There’s something quite special about having family and friends over for a ‘get together’ in the garden and to make this as stress free as possible, we’ve put together some of our top tips and recipe suggestions, in no particular order. Click on each photo below for the recipe.
It’s a simple factor but something that very often gets forgotten. It’s incredibly important to stay hydrated, particularly in the hot summer sun, so make sure that you have stocked up on ice in the freezer so that you can keep your drinks and guests cool. You can also use ice buckets/ice trays to keep dips and fresh food chilled as well as your drinks, so it’s better to have too much than too little.
Keeping hydrated is one of the most important things, especially around a hot BBQ this is a perfect opportunity to use up some fruit in the water, make your own mocktails and cocktails, add some herbs and ice. BONUS TIP: use frozen fruit to flavour water and also keep it chilled and pretty all at once.
Most supermarkets will have seasonal ingredients on offer, so this is a very cost-effective way to bulk up a large spread. Some seasonal ingredients throughout summer months are courgettes, peaches, berries and currants, apples, corn on the cob, beetroot, bell peppers, tomatoes, melon and citrus fruits. As a lot of fruit is in season, make the most of this and cook them on the BBQ - peaches and pineapple are great lightly grilled and served with ice cream, fish or meat i.e. apples/peaches with ribs.
Following on from seasonal ingredients, utilise citrus fruits, in particular lemons, limes and oranges. These are natural, healthy ways to enhance flavours and sweeten foods. Use as a sweetener to marinades and rubs, a refreshing dressing on salads and vegetables or even as a garnish by cutting into wedges or grating zest over certain dishes.
Meat and fish can be quite expensive, especially if you’re feeding a big party, so by adding large salads you’re not only adding colour to the table but also more nutrients, too.
These are another cost-effective way to add colour and variety to your BBQ - after all, BBQ’s are all about finger foods. Homemade dips and sauces are great served with vegetable sticks and this will keep your guests satisfied until the main food is ready – having snacks is also a sneaky way to give you more time with cooking so you don’t need to rush and risk burning the food.
To save you from spending all day hiding away in the kitchen, give yourself more time to socialise by prepping dressings, marinades, salads, snacks and drinks the day before. Keep these chilled in the fridge overnight and bring them out of the fridge just before they’re going to be served.
Take your meat and fish out of the fridge 20 minutes before cooking them. This also allows you to cook the meat and fish more evenly, reducing risk of undercooked meat with burnt outsides.
When cooking for a lot of people, although this can be time consuming, it’s a fun and cost-friendly way of feeding a large party. You have more control over flavours and ingredients, just make them the day before and pop in the fridge for the following day. Any that are left over can then be popped in the freezer ready for the next BBQ party.
Having rubs and marinades on your food before cooking helps to infuse your meat/fish/veggies with different flavours. Marinades also help to coat the food so it’s less likely to burn. The idea of rubs is to help create a bit of an exterior crisp, whilst adding a lot of flavour
This is another of those ‘might sound obvious’ tips….If using a coal BBQ, remember it takes a while to heat up so make sure you factor this into your planning and preparations.
A BBQ is an ideal time to ask your guests to bring along a dish, just make sure you coordinate these so you don’t end up with too many of the same thing!
It’s worth checking with guests if they have any food allergies or intolerances so you can cater accordingly.
This is something that often goes forgotten about until it’s too late. Whether you are making a full BBQ spread from scratch and allowing marinating times or not, you will need space in your fridge. Dips, drinks sauces and salads take up a lot of space, not to mention any meat you choose to purchase or homemade burgers that need keeping on a tray in the fridge. Preparing space in the fridge before you begin allows you to easily pop things in and out of the fridge as they are required, meaning you don’t get flustered and begin to forget things or slow down.
We all can get a little stressed when entertaining and hopefully these tips will help make your BBQ a little easier!
About Lucy Bee Limited
Lucy Bee is concerned with Fair Trade, ethical and sustainable living, recycling and eating close to nature with additive free products for health.
Members of the Lucy Bee team are not medically trained and can only offer their best advice. Any information provided by us is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.
Please note you should always refer your health queries to a qualified medical practitioner.
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At Lucy Bee, we’re passionate about a healthy lifestyle and feeling good through the foods we eat. Our website promotes the nourishing ingredients that we love plus tips for natural beauty and fitness.