We’re into the warmer half of the year now and with the evenings getting lighter since the clocks went forwards, many people’s thoughts will be turning to barbecues.
Whether you’re planning a barbecue to entertain guests or just as an al fresco dinner for yourself, there are plenty of ways to help it go with a bang.
Here are some top tips to be ‘BBQ Ready’ if the sun shines this summer.
Even if it doesn’t rain, the summer can be pretty breezy, so have some shelter planned both for your barbecue and for yourself and any guests.
A colourful patio parasol is a good option for sheltering people, and will also provide some shade from the sun on the hottest days, so the only thing getting grilled is your meat.
Many charcoal and gas barbecues come with an integrated hood which can act as a windbreak as well as protecting against short showers of rain.
A common mistake is to put the barbecue somewhere with no clean, hygienic and flat surfaces nearby, which only becomes a problem when you try to put down your BBQ tools for the first time.
Be sure about where you will put your raw foods, where they’ll go once cooked (other than into your face!) and where you’ll put BBQ utensils like tongs and prongs when you’re not holding them.
Again, many modern barbecues are designed for this, with flat shelves and hanging rails built in, so this can make things much easier if you don’t have any equivalent in your garden already.
Get The Look
Not all barbecues need music, but if there’s any risk of the conversation grinding to a halt, then it’s good to provide some background noise.
Some easy ways to do this include:
- Bramblecrest Bluetooth Parasol Speaker with LED Lights
- Kettler 3.3m Free Arm Taupe Canopy with LED Lights and Wireless Speaker
- Intempo Party Ice Bucket with Bluetooth Speaker
There are so many ways to bring sound into your outside space, from garden speakers disguised as rocks, to simply taking a battery-powered portable radio or Bluetooth speaker out to the table with you.
4. Stay cool
This isn’t just about having a shady spot for you and your guests to sit in, but also about keeping food and drink cool until you’re ready to consume it.
If you have an outdoor kitchen, then you might want to consider investing in a garden fridge. There are plenty of models on the market that are designed to withstand the weather.
An easy alternative is to fill a big tub or planter with ice cubes (and water, if it won’t damage the contents) and then put your ingredients and beverages in there – if you need to keep just some of it dry, put a smaller tub into the larger ice bath just for the dry goods.
5. Bugs away!
Keep the bugs and flying insects away from your food – citronella candles and citronella oil torches are a great natural way to do this, while adding some atmosphere after the sun goes down.
Alternatively, devote a distant corner of your garden to wildflowers and meadow grasses, and pollinators should be drawn in that direction during the daytime so they pester you less while you’re barbecuing.
Nothing beats the taste of freshly grilled foods, whether you’re a carnivore or a veggie kebab connoisseur – and with these simple steps you can make sure you’re ready when the inevitable heatwave hits this summer.