Set Your Tastebuds Alight
By the beard of Zeus! We’re actually having a summer. And what better way to accompany the good weather, Wimbledon, and the World Cup than some delicious barbecue recipes? There’s something deeply satisfying about cooking over flames. With a beer in hand and chatter filling the air, troubles are simply swallowed up in the aromatic smoke. On this page we’ve assembled our top five meaty and vegetarian bbq recipes for your pleasure.
The classic British barbecue, starring burnt bangers and white baps, can be a thing of great joy. Hanging out with your nearest and dearest is the most important thing after all. But by spending some time on preparation and cooking, you can elevate your gathering beyond the ordinary.
Starting a fire and whacking grub on it is the oldest form of cookery. It’s a simple format, but mastering the humble bbq takes years. Some of the barbecue recipes we’ve chosen here are a little more challenging, and, if you’re not a pit pro already, practising them will help you become more intimately acquainted with the mysteries of fiery cuisine.
We’re going to draw a line in the sand. Burning wood is what imbues barbecue recipes with their delicious smokiness. So if you have a gas bbq, whether it cost £50 or £2,000, you might as well cook on the hob. Sorry.
Step one, get yourself a proper charcoal bbq.
Now onto the recipes…
Five of the Best Barbecue Recipes
1. Real-deal jerk chicken
As far as bbq chicken recipes go, jerk chicken has to be the ultimate. Jerk chicken is native to Jamaica, but eaten throughout the Caribbean (and the world). Spicy, sweet, succulent chicken with crispy skin. What’s not to like?
The secret with this authentic jerk chicken recipe is using good quality chicken legs (with the bone in), and marinading for a decent length of time (overnight is best). Also, importantly, you need enough space on your bbq. After searing the skin over the coals, you cook the chicken away from direct heat with the lid on.
2. Moroccan-style marinaded lamb shoulder
Go big or go home, go hard or go yard etc. This Moroccan-style marinaded lamb shoulder is a showstopper and makes a special centrepiece for a bbq. A whole lamb shoulder ain’t cheap (around £40) but it will feed 8-10 people.
Get your lamb from a decent butcher, and ask them to bone and butterfly it (open up the joint for ease of cooking). Strictly speaking, high-quality meat doesn’t need much prep, but we’ve opted for this Moroccan-inspired recipe because it’s so damn good.
3. Feta, tomato and smoky pepper parcels
Vegetarian bbq recipes needn’t be an afterthought. They can be just as tasty as the meaty ones. And just like with meat, it pays to buy the best veggies you can. The fun part of this vegetarian bbq recipe is burning the peppers, literally, then removing the skin to reveal the tender flesh beneath.
Charring the peppers in this way brings out their sweetness mixed with a wonderful smokiness. The result is sticky, sweet, salty and lip-smackingly delicious. The herbivores at your barbecue will guard this one jealously.
4. Crispy sweet potatoes with chickpeas & tahini yogurt
This is one of our favourite vegetarian barbecue recipes. It can easily be made vegan, if you replace the yoghurt with a dairy-free alternative. Sweet potatoes are more nutritious than standard pots and, in our opinion, tastier too. With some time on the coals, they go meltingly soft.
You won’t break a sweat preparing this dish, and nearly all the ingredients are readily available (use a small onion if you can’t get banana shallots). You might think this dish seems almost too healthy for a bbq, but trust us - it’s proper good.
5. Barbecued mackerel with ginger, chilli & lime drizzle
Fish isn’t everyone’s first choice for a bbq, which might be because London isn’t by the sea. It’s a shame because this bbq fish recipe is a delight. If you’re looking for new bbq food ideas, here’s your chance to switch it up. The sweet and spicy Asian-inspired sauce complements the rich, oily mackerel perfectly.
Mackerel really is a beautiful fish - like a shimmering arrow - so do right by the critter and get good stuff that’s been responsibly sourced. It’s worth paying a little extra.