Barbecues in the Summer

Barbecues in the Summer

Barbecues in the Summer

You would think that barbecues in the summer would involve the crackling sound of flames and the sizzling sound of meat cooking. But as we approach the supposed “hottest” months of the year, it would appear that if you want to taste the delights of barbecued sausages, steak or chicken then gas may be way to go.

For men there is no greater sensation than lighting a fire, it is what they were born to do wasn’t it? Whether it is lighting an open fire in your home, or lighting an outdoors to cook with, it takes men back to their caveman heritage.

But there is no fun standing under umbrella attempting to get a charcoal barbecue to light in adverse weather conditions and the advantages of the greater, smokier taste it gives the food you are cooking can be far outweighed by the problems of lighting the thing in a summer downpour or a howling wind.

Barbecues in the Summer
Barbecues in the Summer

Gas barbecues are easy

A gas barbecue, on the other hand, needs no lighting – a quick turning on of the gas supply and press of the igniting button and voila you are up and running in a matter of seconds. Better still with a gas version, the fact it has a lid means you can pop it on if the weather is bad and it will have no impact on the cooking process. You can rely on your barbecue remaining lit even in the most torrential of downpours too, and most significantly without impacting on the authentic barbecue taste to your food. So when it comes to the weather, come rain or shine the gas barbecue has advantages over its charcoal sibling. You can control the heat with a gas barbecue (providing the barbecue comes with adjustable heat setting, of course), get a natural smoky flavour from the use of coals designed for gas versions and even better for all of the family is the fact that there is much less mess and the need to dispose of the burnt embers of the barbecue. So when it comes to the unenviable task of tidying or cleaning up, gas wins hands down. It can be cheaper too with a gas bottle lasting significantly longer than a bag of charcoal and the required firelighters.

Barbecues in the Summer
Barbecues in the Summer

Gas barbecues have their flaws

There are, however, downsides to gas. The need for a gas supply to be alongside the barbecue makes it much less portable should you fancy heading to the local park for a local Sunday afternoon barbecue picnic. Charcoal, on the other hand, is the complete opposite. A small dome barbecue can be taken with you on a walk through the countryside or to the park, or the instant barbecue trays – the ones costing very little money which are found in supermarkets from approximately February onwards each year as the temperature rises by a degree or two – are even better for taking on walks as they are easily slotted into a carrier bag. They will ensure that you day out is complimented by the perfect tasting sausage or steak.

Barbecue popular in the UK

Barbecue popular in the UK

Why Are Barbecues So Popular In The UK?

Barbecues are a big deal to us Brits, and whenever the opportunity presents itself we are likely to be found in our gardens, cooking food over hot coals. And there are many reasons why the barbecue is so popular!

The challenge

As you may have spotted, this year’s summer is not baking. Nevertheless, you can be sure that many of us will have already partaken in plenty of barbecues – quite probably in the rain. It seems that part of the charm of the barbecue is trying to defeat the weather, and from personal experience I have lots of fond memories of barbecuing as a child, cooking under an umbrella and huddling near the flames to stay warm.

In the UK, nice weather is a bonus when it comes to barbecuing. Otherwise, we just carry on and, if the weather is really bad, there is always the option to eat the barbecued delights indoors.

Barbecue popular in the UK
Barbecue popular in the UK

It’s cheap

Cooking food on the barbecue is not expensive but can prove delicious. Somehow, food simply tastes better when grilled on the BBQ. Take, for example, the standard sausage – how much better does this taste when it’s gained a smoky flavour? Or fruit, when it’s caramelised beautifully on the barbecue?

Plus, the actual barbecue doesn’t have to break the bank either. For example, you can buy kettle barbecues for around £20 or gas barbecues start at around £65. Portable barbecues can be good if you like to cook in different places, and prices start from around £25 for charcoal BBQs and £55 for gas BBQs.

