The Great British Summer is on the way! When the days are long and the evenings are warm, what better time is there to unwrap the BBQ from it's winter hibernation and get sending those invites out to your friends and family...
Here are some great tips to help you plan and execute the perfect BBQ garden party.
Plan your menu in advance
Invest in great quality ingredients and make your own burgers! Burger moulds are easily available and you could go Greek by using minced lamb with feta cheese crumbled in, or Spanish style, by adding smoked paprika and chorizo. It's easier than you may think; simply choose the best quality mince, add flavourings, bind together with an egg and breadcrumbs, then shape and chill for as long as possible before cooking.
Remember to cater for your designated drivers by creating some mocktails. Why not concoct a Virgin Cucumber Mojito or a Shirley Temple? Sparkling water mixed with elderflower cordial is also a refreshing compliment to your BBQ food. When the weather is hot and the drinks are flowing, always ensure that you have a mountain of ice ready to cool those glasses.
How and when to light the BBQ
This is the key element to achieving perfectly cooked food just when your guests are starting to get hungry. About 30 minutes before you're planning on cooking, pile your charcoal high and ignite. After 20 to 30 minutes, when the flames have died down, use a BBQ tool to spread out the charcoal. If you're feeling adventurous, why not add some wood chips to the charcoal, such as cherry and apple wood which will add a subtle sweetness to most meat.
Table wear and accessories
The food will no doubt take centre stage but don't forget to clean up your outdoor furniture and soft furnishings in advance of your party. Enhance your tabletop with a beautiful cover and accessories bringing serious style to your BBQ party. A Kilner drinks dispenser and hands free wine glass holders are sure to impress your friends, along with insulated mason jars, combining practicality with style. Serve bread and salads on wooden serving boards and keep your drinks icy cold in a drinks cooling bucket.
Create the perfect mood
When the warmth of the day is dissipating into early evening and your guests are reluctant to head indoors, now is the time to create a perfect twilight patio ambience. Try lighting citronella candles to keep the bugs away and tea lights nestled snugly in heat resistant candle holders will ensure you create a safe burning environment as well as a mellow mood. Switch on some twinkling outside lights entwined through tree branches or shrubbery to keep the party atmosphere going from day through night.