There’s nothing quite like a barbecue on a sunny day with friends and family. As long as the weather holds and you’ve plenty of burgers and sauages to throw on the grill, it’s bound to be a success, right? Well, often it’s the unsung heroes of the barbecue that guarantee its success, from easy make-ahead salads to making sure you’ve got the essential condiments (yes, we mean ketchup!).
Make sure you’ve got everything you’ll need in the fridge with our BBQ ticklist.
1. Marinated meat
A good barbecue is all about good meat so to bring out the best, marinate it the night before and pop it, covered, in the fridge. This way, you can give it as long as possible to absorb all the flavours of your marinade and it frees you up to get other things organised. If you’re stuck for marinade ideas, take a look at our 8 marinades that will transform your BBQ.
Let’s face it – after the meat, ketchup is the second most important element at a barbecue. Who doesn’t love a sausage in a bun with ketchup and mustard? Check that you’re not running low before your BBQ party and make sure you stock up, lest you want to incur the wrath of ketchup lovers… Take your BBQ to gourmet levels by making your own our homemade ketchup recipe – it’s so easy to make and isn’t as sweet as commercial brands.
A hit with some, and not so popular with others, a jar of mayo is a BBQ essential (see above).
4. Barbecue sauce
Ok, you get the picture – you need to cover ALL the condiment bases.
It’s always handy to have a tub of houmous in the fridge when you’re expecting people at a barbecue. It’s great with pitta, with salad or even in a burger bun. You can’t really go wrong with it. Make yours more interesting with our lemon and coriander houmous recipe.
Whether it’s one of our halloumi recipes to stick on the grill (it’s always a hit with vegetarians and committed carnivores alike), Camembert, Roquefort or even trusty cheddar to melt over burgers, you need to have cheese in the fridge to take your barbecue (and burgers) to another level.
Something of a barbecue staple, coleslaw always tastes better when it’s homemade. Luckily, it’s very easy to make. Go for a classic recipe, or try our lighter apple and fennel coleslaw recipe. You can shred the veg the day before and make the dressing ahead too but wait until your guests arrive before tossing, as it tends to go watery if you leave it to sit too long!
Ideal for making an easy pasta or potato salad, or drizzling on crostini, or swirling into a dip, pesto is so versatile when you’re feeding a crowd. Plus, it tastes of summer.
9. Elderflower cordial
On a hot day, it’s good to offer a soft drink as well as wine and beer and what better way to do that than with elderflower cordial diluted in chilled sparkling water! A splash in your prosecco is also a delightful treat, so it’s definitely worth having in the fridge! Try your hand at making your own with our elderflower cordial recipe.
Avocado is the superfood of the moment so make sure you’ve got a couple of ripe ones ready for when your friends arrive. Make it into a quick guacamole mashed with lime and a little chilli, or use it make the now infamous #avotoast – try our version, our avocado and chorizo bruschetta recipe.
11. White wine
You never know when your barbecue is going to escalate from a casual gathering to a bit more of an animated party, so make sure to stock up the fridge with chilled white wine to take you through from day to evening and keep the drinks flowing…
Strawberries are a summer favourite and therefore make the perfect barbecue dessert, served simply on their own or with…
13. Double cream
This goes hand in hand with strawberries, or any fruit really. With a few meringues crumbled into the mix, you’ve got yourself a really summery, no-hassle DIY Eton mess.
Planning a BBQ? Find more ideas in our BBQ recipe collection.