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Throw another shroom on the barbie! LEE BOYCE looks at how the British BBQ has evolved from bland burgers and simple sausages a decade ago

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I love cooking on the barbecue. The fire, smells, heat and good produce, washed down with an ice-cold beverage on a hot day, is bliss. It is part of the Great British summer.

When I think back to childhood, our rare BBQ times involve poor quality sausages and burgers, often singed, a splodge of ketchup inside a cheap-tasteless floury white bun and little else.

Upon moving into our current home, a generous joint moving in present from our family was a Weber gas BBQ. It's safe to say I've moved on from those bleak BBQ days into a more competent outdoor chef as a result.

And it appears I'm not alone. Now many firing up the BBQ have become more adventurous, both with ingredients they cook with and styles.

Skew 'n' shroom: Vegetables are now are far more frequent sight on our BBQs, according to data from Waitrose

We are seeing more high quality meat products designed to be BBQ'd with spices and flavours galore, veggie goodies that can convert (some) meat lovers and people even slow cooking on them.

Exactly how has the over-flame cooking changed in the last decade? Consumer Trends looks at how our BBQ eating (and drinking) habits have changed.

Lockdown, combined with the good weather of April, May and June, saw a surge in people buying new barbecues and cooking outdoors.

Tesco research in early July suggested that half of people cooked a meal on their BBQ during those three months.

A quarter of this figure have cooked outdoors three or four times each month, while 7 per cent have had as many as seven a month.

The big reason stated is that cooking on the grill filled a void left by restaurants closing.

Gemma Giles, from the supermarket giant, said: 'Barbecues have become central to our lives in lockdown.'

When it comes to BBQ cooking, purists will tell you that charcoal cooking is far better.

In fact, my father-in-law who is BBQ mad – he once cooked the Christmas turkey on his - has ditched his gas barbie and gone back to the charcoal, including slow cooking.

However, I disagree that gas isn't king. I love it for a number of reasons. Firstly, just to be outside cooking is magic and the quicker you can get out there, the better. No barriers.

In the summers before working from home, I often came home from the commute and fired it straight up. There is no waiting for charcoal to heat, while dials mean you can easily control the temperature.

There is minimal washing up - a quick scrub before cooking, with a build up of previous cooks underneath adding flavour - and I have perfected how to cook on it, to ensure BBQ smokiness, those beautiful grill lines and not burn the food.

Others will disagree, but........

© Mail Online

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