Man using tongs to turn meat on a charcoal barbecue, preparing one of the best barbecues in the UK
Make yours the best barbecue in the UK this summer.

Having the Best Barbecue in the UK: Tips and Trends

5 minutes

When summer rolls around, there’s nothing better than enjoying the good weather with some delicious food, alfresco style. And what better plan on a summer’s day than firing up the barbecue? It’s a great chance to get together with friends and family. With some great recipes and nifty tools, yours can be the best barbecue in the UK!

Table of content

A Great BBQ in the UK Often Starts with Great Tools

If you’re going to barbecue, you might as well do it properly. And for that you need the best barbecue tools.

  • You’ll need a decent pair of tongs to keep your hands away from the flame when you’re turning that chargrilled meat.
  • If fish is more your thing, why not invest in a fish basket? A fish-shaped wire contraption is the best way to barbecue a whole fish, holding it in place so it cooks to perfection without falling apart. Go ahead and enjoy your fish with that amazing seared taste and smoky aroma!
  • When it comes to the grill itself, you can choose to cook on traditional charcoal, gas, or on more portable options if you’re away from home. There are mini barbecues that you can take to the beach or park. But what's the best barbecue fuel, gas or charcoal?
Make yours the best barbecue in the UK this summer.
Skewers, dips, side dishes; preparing one of the best barbecues in the UK

Best Bbq in the UK: Which Fuel for Outdoor Grilling?

Enthusiasts will tell you that the best BBQ depends above all on the cooking method, and therefore also on the fuel. The best barbecue fuel will depend a little on a few factors:

  • One of the advantages of charcoal over gas is cost, especially of the grill. You can get a decent charcoal grill for a pretty modest investment, whereas gas grills are a lot more expensive.
  • However, the fact that gas barbecues don’t produce ash makes them much easier to clean and maintain. And they’re easy to use, too. There’s no lighting up the coals and hanging around for them to be hot enough to cook on. What’s more, the heat is easier to control, with just the turn of a knob. So, less chance of burning the sausages! Disclaimer: some of us like our sausages extra crispy.

But as we’re talking about food, the main benefit of charcoal grills has to be flavour. 

The higher heat that charcoal produces means that a charcoal barbecue
can produce a better sear on meat like steaks and burgers. 

What’s more, charcoal adds that delicious smokiness that we all love. Some go even further and use wood chips instead of charcoal. If that sounds tempting, you might be interested in visiting a smokehouse restaurant the next time you eat out. 

Smokehouse cooking uses different types of wood for at least part of the cooking process,
and that gives the food an amazing smoky taste. 

Discover the best barbecue restaurants in London

Steaks on a fiery, smoky grill
Preparing the best barbecue in the UK starts with good meat, tools, and patience.

Best BBQ restaurants in the UK: What about Side Dishes?

For a good old-fashioned cookout, or if you visit a steakhouse or American barbecue restaurant in the UK, you’ll want some side dishes to go with all that deliciously smoky meat

  • Coleslaw is a classic, and it’s easy to make. It’s also got lots of fibre, so it’s a healthy addition to your barbecue spread. 
  • You’ll want some dips like tzatziki and hummus
  • Serve them with chopped vegetables for a nutrient-packed snack while the meat is cooking. 
  • Sweet potatoes and whole onions are also delicious on the barbecue. 

Did you know that it’s easy to make your own barbecue sauce? 

The best barbecues in the UK offer delicious side dishes.
Bowls of salads and dips, adding to the best barbecues in the UK

Where’s the Best American Barbecue in London?

There are lots of restaurants in the UK specializing in barbecue food. You can choose from smokehouses or American-style barbecue options. 

American barbecue restaurants are popular in the UK,
and once you try some of their delicious dishes you’ll understand why. 

Each region of the US has its specialities, but the meat is usually cooked over charcoal or smoked using different types of wood, including apple, cherry, and hickory. Spices are often added and sweet, sticky barbecue sauce is a frequent feature on the table. 

If you want to try American BBQ-style dishes without having to travel to the US, Prairie Fire at Wood Lane Arches or Browns Brasserie & Bar - Victoria are some of the great options in London. For a steakhouse dining experience outside the capital, Gaucho has restaurants in a number of UK cities!

The best BBQ in the UK can be a cookout with friends in your garden, or a great night out at a barbecue or smokehouse restaurant or steak house. Whichever option you choose, you’re guaranteed delicious smoky food and delectable side dishes.

And, if this introduction to the best barbecue options in the UK has also whetted your appetite for all things British,
don’t miss our guide to the best of UK street food

To enjoy the sunny days, with the food you love, discover our selection of restaurants with terrace! 

Book a restaurant for an outdoor dining experience in London

Grilled corn on a skewer at a BBQ restaurant in UK
Dining outdoor and enjoying one of the best BBQ restaurants in UK


Best barbecue restaurant in the UK: the lowdown

A smokehouse restaurant cooks the meat on a fire made using wood chips for at least part of the cooking process. Barbecue can mean grilling over charcoal or over a wood fire.

American barbecue food is meat (or sometimes fish or vegetables) cooked outdoors over an open fire. The heat source could be gas or charcoal or even wood.

There are lots of great barbecue restaurants in the UK, as well as steakhouses and smokehouses. You can choose from smokehouse food or American barbecue restaurants: let TheFork inspire your next outdoor grill!

Click to share
Copy the link