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10 Essential Tips for a Great Summer Barbecue

Once the warm weather arrives, there’s nothing better than inviting family and friends round to tuck into some delicious food in the garden. What better way to celebrate the sunny times than to hold a lovely summer BBQ? If you are planning on a get-together, Big K has everything you need to make things special, and a treat for the taste buds, from our Chilla-Grilla Restaurant Grade Charcoal and Coconut Shell Briquettes to our range of high quality Thüros stainless steel grills, barbecues and BBQ stations.

All you need is some good food, close friends and our top 10 essential tips to make chilling out around the barbecue memorable this summer.

1. Home-made sauce

Give your summer BBQ the personal touch and add your own ingredients to a classic barbecue sauce. There are many recipes out there, so take your time, have a look and find something to your taste. Most traditional barbecue sauces are mainly a mixture of ketchup, brown sugar, garlic and Worcestershire sauce. Now that you know the flavour foundation, why not add a complementary ingredient such as cola for a sweetener? There are so many possibilities and so many tastes to explore. Get creative and have a little fun – this is what a summer BBQ is all about.

2. Meat thermometer

Everyone knows the importance of having fully cooked meat at a summer BBQ. Invest in a meat thermometer to ensure that your food is cooked right the way through. With this simple yet important tool, you can your guests can enjoy every bite, knowing everything is cooked to perfection.

Watch this space for an addition to our range later on in the year.

3. Paper towels and wipes

This may not seem the most important thing to remember, but it’s the ideal way to avoid sticky situations. After everyone starts eating your delicious food, they will need something to wipe their hands on. If you stock up on wipes and paper towels, you won’t need to worry about washing a load of cloth napkins. Paper towels can be easily disposed of once the BBQ is over.

Please be aware of the sustainability of the use of wet wipes. It is best to avoid if you can but if you need to buy them look for the biodegradable ones such as bamboo.

4. Controlling insects is vital during your summer BBQ

Insects, and especially wasps, can be a real nuisance when you are eating al fresco. If you want to avoid a bunch of pesky pests hanging around your food and barbecue this summer, then we have a couple of tips for you. With these pointers, there are no chemical repellents needed. Put lids on fizzy drinks and food that isn’t being eaten, and only remove the lids for serving or when the drinks and food are finished.

The next thing to do is to create a distraction. Place a sweet drink in a completely different area of the garden, well away from the food. This will give the wasps something to focus on rather than you and your friends eating. Another tip is to place a bowl of cloves on the table, as this will deter insects from coming near the food.

5. Fire extinguisher

Standing around the barbecue while cooking is something we all enjoy doing. It’s fun to watch the meats sizzling away while we stand ready with our bread rolls open. But if the food catches fire it could cause serious harm if it is not extinguished immediately.

Having a fire extinguisher nearby could prevent all types of accidents and is definitely a worthwhile investment for a safe summer BBQ. Or, simply keep a bucket of water at the ready. Try spraying with water in a can to keep the flare ups down before they get out of control.

6. Garden furniture

Some people like to sit back and relax while the barbecue blazes during the summer months, so comfort should be on your mind. While certain people are happy to stand and eat their food, others, especially children and older guests, may want to sit and eat at a table. With just a couple of tables and a few strategically placed chairs, you could add a little comfort to the proceedings.

7. Outdoor lighting and heating

If you are planning an evening meal outside, then you may find that there is a chill in the air once the sun has gone down. While the barbecue will obviously give off heat, you might also want to consider some other type of outdoor heating. A garden heater, chiminea or firepit provide a wonderful focal point for your guests. Another tip is to place lanterns in and around the trees. This will create a magical atmosphere, producing various twinkling light effects in the darkness – all adding to the ambience of your summer BBQ.

8. Garden games

Take your summer BBQ entertainment to the next level with a few garden games. Setting up an area for playing outdoor games such as croquet, bowls or skittles will keep the energetic crowd happy, especially those who are rather competitive. Plus some activity is the perfect way to work up an appetite. We’re sure after some fun and games people will be queueing up to sample the delights from your barbecue this summer.

9. Plan your food and drink ahead for a successful BBQ this summer

Failing to plan is planning to fail, as they say, so prepare as much as you can ahead of time for your summer BBQ. This will give you more time to relax and soak in the atmosphere at your event. If you are sticking to a budget, it could also help to ask guests to bring their own bottle. Most of them will be happy to have their drink of choice on the menu. As a thank you for the invitation, often guests bring along a dish such as a pasta salad or a special pudding. Your spread will have even more delicious food to savour.

10. Don’t stress!

The last, but definitely not least, essential tip for a top-class BBQ is to enjoy it! Don’t let your stress levels get the better of you, because, no matter what type of food is served, your friends and family will appreciate the time and effort you have put in. They will go home having had a great time – all thanks to you.

It’s always nice to have an expert partner on hand to make things easier and more convenient. You take care of the food and drink and we will take care of the BBQ essentials. Whether you are looking for barbecue tools and accessories, natural wood wool firelighters or just some simple lumpwood charcoal, Big K can help turn your summer BBQ into a culinary masterpiece. Explore our range of products and place an order today. And, don’t forget to check out our simple recipes and YouTube channel for inspiration.

Winter Fuel Launch Offer

Welcome to the new Big K Winter Fuel site. We're launching our new winter products, and we wanted to give you a special offer.

The first 100 orders of winter fuel over £30 will receive a pack of 6 heat logs absolutely free.*

All you need to do to take advantage of this great offer is checkout with £30 of qualifying winter fuel products. We'll automatically add the pack of 6 heat logs to your order.

*while stock lasts.