One classic choice is a steak, whether rib-eye or sirloin, they are fully flavoured and do not need much dressing up with fancy marinades. Just season well, and you can’t go wrong. With many traditional barbeque meats, just let them rest for a good 10 minutes, as this will ensure the meat is thoroughly tender.
Beef burgers are another perennial favourite and also require little preparation. But if you feel adventurous and would like a challenge why not make your own? Add toppings like cheese, jalapeno chilli peppers or hot chilli sauce, and then your guests will love you!
Why not try making Shashlik and skewer lamb, pork or beef pieces. The key to a great shashlik is that it needs to be marinated in tomatoes, onion and vinegar. The secret here is to allow the meats to sit in the marinade overnight, so the meat is already tenderising.
Another meaty delight is ‘pulled pork’ that just needs to be slow-cooked the day before and then benefits from the added smoky flavours of heating it on a charcoal barbeque.
There really needs to be some chicken at a traditional barbeque for those not so keen on red meats. There are so many ways to build on the flavour of chicken, and one way is to make a spicy marinade with chilli, ginger and lime juice.
One fantastic option is if you grill seafood for a change. Shrimp, oysters and mussels all go down well; the joy is that they only need very short cooking times compared to heavier meats. Garnish well with a squirt of lemon and a sprinkle of chopped parsley!
It would be slightly disappointing to barbeque without side dishes. One of the great things about this kind of eating is that it’s a beautiful way to have a mixed plate of food. Potato salad is one favourite which can be made of new potato, spring onion and parsley. Just add a good mayonnaise.
Corn on the cob is best cooked on a charcoal grill and looks great next to meats and other main components. For vegetarians, grilled Halloumi is excellent and can really look and feel like a main meal. It works so well as it has a very high melting point, so you can get all those fabulous barbeque flavours on the cheese just like a strip of chicken breast!
Another classic veggie option is making some skewers with peppers, tofu and mushrooms. Don’t forget that garlic bread can be cooked well on an outdoor grill and satisfy the hungriest of guests.
Now all you need are a few classic salads complimenting meats and other dishes. Why not go for a large bowl of fresh seasonal salads? You can combine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and feta cheese. The fun thing about this type of eating is that we can even select what type of dressing is best, whether it is a light vinaigrette or heavy with Dijon mustard!
Another traditional side dish is crunchy coleslaw with white cabbage, onion and carrots. One popular alternative would be to use red cabbage and make a ‘slaw’ rich in colour. If you feel that may add something to the food the go for it!
One final suggestion if you still have some heat left on the grill that you can even grill pineapple and serve with a cooling ice-cream if you are feeling decadent!