Our Top BBQ Tips For Your Stay At Gladwins Farm

BBQ party at Gladwins Farm

At Gladwins Farm all of our self-catering cottages have BBQs available for you to use during your stay. With this in mind, we thought we would share our favourite places to stock up on BBQ food and some BBQ top tips.

Based in the Suffolk countryside we have a range of wonderful local farm shops and butchers with local meat and veg for you to stock up, ready for your BBQ. Here are some of our favourite places to stock up from.

Hollow Trees Farm

Hollow Trees Farm is a short drive from your cottage at Gladwins but it’s a great day out for the kids, with a farm trail with lots of animals and activities to keep them busy all day. Inside the farm shop, you’ll find a great selection of home-reared meats from the farm itself, so it’s hard to find anything fresher! They also have a large selection of fresh vegetables, hand-picked from the farm and a selection of freshly made side dishes including coleslaw, potato salad and a range of desserts.

Swiss Farms

Swiss Farms is a family-run country butcher which was first established in 1972. It’s well known for its large selection of high-quality, affordable meats and welcoming butchers on hand to help you choose your favourite cuts of meat. They offer a range of traditional cuts of lamb, beef, pork and poultry as well as dry curing their own bacon and making their own sausages and burgers.

Depending on where you’re going for the day they have three butchers you can visit. Their Ashbocking butchers is a 15-minute drive from Ipswich, another in Aldeburgh which you visit after a day at the beach and another in Great Bromley, to the East of Colchester.

Sparling & Faiers Bakery

If you’re visiting historical Lavenham for the day or are passing through on your way to Long Melford and further afield we thoroughly recommend visiting Sparling & Faiers bakery in Lavenham. With fresh bread, rolls and sweet treats baked fresh every day in a stone-floored oven we don’t think you’ll be able to find a better roll for your burger or hot dog!

Our Top Tips For A Successful BBQ

Wait until the flames die down

While it’s tempting to start cooking as quickly as possible to get that flame-grilled look it’s best to wait until the charcoal has stopped flaming and has turned white. This is when the coals are at their hottest and perfect for cooking.

Don’t keep flipping

A key tip for those burger lovers out there, let your burger cook on the bottom side for a minute or two longer than on the top side. This helps it to cook evenly while keeping it full of flavour and juices. The perfect burger every time!

Keep things moving

When cooking on a charcoal BBQ there will be spots that are hotter than others. It’s important to keep an eye on where your hot spots are and where the cooler spots are. This means evenly cooked food and means everything is ready at the same time. This way you won’t end up with three nearly black sausages and three that are still raw in the middle.

Make your own burgers

There’s nothing wrong with buying ready-made burgers from some of our favourite farm shops and butchers but if you have a bit more time on your hands, or want to keep the kids busy in the afternoon then there’s nothing better than making your own burgers. We recommend starting with some good quality mince with a high-fat content for extra flavour and some salt and pepper, after that the options are endless! Some of our favourite extras to add to our burgers are:

– Nduja sausage
– Chorizo
– Onion marmalade
– Grated cheese
– Chopped olives
– Chopped bacon

Use The Right Tools

Luckily this is an easy one to get right during your stay at Gladwins as each of our BBQs is equipped with a set of tongs, a burger flipper and some heavy-duty oven gloves.

Don’t just create a meat feast

We all enjoy burgers, sausages and chicken on the BBQ but some other great foods can really elevate your BBQ. Fish is usually forgotten when it comes to BBQs however fish and the smoky flavour of the BBQ are a match made in heaven. If you’re spending the day at the beach why not pop into a local fishmonger and see what’s been freshly caught that day. For vegetarians it doesn’t have to be just a plate of veg, putting halloumi on the BBQ gives it a great smoky, rich flavour and can easily be added to a roll to create a halloumi burger. There are also some classic BBQ sides such as coleslaw, potato salad and corn on the cob to help add some veggies into your diet.

Remember To Marinate!

We’ve all heard the phrase “leave for a few hours, ideally overnight” and this is especially true for BBQs where the smoky flavour can easily overpower the subtle flavours of some marinades. If you’ve decided on a last-minute BBQ we recommend asking for meat that has already been marinated which saves you having to wait for the flavours to soak into the meat.

If you’re feeling extra fancy you can keep some of the marinade in a little pot and brush it onto your meat as it’s cooking. This helps to lock in the moisture in the meat, captures some of that smoky taste as it cooks and as it slowly caramelises, it adds an extra depth of flavour.

Get organised

When you’re cooking with charcoal it only lasts so long so if you’re cooking for a lot of people it’s key to make sure you have everything you need to hand once you start cooking. This saves having to rush in and out to get a tea towel or the next item that needs cooking while worrying about what your food on the BBQ is doing.

Another useful tip if you’re cooking for a lot of people, or if some people in your group prefer their food with a different marinade or cooked medium rare is to get a selection of cocktail sticks. This way you don’t have to remember who is whose when it comes to the food.