WITH temperatures set to reach highs of 33C this weekend, a new report into the nation’s barbecue habits suggests the very British obsession with cooking on coals shows no sign of faltering.
UK households will host an average of SIX barbecues for family and friends this summer, the survey shows, meaning the nation we will stick 700million burgers and 626million hotdogs on the barbecue – all smothered in 326million bottles of ketchup.
We will also burn through 326million bags of charcoal, consume 272million bottles of BBQ sauce, 336million tubs of coleslaw, 354million bags of ice, 408million bags of salad and a staggering 272million pots of mayo.
Vino-loving Brits will wash all of this down with 435million bottles of wine, according to the study by recipe box company Gousto.
But the survey suggests a barbecue can be a bone of contention between couples, with almost half (40 per cent) admitting they regularly disagree with their other half about the best way to cook a sausage or piece of chicken.
According to the data, the chief cause of outdoor dining bust-ups is when your partner insinuates that they can do a better job than you (41 per cent), followed by being accused of burning food (27 per cent) and arguing over how long the coals should burn before starting to cook (24 per cent).
FROM THE CARIBBEAN BARBACOA…
The word barbecue originally comes from the Caribbean word “barbacoa.” Some of the first English settlers in the US learnt how to cook meat in pits over hot coals in the 16th and 17th century, and the word “barbacoa” was used to describe this, until the settlers eventually adapted the word into barbecue.
As the barbecue technique allows a lot of food to be cooked at once, it quickly became the cooking style of choice for large social events like church festivals and neighbourhood picnics and encouraged togetherness and sharing dishes as a group.
However, when the technique came back to England, it didn’t have the same cultural significance with many people thinking this method of preparing a meal was “un-British”. As a result – despite barbecues being popular on mainland Europe, it took a long while to catch on in Britain.
…TO THE BRITISH BARBECUE
However, nowadays as many as 94 per cent of Brits say that barbecues and outdoor dining are the HIGHLIGHT of their summer.
Though we may love a barbecue, six out of ten of us claim they are stuck in an inspiration rut, cooking the same burgers, salads and sides repeatedly.
Food Director Rachel Chatterton from recipe box company Gousto who commissioned the study of 2,000 Britons said: “This research shows we truly are a nation that loves to make the most of the sunshine and eat outdoors whenever we can.
“We hope our new range can deliver some inspiration to the 60 per cent of Brits that are struggling for alfresco inspiration.
The poll also found that, to impress guests, as many as a fifth of Brits will splash out on expensive artisan bread to accompany their barbecue, 29 per cent will supply deli cheese, and almost two thirds (61 per cent) will serve dips and crisps.
And more than a quarter of us (26 per cent) will even buy brand new garden furniture for a summer of alfresco dining in style.
The research found that when it comes to our favourite barbecue accompaniments, we like to stick with the classics.
Potato salad and coleslaw were the top salads (45 per cent) with Caesar and Greek salads getting a quarter of the vote.
Ice cream dominates as the UK’s favourite summer pudding (57 per cent), followed by strawberries and cream (44 per cent), and fruit salad (33 per cent).
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On the drinks front, beer tops the list as the perfect summer tipple (24 per cent), followed by a gin and tonic (11 per cent) and lemonade (11 per cent).
When it comes to the downside of alfresco dining, 54 per cent say the biggest annoyance of barbecuing is the unpredictable British weather, 11 per cent say prepping and chopping and 11 per cent the burnt food.
And if you’re picking out the best barbecue to go to, pick one being cooked by a younger Brit. Those aged 16 to 34 rate themselves as seven out of ten on the grill, compared to the over 60s who just give themselves just five.
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