Top BBQ ideas for hosting
the perfect one this summer

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With the arrival of the Great British Summer, the days are longer, and the sun is (hopefully) shining and here to stay. Longer evenings mean it’s the perfect time to invite your friends and family over for a summer BBQ. We’ve got tips for hosting as well as some tasty but easy BBQ food ideas.

How to clean your BBQ

man cooking chicken skewers on a black BBQ

Before you can have anyone over to enjoy a BBQ, the first thing to do is dust off the barbecue and make sure that it’s ready for the summer season. Make sure you give it a thorough wipe down with something soft (hard materials can scratch the surface) to ensure its clean. This will help to get rid of any dirt that has accumulated over the winter months. Top tip, if your barbecue has stubborn leftover grease deposits, put the lid down and turn up the heat for 15 minutes so that it solidifies. This will make it easier to remove the grease in one go.

Get your grill gleaming and in tip-top condition with this all in one barbecue cleaning kit from Lakeland.

Don’t own a barbecue? There’s plenty of great ranges to choose from, depending on whether you prefer a gas BBQ or a charcoal grill.

If you’re looking for something slightly more alternative or even an added extra to serve up to your guests, then why not serve them homemade pizzas from your very own pizza oven.

Set up an area to enjoy the BBQ

BBQ meat, dips and salad on table

Depending on the amount of space that you have, you’ll need to ensure you can fit in some comfy seating for your guests. This may mean bringing out furniture that you already have from inside. Set up a space that is going to be your main food table, with enough space for food, plates, condiments and cutlery. You may need a separate table for your drinks area, if space allows. Be prepared for the unpredictable English weather and make sure you have an umbrella at the ready!

You may also want to purchase decorations and give your barbecue a theme. Wilko’s have a great range of affordable outdoor tableware and you could even get a pinata to put up and have some fun in the garden with.

BBQ food ideas

Man cooking sausages on a BBQ

Try and prepare as much BBQ food as you can the night before, so that you’re not stressing too much on the day. Buy a few varieties of different meats (chicken, hotdogs, burgers etc) so that you can satisfy all tastes. We recommend trying the M&S best ever burgers and coronation chicken flatties, both are tasty summer choices and are guaranteed to go down well with your guests.

Halloumi is a great option for your veggie guests and tastes delicious when grilled on a barbecue. If you’re looking something a little different that your guests may not have tried before, you could treat them to the without meat plant-based burger patties from Lidl. Feeling a little fancy? Why not try the vegan jackfruit burger at Waitrose & Partners or the M&S veggie posh dogs.

Pescatarians can also enjoy tasty M&S chargrilled squid flatties or the chilli and lime salmon kebabs from Tesco.

Prepare a few side dishes that you know everyone will love. Pasta salads, baked potatoes and corn on the cob always go down a treat with any barbecue guest. If you don’t have time to prep for your BBQ but still want to impress your guests then why not use the M&S Food to Order service and order some delicious already prepared bits. We recommend going for the deli-style coleslaw and exotic fruit tart.

Stock up on your usual condiments so that you cover all grounds for your guests. If you’re looking for something new to try, the M&S special burger sauce is a real crowd pleaser, as well as the Nando’s squeezy perinaise which will add some extra zing to your chicken kebabs or even your hot dogs! We all know you need to be careful when you load up your food plate with sauces. Avoid ruining your favourite summer dress with these citrus-inspired napkins, just £1.50 from Primark.

Got a sweet tooth? Finish up with the ever so summery luxury raspberry and passion fruit roulade from Iceland.

Get the BBQ started

Cocktails on a table

Set up the decorations and tableware first thing, so that you have time to concentrate on prepping the BBQ food before your guests arrive. Set up your condiment station next to the cutlery and just before your guests arrive, bring out your food and set it out on the table. Whilst you’re waiting for everyone to arrive, why not set up your bar area.

Get a few tipples that you know everyone will love and set them up on a separate table as a mini bar. Keep beers and soft drinks in a makeshift ice bucket so that guests can help themselves whenever they fancy. This should take the pressure off you being the attentive host so you can enjoy yourself too! You could also get creative by mixing up your own cocktails or make up a big batch the perfect summer BBQ Pimms or for something a little different why not try sloe gin Pimms

Pimms Recipe

Pimms station with glasses at home

What you’ll need:

  • 400ml Pimms no.1
  • 1.2l lemonade
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Sliced strawberries, cucumber and oranges (or any fruit you fancy)


  1. Fill a jug with ice
  2. Add in the sliced fruit, mint and cucumber
  3. Pour in the Pimms
  4. Add the lemonade
  5. Now it’s ready to enjoy

Bring your portable speakers out to the garden and play some of your favourite tunes. If you don’t have any, try these portable speakers from John Lewis & Partners, they are water-resistant too which helps in case there are any spills! Once your speakers are set up, put on this summer BBQ playlist.

With everything set up, it’s time to heat up the barbecue, grab yourself a cool beverage and enjoy!

Tag us in your foodie images on Instagram at @intuofficial of you hosting your summer BBQ.