Barbecuing does not need to cost the earth, in fact quite the opposite, it can be a really cheap way of entertaining. With a few simple tips and some good planning, it really is very easy to BBQ on a budget! Here are our top tips…
Jazz up cheap cuts of meat
Burgers and sausages are a staple part of BBQs in Britain. If you can’t afford gourmet varieties why not just jazz up the cheaper ones yourself. You could stuff some blue cheese or chopped bacon inside your burger patties before you grill them. For sausages, we love cutting them lengthways and stuffing with some cheddar before wrapping the whole thing in bacon. Cheap cuts of chicken such as the thighs are often overlooked but they are full of flavour! Marinade them overnight to make them even more delicious.
Make your own marinades
Using a marinade really is the simplest way to make your meat mouth-wateringly good and you don’t have to buy expensive bottles of it to make it work. Great marinades can be made from standard store cupboard ingredients. Take a look at our ‘How to make your own BBQ marinade’ article for some inspiration.
Don’t use excess fuel
There is no need to fill your BBQ to the brim with charcoal. One layer across the bottom of the pit is plenty to cook for 1-2 hours. If you are cooking on gas, you don’t always need to use the highest setting. Heat the grill up and then decrease the fuel supply and use the BBQ lid to maintain the heat.
Invest in a good quality Grill
A good quality BBQ can last for years, especially if it is well looked after. Look out for deals on grills with longer warranties such as the Weber Q320 Black Line portable BBQ that comes with 5 year cover on cast and aluminium components, as well as 2 year cover on other parts.
Buy supermarket own brand sauces and decant them
Ketchup, BBQ sauce, mustard and relish are required at every BBQ party, but there is no need to fork out for the top brands. Buy supermarket own branded condiments and decant some into small dishes or ramekins for your guests to dig in to.
Serve tasty side dishes
BBQ sides should be more than just lettuce, tomato and onion. Making your own coleslaw, potato salad, pasta salad and even rice salad is really easy and cheap. Baked potatoes and corn on the cob are also really easy to cook on the grill. With all these scrummy side dishes to fill up you, you will need to serve less meat.
Serve tasty toppings
A simple burger pattie can be completely transformed into a sizzling gourmet delight with the help of some tasty toppings. Grilled mushrooms, grilled peppers, jalepenos, avocado, bacon, pickled gherkins… need we say more?
Don’t underestimate the veggies!
Veggie dishes are not just for the vegetarians at the party. We have load of recipes for mouth wateringly good veggie delights that are easy to grill and are so tasty that even the most stubborn carnivore will find it hard to resist. Try making grilled stuffed peppers, Portobello mushrooms with feta cheese or even a zesty grilled vegetable medley!
Befriend your butcher
Buying meat from the local butcher does not mean increased costs. Pop in and have a chat to find out what offers they have and what cuts of meat are cheap yet tasty. They are the experts and you might be surprised by what you can find.
Save room for dessert!
No dessert at a BBQ should be a crime. Some excellent sweet treats can be whipped up in minutes and placed on the grill for a magnificent end to a delicious meal. Our favourite is BBQ caramel apples.