Friday, 26 August 2016

Take your Bank Holiday BBQ to another level with Josh Katz, Head Chef at Berber and Q, and Heinz

Get ready to celebrate because Monday is a bank holiday in the UK - we'll overlook the fact that the next one is Boxing Day ! - and there's nothing that the Brits love more on a bank holiday than bringing out the barbie. Heinz have called in Josh Katz, Head Chef at Berber and Q, to help put together the definitive guide to summer barbecues, to make sure you really wow your family and friends this weekend - make the most of it because I'm sure this fantastic weather won't last much longer !

5 tips for a last-minute BBQ

If you find yourself making an impromptu last-minute decision to throw a barbecue or are short on preparation time, follow these tips to get you over the line.

1) Steer clear of large joints of meat that require slow cooking, or those that really benefit from spending a long time in a marinade. Sausages, steaks and hamburgers are good options for a last-minute BBQ because the preparation time is minimal (if any) and they cook quickly on the grill.

2) Heinz Tomato Ketchup is a great ingredient to have up your sleeve for a BBQ at short notice, because of its versatility. I use it in both my hamburger mix and when making my Sweet & Sour BBQ Sauce, but of course it’s also the perfect accompaniment to a good hot dog, the quickest and easiest of options for a last-minute BBQ.

3) Chicken wings are a brilliant option for a last-minute barbecue because they need far less time on the grill than either the breast, legs or thigh, all of which can often burn on the outside before being cooked all the way through, especially when using a sweet marinade. Try out my Heinz Peri Peri & Honey Glazed Chicken Wings for a recipe that’s both quick and easy.

4) Certain vegetables such as leeks, sweet corn & broccoli are brilliant just grilled simply on a BBQ with little more than a drizzle of olive oil, some salt & pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. They’re perfect as a quick-and-easy vegetable side to accompany the rest of your barbecue. Whilst the meat or fish is cooking, set about making a Heinz Sweet Chilli Sauce Butter or Charred Spring Onion Aioli to turn your vegetables into a main event. 

5) Use a chimney starter to get your charcoal burning in no time. They’re cheap and easy to purchase on the Internet, but are also simple and safe to use. Most importantly, they take away all the stress and time associated with building a charcoal fire. You’ll have hot burning embers that are ready to cook on in no time at all.

5 tips on how to BBQ like a Pro

2-zone cooking: Direct & indirect grilling

Try and master the art of setting up your barbecue for 2-zone cooking, with your charcoal banked to one side to enable both direct grilling (straight above the charcoal) and indirect grilling (set off to the side of the charcoal). Any barbecue that has a lid is effectively an oven that can be used for low n’ slow smoking and roasting. Larger joints of meat, or those that have been marinated with high sugar-content, require indirect grilling to ensure that the meat cooks through without burning on the outside. Chicken is a good example of a meat that, when grilled directly, can often burn before being sufficiently cooked. Rather, bank your chicken away from the coal with the lid of the barbecue on, before moving it over to the opposite side to be finished with direct grilling in order to achieve the desirable browning of the skin. (See Heinz Peri-Peri & Honey Smoked Chicken Wings below for demonstration of this tip.)

The Maillard Reaction

The Maillard reaction is an important process for any aspiring BBQ cook to understand. It’s the moment when the presence of heat initiates a reaction between the amino acids and reducing sugars present in proteins, resulting in what is commonly referred to as ‘browning’. It is this reaction that is responsible for the richness and depth of flavour that is so desirable in barbecue.

Using all of your fire

Burning charcoal is prized by BBQ pros. You have paid for it, so try and really make use of it by extracting as much as you possibly can from the energy source. The common perception with barbecue is that it’s primarily for the purposes of grilling your chosen meat. However, you could be grilling onions for an accompanying salad, blackening your broccoli for a vegetable side and lightly grilling your hamburger buns all from the same fire and at the same time as cooking your meat. Once the coal has settled down to burning embers or a glowing ash, you can extract yet more from your fire, by burying peppers or sweet potatoes within and returning several hours later. The residual heat leftover from your barbecue is brilliant for cooking vegetables.

Don’t be afraid to char your food

‘Charring’ is a word commonly thought of as having negative connotations in cookery. However the right amount of char on the right ingredient can often have desirable effects rather than an unwanted one. The correct amount of charring can be delicious. But beware – if you take this too far, what was once charred, can become acrid, bitter and leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth. 

Dry brining & the importance of allowing time for a marinade

Dry brining involves salting your meat a few hours before you plan to cook it. This has the benefit of enhancing its flavour, but more importantly encourages the proteins present in the meat to retain water more easily, ensuring that it will remain moister through the cooking process. People often forget how important time is when marinating. In order to get the best taste possible, make sure to marinade your meat for a minimum of 4 hours or, even better, overnight before barbecuing. Hold back some of that marinade to use for basting whilst cooking.

OK, now that we've got the basics covered, how about trying out one of Josh Katz's favourite BBQ recipes? Here are a couple that you might like to try :

Heinz Peri Peri & Honey Glazed Smoked Chicken Wings

Serves 2-4

Ingredients :

800g Chicken Wings (Approx 12 in number)

For the rub:
1tsp Smoked Paprika
1tsp Cayenne
½ tsp Cumin, ground
1tbsp Kosher Salt
1tsp Black Pepper, coarse

For the marinade:
60ml Heinz Peri-Peri sauce
1tbsp Lemon Juice
20ml Maple Syrup

For the glaze:
150g Heinz Peri-Peri sauce
180g Clear Honey
30ml Lemon Juice
1tsp Salt
½ tsp Black Pepper, coarse

For garnish:
1 Spring Onion thinly sliced
1 Lemon, cut into 8 wedges
1tbsp Chopped Parsley


Start by preparing the rub. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix together thoroughly. Toss the chicken wings in the rub so that each wing is coated liberally.

