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Akinfenwa: How to make the perfect BBQ

Coals pay the rent…
“Ask anyone who knows me and knows how I cook – they’ll confirm I’m a coals man when it comes to barbecuing. It may take a bit more time to light up than a gas-fired burner but charcoal adds to the smoky flavour of all the food going on to the grill.”
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Tools of the trade...
“Take pride in your BBQ and get a set of professional tools – knives, forks, tongs etc – but avoid piercing the meat during the cooking, if you do you lose juice and flavour. Turn the meat with those stainless-steel tongs instead.”
Recommend Landmann BBQ Tool Set John Lewis £29.99

Get the party started…
“I have a big family, I’ve got five kids to feed for starters! It’s expensive going out so we party a lot at home. There’s music on the sound system all the time – I say make yourself a barbecue playlist. Mine is varied right now – dance and R'n'B - even the odd track from my brother, Dele, and then there’s Darude’s ‘Sandstorm’ for when things liven up.”
Recommend: Samsung HW Soundbar £90

Main meal: Chicken, chicken and more chicken...

“I’m renowned for my love of chicken. I adore Nandos. On a good day I could go for a full rack of wings – maybe 10 or 12 – in a sitting. But when it comes to barbecue time my speciality is my own homemade chicken drummers. I’m not into fish. I don’t really do burgers but I devour chicken. It’s all the lean protein you need. But getting that flavour right is key.”

Pre-season marinading

“Pre-season and pre-cook your drummers. First off blend the drummers with herbs – I use smoked paprika – more for the flavour, I’m all about that not the hotness. Coat every piece, then rub on some of the all-purpose barbecue seasoning. It’s easy pre-mixed herbs and it gives your meat some additional flavour - as does a few pinches of pepper and salt. Once you’ve mixed them all place them on a baking tray and cook them through (high heat for 40 minutes).”


“Next comes the sauce. I mix my own secret recipe of BMO sauce – I can’t reveal too much other than that it’s medium spice, I can’t take hot. You’re going to have to choose your own but you’ll find Reggae Reggae sauce or Peri-Peri both work wonders. Baste your drummers with these, let them cook into the meat for another 20 minutes before putting them on the grill to finish of the texture and add some smokiness.”

Stay on sides

“You want some carbs with all this protein? Here’s my three essential side-dishes for a barbecue.”


Fried plantain: “Pre-cooked in oil and served on the side. Peel, chop and cook in hot oil for around five minutes – sprinkle with salt and serve with coleslaw, spicy mayonnaise or sweet pepper sauce.


Corn on the cob: “Easy to cook on the grill and serve with sauces or butter melting over them.”


Jollof rice: “If you don’t know about this then look it up. It’s a west African staple – rice with tomatoes, onions, spices including ginger and cumin, peppers and peas - great flavour and very filling.”


Adebayo Akinfenwa is taking part in partypoker the ‘Big Bluff ’ challenge, get involved at