Our favourite BBQ recipes are among some of the easiest and tasty ways to use your barbecue this summer. They're quick to do, will please everyone (except vegans, obviously) and they're super simple to create – but will look like you've made an effort. Meat rubs, marinades and burgers require no great technical skill to make, and we'll even tell you how to grill fish. We guarantee you'll make everyone happy.
- Three comforting vegan recipes – for the inevitable non-meat, non-dairy (etc) eater
- Courgette recipes: 3 ways to give your zucchini zing
- How to barbecue right – get all the best BBQ techniques here
1. Honey mustard BBQ chicken drumsticks
A BBQ classic, this recipe is super easy and requires very little hands-on cooking time (although be prepared to put in some extra work when it comes to cleaning your bbq).
Chicken drumsticks, 1kg
Ketchup, one cup
Brown sugar to taste
Soy sauce, a tablesppon
Honey, one cup
Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
Paprika, one teaspoon
Cayenne pepper, 1/4 teaspoon
Garlic, four cloves, peeled and sliced/crushed
Worcestershire sauce, a few drops to taste
Basil to garnish, a small bunch (optional)
Simply mix all the ingredients together and submerge your drumsticks in the mixture in a glass bowl. Cover with clingfilm and chill for at least four hours – or better still, overnight.
Grill for about 30 minutes, flipping the drumsticks every five to seven minutes, until cooked all the way through. Enough for four.
2. Best BBQ rub for beef or pork
A great barbecue rub can make any type of meat sing, but rubs are especially effective when cooking beef or pork, enhancing the delicate flavour of the meat without overpowering it. Which cut steak should you choose for a bbq? Any cut of meat will benefit from the smoky flavour added by the barbecue, but we are particularly fond of barbecuing rump steak and sirloin.
Rubs can be dry or wet: a dry rub is just mixed spices and herbs; a wet rub adds oil or lemon juice at the rubbing stage. Or, if you love your meat with a spicy kick, add some chipotle chilli sauce to your rub.
Mixed peppercorns, one teaspoon
Mustard seed, one teaspoon
Paprika, one teaspoon
Onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon
Garlic powder, 1/2 teapsoon
Dried chillies, 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin, 1/4 teaspoon
Crush all your spices roughly using a pestle and mortar; rub the mixture gently into the meat; avoiding rubbing too hard. Wrap your joint in clingfilm and chill overnight.
Beef does not need to be cooked all the way through if you like it rare; we recommend the tactile test to see if your meat is done to your liking. Once the meat is brown on the outside, take it off your grill and rest. Then, simply prod the meat with your index finger: if it feels like your cheek, it's rare; if it feels like your chin, it's medium done; your forehead – your meat is well done. Enough for three to four people.
If cooking pork, always ensure it's thoroughly cooked through and piping hot.
3. Best BBQ burger recipe
No store-bought burger can compete with a proper handmade burger, and that's a fact. You'll be able to use the best quality mince, and season your burgers exactly to your liking. Our top tip for a successful burger? Don't be shy with the herbs: it's amazing how they bring out the flavour of the mince.
Mince – or silverside, chuck, or rump steak if you'll be mincing your meat yourself, aim for 150-200g per person
Cheese slices, if using
One red onion, thinly sliced
Mayonnaise, preferably organic
Ciabatta or brioche rolls
The key to a great burger is fussing over the cooking, not the prepping. Some people add egg and onion powder/salt to their burgers, but we think all a burger needs is good, fresh minced meat, firmly shaped. If you are tempted to season your burger, do it while you're barbecuing it, not before.
Alternatively, melt your cheese slices onto the burger during cooking – you might find it doesn't need much else. You can also char the onions on top of the burger. The most important thing, though, is not to overcook your burgers, which will quickly go hard. As a guideline, we recommend grilling each side for three to four minutes.
4. Salmon marinade: best BBQ meat alternative
Salmon is the best alternative to barbecuing meat: its fleshy, firm texture cooks in a similar way to steak, and it won't flake like white fish. And – salmon can be successfully marinaded prior to barbecuing. You don't need to marinade your salmon overnight: anywhere between half an hour and three hours in the fridge will do.
Many people use honey in their salmon marinades, but we say it really doesn't need it. Salmon has a naturally sweet flavour, so try counterbalancing it with zingy citrus and the saltiness of soy instead. As the soy is quite salty, you won't need any extra seasoning.
Salmon fillet or fillet steaks, 600g
Soy sauce, two tablespoons
Juice of a lime
Coriander, a bunch
Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl, add the salmon, and let it chill in the fridge. When it comes to barbecuing your salmon, approach it in the same way you would a prime cut of beef – that is, avoid over cooking. You want to get your grill to quite a high temperature to get the lovely crispy skin on the outside. Cook for five to six minutes on each side. Serve with mixed salad. Makes enough for three.