Where is UK BBQ Heading in 2023
For lots of us there is not a BBQ season, but as we approach the 2023 summer season, it’s clear that the UK’s love for barbecues is stronger than ever. With more people embracing outdoor cooking and experimenting with new techniques and flavours, we can expect to see some exciting trends emerging in the UK.
We saw a boom in the number of people cooking outdoors in the Covid pandemic, and personally I only see that trend continuing.
Here is my view of the top 10 UK BBQ trends we are likely to see in 2023:
Low and Slow cooking
Low and slow cooking involves cooking meat at a low temperature over a long period of time, resulting in tender, juicy meat with a delicious smoky flavour. This trend has been growing in popularity in recent years, and it’s set to continue in 2023. According to a survey by Weber, 41% of UK grill owners are now cooking low and slow, compared to just 28% in 2018.
It’s not for all of us, but as more people embrace plant-based diets, it’s no surprise that plant-based BBQ options are becoming increasingly popular. According to a survey by Waitrose, 59% of UK adults are reducing their meat consumption, and this trend is reflected in BBQs too. In fact, a survey by Tesco found that 35% of people plan to cook vegetarian or vegan dishes on their BBQ in 2023.
While gas grills are convenient and easy to use, charcoal grilling is still the preferred method for many BBQ enthusiasts. In a survey by Alfresco, 72% of people said they prefer to use a charcoal grill, compared to just 24% who prefer gas. There are some fantastic, sustainable British (and non-British) producers who offer quality charcoal products. Let’s get that garage rubbish off the forecourts.
As the UK becomes more diverse, our taste buds are also expanding. People are increasingly experimenting with global flavours on their BBQ, from Korean BBQ to Middle Eastern spices. According to a survey by Lidl, 43% of people said they want to try new and exotic BBQ flavours in 2023. There are also some amazing producer of rub like The Smokey Carter, who has a superb and diverse range, that help introduce new flavours to our grills.
DIY Rubs and Marinades
Continuing on the subject of rubs, home-made rubs and marinades are a great way to add flavour to your BBQ dishes and make them truly unique. In a survey by Weber, 36% of UK grill owners said they like to create their own rubs and marinades, up from 24% in 2018. I am constantly seeing people from the BBQ community coming out with their own rubs. Even if you don’t do this commercially, it is great fun trying to make you own unique one.
Smoking isn’t just for meat anymore – it’s now being used to add flavour to cocktails too. In a survey by Drinks International, 64% of UK bartenders said they plan to use smoke in their cocktails in 2023.
Outdoor Kitchens & Shacks
As BBQ enthusiasts become more serious about their craft, many are investing in outdoor kitchens, and have been for a few. We have seen some amazing creations over the past few years and again I think this is one that will continue. Hopefully, this will be one trend I finally join in 2023. According to a survey by Wayfair, 40% of people said they plan to invest in an outdoor kitchen in 2023, up from 26% in 2020.
Sous-vide cooking has been popular in professional kitchens for a while, and now it’s making its way into the BBQ world. In a survey by SousVideTools.com, 48% of people said they plan to use sous-vide cooking on their BBQ in 2023. This would involve cooking the food using the sous-vide method and then finishing it off on the BBQ.
Everyone love a burger and they are definitely a a BBQ staple, but in 2023, they’re being taken to the next level. According to a survey by Waitrose, 35% of people plan to make gourmet burgers on their BBQ, with unique toppings and flavour combinations. This is not really a new trend but one that will continue this year.
Fire pits aren’t just for toasting marshmallows – they’re also a great way to cook food over an open flame. In a survey by Amazon, fire pits were the most popular outdoor cooking appliance, with 32% of people saying they planned to buy one in 2023.
These are my top 10 predictions. What do you think?