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most popular BBQ meats in the summer

Top Summer BBQ Meats: Sizzling Favorites for Your Outdoor Feast

Rhodri Evans

When the British summer arrives, the air fills with the aromas of BBQ. Ever wondered what the most popular BBQ meats are? Across the UK, people light up their barbecues, competing with dishes like BBQ beef ribs, Grilled chicken, Pulled pork, and BBQ brisket. The question is, which meat wins in the world of outdoor feasts? As it gets hotter, our favourite BBQ dishes become even more irresistible. Beef ribs, loved for their deep flavour, are a top choice for many. Interestingly, chicken souvlaki often steals the spotlight as the most beloved BBQ dish. This highlights our love for a wide range of tastes in barbecued food. But, we also can't forget about the likes of sticky chicken and spicy halloumi & pineapple burgers. This guide will show you the top summer BBQ meats that are winning hearts. You'll learn which recipes are a hit and how to make your barbecue a hit with Britain's favourite dishes. So, pick up your tongs, and let's explore the best meats to grill this summer to delight your guests!

The Rise in Popularity of BBQ Beef During Summer

As summer arrives, the British Isles glow warmly. The scent of beef sizzling on charcoal fills the air. BBQ beef becomes a top choice for summer dinners. This spike in popularity is about more than just grilling. It's about exploring high-quality, tender beef cuts.

Understanding the Surge in BBQ Beef Interest

The rise in BBQ beef interest during summer shows how much the British love barbecuing. Interest has grown by 488% and people are now exploring even different beef marbling levels and tenderness.

Best Cuts for the Barbecue: Tenderness and Marbling

Looking for the best cut for your barbecue? Here's a quick guide to tender beef cuts:
Cut of Beef Tenderness Marbling Recommended Preparation
Ribeye Very Tender High Marbling Quick sear over high heat
Sirloin Less Tender Moderate Marbling Marinade, then grill
Brisket Tougher Low Marbling Long, slow cooking
Fillet Most Tender Least Marbling High-heat grilling
Whether you prefer a ribeye or a sirloin, each cut offers a unique taste. They make your barbecue special.

Charcoal Barbecues: Infusing Smokiness into Beef

Using charcoal barbecues adds a smoky taste to beef and using the best charcoal available goes a long way to making meals exquisite. Smoky brisket satisfies the craving for hearty, traditional summer dishes.

Bacon Sizzles Up as a Summer BBQ Favourite

Search interest for grilled bacon shoots up by 400% during summer. It's now a top pick with other BBQ meats in the summer. The mix of smoky scent and crispiness makes it special. The trick to perfect bacon? Grill it right to avoid flare-ups. Bacon shines by itself and adds a burst of taste to sides. It makes regular BBQ dishes stand out. This shows how bacon takes the summer grill to the next level.
Dish Without Bacon With Grilled Bacon
Classic Burger Juicy, satisfying Irresistibly smoky with a satisfying crunch
Bean Salad Light, tangy Elevated with a salty, textural contrast
Potato Skins Cheesy comfort food A harmonious blend of velvety cheese and crispy bacon
Bacon can be a garnish or the main attraction at BBQs. It brings a unique twist to classic dishes, making every bite a taste adventure.

Most Popular BBQ Meats in the Summer: Barbecue Salmon's Position

BBQ salmon has seen a 367% jump in popularity, making it a top choice for summer. People adore its unique mix of smoky flavour and crispy skin. This fish's high oil content keeps it moist and tender under intense barbecue heat. To get perfect BBQ salmon with that key crispy skin, choosing good fish and grilling technique matters. Here's a detailed guide to make your salmon stand out at summer BBQs.
  1. Preheat your grill to a medium-high temperature.
  2. Brush both sides of the salmon fillets with olive oil to prevent sticking to the grill.
  3. Season the fish well with salt, pepper, and any other desired herbs or spices.
  4. Place the salmon skin-side down on the grill and do not move it until the skin crisps.
  5. Grill for approximately 6-8 minutes, depending on thickness, before flipping over gently.
  6. Cook for a further 3-5 minutes on the second side for a slightly charred finish.
Skin-texture Flavour Profile Suggested Pairings
Crispy Smoky Fresh dill and lemon wedges
Charred Edges Rich & Oily Sweet chilli glaze
Slightly Soft Mild Cucumber and yoghurt sauce
BBQ salmon is a healthy and elegant choice for summer BBQs. Its skin can be crisp or softly smoked. It's a posh pick for any BBQ meal.

