How are you to know how hungry your guests will be when they arrive, how many people will turn up in the first place and how many will end up bringing friends? Even when trying to plan portion sizes you can never be truly sure of numbers with casual events like BBQs.
According to the National BBQ Association and Mintel, around £35 is spent on food and drink for an average-sized BBQ, and UK households hold around nine each year! (Is that one for each sunny day?) This amount of grilling adds up to a less-than-tasty £315, so our question is, how much of this food goes to good use and how much ends up in the bin?
Rather than throwing away the leftover food or drink from the BBQ, we want to help you make it keep for longer or turn it into a brand new menu of culinary delight, reducing waste and making your money go further.
1) Make sure you always keep your fridge below 5 degrees to help your food stay fresh for longer.
2) Use up herbs, garlic cloves, onions and anything else in your fridge to create your own marinades and dipping sauces. Choose whichever flavour combinations you like best from your fridge and use our tips to make your own.
3) Make homemade lemonade from any lemons that are past their best or have gone unused with this simple recipe using just sugar and boiling water.
4) Send a message round to all those invited to your BBQ before you go shopping to check expected numbers - Facebook is the easiest way to reach lots of people at once, and you can keep track of attendees much easier than by text.
5) If struggling for fridge space on the day use coolers, coolboxes or coolbags wherever possible to avoid leaving food out in the warm, even if it’s only for a short time.
6) If you’ve got leftover salad that’s looking a bit limp, don’t bin it - put the leaves into a bowl of ice water to get it nice and crisp again and eat as soon as possible.
7) Leftover barbecued vegetables can be warmed through then used with noodles to make stir fry, mixed with mashed potato for a classic bubble and squeak or mixed with oil and grilled again until soft to make Mediterranean vegetable sandwiches.
8) If you’ve got spare vegetables in your fridge that haven’t yet been on the BBQ, chop them up to make crudités for dunking in leftover side dishes and dips like hummus, or grate and mix with mayonnaise and mustard for easy homemade coleslaw.
9) Any meat leftover from the BBQ should be refrigerated immediately, certainly within two hours of being cooked. You can then use it for up to four days in lunchboxes, on sandwiches or served with salad and leftover sides for cold summer dinners.
10) Don’t waste a drop of your leftover wine and invest in some simple bottle stoppers. Leftover soft drinks like smoothies, fruit juices or fizzy pop gone flat need not be thrown either!- You can easily transform them into delicious ice lollies with a mould and some sticks which will be available from most supermarkets.
If you have any great tips or recipes to help reduce waste and use up BBQ leftovers of your own, let us know in by tweeting us @GreatBritBBQ.