Home LifestyleHome & Technology Summer 2022 BBQ Guide

Summer 2022 BBQ Guide

by Christina Blaney

There’s nothing more British than an impromptu BBQ on a sunny day. If you’re anything like me, you dig your BBQ out of the shed in April, ready for the first bit of sun. This year the weather has really been letting us down up north but it finally looks like the great British Summer is here. So I’ve rounded up some of my BBQ essentials so you can make the most of the good weather.

Of course the most essential part of having a BBQ is the BBQ itself and mine is a thing of beauty. Weber have been making BBQs for over 20 years and are still one of the world leading brands, which is why I was thrilled to be testing out their Weber Master Touch Charcoal Grill. This is one of those products where the designers have thought of everything; how to control temperature, how to clean it, where to hang your tongs etc.

The high quality steel cooking grates allows you to do a lot more with it than just a couple of burgers and sausages cooked directly above the heat. You can set up your BBQ differently and cook a larger cut of meat such as a leg of lamb or whole chicken. All Weber charcoal BBQs have a porcelain enamelled lid and bowl which is weather proof and backed up by Weber’s 10 year guarantee, making it truly built to last. One thing I loved was Weber’s one touch cleaning system for safe and easy ash disposal, with simply the push of a handle the ash is swept into an enclosed bowl which can be easily removed when you are ready, which for me is usually a few hours after consuming my bodyweight in meat. It’s easy to set up, easy to store and most importantly, easy to use. So whether you’re doing a few lamb koftas from the supermarket or a 24 hour marinated organic suckling pig on the BBQ, the Master touch is the ideal choice for any home.

But of course one thing people do struggle with at BBQ’s is the actual cooking of meat. We’ve all had a sausage that’s black on the outside and pink in the middle and thought, surely this could be avoided? MEATER is the first truly wireless smart meat thermometer. Along with the MEATER app, it will help you cook the juiciest steak, chicken, turkey, fish or other meats perfectly every time for every occasion. Its Guided Cook System walks you through every step of the cooking process to guarantee perfect and consistent results and its Advanced Estimator Algorithm estimates how long to cook and rest your food to help plan your meal and manage your time. But the best part is that as this is done in the app and monitored via bluetooth, you can be sat in the deckchair having a tipple whilst your food is cooking perfectly. Whether you’re a professional chef or can’t even boil an egg, this is once product I’d recommend.

But a BBQ isn’t made by fancy gadgets you need the right tools to do the job and I got mine from Cook Serve Enjoy . I’ve made plenty of homemade burgers in my time so I was very keen to try the Burger Maker by Kitchencraft. Simply make up your mix (they even give you recipe ideas within the kit), place it in the press, push down firmly, then remove a perfectly formed burger. It takes far less time and effort than shaping burgers by hand, plus they’ll cook through evenly, due to the regular shape. If you need to make a few and store them you can use the provided wax disks to keep them separate and easy to transfer to the BBQ or for freezing. But how do you flip them without them falling apart you ask? Well for that you need a burger flipper no fancy gimmicks here – just a simple, sturdy tool that gets the job done quickly and safely. It’s robust enough for home or commercial use. Finally the BBQ essential, a pair of long tongs from Kitchencraft made of robust stainless steel they’re ideal for grabbing, turning and serving food. Their long size means you’re much safer from the burning hot grill and their spring grip means you can securely hold and move food without dropping a single sausage.

A BBQ isn’t a BBQ without all the bits on the side, the buns, the salad and sauces and I’ve found a brand that is perfect for those who choose the meat free life or are lactose intolerant. Holy Moly Dips have a range of dips that are simply delicious. My favourite was their Tzatziki , a creamy dip made with cooling cucumber and mint which is great with grilled pitta or a chicken drumstick. My partner loved the Garlic Aioli slathered all over a burger and we both enjoyed the Soured Creamy Chive with a bag of tortilla chips whilst waiting for everything to cook. Delicious!

For the all important drinks, I firstly have to recommend Domaine Bousquet’s Premium Organic Rosé. The grapes benefit from major diurnal temperature swings, achieving exuberant ripeness while retaining the juiciness that invites a second glass. Or third… or a second bottle. It has an elegant pale salmon colour with aromas of red fruits, hints of fresh cherries and orange peel on the nose. In the mouth, it’s lively with fresh acidity and fruity palate which makes it ideal with fish, seafood. Certainly a summery drink that goes hand in hand with a BBQ in the garden.

If you want an alcohol free tipple then look no further than Savyll who specialise in ready to serve cocktails that require no effort, just enjoyment. I loved their Bubbly Bellini crafted with a fusion of dry prosecco essence, aromatic bitters, and rich, peach notes as well as their Mojito, with a balanced arrangement of white rum and mint flavour, with refreshing lime. What’s great about these cocktails is that you simply take them from the fridge and pour over ice, there’s no measuring, no squeezing of limes or skewering olives, just tasty cocktails made simple. There’s even a canned version which would make that BBQ down by the lake or in a park that bit easier to carry and dispose of.

For those sweet-toothed among you I’m sure you can relate when I say that I always want an ice cream after a BBQ. A family business started in a barn in Hampshire, Jude’s Ice cream has accolades of awards and works with top chefs and restaurants to perfect their flavours. I tried some of their most recent flavours such as the plant based Peach and Champagne, Salted Caramel and my surprise favourite the lower calorie plant based chocolate brownie. I love a tub of ice cream so it’s always a bit easier when you know it’s much less calories and better for the environment, but what struck me was how good it actually is, usually the texture is wrong and it doesn’t melt nicely, but all of the Jude’s vegan range were a wonderful texture and so tasty that I’ll certainly be buying it over my usual brands.

All that’s left is to pray that the weather stays warm and dry so we can all get out in our garden and enjoy this great British pastime!

Author

  • Born and raised in the picturesque Lake District, Christina Blaney had a truly idyllic childhood. She then transitioned from being a head chef in Manchester to compiling the community pages and features for the Manchester Evening News. She is always ready for an adventure, whether it’s swimming in the Norwegian fjords or singing in the honky tonks in Nashville. Now running her own social media business, she loves nothing more than exploring with her dog Luther or being curled up with a good Netflix documentary.

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