When the sun’s shining there’s nothing we love more than getting out in the garden, firing up the BBQ and inviting everyone around for a flame-grilled feast.
With summer firmly underway, we thought we’d round up some of our favourite hints, tips and recipes to create the ultimate Pinch of Nom guide to hosting your best ever barbecue.
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Step 1: Set the table
First things first, you need to set the scene. You can lay the table with your usual plates and cutlery, although sometimes we prefer to bring out the plastic crockery when we’re eating al fresco.
These Greentainer Unbreakable Dinner Plates will come in handy time and time again, especially since they’re microwave and dishwasher safe.
Don’t fancy spending any time cleaning up after your guests have gone home? Grab a pack of these Disposable Palm Leaf Plates – they’re biodegradable and compostable, so you can skip the washing up while still being kind to the environment.
No matter what’s on the menu at your BBQ, one thing’s for sure, you’ll need a pitcher of something ice cold to wash down your meal. Whether you’re keeping things fresh with a jug of Homemade Lemonade or getting the party started with our Pink Sangria, these 2L Cocktail Jugs with Lids are ideal for outdoor use.
Prepare your drink recipes early in the morning and set the pitchers in the fridge to keep them nice and cold until you’re ready to serve.
Step 2: Fire up the grill
Whether you go gas or charcoal, you’ll want to get your barbecue nice and hot before you start grilling up a storm. You can’t go wrong with throwing a couple of sausages or burgers on first, to get them cooked all the way through while your guests settle in.
Made with lean beef mince and seasoned with Mexican-inspired herbs and spices, these Tex Mex Burgers are always a hit – and they’re even better cooked on the BBQ. Load them onto a bread roll with your favourite sauce and salad combo and get stuck in!
If you fancy switching things up, these Sweet Chilli Chicken Burgers are barbecue-friendly, and only 314 calories (and that’s bun and toppings included!). We’ve created a Thai-inspired marinade to infuse the tender chicken breast with a balance of savoury, zesty and spicy flavours.
Pile the burger buns high with plenty of crunchy salad and a good dollop of sweet chilli mayo too – there’s so much flavour in every bite!
Of course, there’s no rule that you have to have a burger! Skip the bun and grill up a few of these BBQ Chicken Steaks to eat with your favourite side dishes. Our recipe includes a choice of 3 different marinades: garlic and herb, cajun or chicken tikka.
Throw them on the barbecue to take on that lovely smokey flavour, and keep a close eye on them to make sure they’re piping hot and cooked all the way through before serving.
If you’re anything like us, a recipe that’s both easy and cheesy is a dream come true. These Parmesan Pork Skewers deliver on both counts, and they’re just as tasty whether you make them in the oven, on the BBQ or in the air fryer.
It’s well worth marinating your pork the night before the big barbecue, to let the herby, garlicky flavours mingle and infuse into the meat. Trust us – it locks in so much juiciness for a really tender bite.
Pssst….did you know you can skip the hassle of charcoal and gas barbecues and still get all the flavour? If you’re in the market for a new grill, this Ninja Woodfire Electric BBQ Grill and Smoker has 7 different functions!
It’s powered by electricity and uses wood pellets to give food that signature smokiness. It also functions as an oven, grill and air fryer, so you’re covered rain or shine!
Step 3: Prepare some vegetarian options
No one said a barbecue absolutely has to be a meat feast! If you’re in the mood for something a bit different, or catering for vegetarians, there are plenty of slimming-friendly recipes that you can cook on the BBQ.
For starters, you can go wrong with a good, homemade Veggie Burger. So tasty that even the meat-eaters will want one, you might need to make a few extra to go around!
Each patty is jam-packed with veggie goodness, with a sprinkling of Parmesan (or vegetarian hard cheese) to add a slight tang.
Always a classic vegetarian option, you haven’t lived until you’ve tried barbecued halloumi. Because it doesn’t melt, it’s an ideal ingredient for popping on the grill, and it creates a burger with a satisfying, meaty bite. Fiery harissa and sweet honey give our Spiced Halloumi Burgers bags and bags of flavour.
They don’t take long to cook, so you’ll need to keep an eye on them to make sure the honey-infused marinade doesn’t start to burn. You won’t want to miss the herby yoghurt dressing we’ve included in the recipe too!
We can’t talk about halloumi without giving a shout out to our Minty Halloumi and Vegetable Kebabs. As long as you double check that your block of halloumi is vegetarian, these are guaranteed to keep all your veggie guests happy.
Proving that you don’t need meat to make a tasty kebab, our skewers of red pepper, red onion, courgette and halloumi are finished with a drizzle of fresh minty sauce that brings the whole dish to life.
There’s no denying that corn on the cob is a must-have at any veggie-friendly BBQ, but we’ve taken things up a notch (or two) with this Mexican-style Corn on the Cob. Once your corn is cooked, it’s ready to be loaded up with the perfect mixture of spicy, salty, sour and savoury flavours.
Our Mexican-inspired toppings include lime-infused yoghurt, a touch of hot chilli powder and crumbled feta cheese. Add a dusting of paprika and a sprinkling of fresh coriander and you’re ready to serve.
Step 4: Make plenty of side dishes
Salads, potatoes, coleslaw…when you’ve got plenty of side dishes on offer, your BBQ is already a winner. We’ve got a whole roundup of our favourite barbecue side dishes right here, and there’s a few that you definitely won’t want to miss from your spread.
Is it even a BBQ if there isn’t a potato salad on the table? We have to give honourable mention to Homemade Oven Chips and Sweet Potato Fries, but when we’re loading up our plate, it’s not complete without a scoop of classic Potato Salad.
We keep the calories down by skipping the mayo and using a mixture of quark and fat-free natural yoghurt. It’s just as creamy, but so much lighter.
For a twist on tradition, this Buffalo Coleslaw is a welcome addition to your selection of sides. As well as giving a lovely crunch to anything you serve it with, the blue cheese in the sauce adds a moreish, tangy flavour.
Despite tasting so indulgent, you’ll be pleased to know that this works out at just 67 calories per serving (plus, it’s super quick and easy to make).
Strawberries in a salad? Juicy and refreshing, our Strawberry and Feta Salad is as summery as it sounds, and it’s the perfect palate cleanser to enjoy before you go in for your next burger or kebab.
The sweetness of the strawberries balances beautifully with peppery rocket and salty feta cheese – once you’ve tried it, you’ll be bringing it out at every barbecue, buffet or garden party.
Tell us your top BBQ tips!
If you’re planning a barbecue for the next sunny weekend (fingers crossed for sunshine soon!) we’d love to hear what you’ll be putting on your menu. Head on over to our Facebook group to tell us all about it.
Don’t forget you can also share your photos with us and send your hints and tips in our Gallery. There’s SWAG up for grabs so it’s well worth checking it out!
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