Why Steak is a Top Choice for Summer BBQ Lovers

The scent of barbecues marks the start of summer. BBQ steaks are a top pick. They're not just popular by chance. They offer a range of tastes that BBQ fans love.

Varieties of Steak for the BBQ: From Sirloin to Ribeye

Sirloin steak is known for being lean and great on the grill. It has a rich beefy taste. When grilled, it gets a perfect crust yet stays juicy inside. Ribeye steak is famous for its fat marbling. This makes it very tender and flavorful. Both cuts have something special to offer. Whether you prefer the rich taste of ribeye or the lean goodness of sirloin.

Marbling and Cooking Techniques for Perfect Steak

Barbecuing steaks well involves knowing how fat and heat work together. Good marbling is key for delicious BBQ steak. The fat melts, making the steak juicy and tasty. High heat for searing and lower heat to finish are essential. This method gives the steak a perfect caramelisation and tenderness. Here's how long to grill sirloin and ribeye, considering their thickness:
Cut Thickness Grilling Time for Medium Rare Grilling Time for Medium Grilling Time for Well Done
Sirloin Steak 1 inch 4-5 mins per side 5-6 mins per side 6-7 mins per side
Ribeye Steak 1 inch 5-6 mins per side 6-7 mins per side 8-9 mins per side
Top Summer Bbq Meats: Sizzling Favorites For Your Outdoor Feast Knowing about different cuts and the right marbling is crucial. It also matters how you grill them. Steak has become a BBQ favourite for many. It's perfect for get-togethers or just a weekend meal. Steak indeed has a special place for BBQ lovers.

BBQ Lamb: A Traditional British Summer Delight

In the British summer, BBQ lamb is a top choice. It brings tradition to our BBQs. The love for BBQ lamb has grown hugely, showing its place in summer grilling. The key to great BBQ starts with the right lamb cuts and how you prepare them.

Choosing the Best Cuts for BBQ Lamb

To enjoy BBQ lamb at its best, picking tender cuts is essential. They should be rich in flavour and soft. Lamb steaks, from parts like the rump or fillet, are perfect for grilling. They're as good as sirloin steak for cooking on a BBQ.

Preparation and Cooking Tips for BBQ'd Lamb

Cooking BBQ lamb needs care to keep it juicy. Use light seasonings or a simple marinade to boost its taste. This makes it the highlight of any barbecue. First, sear it on high heat to trap the juices. Then, cook it on lower heat so it's perfectly done inside. This way, it stays tender and tasty. BBQ lamb suits any summer event, from family get-togethers to weekends with friends. It adds a special touch to your barbecue, mixing tradition with a modern twist.

Charcoal vs. Gas: The UK's BBQ Preferences

During summer in the UK, people choose between charcoal BBQs and gas BBQs for their BBQ meats. Charcoal BBQs are chosen for their rich, smoky flavour but need more effort to use perfectly. Charcoal BBQs bring a traditional touch to the table. On the other hand, gas BBQs stand out for being quick to start, usually ready in just 10 minutes. They offer steady heat with their 2-3 burner system. Yet, some believe gas BBQs can't match charcoal ones in giving a perfect sear or flavour. For big BBQ events, charcoal grills are top choice. They excel in slow-cooking and infusing a delicious wood smoke flavour into the meat. This method asks for patience but rewards with unbeatable taste, something gas grills struggle to match.
  • Gas grills allow quick meal preparation and precise temperature control.
  • Charcoal BBQs excel in delivering a deep smokier flavour and versatility.
  • Size, sustainability, and material quality are key when choosing BBQs.
When picking BBQs, also consider the impact on the planet. Many choose sustainably sourced charcoal, even if it costs more. It matches their eco-friendly values. In the end, choosing between charcoal and gas BBQs is all about personal taste. Gas BBQs are great for those wanting quick and easy grilling. But, if you love the cooking process and smoky flavours, charcoal BBQs are your best bet for summer fun.

