Barbecues are a big part of the British summer – weather allowing, that is. After months and months of cooking and eating indoors, it's blissful to tuck into a meal in the garden, on the patio, balcony, or even in the local park.
We've outlined all the latest barbecue trends and tips, to ensure you'll be ready to grill when the sun comes out!
start with the right grill
Choosing a barbecue will obviously be led by how much outdoor space you have. Heading to the park or beach and need something pocket-friendly and portable? Easy!
If you're commiting to a larger, pricier grill, consider your fuel preference. Gas barbecues are becoming increasingly popular, since cooking options are more varied – you can sear, grill or slow cook your meat or veg. If you're planning on regularly cooking outside, it might be worth choosing a multifunctioning grill. This cooker even has a rotisserie...
Of course, nothing achieves that perfectly smoky flavour quite like old-fashioned charcoal cooking.
Invest in the extras
Want to get involved with the growing trend for smoking meat? You can! Simply fill a smoker box with wood chips and add this to your grill when you fire it up. Fancy throwing a pizza night? Yep, you can use your grill for that, too! All you'll need is a ceramic pizza stone, which works on both gas and electric barbecues. As well as pizza, you'll be able to knock up a quick flatbread, quesadillas or foccacia. Oh, the possibilities...
Think outside the box
Uninspired by the idea of grilled sausages, burgers or ribs? There are so many other tasty ways to use a barbecue. Fish is particularly delicious grilled – marinated salmon, meaty swordfish, smoky king prawns or even lobster, will work perfectly with big summer salads (plus, fish cooks a lot quicker than sausages or chicken). Make a batch of our salmon burgers, to serve in a bap with crunchy pickled veg - your guests will thank you!
Don't forget the veg
When it comes to veg, you can do better than an undressed green salad and a tub of coleslaw. Lay on a few delicious grilled veg sides for guests to – meat eaters and vegetarians will love tucking into a platter of buttery grilled corn, chargrilled peppers, blistered tomatoes, sliced aubergine or courgettes. Onions, asparagus, marinated cauliflower – you can pretty much grill anything with downright tasty results. Don't go without this smoky corn with chilli, cheese and lime mayonnaise...
And definitely don't forget about dessert
Never grilled fruit before? Camelised banana, griddled pineapple and juicy peaches are irresistible served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, as a quick, fuss-free and delicious dessert (sans any washing up, if you use paper bowls!).
Remember the refreshments
Throwing a barbecue on a hot (ok, warm) day goes hand in hand with knocking back a cold drink or two. Stock up on plenty of (on-trend) soft drinks, for those who don't want alcohol – including the designated grillmaster. From sparkling elderflower to classic cola and raspberry lemonade, you'll find some delicious options online or in store. Obviously, we have you covered for alcoholic beverages too, from chilled fizz to frosted craft beers. A glass of our berry slush will go down well with anyone and everyone... Make sure you check out our top tips on keeping your drinks cool, too!