The garden kitchen

Cooking outdoors has become the on-trend way to cater for family and friends when the weather allows and a barbecue is the perfect way to cater for unexpected guests or to throw a garden party.

Napolean Grills
Top of the range outdoor kitchen from Napoleon Grills
Published on Tagged with , ,

It’s time to ditch the oil drum, throw away the disposable barbecue and invest in something different to meet your outdoor catering needs. The barbecue and outdoor oven has reached celebrity status and is now the focal accessory and garden must have.

barbecue
These days you can choose your barbie to suit your garden style or colour scheme.

Colour contrast

Barbecues can be slick, shiny and beautiful, but they don’t have to be black enamel or stainless steel. These days you can choose your barbie to suit your garden style or colour scheme. You can opt for a firepit with a grid, or buy a fabulous outdoor range and grill.  Or if you are short on garden space, simply use a small portable, picnic barbie, ideal for camping, picnics and beach parties.

Taste and flavour

Forget about charred burgers and sausages, the great barbecue dinner has come on leaps and bounds. These days it’s not hard to find great recipes for food to cook on the barbecue, Napoleon Grills has a recipe page on its website and so does Weber.

But there’s more to outdoor cooking than kettles and grills, garden ovens are the latest trend and something you can share with friends and family all year round. Pizza is a great way to feed the five thousand. Simply make a simple dough recipe and provide a smorgasbord of toppings for everyone to make their own. A wide assortment of cheese, veg and meats doesn’t need to cost a fortune and will go a long way too. It’s fast, fun and exciting and with a little parental guidance, it’s a great one for the kids too.

mini pizzas
Mini pizzas are easy to make outdoors. Image: Martin Mulchinock

You can use a special pizza stone on top of your barbecue grill and allow it to reach temperature, or look out for special Pizza Ovens. You can roast, bake or cook pizza inside a pizza oven and they act as a fantastic focal point at a party. Fire up the pizza oven, it’s the fastest way to call a family meeting and the best way to feed impromptu guests.

Gas or charcoal

It’s a matter of personal choice which type you opt for. There are pros and cons with both. Traditionalists favour charcoal, with its rich smell and smoky flavour. Charcoal barbecues are cheaper to buy, but you need to factor in the cost of fuel and the time it takes to get the coals hot.

Gas barbecues offer the instant answer for the spontaneous party thrower and cook consistently at whatever temperature is needed, for as long as it takes. Sear plates seal in flavour and infuse food with the meat juices for sumptuous feasts. The latest barbecues can run on your home gas supply. It needs a special fitting, but with an outdoors gas supply (properly fitted of course) you can simply hook up your specially adapted gas barbecue to function on natural gas. No more gas refills and no ugly and heavy cylinders to store for the winter.

Jean Vernon

About Jean Vernon

Jean Vernon is a slightly quirky, bee friendly, alternative gardener. She doesn’t follow the rules and likes to push the boundaries a bit just to see what happens. She has a fascination for odd plants, especially edibles and a keen interest in growing for pollinators especially bees. She’s rather obsessed with the little buzzers. Telegraph Gardening Correspondent, mostly testing and trialing products and Editor-In-Chief for Richard Jackson’s Garden.
@TheGreenJeanie
View all posts by Jean.