Fire Up the Barbecue for an Outdoor Family Reunion

The UK has seen temperatures soaring this May, and the sunshine is looking likely to continue well into June. The mini-heatwave, coupled with the news that from Monday June 1st we will be able to meet outside with up to six people from another household, means that many Brits will be firing up the barbeque to celebrate a small reunion with their loved ones.

So, if you are looking for something more inspiring than sausages and hamburgers for a family BBQ, we’ve gathered some of the best barbeque food recipes and ideas to make your mouth water.

Fishy favourites…

Barbeques are not just for meat. Fish makes a great barbeque food, and fish such as mackerel, tuna salmon or sardines are some of the best varieties to choose.

Adding herbs and butter brings a new taste experience to outdoor eating, experiment with rosemary, thyme or sage instead of the more traditional herbs such as tarragon or dill.

Marinades work perfectly with tuna – we love this Asian inspired marinade that combines soy sauce and ginger for a taste of the East.

If you are looking for a true taste of summer, try BBQ grilled sardines in a tangy chilli, lemon and herb chermoula sauce and enjoy with a fresh, crisp salad.

Virtuous veggie dishes

If you are vegetarian or vegan, there is no reason to miss out on the delights of barbequed food. Vegan skewers are a great option and so easy to prepare. Simply take chunks of red onions, mushrooms, courgettes and peaches (trust us – it’s delicious) and thread them onto skewers for a griddled treat. Serve them with this delicious avocado dressing for an extra zing!

Burgers are a staple food when it comes to barbequing – and vegetarians need not miss out! These carrot and sesame burgers are so moreish, that you’ll be fighting the meat-eaters over the last one!

Cook up a kebab

Anything presented on a skewer is a sure-fire hit at a barbeque.  All types of meat and vegetables work well on a skewer and they are so easy to cook over a flame as you simply need to keep turning the skewers to ensure they cook through (whilst enjoying a cold beer!).

Lamb works especially well when skewered, and we like to alternate lamb neck cubes with halloumi cheese and chunks of courgette and serve with crusty bread.

Another family favourite is The Hairy Biker’s recipe for lamb kebabs with a plum and sour cream sauce.

If you are using wooden skewers for your kebabs, remember to soak them in water for 15 minutes before adding the ingredients to stop them from catching fire on the grill.

Super side dishes

It’s a great idea to have some side dishes to accompany your meat feast. A simple green salad is always a good bet at a barbeque, but if you are looking for something a little bit different, try this coleslaw with tahini dressing. It brings burgers to life and swaps calorific mayonnaise for yoghurt and tahini for a guilt-free side order that is super healthy.

Buttered corn on the cob is a summery treat that accompanies all barbecued dishes – it’s especially good with a fiery piri-piri chicken, which can be served on it’s own or in a wrap filled with crisp lettuce.

Get saucy!

Whether you prefer ketchup, mayonnaise, a traditional barbeque sauce or something a little bit exotic, you can’t serve a burger without lashings of sauce!

If you are making your own traditional barbeque sauce make sure you use smoked paprika to get that authentic smoky flavour.  For something a little different, which is equally as good slathered on steaks or burgers, try this blue cheese sauce. It packs a punch and is the perfect condiment for those who love a strong garlic flavour.

Perfect pudding ideas

Once the meat is cooked, many of us let the flames of our BBQ die out. But there are several easy to prepare desserts that utilise the flame-grilled smokiness of outdoor cooking.

We love this sticky pineapple, spiced rum and cinnamon treat that brings a taste of the tropics to your back yard. There is an element of preparation involved as you do have to marinade the pineapple slices overnight, but we promise you the end result is worth the effort.

If you have budding junior chefs, then get them involved in preparing sticky chocolate and honey bananas that taste so good they will forget they are eating one of their five-a-day.  Little ones will enjoy splitting the bananas and adding chocolate drops inside, before wrapping in foil and handing to an adult to grill.

Don’t forget the drinks…

When you think of summer drinks, the classic Pimms and lemonade always springs to mind. It’s refreshing and best served ice cold with chunks of fruit and mint for a taste of summer in a glass.

If you prefer the crisp freshness of a gin and tonic, try this apple and cucumber gin cocktail for a fun twist on a G&T.

If you’re catering for youngsters or non-drinkers at your family barbeque, then they’ll love a chilled glass of homemade lemonade. It’s simple to make (you only need four ingredients) and you can prepare the lemon syrup in advance and simply top up with ice and soda water when you serve.

Enjoy your barbeque – but remember to stay safe

We’re all excited at the thought of meeting our family after such a long period of being apart, but it is important to remember that social distancing advice is still in place. Members of your household should remain at a 2m distance from anyone not in your household and stay outside.