How To Throw A Cool BBQ |

How To Throw A Cool BBQ

Favourites 53

In our book, summer wouldn’t be summer without endless barbecues, fresh food and crisp rosé; and who better to throw a bash than Alex Head, Founder of Social Pantry? From what to cook to the finishing touches, she’s put together some top tips for embracing al fresco dining, all you need to worry about is the sunshine… 



When entertaining, setting the scene is essential. Wow your guests on arrival with fun decorations, then wine & dine them so they’re suitably relaxed, and you’re in for a fun evening. Here’s what you need…

Soft Furnishings

As soon as the sun sets, there’ll probably be a chill in the air (let’s remember, we live in Britain, not the Caribbean). Use cushions and blankets for your friends to snuggle under and keep your summer party going all night long.

Flower Pots For Your Cutlery

Utilise those unused flowers pots for your cutlery and serving utensils – this is perfect for when space is limited as there’s no need to properly set the table.

Leaf Garlands

Make the most of the great outdoors and hang leaf garlands intertwined with fairy lights to create ambience in your garden.

Colour Clash

Go bold, it’s summer and everybody needs a little colour in their life. Mix statement stripes with yellow, blush or splashes of blue and saffron.

Urban Jungle

Use plenty of plants and foliage to add to the outdoorsy vibes.



A nice change from a burnt sausage and skewered halloumi, keep your barbeque interesting and take a chance with some more unusual cuts of meat.

Bavette Steak

It’s packed with flavour, and it’s a thin cut so doesn’t take long to cook, leaving you more time to slice up some salad or enjoy a drink. Best served rare, it’s great with a fresh pesto drizzled on top.

Lamb Belly

If you have a bit more time on your hands try a lamb belly BBQ roast. Seal the meat in a pan with some hot oil first (ten minutes is fine) then wrap and poke with foil and leave on the embers for around 90 minutes until juicy, tender and easy to pull apart. Serve the lamb in a BBQ’d flat bread with a good dollop of spiced yoghurt or labneh, tomato salsa and a sprinkle of fresh herbs.

Hanger Steak

This cut is a lesser-known, cost effective alternative to Rib Eye. Packed with flavour, it also takes well to a hearty marinade but you should cook until it’s medium rare, any less and it will be slightly soft and anything more and it will become slightly chewy. Smother in garlic, olive oil, cracked pepper and fresh herbs then cook over a high heat to get that chargrilled finish.




Grilled vegetables are delicious, keep costs down and are great if you’re trying to be healthy. Quick tip? Before cooking anything on the barbeque, rub an onion, sliced in half, over the grate. The acid loosens any baked-on grit, it’s much better than using any chemicals and will help flavour your food.

Sweet Potato

Sweeten up your jackets this summer, wrap sweet potatoes in foil and place on the coals for 30 – 40 minutes. Best enjoyed piled high with beans, avocado, tahini yoghurt or smothered in herb butter and with fresh crisp salad leaves. Perfect for filling up a hungry crowd.


Aubergine is a veggie BBQ staple, whether thinly sliced for crisps or kept chunky for wedges, simply brush with olive oil and place on the BBQ. Serve as a warm salad with baby spinach, pomegranate, tahini, lemon and garlic yogurt. Alternatively, top with pine nuts, torn basil leaves and roasted cherry tomatoes.

Chargrilled Avocado, Cauliflower and Broccoli

A simple grilled veggie side is sure to fill up your guests. Marry the veggies with the perfect partner: cauliflower & cumin, avocado & lemon, broccoli & garlic. Just cut it in half or into chunks, brush with oil and place on the BBQ.

BBQ Corn With Miso Butter & Lemon

Miso butter will make your corn a highlight rather than a side dish, mix together miso and butter and smother over freshly barbecued corn. Serve with dips and condiments, a cucumber labneh, yellow tomato and basil salsa, burnt onion mayonnaise, beetroot yoghurt and you can’t go wrong.



Bear with us, and try sardines. As a luxury main ingredient, fresh whole sardines from Cornwall covered in lemon juice and barbecued will impress seafood lovers. Like other fish, they’re high in protein but they also have the benefit of being an oily fish, so they're a source of heart-healthy omega-3.



Create seasonal salads this summer by mixing and matching the following: beetroot, broad beans, carrots, cauliflowers, courgettes, cucumber, fennel, fresh peas, garlic, green beans, new potatoes, radishes, runner beans, sage, salad onions, squash, tomatoes, and watercress.



Coconut is everywhere for 2017 and it’s a great accompaniment to barbequed fruit. Try BBQ peaches with coconut yoghurt or grilled pineapple with coconut sorbet for true tropical summer vibes.



DISCLAIMER: We endeavour to always credit the correct original source of every image we use. If you think a credit may be incorrect, please contact us at 
[email protected]