Best-Ever BBQ Recipes

It’s summer! Even here in the UK, which is always a surprise. Of late we’ve been eating out in the garden, grilling meat on the barbeque and accompanying it with a delicious fresh salad almost every night. It’s so nice to relax outside after a day at work, I just love the long summer evenings.

Here is Ste hard at work on yet another barbeque. Billy is watching carefully in case anything should fall. Toto is off in the background patrolling the garden against squirrels.

Best-Ever BBQ Recipes

The upshot of all these evenings barbequeing is that I have been trying a lot of different marinades, and by trial and error, I have hit upon some pretty foolproof and easy ones which I would like to share with you today, as well as the perfect pulled pork, how to cook melt in your mouth ribs, and a recipe for home made burgers. Everything you need this summer to make your BBQ brilliant!

I’ll start with the marinade recipes, because they’re simplest, and will then give you some tips on how to use them, before going on to the more complicated stuff (which actually really isn’t). Both the chicken marinade recipes are adapted from a book by two of my heroes, Si and Dave, otherwise known as the ‘Hairy Bikers‘. Their ‘Hairy Dieters: Eat for life’ book is a staple in our house for quick weeknight suppers and more extravagant things as well, and every recipe turns out brilliant, every time. I highly recommend it, and the first ‘Hairy Dieters’ book – all your favourite foods, with even better taste, but less calories. Genius!

peri-peri chicken marinade

Now of course you can use the peri-peri marinade on regular wings, thighs, legs or even breasts, so you don’t have to go to the effort of butterflying the chicken (or you could ask your butcher to do this for you), but I think it looks pretty impressive on the BBQ if you have people over, and it’s a great way of satisfying your Nandos cravings at home for a lot less cash.

Very quickly, how you butterfly a chicken: turn the chicken breast side down and using scissors cut either side of the backbone, and remove it, along with foot joints and wing tips. Then cut away all the skin and fat from the chicken. Place it on a board with the breast side facing up, and press down on it to break the breastbone and flatten it as much as possible so it cooks evenly. Make slashes in the thickest parts of the meat. Easy peasy, right?!

Peri-Peri Marinade

  • 6 medium-heat chillies (or go hotter if you like it hot, milder if not)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 large handfuls of flatleaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsps flaked salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano

Blend the ingredients and rub into the chicken, leaving covered in the fridge overnight if possible, otherwise for at least 3 hours. Baste the chicken with the marinade left in the dish regularly during cooking.

jerk chicken

Jerk chicken is another favourite of ours. Sometimes if I have the ingredients in, I make the marinade from scratch with the recipe below. However, of late, we’ve been having it so much we’ve taken to cheating and using Walkerswood Jamaican Jerk Sauce which you can find in supermarkets in a bottle, which is also delicious, but it is pretty authentic (the favourite of Jamaicans apparently – can anyone attest to this?) and packs a serious punch so beware if you are not a fan of really hot food. If you like that, but want to make your own, use the hottest chillis you can find – scotch bonnet are ideal.

Jamaican Jerk Marinade

  • 3 hot chillies
  • 20g root ginger, peeled
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 6 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp dark brown sugar (dark muscovado is ideal)
  • 2 tbsps lime juice
  • 1½ tbsps dark soy sauce

Blend the ingredients and rub into the chicken, leaving covered in the fridge overnight if possible, otherwise for at least 3 hours. Baste the chicken with the marinade left in the dish regularly during cooking. 

Perfect BBQ RibsThis BBQ marinade is amazing. It is not what you would call entirely homemade, having ingredients such as tomato ketchup, but I have tried so many and I come back to this one every time, for good reason. Everyone who has tried it has proclaimed it (or rather, the ribs) to be the best they’ve ever eaten. This may be something to do with the fact that usually I get the ribs from Mum and Dad, who rear a few pigs on the farm for us to eat, and the meat from them is always fantastic. It might also be to do with the pre-cooking, which many people miss out. It makes the meat beautifully soft so it falls off the bone easily, but keeps that chargrilled crunchy surface which is so delicious.

I have another of my favourite ‘celebrity’ chefs to thank for this marinade, Donal Skehan, whose blog was one of the first foodie blogs I ever followed. Thanks for all the inspiration Donal!

BBQ Marinade

  • 6oz demerara sugar
  • 4 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp tomato ketchup (but basic/value range for this)
  • 4 tbsp honey (ditto)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried English mustard
  • 2 tsp tabasco sauce

Whisk all the ingredients together, and bring to the boil over a high heat. Then reduce the heat and simmer for about five minutes until you have a thick sauce. Pour over your ribs, refrigerate. 