Consumer Choices: What Makes Eat Great Meat Stand Out

With so many choices out there, Eat Great Meat shines as a top choice among online butchers. They're known for Yorkshire's Finest Taste. Their focus is on quality and the origin of their local British meats. This appeals to those who care about taste and where their food comes from.

Awards and Recognition for Quality

Eat Great Meat has consistently been praised for their high-quality meats. They've won awards like the Yorkshire's Finest Taste. Achieving this level of acknowledgment shows their commitment to quality and making customers happy.

The Benefits of Sourcing Local British Meats

Eat Great Meat supports the locavore movement by sourcing local British meats. This means customers get fresh meat and know it's ethically sourced. Their butcher-grade meats are very popular in summer. This shows people like to support local businesses and look for the best in barbeque experiences.
Benefits Description Consumer Impact
Quality Assurance Every cut supplied by Eat Great Meat is guaranteed to meet the high standards expected of Yorkshire's Finest Taste. Customers can rely on consistency and excellence in every order, contributing to a superior culinary experience.
Local Sourcing The meats are sourced from trusted farms in South Yorkshire, supporting local farmers and the community. Reduces carbon footprint and promotes a sustainable lifestyle, aligning with consumer values on environment.
Butcher-Grade Selection An online butcher shop means a wide selection of meats; from everyday cuts to gourmet selections. Provides convenience without compromising on the choice or quality of traditional butchery.

Benchmarking BBQ Excellence: Good Housekeeping Institute's Taste Test

As the sun gets brighter and days longer, we smell BBQ meats in the summer. It's a sign that grilling season has started. The Good Housekeeping Institute, known for trust and quality, has rated BBQ favourites. They've focused on beef burgers and meat-free BBQ options. Top Summer Bbq Meats: Sizzling Favorites For Your Outdoor Feast

Award-Winning Beef Burgers and Sausages

In the beef category, Tesco's Finest New York Style Beef Burgers have won top prizes. They are known for their juicy taste and high quality. Iceland Luxury Cumberland Sausages are also praised for their classic flavours and excellent textures. These are set by the Good Housekeeping Institute. They represent the best of summer BBQ fun, pleasing meat lovers in the UK.

Innovative Meat-Free Options for BBQ Enthusiasts

The demand for plant-based choices is growing. The BBQ Taste Test shows exciting meat-free BBQ products. They show that summer grilling can be great without meat. With smoky bean patties and juicy vegetable sausages, there's a wide variety for vegetarians and vegans. Everyone can enjoy the summer BBQ, no matter their diet.

Unique BBQ Selections: Kebabs, Ribs, and Chicken Winners

In the summer, we explore BBQ meats and find many delicious flavours. The Good Housekeeping Institute shows a love for new takes on BBQ classics. From tasty meat kebabs to sticky BBQ ribs, and lovely grilled chicken, these foods celebrate the joy of summer eating.
BBQ Category Winner Description
Kebabs Aldi's Oakhurst Chicken King Kebab Butter Chicken These kebabs have a butter chicken sauce for a tender, creamy taste. They offer a new twist on skewered favourites.
Ribs Sainsbury's Slow Cook British Pork Ribs With a Sweet Honey Glaze With a honey glaze, these slow-cooked ribs are sweet and savoury. They have a soft texture that melts in your mouth.
Chicken Campbells Red Tractor Chicken Drumsticks Ethically raised and seasoned, these drumsticks are crisp outside and juicy inside. They are grilled to perfection.
BBQ cuisine is creative not just in flavours but in presentation too. It caters to different tastes with BBQ meats in the summer. Whether you like meat kebabs, BBQ ribs, or grilled chicken, there's something for everyone. These dishes are perfect for summer parties.

