Having all this time at home in such nice weather means we're craving regular barbecues in the sun, however, we know not everyone has a BBQ or outdoor grill to enjoy.
We've come up with some ways to recreate those delicious summer flavours by grilling indoors and there are plenty of other ways you can help really make it feel like you're having a proper barbecue party, even without the outdoor space. It's a great way to add a bit of fun to the weekend and a brilliant one to add to your lockdown memory scrapbooks. Or, If you're been inspired after your indoor BBQ, why not have a go at indoor camping!
Choose Your Food
The first thing to do is to choose your barbecue friendly food. Burgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, chicken and vegetable kebabs are all great options, veggie alternatives work just as well too. Make sure you've got plenty of buns, salad ingredients and a few bits for pudding. Roasted bananas with a bit of brown sugar on or some classic smores are delicious. Don't forget the ketchup, mayonnaise and special seasoning - BBQ of course! This will really help to bring the food's flavours out while you grill indoors.
Bring the outside in to help make it feel like you're having a proper barbecue. Decorate with bunting, pop a nice summer tablecloth and some flowers on the table. Open any windows and let that outside air in - it wouldn't be a barbecue in the UK without having to put on warm jumpers and maybe even a raincoat! If you've got any bunting, fun paper napkins or any homemade decorations, they'll definitely help set the scene. Using paper plates and cups will mean there's no washing up either. If you're having your barbeque in the evening why not light a few tea lights or candles in jam jars and use fairy lights to create a bit of atmosphere.
Pop On A Summer Playlist
A bit of music can really help to create that summer feeling. Choose some of your favourite upbeat music and put together a playlist, add some tracks from the top of the charts and get the kids to suggest their favourite songs too! There are plenty of summer playlists already on Spotify and YouTube if you just want to put one of those on and get moving.
Whether they're indoors or outside, barbecues work best when you're organised so any preparation is key. Get the kids to help you assemble the kebabs by mixing all of the pieces together in a bowl with some barbecue seasoning and popping them on the sticks. Rustle up your salad, butter your buns and season your meat so you can really focus on the cooking when the time comes.
A barbecue wouldn't be right without a few Summer Cocktails - why not make up a jug of punch for the grownups and some mocktails for the kids. Remember to cut some fresh fruit such as strawberries and apples to pop in your jugs of drink with a sprig of mint and some slices of cucumber. If you've got any cocktail umbrellas, they look really fun in the top of your drinks.
How you cook your food is crucial to a successful indoor barbecue. You want to try and recreate those delicious charcoal flavours as well as possible so make sure you season everything with a barbecue spice to bring out those smoky tastes. What you don't want to do is set off the smoke alarm while you grill indoors, so double-check the extractor fan is on!
The best way to grill indoors is to use a cast iron grill pan on the hob if you have one, if not, the grill setting on your oven will work well too. If you're using a grill pan, let it heat up to an even temperature (hot!) before you put anything on it to cook. Anything like steak should be sliced relatively thinly so you can ensure it cooks evenly and quickly. Use tongs to keep turning the food over as you cook it but don't be tempted to turn it too quickly - you want it to have those lovely griddle marks from the grill pan before you turn it over. Using a pan with a lid is a good idea because it'll help to trap in the flavours, as if you're closing the lid of your barbecue.
If you're using the grill in your oven, it won't get quite as hot as a barbecue but will still do a good job. Turn on the grill setting, let it heat up, pop your food in on the top shelf with a tray underneath to catch any juices and leave the oven door slightly open. Keep a close eye on your food and turn it regularly as you would when using a grill pan or barbecuing for real.
Once you've cooked and enjoyed your main meal, wash down your grill pan or tray and cook pudding! You can easily toast marshmallows using a pan or the oven, and if you're doing warm bananas with brown sugar or chocolate, simply wrap them in foil and cook them, remember to be patient!
Even if you don't have an outdoor grill, there are plenty of ways you can recreate a classic indoor barbecue so get cooking!