Variety

The heart of the barbecue is variety – there are so many dishes, flavours and food options on offer normally. You can choose from traditional barbecue fodder like burgers, chicken wings, sausages, ribs, jacket potatoes and corn on the cob to more creative dishes like barbecued pizza, home-made kebabs, stuffed peppers, full English breakfast, fresh fish, pasta salads and various snacks and dips.

It’s easy

Barbecuing food is not difficult, despite what the chef may say! While there’s an art to preparing certain sauces and dishes, mastering the barbecue is fairly straightforward and enjoyable. Plus, it’s so easy to cater for everyone’s tastes – be they meat-eaters or vegetarians, eating healthily or on a diet – and cook food that satisfies all guests.

Barbecue popular in the UK
Barbecue popular in the UK

It’s sociable

There’s something about a barbecue that brings out our sociable side, encouraging us to invite friends and family over and make an afternoon or evening of it. People can get involved and make their own food, kebabs or pizza for example, as well as take their time enjoying all the different courses involved at a barbecue party.

We love cooking with fire

Ultimately, food tastes great when cooked over a flame. And our love of cooking with controlled fire is not new – it’s something our ancestors were doing more than a million years ago. As well as being fun and a delicious way to eat, cooking this way makes our food easier to digest, which is why we’ve always cooked this way.

Barbecued Traditional English Breakfast With A Twist!

When it comes to barbecuing your English breakfast, we don’t simply mean cooking some sausages and bacon and toast, and frying some eggs and mushrooms on the side burner – we mean barbecuing a whole cooked breakfast in one!

The creation of food lover Steve Heyes, and dubbed the “Full English Fatty”, this is one dish to serve up to really hungry barbecue guests! Consisting of all the ingredients you’d expect of a traditional English breakfast, including bacon, eggs, sausages, black pudding, and mushrooms, this special BBQ feast wraps all the foods within a layer of toast.

Barbecued Traditional English Breakfast
Barbecued Traditional English Breakfast

Once prepared, the Full English Fatty is slowly cooked for six hours over the embers on a barbecue.

Taking his inspiration for this barbecued breakfast from an American barbecue dish known as the “Fatty”, Mr Heyes explained he wanted to make something truly special rather than simply serving the individual ingredients from the barbecue.

There is even a layer of brown sauce included within the meal.

Barbecued Traditional English Breakfast

However, barbecue fans excited by the sound of this dish should be aware that a complete breakfast is not a light concoction – it weighs a whopping 1.6kg and packs in a staggering 9,000 calories. Of course, it’s not designed for one, but rather to be steam cooked on the grill for six hours, and then sliced and shared between 12 people.

Mr Heyes told MailOnline: “This is one fierce breakfast and not something you would want to eat every day. More than one slice at a time would clog your arteries and could induce a heart attack. The only healthy part are the mushrooms. The Full English Fatty is one meaty feast, with no respite. Each mouthful is sausage, bacon, more sausage and more bacon.

Barbecued Traditional English Breakfast
Barbecued Traditional English Breakfast

“This is a whole meal cooked on a barbecue – not just a burnt sausage and burger that you often find each summer.”

This barbecue dish is all about layers, including a base of pork mince and intertwined strips of bacon. Once prepared, the Full English Fatty is then rolled into a giant sausage shape and cooked on a hot stone on the BBQ. When ready, a slice of the breakfast is served with a cup of tea and some baked beans.

Explaining why he decided to make such a hearty barbecue breakfast

Explaining why he decided to make such a hearty barbecue breakfast, Mr Heyes said: “We thought about what makes a proper English breakfast. For us it’s bacon, sausage, egg, black pudding, fried mushrooms, baked beans and toast. So we decided to put our breakfast ingredients, apart from the beans, inside a spicy American style fatty, all wrapped up in a bacon weave.”

When it came to the toast element of the breakfast, he wanted to give it a more defining role – hence it became the outer casing.

English Breakfast
English Breakfast

“We decided to wrap our smoked fatty in dough and then bake it off on a hot stone in a BBQ to create the Full English experience. It was finished off with a nice cup of tea and some baked beans on the side.”

Are you tempted by this barbecued traditional English breakfast with a twist?