• Richard

How to elevate the typical British BBQ to exciting culinary heights!

Updated: Jul 31, 2018

In the heat wave currently sizzling across the UK, more and more people are choosing to take the cooking outdoors. Grilling and eating al fresco is a great way to beat the heat, soak up the lovely weather, and keep your kitchen (and the rest of your home) nice and cool.


That said, the typical British BBQ doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to culinary innovation and bold creativity. While hamburgers, sausages and potato salad are all delicious, sometimes an event calls for an elevated approach. So, how can you take regular BBQ fare and elevate it to the next level?


It’s all about the ingredients


No matter what you are planning to serve at your BBQ, the best way to make your guests’ mouths water is to focus on high quality ingredients. Instead of heading to the nearest big box grocery store, consider doing your shopping at local butchers and farm shops. Local ‘farm to table’ meat, seafood, veggie alternatives and produce will make all the difference.



Use sides and salads to highlight seasonal produce


Salads can be an amazing opportunity to showcase your culinary chops. Serve your proteins with fresh, innovative salads, grilled vegetables (brush with flavoured olive oil and pop them right on the BBQ), and freshly baked (or bought!) garlic bread.



Pay plenty of attention to presentation


Remember – the eyes ‘taste’ the food before the taste buds do, so make sure it is presented in a lush and beautiful way. By arranging your dishes on large platters and dotting with micro herbs or edible flowers, you can take a simple salad and make it look like an Ottolenghi masterpiece!


Cook over charcoal to improve the flavour


Charcoal improves the flavour of meat and seafood immensely over gas, imbuing food

with a delicious taste that evokes ‘summertime’ like nothing else.

Don’t skimp on the condiments


Setting out artisanal sausages, locally baked sourdough rolls, fresh vegetables and homemade potato salad for your guests is a true joy, but placing some own brand condiments down next to your dishes? A bit of a culinary faux pas. Make sure that your condiments have been selected with the same love and attention as your other ingredients.


If you want to really wow your diners, try making your own ketchups, mayonnaise, BBQ sauce and salad dressings.


Finally, think about your crockery, flowers, tableware and furniture


Your table and it's accoutrements are the first impression your BBQ will make on your guests. This is the case whether you would love a relaxed, festival feel to the occasion or to conjure up expectations of some seriously posh culinary fair.


You have spent a lot of time preparing a delicious and beautiful BBQ spread, so why squander the beauty by plopping it all on uninspired crockery? Bring out your beautiful, vibrant platters, pitchers and plates and set out some flowers.


Don’t have any summery tableware? Head to shops like TK Maxx, Homesense and John Lewis to stock up on summer deals.




Too overwhelmed? Short on time? Hire the Surrey based BBQ experts


Not everyone has the time, energy or passion to prepare an elevated summer BBQ. If this is you, give the experts at Free Range Cooks a call. By focusing on simple yet elegant ingredients and cooking techniques, we can provide you with a spread that will impress your guests and taste divine (as you can see from this recent review of a Surrey summer BBQ we catered.) Here are just a few of the items on our menu this summer:

* Greek Feta Salad

* Roasted Squash, Spinach, Goats Cheese & Lentil Salad

* Corn, Avocado & Pepper Salad

* Tomato, Cucumber & Coriander Salad

* Watermelon, chilli and mint salad

* Thai style mango and cucumber salad

* Beetroot, bean and feta salad

* Steak Burgers

* Lamb and mint Burgers


* Pork & Leek Butchers Sausages

* Cajun Chicken Thigh

* Sticky BBQ Pork Steak

* Tandoori Chicken Fillet

* German style bratwurst sausage

* Grilled chorizo sausage

* Marinated Halloumi kebabs

* Mushroom & Blue Cheese Burger

* Spicy Chickpea Burgers





Call us on 07793 356131 or email us today to find out more about our BBQ catering services across Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire and London. And enjoy your summer BBQ!

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