The smell of a barbeque wafting over the garden fence is one of the most summery of scents and will have us all digging out the BBQ and heading to the supermarket for supplies. Inviting lots of friends and family can make a BBQ into a real event, so rather than just dining al fresco on the spur of the moment, why not think ahead and plan a great summer evening? Use our guide as a tick-list of everything you?ll need for a BBQ to impress all your family and friends.
Many people will buy a new and inexpensive BBQ every year, use it a couple of times and dispose of it at the end of the season. As well as creating a lot of waste, a cheap barbeque could also affect the quality of your cooking, so why not invest this year in something more substantial? A large gas BBQ is a great idea if you are planning on entertaining lots of guests as there is plenty of space for grilling and you can quickly control cooking temperatures and speeds. Or, if you prefer the traditional method of cooking over charcoal, you could add a BBQ to your garden as a permanent feature. Stone barbeque features can be bought in home and hardware shops and are easy to assemble yourself.
This is the most important aspect of any BBQ, so it?s a shame that many people resort to tried and tested classics. Whilst plain burgers and white baps may be popular, there are plenty of tasty twists which can be made to your cooking to put a sizzle into your BBQ fare. Halloumi is delicious cooked on a barbeque and drizzled with olive oil, lime and capers. Make your own burgers with mince, herbs and breadcrumbs and serve with tasty sourdough rolls. Kebabs of Mediterranean veg are a great option for vegans, and can be made more substantial by adding soy-sauce marinated tofu. A traditional green salad can be made more interesting by adding cous cous and a simple twist of lemon juice.
A cool beer is essential for any BBQ, though if your event is during the day you?ll probably want a non-alcoholic offering too! Pour sparkling water into a jug and add fresh mint leaves and slices of orange for a refreshing hit. For the alcohol drinkers, cider adds an interesting variation to traditional beer and is refreshing when served ice cold. Look for ciders produced in Somerset for something really authentic and choose pear as well as apple products to add further variety.
Bunting is a quick way to add colour to your garden and, if the weather isn?t great for your BBQ, will still make the area look bright and cheerful. To save money, why not make your own bunting using fabric offcuts? Or, for a really low-cost option use patterned and coloured paper and a length of string, which looks just as effective and is a rally good way to recycle too!
Every barbeque chef needs good tools and, in addition to investing in a new BBQ why not use this summer as an opportunity to stock up on equipment? Colourful utensils look fab on a serving table and, when matched with your napkins and crockery, will help tie the d?cor of your event together.