Bluebottle's Barbecue Blog

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In Britain at the moment, there's one question on everyone's mind1. No, it's nothing to do with that General Election thingy, but is in fact 'Will it be a barbecue summer this year?'

What is a Barbecue?


As it has been so long since Britain has had barbecue weather – I myself last had a barbecue in 2005 – it is worth looking at and reminding ourselves of what a barbecue actually is.

The fundamental barbecue principle is that a barbecue is about three things – food, fire and water. Your back-to-basics, primal elements – the fundamental pre-requisites of life – drink, meat and heat.

A barbecue consists of:

  • Fire
  • Poking stick thing
  • Sausages
  • Burgers
  • Bread (burger buns, rolls for sausages)
  • Red sauce
  • Brown sauce
  • Marshmallows2
  • Cans and bottles of drink.

And that is it.

Chicken wings, ribs, onions, vegetarian burgers and sausages, salad cream and jacket potatoes are for posh barbecues only.

Side-salad, corn-on-the-cob, vegetables, plates, napkins, deserts,
wine, coleslaw, thousand-island-sauce3, egg sandwiches, mustard, mayonnaise, pickled onions, potato salad, knives and forks etc. are not part of a barbecue. They are attempts to subvert the whole process and turn it into a picnic or – worse still – a garden party.

A barbecue is about meat. The non-meat food in my experience is rarely eaten, just left on the side as the meat is tastier and more filling, or at the most, nibbled on whilst hungry people wait for the meat to cook.

So, will it be a barbecue summer?

A Lamburger

Will it be a barbecue summer? Although I cannot answer for what the weather will do - that isn't a question the MET office know how to solve – it can still be a barbecue summer even if the weather is poor. If you are stuck indoors, then why not join your fellow researchers down on the beach for a virtual barbecue? There's a wide range of food available, including:

  • smiley - hotdog - Hotdogs
  • smiley - burger - Burgers
  • smiley - corncob - Even Corn on the cob

Everyone is welcome – the food will never run out and all you need bring with you is your imagination. Does it matter if the weather is poor? Not a sausage.

The Bluebottle Archive

A reader of the h2g2 Post


26.04.10 Front Page

Back Issue Page

1Well, two, if you include 'Will Matt Smith make a convincing Doctor?'2Normally I would class these as posh barbecue ingredients, however Spock in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier considered them essential to camp fires and barbecues, and who can argue with Spock?3I never understood the name – is the sauce really made from ingredients from a thousand different islands?

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