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Chill & Grill: Will You Be Cooking Up A Storm This National BBQ Week?

Organisers reveal how to beat the unpredictable weather with top tips for the ‘impromptu BBQ’, as well as brilliant ‘budget barbi’ recipes.

Fill up the fridge and dust off the tongs…one of the UK’s favourite awareness weeks - National BBQ Week - is BACK from May 29 to June 4.

 

There’s no denying Britain’s love for the BBQ:

  • Last year the UK was thought to have hosted 168 MILLION BBQ occasions, holding its place as Europe’s TOP BBQ’ing nation
  • It is estimated that there were around 9.8 million BBQ occasions held during the King’s Coronation weekend
  • Three quarters of British households now own some form of BBQ grill
  • Families now enjoy an average of 10 BBQs a year (up from around 2.5 in 2013)

However this year’s unpredictable weather so far, is dampening many alfresco dining plans with Brits feeling worried about booking too many ‘barbi’s’ in advance.

‘The GrillMaster’ Brian George - past President of the National BBQ Association & creator of the annual National BBQ Week - explains:

“The pre-planned BBQ is continually changing as lifestyles become more casual and people work from home more, with only 25% thought to be booked far in advance last year (down from 70% in 2005).

“Following a spring of volatile weather, we’re now looking at a very welcome and continuing spell of warmer weather, especially over the upcoming 27th National BBQ Week. It looks as if we could be in for a really sizzling summer of spontaneity when it comes to garden bashes, something which BBQ is ideally suited for, so we’ve rustled up our top tips for turning around a super speedy BBQ when we see that sunshine appear!”

 

TOP TIPS FOR THE ‘IMPROMPTU BBQ’

  1. Cooking on gas

Gas remains the most popular type of BBQ in the UK (49% of BBQ owned) and of course lends itself to a much speedier set up. However if you’re using a charcoal grill you can still speed up the lighting process by using eco-friendly pellet or BBQ chimney lighters. To get that traditional smoked taste you can even add wood chips to the coals.

  1. Long live long life

It’s likely everyone will race to the shops at the first sighting of sunshine, but you can beat the crowds by having some BBQ favourites with a longer life ready to go in the fridge. Supermarket-bought halloumi can be kept sealed in the fridge for months ready to be sliced and grilled at a moment’s notice, and hotdog sausages (or frankfurters) also have a good fridge-life and are perfect on the barbi!

  1. The freezer’s your friend

Don’t forget the freezer for your BBQ essentials too. Burger and hotdog buns can be frozen and defrosted at room temperature within a couple of hours (or even faster in the microwave). Some homemade coleslaws and potato salads can also be frozen and defrosted (as long as they’re made with oil-based dressings rather than mayo). You can freeze many types of burgers, sausages, chicken and steaks, but make sure to check the instructions on pack and always defrost properly first.

Brian continues:

“As well as the recent weather, our wallets are also taking a bit of a battering at the moment, and one of the questions I’m getting asked a lot is how to create delicious tasting barbi recipes that don’t cost the earth.”

BARBI’S ON A BUDGET

“We may have enjoyed big blow-out barbi’s over the Coronation weekend, but for many, the upcoming summer of BBQs will be a bit more scaled back.

“I’ve put together a mix of money-saving BBQ hacks, tips & recipes, all designed to not only make you a better griller, but to also help you present some amazing BBQ dishes which look and taste great but are easy on the pocket – all at under £2 per serving!”

From Sizzling Sticky BBQ Chicken to Perfect Pineapple & Pork Kebabs and Brilliant BBQ Cauliflower Steaks, all recipes can be found alongside Brian’s top tips at www.nationalbbqweek.co.uk

BIG BARBI TRENDS FOR 2023

The UK’s major retailers are expecting to see spikes in BBQ essentials this summer. M&S Food is predicting it will see a 40% uplift in burgers during the warmer weather, while Tesco is expecting customers to snap up around 850,000 ready-to-drink cans from its BWS range this Bank Holiday weekend alone!

Although chicken still remains the favourite BBQ food in the UK; appearing on 20% of menus (followed by burgers, sausages, kebabs and steak), over the last few years, there’s been a clear ‘sausage to swordfish’ gastro grilling movement, as Brits become more discerning with their BBQ menus.

US-style low & slow cooking is also becoming more fashionable with pulled pork especially popular and traditional ‘smoker’ BBQs now in 3.5% of all UK homes.

National BBQ Week sponsor, La Vieille Ferme, is helping to increase this figure even further with the launch of its ‘BBQ Edition’ promotion, giving customers the chance to win one of hundreds of BBQ prizes ranging from a Big Green Egg™ to other La Vieille Ferme summer essentials. 

Details, recipes, tips and more can be found on www.nationalbbqweek.co.uk – the home of EVERYTHING you’d ever need to know to get gastro-grilling or ‘Barbi’ing on a Budget’!

 

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