Saturday, July 4, 2020
Barbecue Facts

Barbecue Facts

Aside from the fact we’re a nation of barbecue fans, there are several other interesting details relating to our passion for barbecuing!

18 Barbecue Facts

Come rain or shine, when the opportunity presents itself many of us can often be found in our gardens, crowded around the barbecue and cooking our favourite dishes for friends. And it’s a pastime that is popular around the world, with barbecuing taking on its own form in different countries in terms of grilling techniques, BBQ design and preferred foods.

So why not sit back, throw a couple of burgers on the grill, and enjoy these barbecue facts?

18 Barbecue Facts
18 Barbecue Facts
  1. Barbecuing and outdoor eating and entertaining is now the number one summer leisure activity enjoyed at home in the UK.
  2. Two out of three households own a barbecue.
  3. Couples are three-times more likely to throw a barbecue party than single people.
  4. 51% of people prefer charcoal barbecues to gas barbecues.
  5. The precise origin of the word “barbecue” is unknown but many believe it comes from the Spanish word “barbacoa” which means a wooden frame used to cook meat, a form of fire-pit cooking.
  6. In the UK we get through 40,000 tonnes of barbecue charcoal every year.
  7. July 4th is the most popular holiday day for barbecuing in the United States.
  8. Hooded barbecues now account for 40% of total barbecue sales in the UK.
  9. Many of us spend about £35 on food and drink for a BBQ nowadays, compared to £19 five years ago.
  10. The idea of cooking meat over a flame has been around for more than a million years.
  11. Over the early May bank holiday weekend in 2011, there were 11 million barbecue occasions with 7.5 million taking place on 29th April, the day of the royal wedding.
  12. The average number of barbecues hosted per family in the summer is now more than 9 – a sharp rise from the 2.5 a decade ago.
  13. Britons now prefer posh rather than traditional barbecue food, with many choosing to grill more unusual meats like duck and exotic dishes rather than the usual bangers, burgers and chicken drumsticks. However, in the US, the favourite foods are burgers, steak, hot dogs and chicken, in that order.
  14. Of all households, 14% now own two barbecues.
  15. The cases of food poisoning in the UK almost double over the summer months. The two major health risks are undercooked meat and germs spreading from raw to cooked meat so it’s important to ensure your food is thoroughly cooked all the way through and that you keep raw and cooked meats separate. (You can view our top 10 tips for barbecue safety for more information.)
  16. George H Bush, the 41st president of the United States, held a barbecue for Members of Congress each year on the South Lawn of the White House, a tradition continued by his son, George W Bush – this custom was interrupted on September 12th 2001 following the terrorist attacks, and the barbecue was cancelled with the White House kitchen giving the 700 pounds of beef to the rescue workers who’d travelled to Washington.
  17. In 2011, the barbecue and outdoor eating and entertaining market was worth £7 billion.
  18. The word “barbecue” first formally entered the English language in the seventeenth century, introduced by the explorer William Dampier.
The Perfect BBQ Menu
Barbecue FoodBarbecues

The Perfect BBQ Menu

Are you one of those people that push the boat out when it comes to a good barbecue feast? Or do you simply pop down the local supermarket and snap up as many frozen burgers and sausages as you can carry?

I have always been a firm believer in making an effort when arranging the food, so that next time the Sun is out and a barbecue is on the cards, my guests will always turn up expecting a cracking party and they tend to bring more beer too which is always a bonus. Who actually takes beer home at the end of the night? This keeps me stocked up for a good while and sometimes even until the next one. (I do hope my family and friends don’t read this or the secret is out).

I try and keep to the same kind of food and I know that sounds really boring but it is tried and tested and is very tasty so why break something that isn’t broken?

