Freeze your way to a brilliant BBQ!

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The perfect BBQ should be freezing. Yep, you read that right, freeze your food to save it from ending up in the bin!

Obviously, sunny skies are the best weather for a BBQ but when it comes to your food, freezing is your secret weapon.

We’ve crunched the numbers to find out how much food is wasted in the UK and shockingly, over 70% of food waste comes from the home.

Whether you’re a meat-eater or prefer veggie and vegan options, the freezer is crucial for keeping all your BBQ staples from ending up in the food waste caddy.

Whether you’re filling up the fridge ahead of the big day, cooking up a storm for family and friends or putting away leftovers for another day, no problem! In fact, your best option is to … freeze!

The solution? BBQ prep with your freezer

Whatever tasty treats you’ve got in your shopping basket, try storing as much as possible in your freezer where it stays safe and ready for when you need it.  

Our top freezing tips:
1. Have one or two packs of each food product chilling in the fridge and the rest in the freezer. This way, you won’t cook more than you need and anything you don’t get round to using will stay safely frozen for another time.
2. When storing in the fridge: check it’s at less than 5°C, cover raw food, including meat, and keep it separate from ready-to-eat food.
3. Store covered raw meat, poultry, fish and shellfish on the bottom shelf of the fridge.

You might not believe us, but every year 100,000 tonnes of pork are wasted in UK homes. The main reason is because we simply don’t use it in time! Popping some of your sausages straight in the freezer avoids this problem, giving you plenty of time to enjoy them.

Remember – you can freeze most of your BBQ foods any time before the ‘use by’ date, not bad eh?!

Defrost like a boss

Your chicken wings, sausages, steaks or burgers need to be defrosted thoroughly before cooking.

You can either:

  • defrost in the fridge – at the bottom, well wrapped, the day before; or
  • defrost in the microwave immediately before cooking using the ‘defrost’ setting.

The microwave option is perfect for on-the-day. If you’ve got through what was in your fridge and someone’s after a cheeky second helping, you can defrost quickly in the microwave! You can defrost exactly what you need and avoid having too much that will end up going to waste. This is also a great option for finishing off the defrosting if your food didn’t quite defrost enough in the fridge.

Need some extra help with defrosting your BBQ food? The FSA has plenty of guidance to help you prevent any nasty surprises as well as some top tips on cooking meat, including burgers, safely!

Office job by day, BBQ pro by night

If you’re in charge of the barbie, simply act the waiter and take orders!

Ask your group what they want before popping everything on the BBQ and go in ‘rounds’. Better to cook up a round of burgers or sausages at a time rather than everything all at once – if people change their minds or get full, you’re not left with an unfinished feast. Keep your defrosted, uncooked meat nice and chilled (in the fridge) so it’s as fresh as possible when it goes on the BBQ.

Anything that’s still uncooked at the end of the day can be frozen for later.

Fresh goodies can be frozen before their ‘use by’ date ready for another day.

If the food has already been frozen and defrosted, you’ll need to use it within 24 hours. Or you can cook it into a meal – for example, make a toad in the hole with your remaining Cumberlands – and freeze that, so the possibilities are really endless! Need some then take a look at our wide range of delicious recipes

BBQs are a perfect summer-time activity and with a little planning you can prevent them from ending with wasted food. And if you need more storage advice, check out our Food Storage A–Z.

Happy grilling!