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Tips for Summer BBQs without Food Waste

This summer, more than ever, we are looking forward to having BBQs at home with our family and friends. While our mouths water at the thought of smoky barbecue smells, let’s plan to enjoy our BBQs without food waste. Preparing more food than can be eaten is a waste and not just of food, but of your time and money. Here are some tips that will keep you on track for food waste free BBQs:
  • Plan BBQ menu
  • Store fresh food properly
  • Cook to order
  • Eat any leftovers

Plan your BBQ menu. Start by thinking about what food you are going to eat and how many people you need to cater for. Then plan your BBQ menu to ensure you have just enough food to satisfy your family and guests:

  • allow for the number of grilled foods and bread you will need, g. 1 sausage, 1 burger and one bread bun per person
  • keep in mind that people take a spoonful, not a full portion size, of the different side dishes, e.g. green and potato salads, to add to their BBQ plate
  • check your fridge, freezer and cupboards to see what food you already have that can be used for tasty dishes.
  • if you have guests, assign them different side dishes to bring, e.g. coleslaw, potato salad, to save you buying or preparing too much, or guests bringing the same food.

With a little bit of planning, you can save money & time and have a food waste free BBQ. See Tips on BBQ Menu Planning with Catherine Fulvio 

Store your BBQ food properly. As temperatures rise over the summer it can be trickier to keep food at its best when eating outside especially as a BBQ can go on for a whole afternoon or evening:

  • ahead of your BBQ ensure your food is stored properly – this will keep them fresher for longer- the A-Z of Foods has storage tips. 
  • bring out just enough fresh food to get the BBQ started and keep the rest in reserve, stored in the fridge – so food doesn’t spoil outdoors and go to waste.
  • replenish salads, side dishes & bread as you need them during the BBQ so food is at its best when you eat it

Storing food properly will keep food that bit fresher for that bit longer. See Tips on Outdoor Dining with Catherine Fulvio

Cook to order – the joy of BBQs. When we BBQ for our family and friends we often think more is more…. but it’s not if food ends up uneaten. There is another way to ensure you cook just enough food that’s hot off the BBQ:

  • ask what everyone would like to eat before you start grilling and cook to order rather than all at once – this will ensure food doesn’t spoil and go to waste.
  • if anyone is still hungry then you can always cook more so food will be at its best, hot from the BBQ!
  • if you do have any uncooked food, you can always pop it in the fridge to cook later or freeze for another BBQ during the summer.

Cooking to order means having just enough food for everyone to enjoy hot from the BBQ. See Tips on BBQ Cooking with Catherine Fulvio 

Eat any leftovers. Still have some food from your BBQ left behind? Give them a second chance to be eaten:

  • pop any BBQ leftovers in the fridge as soon as possible so they won’t spoil in the sun.
  • enjoy leftovers for a tasty lunch the following day or share with your guests to take home.
  • freeze BBQ leftovers for another time or your next BBQ – you can freeze almost anything – burger buns, meats, sauces, etc.

Save yourself time and money – eat chilled BBQ leftovers the next day or freeze for another time.

Watch Summer Cooking Demo with Catherine Fulvio and see Summer Outdoor Dining Recipes for easy delicious recipes and more helpful hints on how to make the most of your food when having a BBQ