Approx 750 words. 3.5 mins to read.
Everything tastes better when you eat it outside, don’t you think? Throw in the pleasure of cooking over hot coals and that’s summer, right there. Yes, there’s no better way to celebrate the sunniest of seasons than with a blow-out barbecue! Discover top tips, sizzling products and seriously hot recipes in the ultimate barbecue guide for 2020.
One of the best things about a barbecue is the joy of cooking (and eating) in the great outdoors – so it’s really important to respect your surroundings. Try to make as many sustainable choices as you can, such as choosing reusable or recyclable plates, cups and straws. Take a look at some of Co-op’s stunning, reusable picnicware, made using long-lasting bamboo. Or, go one step further and choose to buy Co-op’s Fair Trade charcoal (yep, charcoal can be Fair Trade, too!). When you do, you’ll be supporting charcoal producers and benefitting their communities in Namibia.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
Barbecues are brilliant fun, but when it’s all over, it’s even better if you can recycle your food packaging.
What Co-op do: To help, we’re are phasing out all unrecyclable plastic from own-branded products. For example, we’ve swapped plastic for cardboard in Co-op Irresistible tomato boxes. Click to find out what else we’re doing to make a difference.
What you can do: there tends to be a lot of debris and waste at the end of a barbecue, so make sure you recycle any packaging, bottles or even your barbecue (if it’s disposable) accordingly.
What to eat at a BBQ
Now for the best bit: the food! Whether you’re feeding meat-eaters, vegetarians, vegans or those who have specific dietary requirements, you can cater for everyone with our top products and recipes:
To make your barbecue super-special, look out for foods in our premium range. Co-op Irresistible Hereford Beef Burgers, 340g, for instance, are made with 100% British beef. Plus, they’re great paired with Co-op Irresistible Brioche Burger Buns, 4 pack. And you can really taste the quality in these award-winning Co-op Irresistible British Outdoor Bred Pork Sausages, 400g. Give them a go in these Rueben-style hot dogs or discover plenty more burger and barbecue recipes.
For vegetarians and vegans…
Barbies aren’t just for carnivores! Try roasting a whole cauliflower over hot coals with Indian spices or charring aubergine flesh until soft and smoky – it makes a gorgeous dip! The Co-op GRO range of plant-based foods is perfect for vegans (and everyone else). Plus, find a whole host of fantastic veggie barbecue recipes to choose from: I love these mini tortilla salad bowls with BBQ corn salsa and griddled sweet potatoes with a houmous dip.
Can’t eat dairy or gluten? Don’t panic– it’s a party and everyone’s invited! You’ll find award-winning gluten-free rolls and bread in Co-op’s Free From range or, if dairy’s an issue, you can round off the meal with Co-op Free From Strawberry & Vanilla Cones, 4 pack
On the side…
What would a barbecue be without tasty sides? Make in advance to whip out when you’re ready to eat. Stir up this nutty couscous salad, add some crunch with a vegan slaw and don’t forget about crisps and dips! This avocado and yogurt dip is my fave.
What’s trending in 2020?
Low and no alcohol drinks
Didn’t you hear? Not drinking is in this year. Toast the British summertime with some fantastic low and no alcohol wines, including Co-op Low Alcohol Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Tempranillo and Co-op 0% Rozanté Rosé.
You can cook any meal on a barbecue! Think sausages for breakfast, chicken for a lunchtime salad, sweetcorn cobettes for a snack or fish fillets for dinner.
When choosing meat, cheaper, tougher joints cooked low and slow can give tender results with delicious smoky flavours. Experiment with different cuts – or go the extra mile and soak in a tasty marinade before cooking.
If the barbie has given you a taste for smoky food, have a go at making your own smoker. Google ‘build your own smoker’ and get stuck in.
Still feeling hungry? Make sure you check out all these brilliant barbie recipes for more inspiration. Discover the ultimate burger recipe, whip up this super-easy potato salad and slurp on a refreshing glass of green tea and elderflower punch. And for dessert? It’s got to be dulce de leche ice cream sandwiches. Let the feasting commence!
Co-op Food Editor