Barbecue grill

Complete guide to BBQs

Whether it’s a family barbecue in the garden or a public grill in the park with friends, there’s a lot to think about before you light the coals for a BBQ.

In this guide, we have collated the best advice from around the UK – everything from food and drink ideas to equipment, safety and decor.

BBQ food recipes

Think about the meal before you set out, so you can not only buy the right ingredients but also prepare marinades, dips, sauces and side dishes.

As for recipes, you can’t go wrong by checking out Jamie Oliver’s BBQ recipe ideas, The BBC Good Food BBQ guide, or Country Living’s 50+ epic grilling recipes.

Also, enjoy the BBQ food ideas on our Pinterest board.

Some other BBQ food recipe ideas

BBQ drinks

Are you a lover of summer cocktails at a barbecue, or do you like to go for a summer ale? Perhaps you like something more traditional, like a wine or a lager.

There are loads of drinks ideas here in our Pinterest board.

Some other BBQ drinks ideas

BBQ tips

Whether you have a gas, charcoal or masonry BBQ, looking after it is essential in order to get the most out of it.

Hosting a BBQ on a budget

From scrimping on the expensive sauces to buying in bulk, you can prevent the cost of your BBQ becoming unaffordable. This guide by Forester’s Friendly shares a few budget-saving BBQ tips.

How to cook kebabs evenly

Waitrose says, in its BBQ guide, “When barbecuing skewers, cut all the ingredients to the same size so they’re the same distance from the coals and will cook evenly. Cut the ingredients larger than the spaces between the bars so there’s no danger of the skewers slipping through.”.

Choosing the right gas BBQ for you

Calor offers a guide to choosing a gas BBQ. “Once you have narrowed down your selection of gas BBQs based on your cooking surface area and gas burner requirements, you should consider the features that you desire.

“Flavour enhancing technology on gas BBQs can help to intensify the natural flavours of meat further, and this has been developed by a number of BBQ manufacturers.”

Storing gas bottles

BOC gives more tips on safe ways to keep gas canisters if you are worried. “It is important to adhere to a few simple rules when storing your gas cylinders.  Specific details regarding storage of LPG cylinders can be found in the Liquid Petroleum Gas Association Code of Practice 7 document.”

Lighting and cooking

If you have a hood then closing it will allow your BBQ to heat up quicker; you’ll need it to reach 200-250 degrees centigrade before you can start cooking on it. has some great tips for cooking on gas grills; it suggests turning the heat down once it’s reached optimum temperature and says the best place to cook your food is at the centre of the grill.

Top chef Marco Pierre White has some simple tips for knowing when you’re ready to cook. He suggests the best rule of thumb is to hold your hand about 12cm over the heat and count how many seconds you can comfortably leave it there; he says with time you’ll get to know your BBQ and where the hot spots are.

Jamie Oliver’s guide to BBQ cooking is ideal for learning how to set up a charcoal BBQ and the cheeky chap also shows you the best way to cook your food on the grill.

BBQ videos

Here are four handy videos for you to enjoy.

More BBQ tips