With temperatures set to break the 20⁰C barrier – and as the nation gets used to spending time at home – Waitrose & John Lewis are predicting this weekend will be a bumper barbecue weekend.
Searches on the Waitrose website this week reveal customers are preparing to get out in the garden, dust off the barbecue and enjoy the sunshine.
Searches for BBQ meat are up 266% compared to the previous week, with searches for ice cream and ice lollies also up 38% and 14% respectively.
John Lewis, meanwhile, has seen a surge on barbecues with sales up 24% compared to last year, as customers get ready to enjoy their outdoor spaces.
Sales of rosé wine are up 53% at Waitrose too, compared to last year, as customers get into summer drinking.
Mirabeau Pure Provence Rosé was the firm’s fourth biggest-selling wine last week.
Rebecca Hull, Waitrose wine buyer, said: “We closely monitor the weather in the wine team, because a rise in temperature of even just a few degrees will see a change in what our customers are shopping for.
“We are anticipating rosé being popular this weekend as the weather is set to warm up and we think more bottles of fizz will be making their way into ice buckets on Sunday.”
1. Preheat your grill
A charcoal barbecue needs around 20 minutes to reach the perfect temperature. A gas barbecue only needs 10-15 minutes. Before you start, check that the coals are turning white and glowing. Don’t forget you can cook directly in the coals too. Wrap root veg in foil (pierce them first), then nestle them in the coals.
2. Don’t forget your veggies
Meat isn’t the only thing that tastes great on a grill. Lay flatbreads straight onto the grate and watch them crisp up. Top with slices of tomato and mozzarella. Barbecue your veggie kebabs or halloumi first so that the food doesn’t take on a meaty flavour.
3. Make it sizzle
There’s really no excuse for burnt on the outside, pink in the middle. Use your oven to cook meat through before finishing it on the grill; you’ll get the signature smoky taste without any fear of undercooking. This is particularly important for chicken and other poultry.
4. Prep for perfection
When barbecuing skewers, cut all the ingredients to the same size so they’re the same distance from the coals and will cook evenly. Cut the ingredients larger than the spaces between the bars so there’s no danger of the skewers slipping through.