Happy National BBQ Week

The last week of May finds us in National BBQ week.  And don’t we just love a BBQ event in the UK?  There is nothing more than us Brits love than to sit outside and eat alfresco. If you are anything like me the weather does not have to be that hot.  As long as it isn’t raining there I am Pimms in one hand and a good sizzling steak in the other.

Official Figures from National BBQ week have shown that in 2018 there were about 137 million BBQ Events in the UK (up from 9 million in 1997).  Now that is a lot of BBQ Events and is worth about £1.6 billion to the UK economy.

When I think about BBQs 20 years ago it really was just about a charcoal encrusted sausage on a roll!  In 2019 the possibilities of what constitutes a good BBQ catering menu are endless.  It goes way beyond just throwing some charcoal on a small BBQ! You can now install an outdoor kitchen into your garden and pretty much cook up anything you want to.  It is what makes a BBQ Event absolutely ideal for entertaining. Any excuse for a garden party and being your own grill chef with your bbq (dependent of course on the good old British weather).

National BBQ Week

At Chef in my Kitchen we have a lot of experience hosting BBQ Events for our customers as well as enjoying them (when we get a rare night off!)

So here are my top tips for hosting a successful BBQ Event and being your own BBQ Private Chef during National BBQ week.

Organizing your BBQ - what all good Grill Chef doing a BBQ know

  • Use a charcoal BBQ where possible as it gives you more choice with flavours
  • Light the BBQ before your guests arrive to generate that tantalising BBQ smell as they arrive.
  • It’s all in the preparation. When marinating your fish and meat it is best to do so the day before to let the flavour really soak in. Think Sea bass in ginger and garlic, chicken soaked in a spicy Lebanese marinade. Consider something more unusual and go for an extreme BBQ.
  • Organise your BBQ space – have all your tools ready. Work out your timings.  If you need additional workspace have a table set up next to your BBQ.  Remember if you are catering for Vegetarians and people with allergies you will need separate utensils and equipment.   You do not want to be running in and out the house once you start cooking.
  • Choose your charcoal wisely as this can make or break what you are trying to achieve. Charcoal is fast burning and is good for most meats but briquettes burn for a lot longer at a more consistent temperature. They are great if you want to grill joints of meat over a longer period of time (a temperature probe is a great investment).  There are also many infused charcoals you can buy that aide with the flavouring.  Applewood infused charcoal and infused wood chips are great for grilling pork chops.  The flavour possibilities are endless.

The BBQ Catering Menu

  • Make your own burgers – so easy to make and you can add so many different and secret ingredients.
  • Lose fridge chill. If you have taken the opportunity to marinate overnight take your fish and meat out of the fridge at least 20 minutes before you start grilling. They are then at room temperature once you start.
  • No BBQ Catering menu should be without oven baked potatoes.  Before you bake, cover in garlic infused olive oil and sea salt and bake for one hour.  Take out of the oven, wrap in foil and leave them to smolder on the BBQ grill.
BBQ Week

Drinks - an essential ingredient for an excellent Garden Party

  • Remember it isn’t just about the food at your BBQ event and garden party, you need to make sure you have lots of chilled drinks. Invest in a large cooler that you can pack with ice and put your wines, beers and soft drinks in there.  Guests can then help themselves without going back into the house.
  • Serve Pimms – I am sorry but it is just a staple that goes hand in hand with alfresco dining. Plenty of strawberries, mint and cucumber.
  • Put a summer play list together from classic to Ibiza chill out music and go and enjoy yourself.

Hopefully this gives you some ideas. So go forth and celebrate National BBQ week and invite your friends over to your garden party and fire the grill up.   It's a great feeling getting out there and being your very own Grill Chef with your bbq.

This weekend our excuse for a summer party is the Champions League final. We have set up an outdoor screen, prepared loads of delicious food. It is marinating heaven at CIMK towers today!

We are torn between Liverpool and Spurs as many of our lovely clients are playing.  We wish them the best of luck and our BBQ Private Chefs are looking forward to a celebratory BBQ Event with them over the next few weeks.