Now that it’s (hopefully) getting warmer outside, you might be planning to explore the great outdoors this summer.
Wherever you’re going, you can either take a portable barbecue with you or you can take a packed lunch of pre-grilled goodies.
The 18th – 26th June this year marks National Picnic Week, and for over a decade now, it has aimed to encourage Brits to make the most out of enjoying food outside by providing information and helpful advice. July is also sometimes known as National Picnic Month, so you can also find more information here.
Here are some ideas and tips on how to have a great picnic barbecue.
Make Sure You’re Allowed to Barbecue
If you are taking a portable barbecue with you, it’s useful to be aware of any UK laws regarding outdoor barbecues, especially in public places like parks. If you know exactly where you’re going out to and have a specific park in mind, you should be able to look it up and find information on the park’s website. There are sometimes designated barbecue areas in places like beaches and parks.
As well as making sure you aren’t breaking any laws or rules wherever you put your barbecue, always follow fire safety guidelines too. Set the barbecue up on even and stable ground, in an open area away from trees or anything flammable like dry grass, just in case of it being knocked over.
If using a disposable barbecue, try and put it on top of some bricks or another safe surface. A safe place to put your barbecue may be provided in the designated areas.
Leave No Trace
Once you are finished, make sure you dispose of everything properly and safely. Don’t litter, be respectful of nature and your surroundings. Double check that all fire and heat has been put out so there’s no risk of anything catching fire and spreading. Leave the place looking even better than when you got there.
Our Barbecue Range
If you’re in need of a new barbecue to take with you, we have several portable barbecues to choose from.
Our first choice is the Trekker (currently on sale), you can also purchase it as part of a bundle here which allows you to change from longer legs that you can stand on the ground to shorter legs so you can place the barbecue on a table top if the ground is uneven and not suitable. The Trekker can be assembled and stored away in 10 minutes and runs on 5kg Patio Gas. You can view a demo of the Trekker model here.
Our Two Burner Camping Stove with Toaster is great to take with you on holiday, caravanning or camping. It folds into an easy to carry briefcase type design and allows you to boil pans and grill toast. This also runs on 5kg Patio Gas.
We also have the ingenious U BBQ, which is also great for camping and festivals as well as easy to carry with you for a picnic. This grill runs on a 250g disposable gas cartridge that should last a few hours.
For our full portable range, click here.
What to Bring With You
If you’re taking your portable barbecue out with you, make sure not to forget any of its attachments or accessories that you will need. You’ll also need to buy some sort of picnic basket and Tupperware boxes to transport the food and any cutlery with, maybe even a cooler bag for cold items and drinks too.
You can arrange what you need with guests and ask them to contribute to the picnic with anything along the lines of food, drink, cups and blankets. One guest could bring the cooler and drinks, another could bring the cutlery and cups whilst you are left to bring the barbecue and food. It’ll make carrying everything a lot easier.
For accessory ideas, a set of stainless-steel BBQ cooking tools that include a spatula, fork and tongs will be an essential for cooking the food. You can then serve it up on multipurpose foil trays that will catch meat juice drippings to prevent things from getting messy. A pack of bamboo skewers will also give you a way to serve up kebab style food and small bites to guests.
You don’t want to take too much but you don’t want to risk bringing too little with you either, so keep it simple and plan ahead to work out what you really need, then see how much you can condense it. You might be walking and carrying items for a bit, so you don’t want things to be too heavy.
Here’s a full checklist for what to bring:
- Portable barbecue
- Cooking utensils
- BBQ fuel (patio gas or disposable gas cartridge)
- Picnic basket and/or tupperware
- Mains, sides and snacks
- Cups and Thermos
- Plates and cutlery
- Bottle opener
- Napkins, paper towels or wipes
- Rubbish bags for cleaning up after
Bring some sides to go with your barbecue, whether they’re cold appetisers to keep you satisfied while the mains are cooked or sides to be barbecued. You can’t go wrong with a plastic container of coleslaw or potato salad. If there are going to be quite a few of you gathering around for a while you’ll want to make sure you’ve got all bases covered.
As well as sides or snacks like tortillas or crisps, remember to pack a few basic sauces and dips like ketchup, mayo or bbq sauce. You might also need some salt to sprinkle on the meat or fries, see if you have some salt sachets left in your house from getting a takeaway, it’ll save the space that a salt shaker takes up.
Food Ideas and Recipes
When it comes to barbecues and picnics, you can’t go wrong with the basics, and the same is true when you combine the two. However, you can update those classics with some new tweaks to the recipe to keep things interesting. Here are a few ideas to get you kickstarted…
You can’t have a barbecue without burgers. This recipe for Beef burgers takes the classic food and adds pimento cheese to add some uniqueness. You can also use the cheese as a spread for sandwiches, crackers, to dip celery in or mix with salad.
For a vegan alternative try these easy beetroot burgers with hazelnut and chilli ‘pesto’. You can also find more burger ideas here, use these recipes as a base for your inspiration on what to add to your burgers.
You can’t have a picnic without sandwiches! So if beef or burgers aren’t your thing then why not try these delicious looking grilled halloumi sandwiches with romesco sauce, they make a quick and easy lunch for your picnic and just like the pimento cheese, the leftover romesco sauce can be used for other foods to serve alongside meat, fish, vegetables or as a dip for crisps.
For more sandwich ideas, take a look at our recipe page here.
We hope this blog has inspired you to take your barbecuing passion further outdoors. For the ultimate in comfort, we also have some sturdy and weather resistant padded chairs in various colours, for you to relax outside while the food is cooking, as well as a number of other outdoor living equipment for adding style to your garden.
If you do end up getting outside with your barbecued goodies this summer, tag us using @outbackbbqs on Instagram, we’d love to see your results!