Few things are more satisfying than cooking up a storm on the BBQ.
Whether you’re catering for a crowd or firing up for a quick midweek dinner – as the weather starts to warm up, so do our grills.
BBQing used to have a somewhat basic reputation for chucking unseasoned steaks on the grill and calling it a day. However, there are worlds of possibilities when it comes to cooking over fire – for example, did you know you could even whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies outside?
New BBQ cookbooks released in preparation for summer take us all over the world with their recipes, and could even convince you to build your own grill from scratch…
DJ BBQ’s Backyard Baking: 50 Awesome Recipes For Baking Over Live Fire
By: David Wright, Chris Taylor and Christian Stevenson
Think BBQs are just for hunks of meat? Think again.
DJ BBQ’s Backyard Baking proves baking doesn’t have to be an indoor, rainy day pursuit – and can be just as delicious and as much fun over the open fire outside.
This book is a collaboration from three foodies – Christian Stevenson (better known as DJ BBQ), his regular co-author Chris Taylor and baker David Wright.
The trio argue both cooking over fire and baking are often seen as overly complicated pursuits that are easy to get wrong – but in this book, they set out to prove this misconception wrong.
The book starts with the basics – the equipment and set-ups you’ll need, with a baking focus – and then launches into a host of technicolour recipes.
Dishes range from simple crowdpleasers, such as campfire bread and chocolate chip cookies (which yes, you can bake on a BBQ, you’ll discover) to the more adventurous, including lamb kofta sausage rolls and a full Moroccan-inspired chicken dinner.
There’s even a recipe for charcoal ice cream – which isn’t black like you might see on Instagram, but is full of those beautiful, smokey flavours.
With DJ BBQ’s signature brand of wit and irreverence, this book will open up the worlds of possibilities within outdoor cooking.
Quadrille, £20. Photography by David Loftus. Available now.
The DIY BBQ Cookbook: How To Build Your Own BBQ And Cook Up A Feast
By: James Whetlor
This is one for the DIY enthusiasts – anyone who really wants to their hands dirty when BBQing, from start to finish.
While it’s all very well and good to use a regular, shop-bought BBQ, food writer James Whetlor is a huge proponent for making your own.
Why? Because shop-bought versions are often expensive, and near-impossible to cart with you on a jaunt to the beach or a day in the park.
But Whetlor predominantly highlights how fun it is to make your own BBQ. You don’t have to be a DIY wizard or a building maestro to do so – some of the simplest set-ups will be hugely effective.
You’ll need a few basic bits of kit for a DIY BBQ – including breeze blocks, pots, planks and chains – all of which Whetlor says is available at your local DIY store. He also urges safety – wearing work gloves and goggles when building.
Whetlor gives a comprehensive guide on building your own BBQ – covering all the different options, from small versions to one that can smoke a whole pig – and there’s even an ingenious step-by-step guide for building your own tandoor oven out of a flowerpot.
If you’re tentative about building your own BBQ, Whetlor’s guide is so comprehensive he’ll put any nerves at rest – and then he follows up with the best bit: what to cook on your new creation.
Dishes range from vibrant veggie options – mushroom tacos and miso-marinated aubergine steaks – to meaty dishes (coconut hot wings, tandoori quail, spicy pork ribs and more).
Quadrille, £20. Photography by Sam Folan. Available now.
Big Green Egg Feasts: Innovative Recipes To Cook For Friends And Family
By: Tim Hayward
While this book is predominantly geared towards people with Green Eggs – a specific type of ceramic BBQ – don’t be put off, because the recipes will suit anyone, with any type of BBQ.
The beauty of a Green Egg is it covers so many different types of cooking – you can slow-roast, wok-fry and cook pizzas on there – but you’ll just as easily be able to do that without one, be it on stove or in your oven, if it’s not a recipe that specifically calls for BBQing.
If you’ve got a Green Egg, food writer Tim Hayward will take you through the best ways to use it, making sure you get the most out of this (admittedly expensive) piece of kit.
But the real strength of this cookbook lies in the sheer range of recipes included from all over the world. You’ll get step-by-step guides on how to make lobster rolls from the US, Indian chicken curry, a whole rack of spiced lamb from the Maghreb region in north-west Africa and Mexican taco recipes to feed a crowd.
Dishes are vibrant, colourful and will be everything you want to make this summer – with or without a BBQ.