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There’s no better way to entertain in the summer than hosting the perfect barbeque for you to enjoy with family and friends. From casual conversations around the barbeque to grilling delicious burgers, kebabs and steaks, what’s not to love?
Make your barbeque extra special with our easy barbeque tips and advice that is sure to crown you king or queen of the grill!
There’s no better way to entertain in the summer than hosting the perfect barbeque for you to enjoy with family and friends. From casual conversations around the barbeque to grilling delicious burgers, kebabs and steaks, what’s not to love? Make your barbeque extra special with our easy barbeque tips and advice that is sure to crown you king or queen of the grill!
Ideally, you’ll want to give your barbeque a quick clean the day before or the morning of the barbeque. Allow enough time for your barbeque to dry, which won’t take long on a warm, sunny day.
While each barbeque will have their own care instructions, which we advise you to follow, here are some general barbeque upkeep guidelines to keep your barbeque in good working order.
Your barbeque is designed to come apart, purely so you can easily clean the separate bits and pieces. Make sure to wear gloves when removing the grate and any other metal parts, as they offer protection from dirt but also any sharp parts.
The easiest way to clean your barbeque is to place the parts in a large bucket of hot, soapy water and to scrub the grills while submerged in the mixture. Use a sponge and elbow-grease to remove harder stains or stuck-on food.
Allow the parts of your barbeque to dry before spraying any cooking surfaces with cooking oil to prevent rust from developing.
Once your barbeque is completely dry, reassemble the pieces. Turn on your barbeque to check that everything works and to burn off anything that may still be on the grill and could taint your food.
TIP: Perform safety checks on your barbeque before each use. If the hose leading from your propane tank to your barbeque is cracked or worn out, replace it with a new one.
While barbeques can be considered quite informal and casual affairs, having a place to serve, eat and relax is essential and requires planning – especially in the United Kingdom, where summer weather is not always promised once forecasted. Having a Plan B in preparation for impromptu showers and cloudy weather can save your barbeque from disaster.
If you are unsure on how to serve your food or how to organise your outdoor space, here are a few questions to ask yourself.
Barbequing can be as simple or as complex as you make it, but regardless, you need to organise certain aspects of your barbeque beforehand. This means preparing your food but also planning how you are going to add and remove the ingredients from the barbeque to avoid overcooking the food or contamination.
Have a large enough table beside the barbeque with the correct serving plates, so you can effortlessly remove the food once it’s thoroughly cooked. You may also want to have foil beside the barbeque, so you can cover the freshly cooked food before serving to your guests.
You may wish to prepare your salad before your guests arrive and store it in the fridge. What’s more, certain dishes may need to be cooked on the hob or in the oven to save time or to make the cooking process much smoother. Either way, there is nothing wrong in grilling certain ingredients outside and on the barbeque, while also cooking food in the kitchen for added ease.
It’s important for you to consider how you are going to serve your food. As with most barbeques, food is typically served in serveware, with guests picking and choosing what they wish to have on their plate. Because of this, you may want to serve delicious serving platters, fresh salads, baked potatoes, grilled vegetables, and a plate of burgers, sausages, steaks, and kebabs that have been cooked on the barbeque.
Large, round serving bowls are perfect for serving leafy greens to your guests. Include salad servers for improve hygiene as well as oil and vinegar drizzlers for added flavour, and your guests can enjoy delicious homemade salads.
Serving up a board of various cold meats (salami, prosciutto, Spanish chorizo) and cheeses (feta, Manchego, gorgonzola) is a great way to offer a variety of food that isn’t being cooked on the barbeque. Furthermore, charcuterie boards are fantastic for snacking on while guests await the main event – burgers, wings, ribs, etc. However, putting together a sharing board of delectable snacks can be overwhelming, which is why we’ve created a guide explaining the best ways to build a sharing board this summer.
Oven dishes can be a great way to plate up and serve your barbequed meats and vegetables. Not only do oven dishes look pretty, but their deep, long sides can keep the food firmly and handles make passing the dishes around from guest to guest easier and more comfortable. You may also wish to slightly warm up the oven dishes beforehand, so they retain the heat and keep the food warmer for longer.
The bread you serve depends on the dishes you offer your guests. For instance, if you are serving up burgers, you’ll want to have enough burger buns to go round. However, cutting up a baguette for people to add spread to is also a common side dish. The best way to serve your bread is to place them in a serving bowl or bread basket (for added breathability and to stop the bread from sweating and going soft), so your guests can take as much as they wish and easily pass around the bowl.
Dips and condiments are essential for barbeques, so make sure you have plenty of relishes, chutney, ketchup and hummus to go around. Serve your dips in dipping bowls for added presentation that is sure to make for a beautiful spread alongside your other dishes. You may also want to use small dipping bowls for olives, stuffed vine leaves, and sundried tomatoes.
In the morning, take the time to set up your barbeque area. This means setting up your barbeque and ensuring that there’s enough chairs and tables to go around. You may want to set up a more formal eating experience, with guests sitting around a main outdoor dining table, or you may set up small seating areas around your garden – the latter being ideal for a more casual experience. Taking the time to set up your barbeque can help take the weight from your shoulders, so you can focus on prepping the food and entertaining your guests once they arrive.
You should also ensure that you have enough serving dishes, cutlery, crockery, and glassware for your guests. If you are unsure on how to organise an outdoor eating experience, check out our guide on how to create a tablescape for outdoor dining.
There’s no telling what weather you’ll get, especially in the United Kingdom where it’s notorious to rain even in the height of summer. However, that does not mean you can’t host an outdoor gathering – simply have a backup plan for if the weather changes.
The easiest way to prepare for a change in weather is to have seating, a table, and a serving area available inside your home. This means keeping your usual dining table free from clutter or having a countertop in your kitchen free.
TIP: Providing an indoor space for your guests to eat and drink may be wise, as not everyone can handle being outside and under the sun for long periods of time. If the weather is incredibly hot, don’t forget to provide shade – a parasol or gazebo can be fantastic ways to block out the sun when it becomes the hottest part of the day!
Barbequing has become a much more elevated experience over the last few years. Long gone are the days when people would simply cook burgers and steaks without a marinade. Nowadays people take the time to create marinades or rubs for their meats and vegetables, so they can offer a more full-bodied and delicious experience. This means you’ll potentially need to marinate your ingredients beforehand.
As mentioned before, preparing the barbeque area beforehand is a must as it can save you from stress but also provide you with enough time to create a pleasant atmosphere. If you are expecting your guests to stay until the evening time, place tealight candle holders and LED Table Fairy Lights around your garden for a soothing ambience. You may also want to set the table with placemats, cutlery and plates if you are having a more formal soiree.
When checking your barbeque, don’t forget to also double check your utensils. Barbeque utensils are designed to help you cook and move barbeque foods like burgers, sausages, steaks, and kebabs. We also recommend the use of food thermometers, which is ideal for ensuring that you have perfectly cooked your ingredients and minimised the risk of food poisoning.
Barbeques are a great way to serve up old classic dishes like corn on the cob and traditional beef burgers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t introduce more elevated but equally tasty recipes that can be prepared and cooked on the barbeque.
Treat yourself and your guests to fresh and exotic salads, and delicious homemade food that is succulent and full of flavour. You may even wish to serve refreshing drinks. If so, check out our top 5 cocktail recipes that you'll want to try this summer .
Whether you are a meat eater, vegetarian or vegan, here are a handful of easy barbeque recipes that are sure to be enjoyed by your guests.