Whatever the circumstances, there’s something wonderful about cooking outside on a barbecue. Here are ten BBQ ideas to get you going
Whether you’re old school with (sustainable) charcoal, or go for the quick and easy option of gas, I love being outside and cooking straight on a naked flame. There’s so much more you can do than sausages, burger and chicken drumsticks though.
1. BBQ grilled watermelon and mixed grain salad
This Middle Eastern-inspired mixed-grain salad topped with grilled watermelon makes a stunning and impressive centrepiece for a plant-based BBQ. Grilled watermelon has been my go-to for a veggie plant-based BBQ for some years now—it is fully flavoured, vibrantly coloured, easy to prepare and has a satisfying juicy texture that will be appreciated by both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.
2. BBQ tandoori fish
This whole BBQ Fish takes a whole trout and marinades it in Indian spices before cooking it Tandoori-style over hot coals. The recipe uses trout, but bream or sea bass would work equally well, or most common whitefish—cod, haddock etc. The whole fish looks superb with its dark crust of char-grilled skin, and makes for an excellent centrepiece.
3. Honey dill trout fillet on a cedar plank
Cooking a fish on a cedar plank adds a distinct smoky flavour. Buy cedar planks for barbecuing from a special BBQ store or online rather than a builder’s merchant or similar shop as you need to be sure that it hasn’t been treated with preservative. I cook using indirect heat, which means no charcoal or gas burner directly underneath the plank. You will need a kettles-type BBQ with a lid.
4. Grilled pineapple spears with jalapeno honey
This recipe is an easy and healthy summer dessert idea that everyone will love; the sweetness of the pineapple and honey contrasts with acidic lime juice and heat from jalapeno peppers. Serve on a stick so you can wander round the garden as you eat.
5. Grilled asparagus with grilled lemon
Grilled asparagus with grilled lemon is fresh and earthy, cooked to tender-crisp perfection, and enhanced with the smoky, charred burst of bright lemon flavour. I prefer thicker stemmed asparagus spears for grilling as they are easier to work with.
6. Grilled chicken thighs
These grilled chicken thighs in homemade Italian dressing are so easy to make. Marinate them overnight, get them on the grill, and 20 minutes later you will have an awesome meal! Boneless chicken thighs taste great, cook quickly, and are good value.
7. Marinated BBQ boneless leg of lamb
A Moroccan lamb marinade brings so much flavour to this BBQ boneless leg of lamb. Using butterflied lamb speeds up grilling time and the boneless meat is incredibly succulent and easy to carve. Cook on your barbecue or in the oven in case of rain!
8. Bacon-wrapped BBQ stuffed shrimp
This is about as American as a recipe can be: huge shrimp stuffed with RITZ cracker seafood stuffing, wrapped in bacon, doused in Chipotle Dr Pepper BBQ sauce, and grilled over charcoal. There’s no point doing things by halves!
9. Healthy barbecue beer can chicken with molasses & beer BBQ sauce
Beer can chicken—roasting the bird over a half full can of beer, results in a moist and tasty result. Here the chicken is coated with a homemade sweet chili sauce with more beer added.
10. Sosaties (South African lamb and apricot kebabs)
Dried fruits work well with curries, and this combination is used in these South African lamb sosaties (or skewers/kebabs). My top tip for using wooden BBQ skewers is to soak them well before using them, so that they don’t burn as you cook the meat.
Helen Best-Shaw, is a freelance food & travel writer, recipe developer & photographer. She has been blogging at Fuss Free Flavours for over ten years.
Read more: Chicken pie your family will love
Read more: 10 Vegetarian butternut squash recipes
Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter
Loading up next...