Grilling for All: The Best Meat-Free Burgers and Sausages

Summer isn't just for BBQ meats anymore. Vegetarian burgers and vegan sausages are taking over British barbecues. They're delicious and make sure everyone can enjoy the food. At all kinds of gatherings, these plant-based options are essential, showing a move towards more inclusive eating outdoors.

Vegetarian and Vegan Options in the Spotlight

The Good Housekeeping Institute and others are noticing meat-free options more. Waitrose's GoVeggie Aubergine and Feta Burgers are a hit for their great texture and taste. This shows a growing desire for varied and sustainable food choices for summer grilling. Top Summer Bbq Meats: Sizzling Favorites For Your Outdoor Feast

Plant-Based Selections that Impress

BBQs need sausages, and going plant-based doesn't change that. Aldi's Plant Menu Meat Free Sausages are a favourite. They keep BBQ lovers happy. With people in the UK choosing healthy and ethical foods, vegan options are becoming a BBQ staple. Summer grilling is now about including everyone and trying new things. With meat-free options, UK garden barbecues are more exciting than ever.

The Essentials: Accompaniments and Condiments for the Ultimate BBQ

The scent of BBQ meats in the summer is just the beginning. It's the side dishes and sauces, from tangy BBQ condiments to gourmet buns, that really make a BBQ shine. Let’s explore what makes a British BBQ truly special.

Enhancing Flavours with Dips and Spreads

Dips and spreads bring magic to grilled meats. They provide the extra kick that takes your BBQ to another level. Stokes and M&S are experts at making these fantastic condiments for summer grilling.
  • Stokes Real Tomato Ketchup: The classic that never fails.
  • Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Roasted Garlic Aioli: Adds a touch of gourmet sophistication to any dish.
  • M&S Collection Extra Smooth Houmous: Perfect for adding a creamy contrast to spicy meats.

Gourmet Buns and Cheese Slices to Complete Your Meal

The right bun is key for a great BBQ. Gourmet buns support the main stars and add important texture. At the same time, premium cheese slices melt beautifully, mixing all the flavours together.
Bun Selection Cheese Choice Perfect Pairing
M&S Katsu Burger Buns Aldi Specially Selected West Country Cheddar Classic Beef Burger
Brioche Posh Hot Dog Buns Applewood Smoked Cheese Gourmet Hot Dogs
Wholemeal Rolls Stilton Slices Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
Pretzel Buns Gouda Cheese Slices Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Choosing the right bread and cheese turns simple BBQ meats into a feast. It's vital to have a variety of gourmet buns and cheese slices ready. This pleases those who seek quality and those who cherish BBQ traditions.

Community Favourites: Top Rated BBQ Recipes

As the summer sun heats the atmosphere, barbecue lovers throughout the UK seek inspiration for cooking. They often visit the BBC Good Food community. This place is known for its amazing BBQ recipes, making it easier to find the perfect dish for grilling.

Home Cooked Hits: From Sticky Chicken to Souvlaki

Some recipes stand out because they're easy to make and taste fantastic. A top choice is sticky chicken, loved for causing sticky fingers and big smiles at summer events. Its magic comes from a special marinade. This mix of spices and sauces ensures a perfectly caramelised outside. There's also chicken souvlaki, which brings a taste of Greece to British BBQs through its use of herbs and lemon. BBQ recipes bring more than just great flavours; they create moments of joy with friends and family. The act of barbecuing is essential to the summer experience in the UK, valued as much for its social aspect as for the delicious food.

Signature Dishes and Delicious Sides

But a BBQ isn't just about the meat; sides are crucial too. Options range from fresh, tangy slaws to creamy, comforting mac 'n' cheese. These sides earn their spot at the table, matching perfectly with both sticky chicken and marinated chicken souvlaki. Great recipes can turn simple gatherings into memorable summer events. Whether it's a BBQ in the backyard or a picnic, the essence of summer shines through these shared meals and the stories they inspire.


