and indirect cooking. The use of these heat setups meant I could also banish the BBQ myths that chicken cannot be cooked from raw on the BBQ. Chickens, sausages and steaks were the order of the event, and my favourite cut, the Flat Iron made it’s own debut and went down a treat!
I was really humbled to receive the invitation to host the second Is It Cooked event for 2017. It was such a fantastic evening, not only because of the weather came out in force, but because of the people who turned out to make it possible. One of my absolute favourite bits though had to be this chocolate s’more inspired charcoal made especially for the evening by the ever talented Frances Quinn. Frances clearly knows me very well when it comes to sweet things!! 😉
*Complimentary product was received from ETI Thermapen for the purpose of the event.