So this marinade can of course be used on chicken, sausages, beef steaks, anything you like, and it will still be delicious, but I just can’t get enough of the ribs! To get them super-juicy I simmer them on a medium heat for 1.5 hours prior to marinading. I throw in a sliced onion and a few cloves of garlic and some salt, and just leave it. When cooked, I drain them and cover with the BBQ sauce and leave in the fridge, as always, ideally overnight, but a few hours is fine too. When it comes to cook them, just use the leftover sauce in the dish to baste the ribs regularly, as you would with all these marinades to get the most flavour, and cook until slightly blackened on the edges. Please remember to BBQ responsibly: ample napkins should be available for anyone eating these!

Homemade beefburger

My final recipe for the BBQ is a very simple one for homemade beefburgers. I think they taste so much better than shop-bought, and are much cheaper too. You can even do fun things like add a chunk of melty cheese to the middle of the burger before forming the meat around it, which takes cheeseburgers to a new level, especially if you are greedy like me and my housemates and add extra cheese on top!

Homemade Beefburgers

  • 500g beef mince (makes 4 large burgers)
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 red chilli, finely diced
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • salt and black pepper

Finely dice the onion and chilli, and add to a bowl with the mince, herbs and seasoning. Use your hands to mix all the ingredients together thoroughly. Separate the mixture into 4 evenly sized balls, and in your hands slowly shape each one into a burger shape. The more shaping you do the better it will hold together on the barbeque, so it is best to press it all together a little as you shape. Chill for a couple of hours before cooking.

Finally, this is not strictly a BBQ recipe, but these days pulled pork seems to be ubiquitous in every BBQ joint in town, and no burger is complete topped without some (though personally I am purist and prefer just a soft white roll with my pulled pork!), plus it is pretty impressive if you have guests coming over, and really really easy to do. For the last hour of cooking, add in a tray of potato wedges to the oven, and you’ve got a feast on your hands. A salad or two is of course essential – more on those next week!

pulled pork


Once again, I’ve tried a few recipes and methods of cooking pulled pork, but popular opinion deems this one the best! However, it is totally possible to cook a pretty tasty pulled pork in a slow cooker, which is a more economical way of doing it, and is ideal if you want to leave it whilst at work all day, but you need to make sure you add liquid to your pork, and I haven’t yet hit upon the perfect liquid marinade.

Delicious Pulled Pork

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Source: Felicity Cloake at the Guardian

  • large piece of pork (600g-1kilo, cook slightly longer for heavier joint, less for smaller)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsps dark muscovado sugar
  • 1 tbsps smoked paprika

1. Preheat the oven to 220C. Line a roasting tin with sheets of foil big enough to fold over the top of the pork, then pat the meat dry with a paper towel and add it to the tin. Mix together the salt, sugar and paprika and rub about half into the meat.

2. Put the pork into the hot oven for about 40 minutes until well browned, then take out and turn down the heat to 125C. Fold the foil over the top to make a sealed parcel. Put back in the oven and cook for about 6–7 hours, until the meat flakes easily. Pour off the juices and reserve.

3. Turn the heat back up to 220 and cook the pork, uncovered, for 10 minutes to crisp up. Take out, cover with a tent of foil, and leave to rest for 30 minutes.

4. Use two forks, or your fingers to pull into shreds, cutting up the crackling too, and then add the rest of the seasoning, and any meat juices from the tin, and stir in. If possible, leave to soak for 24 hours before reheating in a warm oven to serve.

So there you have it – five foolproof BBQ recipes guaranteed to please, and really easy to make into the bargain. I hope you get to make as much use of them this summer as we already have, and please do suggest your favourite BBQ marinades or meats (or veggies, I’m not vegetablist) in the comments, so I can find some new recipes to try.

Happy Fiesta Friday everyone, thanks Angie, Margy and Silvia for hosting, and enjoy the BBQ!


32 thoughts on “Best-Ever BBQ Recipes

  1. OMG! My mouth is watering looking at those amazing recipes… I’ve tried the pulled pork once at some friends house, it was absolutely amazing! Thanks for sharing and enjoy the Fiesta Friday!


    1. Pulled pork is simply the best. Never really been much of a fan of roast pork, but when you cook it slowly for hours so it just falls apart, combined with the sweet-smokiness of the paprika and sugar rub = perfection!


    1. Thanks! I thought it was time to reveal just how much BBQ food I’ve eaten in the past few weeks. But I have an excuse – it’s never normally so sunny in the summer in Britain, or at least, it feels like it! Raining today, of course.


  2. Hi Anna, what a fantastic marinade recipe round-up you have put together for us for the Fiesta!! I can’t think of anymore fitting to a Fiesta than BBQ! Thanks so much for bringing these along, I am sure all the other participants loved them too! Hope you had fun at FF! Great to have come across your blog! hugs, Sylvia


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