BBQs & Barbecuing

How to Create Space to Feast with Dick

Dick Strawbridge standing by two BBQs

a group of people gathering around an outdoor table

Summer is finally here, and when the sun is shining and everyone’s enjoying the outdoors – it’s well and truly barbecue time. There’s nothing better than getting the family together, unwinding over good food, and enjoying the weather (while it lasts). 

In this handy video and instructional guide, I’ll show you how to BBQ and inspire you with some of my BBQ food ideas, so you can create your very own Summer feast.  

Now you’ve seen how it’s done, let’s start with what you’ll need:  



Safety first 

Before you begin, we recommend you read this  DIY Safety Tips guide from Homebase. Open flames can be dangerous, so never leave your BBQ unattended and choose an open, well-ventilated area.  

If you’d like to download my how to BBQ instructions (to print at home), you can do so here:

Download instructions

  1. Prep, prep, prep

    The perfect family BBQ starts with the preparation. A firm favourite of ours is marinated whole chicken. I find that the best way to cook chicken on a BBQ, is to spatchcock it.  This can be a bit fiddly, but the results are so worth it.   

    How to spatchcock a chicken 

    Start by flipping the chicken over (so the legs are facing you) and cut along each side of the backbone. That’s straight up either side of the parson’s nose. Remove the backbone, flip the chicken over, and flatten the breastbone with the heel of your hand. You should now have a lovely flat chicken.  

    Finally, marinate the chicken with your favourite herbs from the garden and we’re good to go. Perfect! 

  2. Lighting a charcoal BBQ

    I’m using a standard solid fuel BBQ (we’ll cover a gas one later). To get it started, I take my chimney lighter, add some charcoal, a couple of firelighters, and light it up. 

    In a couple of minutes, you’ll have loads of burning charcoal which you can add to the bottom of your BBQ. Fix the grill over the top and you’re ready to go.  

    Next, take your chicken and put it directly over the flames – cooking the chicken in this fierce heat will give it that distinctive colour and flavour. Then, turn your chicken to sear it on both sides. After a few minutes, move the chicken out of the direct flames to slowly cook it through.   

    Top tip: Focus on the colour and flavour first, before attempting to thoroughly cook your meat. That way, you’re guaranteed to achieve that attractive golden BBQ cooking appearance and scrumptious finish.  

  3. smoky BBQ wood chips

    Add some smoke

    I like to add some smoking wood chips when cooking on a BBQ to give everything that lovely smoky flavour. 

    You can then pour the wood chips directly over the hot coals or, if you have a smoker on your BBQ, place them onto some tin foil and let them slowly burn.  

    Top tip: To stop them burning too quickly, I pour my BBQ wood chips into a pan of water and let them soak for 20 minutes. This will allow your chips to burn more slowly, creating more smoke and therefore providing a richer and more intense BBQ flavour.  

    After cooking your spatchcock chicken on the BBQ for approximately 15-20 minutes on each side, you’re ready to serve. Beautiful!   

  4. Dick Strawbridge turning on a gas BBQ

    Cooking on a gas BBQ

    There’s also another way to barbecue: gas 

    A gas BBQ is ideal if you want something quick and easy. Plus, they’re great if you enjoy BBQ cooking all year round.  

    You simply light the gas BBQ and control the heat by turning the knobs on the front – just like an oven. It’s so easy, it feels like cheating!  

    One of the advantages of a gas BBQ is that you get a real, even cook throughout, and it tends to be quicker than cooking on a traditional BBQ too – meaning grub’s up even sooner!  

    Top tip: Homebase stock a variety of gas and charcoal BBQs, so you can find one to suit your needs. 

    Bon appétit! That’s how to cook on a BBQ and whip up some delicious BBQ food ideas. Don’t forget to share snaps of your BBQ cooking with us on Instagram – @homebase_uk – and join us for the next episode in our Give it a Go series.  



Writer and expert