Combine the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and pour over the rubbed chicken wings. Allow the wings to marinate for 2 to 4 hours or preferably overnight.

Whilst the wings are marinating, prepare the glaze by combining all of the ingredients in a pan and reducing over a medium to high heat by approximately 25%.

Fire up the barbecue for direct grilling over high heat, but bank the coals to one side (if possible).
Grill your wings, turning regularly whilst basting with the glaze, until the skin is crisp and slightly charred and they are completely cooked through (approximately 15-20 minutes). Should the wings start to crisp on the outside too much, before being cooked all the way through, transfer them to the other side of your grill where they are not directly positioned above the coals, and place the lid on the barbecue. This will turn your barbecue into an oven and will enable the wings to continue cooking through without burning.

Remove your wings from the grill and serve immediately with the lemon wedges, blackened on the grill and squeezed over the top, and some chopped parsley strewn all over.

Seared Duck Breast with Heinz Classic Barbecue sauce, Molasses & Soy Marinade

Serves 2


2 Duck Breasts, trimmed of excess fat

For the rub:
1tsp Fennel Seeds
1tsp Chilli Flakes
1tsp Salt (Preferably Maldon Flaked)
½ tsp Black Pepper, coarse
Zest of ½ an Orange

For the marinade:
45g Heinz Classic Barbecue Sauce
30ml Soy Sauce
20ml Apple Juice
½ tbsp Pomegranate Molasses
1 Garlic Clove, minced or finely chopped
30ml Maple Syrup

For the glaze:
100g Honey
60g Heinz Classic Barbecue Sauce
40ml Cider Vinegar

For Garnish:
2 Leeks, tough dark green outer leaves removed & cut in half
1 small Red Onions, cut into quarters
1 Baby Gem Lettuce, cut into quarters
40ml Olive Oil
1tbsp Salt (preferably Maldon flaked)
1tsp Black Pepper, coarse
Handful of Pomegranate Seeds
Handful of picked Flat-leaf Parsley leaves
20ml Pomegranate molasses
100g Crème Fraiche


To prepare the duck breasts, trim away any excess fat, score the skin and remove any unwanted sinew.

Prepare the rub for the duck breasts by combining all of the ingredients in a bowl and mixing together thoroughly. Rub all over the duck to ensure they are evenly covered.

Make the marinade by combining all of the ingredients in a bowl and stirring to combine. Toss the duck breasts in the marinade and allow to marinate for 4 to 6 hours or preferably overnight.

Prepare the glaze by combining all of the ingredients together in a pan, bringing to the boil, and reducing by 25%.

Fire up the barbecue for direct grilling over a medium to high heat, but bank the coals to one side (if possible). Grill the duck breasts directly over the coals, skin-side down, and allow to cook until the skin turns golden brown. Baste the duck breasts intermittently with the prepared glaze, and continue to cook by turning regularly and glazing. Should the breasts start to blacken on the outside too much, before being cooked all the way through, transfer them to the other side of your grill where they are not directly positioned above the coals, and place the lid on the barbecue. This will turn your barbecue into an oven of sorts, and enable the duck to continue cooking through without burning.
Cook the duck to desired preference, 5-7 minutes for medium-rare, 7-9 minutes for medium, and longer than 9 minutes for medium to well done. Remove from the grill and allow to rest for 3 minutes.

Whilst the duck is resting, prepare the garnish salad by rolling the leeks, red onions and baby gem in olive oil and seasoning with salt and pepper. Grill the vegetables on direct heat until charred and softened.

Serve the duck breast thinly sliced alongside the grilled vegetables drizzled with pomegranate molasses and with picked parsley leaves and pomegranate seeds strewn over the top. A dollop of Crème Fraiche alongside is added for cooling and to cut through the sharpness of the molasses.

BBQ Whole Head of Broccoli, Harissa & Charred Spring Onion Aioli

Serves 2 as a vegetable main, or can be shared between 4 as a side


1 Head of Broccoli
20ml Olive Oil
1tsp Salt (Maldon Flaked, preferably)
½ tsp Black Pepper, coarse

For the Charred Spring Onion Aioli:
120g Heinz Salad Cream
80g Crème Fraiche
4 Spring Onions, blackened on the grill & finely chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, minced or finely chopped
20ml Olive Oil
20ml Lemon Juice

For Garnish:
2tbsp Harissa (good quality)
3 Anchovies (optional)
1tbsp toasted Hazelnuts, roughly chopped


Start by blanching the whole head of broccoli in some boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove from the water and refresh in a bowl of iced water.

Make the Charred Spring Onion Aioli by combining all of the ingredients in a bowl thoroughly.
Fire up the barbecue for direct grilling over high heat. Whilst the fire is coming to temperature, roll the broccoli in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Grill the broccoli atop the burning coals until lightly blackened and crisp all over.

Remove the broccoli from the grill and serve on a base of the Charred Spring Onion Aioli, with some reserved for spooning over the top, along with the harissa, the chopped hazelnuts and anchovies (if using) ripped into a few pieces.

Are you planning on having a BBQ over the long weekend? If so, what will you be eating?

Disclosure : I received some Heinz sauces to get our BBQ off to a good start !


  1. Those wings sound fantastic! I love the ratio of skin to meat with wings and they're my favourite cute :D

    1. They're usually nice and cheap too ! :)

  2. Some very useful tips there! I've never heard of a chimney starter before - must investigate!

  3. I love the look of the BBQ Whole Head of Broccoli, Harissa & Charred Spring Onion Aioli I have not had Harissa so thats one for me to try !

    1. It's like chilli paste so go easy if you don't like spicy food !


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