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2021 – Is it the year of the BBQ?

It is safe to assume that 2020 was not the year that anybody had planned. In fact, many people will want to write it off. There have however been some positive side effects, including a willingness to try new things as we all learnt to adapt. Over the endless stretch of days, into weeks, into months spent at home, without visits to pubs or restaurants, outdoor cooking and al fresco dining became an increasingly popular trend, so much so, that according to research, it actually boosted the UK barbecue market year-on-year by £12.4 million and saw a 391% increase in the amount of BBQs Brits had during April 2020 alone compared to the previous year.

Brits have certainly had the time to experiment. Gone are the days when the burger and sausage reigned supreme. From global twists and funky formats to plant-based feasts – there are loads of new barbecue trends out there.

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With this sudden surge in barbeque popularity in mind, MEATER has teamed up with Marcus Bawdon, Editor of UK BBQ Mag, author of best-selling outdoor BBQ cookbook, Food and Fire, and his latest book, Skewered, and UK BBQ blogging Godfather at CountryWoodSmoke, Marcus Bawdon, to provide top tips and trends for outdoor cooking in 2021.

MEATER was developed to help meat lovers with different cooking skills achieve consistent results when frying or grilling. This fantastic gadget is a must-have for all cooking methods and preparation methods.

Top BBQ tips and trends by Marcus Bawdon

The most popular types of outdoor cooking trending right now!

Outdoor cooking in the UK is evolving and changing all the time. Lots of Brits still cook the simple BBQ essentials, burgers, sausages, steaks, and skewers, but in recent years the American smokehouse style is becoming increasingly popular being favourites of this style.

However, another popular trend that we have seen over the last year or so, is wood fired oven/pizza oven cooking, which has seen huge growth. Pizza ovens are definitely worth your ‘dough’, they provide a quick and easy way to bring Italian cuisine to your garden.

Let’s talk meat.

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The most popular meats people are looking to cook in 2021 are briskets (the Mt Everest of BBQ) and big Tomahawk steaks, which are fun, tasty, and bring a bit of BBQ theatre.

A top tip when sourcing meat is to get sustainably raised, local meats – they have a far superior taste than their industrial farm counterparts. Buy the best you can afford. Also, when getting your brisket from the butcher, ask for a neat-shaped whole packer cut brisket, trimmed of any excess fat on the side. The more uniform your piece of beef, the better it will cook.

Cooking gadgets are hot and here are the hottest for 2021.

Small portable pizza ovens are big news and tabletop grills are also proving popular as people are having smaller cooks due to Covid restrictions. You can also cook far more then just pizza in them.

Lots of people are definitely waking up to cooking food to specific temperatures and so I am seeing a lot of people picking up digital thermometers such as the Meater Plus.

Using a meat thermometer is the only way to accurately tell if your food is safe to eat. You can kill harmful organisms in most foods by cooking them to the right temperature. Not only does a thermometer ensure your meat is safe to eat, but it also ensures you cook your meat to perfection. No one wants a dry, over cooked piece of steak.

The year of the BBQ. What else could be popular in 2021?

I think the whole outdoor cooking scene is going to see huge growth over the next few years – lots of people are building outdoor kitchens and shacks to enable them to BBQ more, no matter the weather. My own shack CountryWoodSmoke HQ is now 10 years old.

As far as cooking trends come, I think the Argentine open fire and Hearth cooking is going to become increasingly popular as people hanker for something more than the traditional BBQ style of food.

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Top 5 outdoor cooking tips for 2021

Try moving away from the standard burgers and sausages and challenge yourself to different BBQ recipes such as pulled BBQ ribs, or the king of the BBQ steaks, the tomahawk steak.

Outdoor cooking doesn’t have to be just about the traditional BBQ, why not bring a taste of Italy to your garden and invest in a pizza oven.

Be fussy when picking your ingredients and source locally if you can.

Make sure your meat is cooked to perfection by using a wireless meat thermometer.

Accompaniments are important too. Take time to research what flavours compliment your main dish.

Editor of UK BBQ Mag, barbecue blogger at CountryWoodSmoke and father of three mini barbecue critics, Marcus is a bonafide expert when it comes to barbecue. He loves to inspire others to cook outdoors and runs the UK BBQ School from his home in Devon, where he cooks al fresco whatever the weather. As well as writing features for Great British Chefs, you can also find Marcus’ excellent barbecue guides – such as how to smoke using your barbecue and how to set up your barbecue – in our how-to section!

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