As the UK enjoys its summer, outdoor grilling is a must. BBQ brisket, pork ribs, chicken thighs, and Tri-tip are favourites. They highlight the UK's love for diverse tastes. Grilled shrimp adds a refined touch to these gatherings. The choice of fuel, charcoal or gas, shapes the barbecue's character. But it's about more than just food. It's about celebrating with friends and family. A variety of meats ensures everyone has something to enjoy, catering to different preferences and diets. Sides and seasonings bring extra flavours to the table. They make each grilled dish special. But the best part of BBQs isn't just the food. It's the laughter, stories, and bonds formed around the fire. These moments capture the essence of summer barbecues.


What are the most popular BBQ meats in the summer?

In summer, people love BBQ beef ribs, grilled chicken, pulled pork, and BBQ brisket. Beef is especially popular for its taste and many ways it can be cooked.

Why has there been a surge in interest for BBQ beef during the warmer months?

Interest in BBQ beef jumps by 488% as summer nears. This is likely because beef has many cuts. Each cut tastes different. The smoky flavour from charcoal makes it even better.

Which beef cuts are best for the barbecue when considering tenderness and marbling?

For a great barbecue, choose tender beef cuts like sirloin, ribeye, and fillet. They have a good mix of tenderness and fat. This makes the meat juicy and tasty.

What is the advantage of using a charcoal barbecue for grilling beef?

Charcoal barbecues give a special smoky taste to the meat. This is great for tough cuts like brisket. It improves their taste. Many choose it for their summer BBQs.

How has bacon become a summer BBQ favourite?

Bacon has grown 400% more popular in summer. Its smoky taste is a draw. When grilled right, it becomes crispy. This adds a smoky crunch to meals or by itself.

What makes BBQ salmon a popular choice for summer barbecues?

BBQ salmon is chosen for its crispy skin and smoky taste. It doesn’t dry out with high heat. Its interest spikes by 367% in summer.

Why do steak lovers flock to BBQs in the summer?

Steak is a top pick at summer BBQs. There are many cuts with different flavours. Searing, then slow cooking, gets it just right.

What makes BBQ lamb a traditional delight during British summers?

BBQ lamb is loved in British summers, showing a 178% jump in popularity. Lamb steaks and burgers are juicy and flavourful. They're as good as grilled sirloin steak.

Charcoal vs Gas BBQs: Which type do UK grillers prefer?

The debate shows a 138% lean towards charcoal over gas at 113%. Charcoal offers a smokier taste. Gas BBQs are liked for being quick and easy to use.

Why is Eat Great Meat a standout choice for consumers?

Eat Great Meat shines for its quality and local sources. It wins awards like Yorkshire's Finest Taste. It's in high demand in summer.

What are the Good Housekeeping Institute's BBQ Taste Test results for beef burgers and sausages?

Tesco’s Finest New York Style Beef Burgers and Iceland Luxury Cumberland Sausages won top marks. They were praised for their excellent taste and texture.

What are some unique BBQ selections that have won awards?

Award winners include Aldi's Oakhurst Chicken King Kebab Butter Chicken, Sainsbury's Sweet Honey Glazed Pork Ribs, and Campbells Red Tractor Chicken Drumsticks.

Are there tasty meat-free burgers and sausages available for BBQs?

Yes, tasty meat-free options are available. Highlights include Waitrose’s GoVeggie Aubergine and Feta Burgers and Aldi's Plant Menu Meat-Free Sausages.

What condiments and accompaniments are essential for the ultimate BBQ experience?

Must-haves include Stokes Real Tomato Ketchup and M&S Collection Extra Smooth Houmous. Don't forget M&S Katsu Burger Buns and Aldi's Vintage Cheddar Slices.

Which BBQ recipes have become community favourites?

Popular recipes are spiced halloumi & pineapple burger with zingy slaw and the stickiest ever BBQ ribs. These are highly rated by the BBC Good Food community.