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When you live in the city, you don’t always have room at home to host a barbecue. But don’t let that stop you! A number of parks in the metropolitan region offer picnic facilities and designated areas for outdoor grilling. Here are some tips from BBQ Québec for mastering the art of the outdoor grill.

TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL BARBECUE

So you’ve finally dusted off your portable barbecue in time for the summer season. Whether you have a gas- or charcoal-powered unit, the important thing is to plan ahead!

Plan around your equipment

According to Maxime Lavoie, co-owner of BBQ Québec, your type of portable barbecue will likely determine the amount of preparation you’ll need. “If you have a wood charcoal grill, you will need time for embers to form. This is why I suggest arriving at the park before your guests,” he explains. If you have a gas barbecue, this lead time isn’t necessary. “This type of equipment provides faster cooking times, but you don’t get that smoky flavour that barbecue lovers go crazy for,” says the expert. “But you can cheat a bit by adding wood shavings.”

What to bring

We recommend making a list of the items you need to bring along (cutlery, plates, and cups are obvious necessities, but don’t forget a brush for the marinade or your barbecue tongs, for example). Instead of dragging along a cutting board and knives for carving and chopping on site, do this step at home and put all the pre-cut food into reusable freezer bags. We also suggest using a cart for transporting your cooking materials. In some parks, parking is a good distance away from the picnic areas.

SIMPLE RECIPES FOR THE GRILL

Lavoie recommends avoiding certain dishes that require a lot of condiments. “This is the case with burgers, a barbecue favourite,” he says. “I love cooking them at home, but I prefer making other dishes at the park. I just don’t feel like bringing ketchup, mayo, mustard, tomatoes, lettuce, etc.”

Kebab express

“This is an ideal dish for grilling at the park,” says the barbecue expert. “To save time, I skewer the meat in advance. After barbecuing, you can simply slide the meat into some naan folded in half and enjoy!” And your side dish? “Go for grilled halloumi brochettes, which you can add on top of a fresh cucumber salad.”

Korean prime rib

Planning on spending the whole afternoon at the park? Lavoie recommends making this favourite of Korean street food. Since the meat is cooked at a low temperature, the preparation time is longer, but the result is worth the wait! “This dish is delicious and easy to make,” he says. “You can add a side of wild rice, reheated at the site, and pour the cooking juices on top for a real feast!”

A FEW PARKS FOR OUTDOOR BARBECUING

Here are a few of our favourite parks for enjoying barbecued meals outdoors. Before leaving the house, we recommend taking a look at the site’s rules for using your barbecue. You should also check the instructions on how to dispose of your charcoal. Parks that allow barbecuing generally have an area set aside for this purpose.

Beaver Lake

Located at the top of Mount Royal, Beaver Lake is a true oasis. It’s also a special spot for Montrealers looking to spend some time in nature. In addition to offering an idyllic backdrop to your get-togethers, the park offers visitors special picnic areas for barbecuing.

Dieppe Park

Well located on the peninsula close to Habitat 67, Dieppe Park offers an amazing view of Old Montreal and downtown Montreal. Tables are available for picnickers, as are metal supports for your barbecue.

Cap-Saint-Jacques Park

Cap-Saint-Jacques Park is one of the largest in the Montreal region. Bordered by Lac des Deux Montagnes and the Rivière des Prairies, it provides two unobstructed views of the water. Here too, barbecues are allowed in areas reserved for picnicking.

Angrignon Park

With its 240 acres of space, Angrignon Park is the ideal place for recharging your batteries around a barbecue surrounded by nature! No need to bring any equipment, though, because this is one of the few parks in the metropolitan area with built-in grills. All you need to bring is your charcoal or briquettes and a fuel source if necessary. Now you have all the ingredients for a successful barbecue in the park. The only thing left is to cross your fingers for good weather!