The Great British BBQ survival Guide

The Great British BBQ survival guide
Discover how to plan a Great British BBQ this summer and read on for your chance to win
BBQ survival infographic

Download 'A Survey of The Great British BBQ' as a PDF. Click here

Celebrity chef and restauranter Aldo Zilli shares his top tips for cooking on a BBQ

Coals need to be white hot - this is so important. You need to wait until the flames have died right down before you start cooking. The flames will only burn the outside of whatever you have on the grill and the inside may still be raw.

Par-boil your sausages for 5 minutes before you place them on the BBQ – you can’t go wrong as this will ensure they are cooked thoroughly when it comes to the eating. When they’re on the grill, they’ll get that lovely caramelised, char-grilled outside whilst being perfectly cooked on the inside

Be prepared and ensure you’re ready well before your friends or family arrive. Take any meat out of the fridge and leave it to get to room temperature. Never cook your meat straight from the fridge -room temperature will mean it’s more likely to cook evenly.

Aldo Zilli

What's been your biggest BBQ disaster?

In our family we love a BBQ, and I decided to invite my in-laws to the house for food. I knew that they all loved roast lamb, so I put 20 lamb chops to cook on the grill. My son was helping outside while I went in to the house to get the Prosecco. But when I came back out, the grill had come off its hinges and all the lamb chops had fallen in to the coals - that was the end of the lamb chops!

What's your favourite food to cook on a BBQ and why? 

It has to be fish! I’m such a huge fan of fish, and cooking it on the BBQ gives it a fantastic flavour. Squid and sea bass are a perfect one to try and they take minutes to cook. Wrap fillets or a whole fish in some foil packed with herbs and let it gently steam inside. Alternatively, get the skin nice and crispy on the barbecue grill - to prepare, score the skin and fill it with rosemary and garlic. Just make sure the BBQ is at a lower temperature and cook the fish last. Remember to keep your eye on it, as it will cook so quickly!

Do you prefer gas or charcoal BBQs? What makes you choose one over the other?

Definitely charcoal or a wood-burning barbecue for me. It’s all about those barbecue flavours and maximum taste. With wood barbecues, you can throw in some herbs to provide extra seasoning and flavours whilst the meat or fish cooks.

What would you recommend if the weather took a turn for the worst?

Be prepared! We all know how unpredictable the weather is in the UK. I always have a gazebo or large umbrella at the ready – just in case! Don’t let it ruin the day. In the summer it’s probably just a shower and you can sit it out, pour yourself a drink and relax! Ask friends and family to bring a few side dishes or snacks so that you have a variety of things to eat while you wait for the rain to pass and the main course to start.

Lamb Skewers by Aldo Zilli

Serves - 4 people

Cooking time - 10 min

Prep time - 20 min (plus marinate overnight or for a minimum of 3 hours)


  • 4 lamb steaks
  • 4 large wooden skewers soaked in water
  • For the marinade
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 tablespoons of sun dried tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons of homemade pesto or one small jar of Sacla red pesto
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary chopped


Cut the lamb into 1 cm square cubes. Place all the ingredients for the marinade into a plastic container and mix with the meat (except salt.) Leave overnight, or for at least 3 hours in the fridge. Bring the meat out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking and place onto skewers. Cook on a very hot BBQ for 3 mins on each side or longer if you like your lamb well done. To serve, sprinkle with sea salt and serve alongside new potatoes in a mint and vinegar dressing.

Enter our competition

Come rain or shine we want to see how your Great British BBQ turns out this summer! To celebrate we've partnered with online heritage butcher Farmison & Co to offer you the chance to win a Farmison & Co meat hamper worth a total of £139.90 along with a £250 Homebase voucher to put towards a brand new bbq. What's more we're also offering a second prize of a Farmison & Co Steak Box worth a total of £74.95.

To enter send a picture of your BBQ using the #GreatBritishBBQ and tag @Homebase_UK on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. We'll select our favourite. This competition is now closed.

Suppliers to some of the UK's top restaurants and chefs, Farmison & Co offer the widest range of ethically sourced meat cuts in Britain direct to your door. The overall winner will receive a Barbecue Meat Box with everything you need for the perfect BBQ, along with a luxury Steak and Chops box for four, ideal for a weekend feast! Now all you have to do is buy the ketchup!

Meat hamper
Steak box

Terms & Conditions

  1. This competition is open to UK residents and the winner of the competition must be aged 18 or over
  2. The competition is not open to Homebase or Farmison & Co employees
  3. Any known use of false personal information will result in disqualification from the prize draw. Any competition entries submitted via generated script, macro or an automated device will be void without exception
  4. We cannot accept responsibility for entries which are lost or delayed due to a technical error. We cannot be held responsible for technical failure, or unavailability of a service or website where this prevents entry to the prize draw or reduces the number of chances to enter
  5. The promoter is Homebase Limited and reserves the right to withdraw or cancel the promotion at any time. Registered address: Witan Gate House, 500/600 Witan Gate, Milton Keynes, MK9 1GB. Registered in England No. 0533033. VAT No. 145 8990 25
  6. The data submitted by the entrant to Homebase Limited in respect of the promotion shall only be shared with the parties involved in the operation of this promotion. Any personal data relating to the promotion will be used solely in accordance with current UK data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the individual’s prior consent
  7. No purchase necessary
  8. Please allow 28 days for delivery of prizes, unless stated otherwise
  9. No cash or other alternative to the stated prize(s) is available, except in the event of unseen circumstances the stated prizes are no longer available. The promoter reserves the right to provide a similar prize or a prize of equal or greater value
  10. By entering entrants agree to participate reasonable publicity in the event that they are the winner. This may include use of their name and image in online publicity, in emails and through any other print or social media
  11. Inappropriate content will be removed and disqualified
  12. You must submit your entry to the competition by submitting a picture on the Homebase Twitter or Facebook page using the #GreatBritishBBQ and @Homebase_uk
  13. The Competition is now closed
  14. Competition winners have 5 working days to claim their prize. No response after this time will result in another winner being selected
  15. The first place winner will receive £250 gift voucher for Homebase plus a Barbecue Meat Box along with a Favourite Steak and Chop box for four from Farmison & Co. The second place winner will receive an Introductory Heritage Breed Steak Box from Farmison & Co