The Perfect BBQ Menu

If you are a frequent visitor to this blog, then you may have noticed that our resident barbecue specialist Tom has been teasing the taste buds of our readers over the last couple of weeks with his wonderful mouth-watering recipes or you may have even caught some of my own homemade recipes over the past 12 months, aptly named BBQ Nosh – Part 1 and BBQ Nosh – Part 2. These consisted of 3 of my easiest recipes for the grill and 3 of the most popular meats that will grace any barbecue. Beef, lamb and of course chicken.

The Perfect BBQ Menu
The Perfect BBQ Menu

With the UK in the midst of a very rare heat wave, it got me thinking about the family barbecue this weekend and how little time I had to prepare. In order to assist myself it made sense to not only write a few things down put to also help you the reader by creating a blog post on making the perfect bbq menu.

Starters, Nibbles & Treats

Don’t get me wrong; it would be an amazing thing to be able to create absolutely everything on the menu from scratch. Unfortunately that is not always practical and for this section the supermarket shelves that are packed full of nibbles and treats will be extremely handy.

  • An array of Tortillas & Dips
  • Breadsticks (perfect with the dips)
  • Chocolate Fondue & Marshmallows (Chocolate fountains are fairly cheap these days and will certainly keep the kids happy but sticky)
  • Coleslaw is excellent for any barbecue and is a good accompaniment with the main food.
  • Salad – A nice large bowl of freshly tossed salad
  • Sausages on sticks
  • Cheese & Pineapple
  • Pitta Breads
  • Couscous

The list really is endless and there really is no need to go to over the top as there will be plenty to go around.

Meat Feast

Bacon Wrapped Prawns

Not being a fan of anything that comes from the sea at all I still know this is a favourite of a certain auntie of mine and it is a must for the menu when she is in attendance. It’s actually fairly simple to do but try to make certain that they are not left too long in the heat as with any of the food.

For a party of about 15 people acquire 30 large prawns and 15 slices of bacon and don’t forget the cocktail sticks.

  • Peel and clean the prawns
  • Cut bacon slices in half and wrap around the prawns and secure with the sticks – the bacon stops the prawns from drying out and giving that chewy, rubbery taste
  • Keep these away from the normal cooking area and lightly oil the grate. Cook for around 3 minutes or until the bacon is cooked
Bacon Wrapped Prawns
Bacon Wrapped Prawns

Beef Burgers

These are a firm family favourite and are really easy to make. Ensure you buy plenty of mince as you can never have enough and stored correctly will last a day or so as well.

For every 800g pack of steak mince double the following ingredients.

  • 2 Oxo cubes
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 tablespoons or more of Worcester Sauce (secret ingredient and makes them taste yummy)
  • 2 Pinches of salt and 1 of black pepper
  • Half an Onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 Crushed Cloves of Garlic

For the full step by step instructions for this recipe click here and remember to pop into the fridge once prepared so they hold nicely on the barbecue

Beef Burgers
Beef Burgers


This is the moment where I truly let myself down and admit that I do not make my own sausages – It is something that I have been considering but I am fortunate enough to live close to a very good place that sells the most amazing pink sausages. These cooked, as you normally would on the barbecue, will go down a treat….. If only you lived near here.


Chicken & Shish Kebabs

Earlier on this year we posted a couple of recipes on creating chicken that is perfect for the barbecue and lamb shish kebabs that really go down well with the guests. I do recommend making 2 separate batches of the kebabs as they can be made quite hot and this will not go down well with anyone that doesn’t like spicy foods. Save the spiciest ones for the hardcore guests.

You need a fair amount of ingredients for both of these meats so to see both recipes click this link.

Chicken & Shish Kebabs
Chicken & Shish Kebabs


Puddings are something that tends to be overlooked at barbecues as it can be a lot of effort when there are so many other things to do. Don’t get me wrong, jelly and ice cream is a must for children and big kids alike but if you really fancy pushing the boat out a little then why not try this selection of barbecue puddings.

I asked my daughters what they would like to see at the next barbecue and they both decided on an ice cream factory. You have all been to Pizza Hut right? I am not too sure on the success of this little idea yet but I am pretty certain that I will be writing about it next time