National Barbecue Week Recipes

With the 28th National Barbecue Week officially beginning on June 3rd, Brian George, the former National BBQ Association president and founder of National BBQ Week offers some great budget-saving barbecue tips and recipes.

Ahead of the 28th National BBQ Week, which runs from Monday June 3rd to Sunday June 9th, Brian George, aka The GrillMaster, has shared his top budget tips and recipes for enjoying a delicious grilled feast.

A former president of the National BBQ Association, ‘The GrillMaster’ reveals how six simple actions will have your guests glowing over your cooking credentials.

He also offers some inspiration with a trio of tasty recipes that can feed four people for less than £5 per head.

The GrillMaster’s six sensational BBQ tips

Charcoal and gas can be pricey, so try and prepare as much of the food as possible before taking it outside. Bringing meat up to room temperature before cooking is essential and will bring out the flavours, even with the cheapest of cuts. Pre-cook elements like jacket potatoes and wrap them in foil to keep warm.

Succulent Skewers
Regardless of your culinary skills, kebab skewers are a cheap and easy win! Whether you’re a meat-eater or prefer a vegan option, marinating food the night before will bring out all the flavours. You can speed up the process by placing marinated food in a plastic bag in the fridge, this will cut down your prep time. If using wooden skewers, place them into a bowl/basin of water for one to two hours before use to reduce the risk of burning them!

Scour your cupboards
Remember that you don’t need to buy lots of different ingredients. It’s amazing what spices and sauces, which are lying tucked away at the back of your cupboard, can do thrown together to make delicious marinades which would cost a packet readymade. Look out for spicy sauces, garlic powder, paprika, brown sugar, Worcester sauce, soy sauce and honey and syrups, which are great elements for those BBQ sauces. Rice you’ve never opened, makes a great side dish, simply add some finely chopped and grilled peppers, onions, and spices.

Carbs, Carbs, Carbs
Meat can be the most expensive part of the BBQ, so fill your guests up with jacket potatoes, potato salad, rice, pitta bread, BBQ veggies and corn cobs.

Use cheaper cuts of meat
Grilled sirloin steak is delicious but costs a fortune. Opt for cheaper cuts like brisket, skirt or flank which is cheaper but can be just as delicious when slow-cooked properly. Pork belly and mutton are also cheaper options which taste great on the BBQ.

Get Guests to chip in
To help cut the cost, why not ask your guests to bring a drink or a dish – it can be a side, a dessert or a bottle of wine but getting others to help will keep costs and preparation time down, giving you more time to socialise with your guests!

The GrillMaster’s recipes for Barbecues-on-a-budget


Charming Cheddar & Pepper BBQ Mushrooms


  • 4 large Portobello mushrooms, stalks removed
  • 125g sliced cheddar, preferably non-dairy
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 orange or yellow bell pepper sliced
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 tsp BBQ sauce
  • Crushed peppercorn, sea salt & smoked paprika mix
  • Rocket & chopped coriander to garnish


  • Mix half the olive oil and peppercorn/sea salt/paprika and brush on the mushrooms. Place on the medium heat BBQ and grill for 10 mins, basting occasionally.
  • Grill the sliced peppers and tomatoes, also basting with sauce mix, turn when charred.
  • Place sliced cheddar on top of the grilled Portobello mushrooms and continue cooking for a further 5-10 mins, once cheese has started to melt, add sliced tomato and pepper, garnish with rocket and chopped coriander and serve

Serves 2-4 / Cost around £6.00 / £1.50 per head


Sizzling Sticky BBQ Chicken


  • 4 chicken thighs, skin on

For the BBQ sauce

  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp wine vinegar
  • 6 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 75ml apple juice
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Crushed peppercorn and sea salt
  • Rocket to garnish


  • Heat the BBQ 180C/200C.
  • Season the chicken well with crushed peppercorn and sea salt and place in a roasting tray on the grill and cook for around 30-40 minutes.
  • Combine the sauce ingredients in a frying pan and simmer on the grill or side burner. Continue cooking until it begins to thicken and looks glazy. Keep half sauce for coating and half for serving.
  • Once the chicken has cooked through cover with the sauce and place on medium heat grill bars, that have been well-oiled. Turn-over after five mins and coat with more sauce, repeat after a further five mins.
  • Remove chicken from grill and slop over remaining sauce and garnish with Rocket.
    ***For this recipe you could use a ready-made BBQ sauce but that may increase the overall cost.
    Serves 4 / Cost around £7.00 / £1.75 per head


Amazing ‘pulled’ aubergine & black bean BBQ Burgers


  • 2 large aubergines, pricked all over with a fork
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced & chopped
  • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 sliced tomatoes
  • 1 heaped tsp garlic granules
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 5 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • 400g can black beans, drained
  • 4 burger buns, toasted and lightly buttered
  • Rocket and chopped coriander to garnish, shredded lettuce & coleslaw


  • Heat the BBQ to high 280/300C and grill the aubergine, turning occasionally, until blackened and soft, about 20-30 mins. Set aside to cool.
  • Then heat oil in a large pan over a medium heat, add onion and fry until softened and golden, about 10 mins. Reduce BBQ to 200C/220C.
  • Peel the skin from the cooled aubergine, discard and scoop out the flesh with a spoon, then place in pan with the onion. Add the garlic granules, paprika, sugar, oregano, 1 tsp sea salt and 1 tsp black pepper. Stir until aromatic, then mix in the BBQ sauce along with the black beans.
  • Season and then cook through until the sauce is rich and thick, and aubergine resembles pulled pork, which takes about 10-15 mins.
  • Load onto the burger buns with the red onion and coleslaw.
    Serves 4 / Cost around £6.50 / £1.60 per head

For all the latest news, offers and recipes visit You can also keep up to date with events on X, Facebook and Instagram.

The 28th National BBQ Week, which is incorporated into the Gastro Alfresco summer outdoor living campaign, is sponsored by Birds Eye Green Cuisine, Birds Eye Steamfresh, Blackstone, Jacob’s, La Veille Ferme and Sarson’s.

See also: Cool and Stylish Recipes for World Cocktail Day

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