Vegetarian Barbecues - How To Cater For Your Meat Eating Friends

The majority of people are still meat and fish eaters so as a vegetarian, you are in the minority. When you throw a grill or tailgating party, unless you specifically invite vegetarian friends only, you will find that there are a lot of meat eaters. On the whole, most of them will be quite happy to eat non-meat based foods and probably curious too, but you may find a few of the more conservative guests will find that difficult and will not be happy unless they get their meat fix! So how do you manage to do that without too much fuss and trouble and provide them with a tasty and properly cooked barbecue meal? It starts with buying ...

Probably the most popular barbecued or grilled foods for meat eaters are steaks or burgers, easy enough to buy and cook surely? Well I guess so, but as you are unfamiliar with these products how can you avoid making a mistake and buying rubbish quality tasteless food? If possible, use fresh meat or fish from fishmongers or butchers rather than frozen or from the supermarket. Here are some other simple and easy to follow tips that could help you in your quest to buy good fresh meat and fish.

First, use your nose. When choosing fresh ocean fish, select produce that does not smell completely fishy. OK, that may sound a little stupid but truly fresh fish should have a faint smell of ocean air. If it smells very fishy then it is probably past its best. If you live inland, getting really fresh fish is more difficult. Smell is not so good for selecting meats but if the meat smells rancid you know to avoid it.

Second, use your eyes. When selecting fish, take a look at how it is displayed. Has the fishmonger taken time and trouble over his or her display? The fish should be displayed with the bellies at the lowest point to allow for drainage. The flesh of the fish should be uniform and bright, if there are traces of yellow at the edges of the cut flesh, it is not fresh. The eyes of the fish should be clear, not dull and cloudy. When selecting meat, red meats should be just that, and not grey or brown in colour - the latter indicate that they have been around a while and should have been sent for animal feeds. Beef should show a good marbling as that is caused by the presence of small pieces of fat that give flavor. Look also for quality stamps on the meat that you are buying.

Thirdly, use your ears. Get involved in the neighborhood network. Listen and talk to others. See what they have top say about the products that they have bought in the past, quite often, bad news travels better than good, so you will probably find out what places to avoid quite soon. Every now and then you will find someone who knows a gem of place to get beef, fish, fresh veg and so on, probably when you least expect it. After a few months or even years, you will have tried most of these places for yourself, and maybe discovered one or two extras of your own where you can get hold of that out of the ordinary food that will lift your grilling party above the ordinary.

If you can bear to make them yourself, home made burgers are better than commercial ones because they will have a much higher meat content, there are plenty of recipes around in books and on the Internet. When you have selected your guest’s meat, the butcher will be happy to mince it for you, tell them why and they will mince it into the appropriate sized granules. If you are planning on giving steaks to your carnivorous guests, you need to decide on which type to get, ribeye, rump ... The fact is that flavor and juiciness are created in steaks by the amount of fat present so sirloin is not particularly good as it is low fat. In inexperienced hands, sirloin can be dry and tough so it is better to stick to porterhouse, T-bone and ribeye steaks, which have a higher level of fat and it is more difficult to mess up cooking them.

It may seem strange talking so much about meat in an article aimed at vegetarians but it is worth taking the time to cater for your meat eating friends as they are more likely to take the time and trouble to cater for you at their grilling parties.

Users Reading this article are also interested in:
Top Searches on Meat Recipes:
Low Fat Vegetarian Recipes Vegetarian Burgers
About The Author, Kev Woodward
Be the talk of the neighborhood - visit the grilling coach now for great advice, recipes and tips plus grilling videos. And while you are there, if you are smart, sign up for the newsletter to get handy hints straight to your inbox!