How to Throw the Perfect Barbecue

You can never quite guarantee the weather in a British summer, but you can 100% guarantee that a pre-arranged barbecue will go ahead come rain or shine. The clouds might have gathered and it might be pouring down now, but people up and down the country will be standing under a golf umbrella flipping the burgers and refusing to accept that the sun won’t be back out in a minute.

BBQs are a non-negotiable part of British culture, so we’ve pulled together this guide for how to throw the perfect garden barbecue this summer.

Get the Right Barbecue Grill

There are a lot of cost effective and fast options for a barbecue, including disposable trays for when you need to grill in a hurry. These can be great for camping or impromptu outdoors events, but if you love to grill, it’s worth investing in something a bit more substantial.

Gas BBQs are efficient and easier to use, but if you’re going for the traditional smoky barbecue flavour you’ll need a charcoal powered model and the right charcoal to fuel it. For a great flavour, try lumpwood charcoal.

Plan the Perfect Menu

Once you’ve got the right barbecue in place in your garden, you need to decide what to cook on it. This needs to be tailored to the people you’ve invited, especially if there’s people coming who are vegetarians or vegans. This not only impacts what you’ll buy, to make sure they have tasty food they can eat, but also how you cook things to make sure their food is kept separate from the meat. 

You also need to plan whether you’re serving up BBQ classics (sausages and burgers) or going for something a bit different like fish or kebabs. And don’t forget the sides, like salads, chips, and coleslaw. You can get many of these ready beforehand to cut down on what you need to achieve while at the grill. Plan ahead when it comes to cooking timings, and make sure you’ve got everything you need set up before you get started.

Don’t Forget the Atmosphere

Getting the food right is crucial for a great barbecue but there’s more to it than that. We’ve all been at (or hosted) BBQs where guests are sitting on uncomfortable mismatched garden furniture. So, make sure you plan the seating layout, the decorations and everything else that creates a party atmosphere in your back garden. 

Create an inviting seating area that allows all of your guests to sit down and chat, with a separate area for kids if necessary (they might be fine on a big picnic blanket on the lawn). If the weather isn’t likely to be very warm by the evening, a chiminea or other wood burning stove can keep people from getting cool while acting as a centrepiece for events, though make sure its well away from any buildings, wooden structures, or vegetation. 

You can also create a party playlist to help set the mood, but don’t forget to consider the setting, your guests’ tastes and of course your neighbours when it comes to playing music in your garden. With the right music playing in the background and the right seating arrangements and decorations, your guests will have the perfect environment to sit and enjoy themselves while their tasty food is cooking.