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Barbecue trends 2016

20 Apr 16

The UK is Europe’s leading barbecue nation. In 2013, an estimated 125 million barbecues were hosted all over the nation. Despite this island’s notoriously unpredictable weather we have followed our American cousins and whole heartily embraced the humble barbecue. However, the barbecue is no longer so humble. Now you can buy or hire large barbecues that can easily feed hundreds of guests at any kind of outdoor event. Barbecue cuisine is also taking over the capital. Many Smoke houses and barbecue restaurants have opened up in some of London’s most fashionable locations.

If you are looking to hold your own barbecue event and want some inspiration take a look at our top barbecue trends for 2016.

Slow cooking

Burgers and sausages are out and slow cooking is in. The UK has been loving pulled pork for a few years now, but there is more to slow cooking than pork. If you really want to push the boat out go for pulled venison or pheasant. Game slow cooks well, just make sure you cook it in some liquid as game tends to have very little fat and can become dry quickly. If you don’t want to use game salt marsh lamb in particular is delicious when slow cooked.  

Gas V Charcoal Barbecues

Purists will always choose charcoal. This is of course the traditional way, and it does enhance flavour. Of course flavour is enhanced by what kind of charcoal you use. If you can get charcoal locally get some, however when you do buy charcoal make sure it from a sustainable source. If your menu focuses on slow cooked dishes then charcoal is the way to go but if you are looking to cook more traditional barbecue fair then gas might be the better option.

Let’s face it gas is so much easier, it gives you more flexibility and it still tastes great. In the UK 53% of country choose to use gas while only 38% use charcoal.  Using a gas barbecue means you can control the temperature and fire her up whenever you want. According to molecular gastronomy chef Nathan Myrvold: “flavour comes from the direct heat rather than the smoke, so it makes no difference what kind of heat it is.” So if you are looking for ease and convenience gas is the way to go. Allens Hire have a range of charcoal and gas barbecues available for hire.

South America

The reign of the Southern USA style barbecue is being challenged by South America. London has seen a rise in the number of South American restaurants offering barbecue fair. The main difference between US and South American barbecue is the rubs and sources tends to be a bit more on the spicy side and the focus is more on beef than pork. Like the US, traditional South American barbecue food was eaten by cowboys or Gauchos and was cooked over open fires, in Dutch or abobe ovens.


According to a study by National BBQ Week, 1.5% of households own a smoker and this number is rapidly growing. Smoking meat is now bang on trend with many restaurants in London smoking their own meat and fish on their premises. It imparts more flavour into the meat – especially if you use sweet smelling wood such as apple, hickory and oak. Smoking meat can take a long time– but it will be worth the wait. 

Fire pits

Fire pits are one of the fastest growing trends in the barbecue world, and those that can double as a grill are proving popular.  Some people who own a gas barbecue might also buy a fire pit, by having both you can have the best of both worlds. Fire pits are perfect for toasting marshmallows and making s’mores – an American treat that includes a square of chocolate and a marshmallow melted and sandwiched between two Graham crackers. (Digestives are just as effective.)   A fire pit also acts as a central point for your guests to converse – everyone is drawn to a fire.

Hire a barbecue

If you are holding an outdoor event and would like to hire a barbecue, Allen’s Hire has a range of charcoal and gas barbecues available. For further information on any Allens catering equipment, furniture hire or to discuss the options and possibilities for your event, please email us on or call our London office on 020 8574 9600. Alternatively you can call 02380 652316 if you are based on the South Coast.