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Tencreek’s top tips for Cornish holiday BBQs

For many of us, a great family BBQ happens in our back gardens. But with a bit of planning and the right equipment, you can bring the great tastes of outdoor grilling with you on your Cornish holiday this summer.

A summer caravan or camping holiday is a great British tradition – and for those ready for a holiday in Looe – there are some great products and great local ingredients to help make your grilling experience a bit more memorable and more delicious.

Here are our top tips for the perfect caravan BBQ:

Having the right grill

First things first: are we going with charcoal or gas?

For grill masters and BBQ mavens, this may be an easy decision, but whilst enjoying a caravan holiday, it gets a bit complicated. Gas BBQs are usually easier to operate. Cooking great food with gas is a bit more accessible to most amateur chefs. It requires less prep and heating time. Gas grills are also easier to clean. The main concern for holiday gas grills are the transportation and storage of gas canisters, which may need special attention. For those staying at Tencreek Holiday Park, you can purchase gas upon arrival – either disposal butane gas, or large Calor and camping gas set-ups.

There are a number of portable gas grills that can be used on your holidays, and there is sure to be a model that fits your travel needs.

Charcoal grills provide a smokier, more authentic BBQ taste, many experts believe. These grills are usually smaller and more compact, but lighting the charcoal and getting the coals to the right temperature takes time and a bit of experience as well.

For the best results – regardless of whether you choose gas or charcoal – invest in a good grill.

There may be one-time use grills available at the local supermarket, but if you are looking to create a lasting culinary memory, look to a better grill. According to the experts at the Caravan Times, American manufacturer Weber and South African specialists Cadac sell a great range of grills. Most of them are portable and are a perfect addition to your summer holidays.

Patience is a virtue

Many people experience a certain level of frustration when trying to get their charcoal BBQ going. To get the proper heat, they take time and preparation, so make sure you plan accordingly. Don’t gather the kids and the grandparents around for a fresh-grilled dinner before you have even struck a match. They – along with you – will watch, and watch, and wait as the coals get hot.

To speed it up, many are tempted to add too much charcoal or add accelerants or other materials to increase the burn rate. This could lead to increased fire hazards and could lead to a holiday mishap rather than a great holiday meal.

For a safe and enjoyable experience, find a flat area of land and make sure your BBQ is securely grounded. Keep any playing kids or pets well away from the heating grill. And please make sure at least one person supervises the BBQ at all times. This can keep the fire under control, and always keeps your food from getting burnt.

If it happens to rain on your holiday, please remember to never use a grill indoors, in your caravan, tent, or under an awning.

Cornish Holiday BBQ Menu

With any summer grilling, using fresh, local produce always tastes great. Vegetables like sweet corn taste great off the BBQ. For a bit of variety, courgettes, aubergines and apples are great as well.

When enjoying a caravan adventure in Cornwall, it is a must to try some local delicacies on the BBQ. There are some great recipes to try on your next holiday. After a quick trip to a fishmonger in Looe, barbecuing fresh mackerel is a great choice. Mackerel has a nice firm texture and has a great taste as long as it isn’t overcooked.

Here are the expert guidelines from the chefs at the Cornwall Good Seafood Guide:

  • Gut and clean the mackerel
  • It is optional to cut off the fins and the heads
  • Barbeque the whole fish on its side over some moderately hot coals
  • Cook for 3 to 5 minutes on each side until the skin starts to burn and go crispy
  • Drizzle with freshly squeezed lemon or lime
  • Serve with good brown bread and some salad

With most types of grilled fish the meat falls away from the bones. If you are worried about little ones, fresh-cut fillets can be cooked as well.


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