Every year we think we’re going to be ready, and every year the great British weather gives us a false start in spring and has us scrambling for our long-forgotten barbecues that have been graciously tossed aside over winter. While we can’t help with the scrubbing, lighting and cooking which will have to ensue if you want to dine al fresco at the first hint of sunshine, we can help with that to put on the grill.
There are so many incredible producers and restaurants across the country who will send you BBQ meat packs at the drop of a hat. These clever kits include everything you need to make an impressive centrepiece at your summer feast. While some BBQ boxes dish up pure and unadulterated meat for you to manage yourself, others present you with carefully marinated cuts that you can pop straight on the grill. If you’re expecting a mixed party there are places - like Abel & Cole - which will cater for both fish and meat options too, so that both pescatarians and carnivores should be happy (veggies and vegans we’ll have to leave up to you!).
Of course we’re biased, but we think restaurants put together some of the best spreads when it comes to easy at-home dining. They just know what they’re doing to make last-minute meals seem impressive and easy. So if you’re looking to get BBQ meat packs delivered this summer let us gently guide you in the direction of some of our favourite restaurant kits below. We’ve also included some tried and tested meat box favourites from high welfare farms, butchers and suppliers which provide you with the very best cuts to cook over your coals (or your gas as the case might be).
Stein's at Home Luxury Barbecue Box
Fresh from the Cornish land and sea, Rick Stein’s barbecue boxes bring the very best of Southern-West produce to your doorstep. We like that this curated selection isn’t just a few cuts of meat but is instead a full menu. Kick off with a sparklingly fresh ceviche while you wait for the grill to heat, before enjoying spatchcocked chicken, steaks, and potato salad for mains. Individual strawberry cheesecakes add the perfect finishing touch.
Buy it, £165, shop.rickstein.com
Abel & Cole Favourites Barbecue Box
Treat yourself to some high quality meat this summer by way of Abel & Cole's BBQ meat packs. Our favourite is this hand-picked selection of some of the most popular things to cook over a grill. As well as burgers and bangers you’ll get four organic chicken drumsticks, allowing you to cater to kids and adults alike with a big box of crowd-pleasers. The cuts in the this barbecue meat box come in their pure form without marinades or sides, meaning you get to decide how to dress up your dinner.
Buy it, £18.50, abelandcole.co.uk
Riverford BBQ Meat Boxes
Riverford doesn’t do curated barbecue meat packs, but instead allows you to build your own feast from their small collection of summertime favourites. With everything from free-range chicken through to steaks on the menu, you can pick and choose depending on who you’re feeding and how many people you’re expecting. Our favourite cuts Riverford offers are the pork belly slices, which allow you to get soft, succulent belly pork by cooking them low and slow over the barbecue. These go perfectly with a sweet and sticky marinade, which you can baste over the slices as you go.
Buy it, from £6.55, riverford.co.uk
Helen Browning’s Organic meat packs
Steak, burgers, and hot dogs – what could be more perfect for a family barbecue? This BBQ box from Helen Browning’s Organic is packed with enough food for four generous servings and even includes a jar of steak seasoning to spice things up on the grill. We were particularly impressed by the hot dogs, which hold a Great Taste award for their properly meaty texture and lightly smoky flavour. As with all of the company’s offering, meat is free-range and organic, gluten-free and GM free, as well as being suitable for home freezing.
Buy it, from £30, helenbrowningsorganic
The Ethical Butcher barbecue boxes
The guys at The Ethical Butcher are on a mission to change the way we consume meat. Their argument is that eating meat isn’t bad for the planet, it’s just bad the way we’ve doing it up until now. With a passion for regenerative agriculture, where farmers work hard to increase biodiversity through their techniques, The Ethical Butcher works with suppliers who are actively trying to combat climate change through holistic management farming. The result is meat prepared by master butchers for deeply flavoured cuts. The BBQ boxes from The Ethical Butcher range from an essentials pack (think burgers, bangers and chicken breasts) through to their ultimate range which includes a Chermoula seasoned chicken and beef koftas among a whole host of other cuts. Meat is often organic, always high-welfare and the packaging is environmentally friendly too.
Buy it, from £64.99, ethicalbutcher.co.uk
Monthly BBQ Boxes from Provenance Village Butchers
What sets Provenance Village Butchers is their tasty marinades for easy barbecuing at home. These tailored packs include everything you need for a fun, themed evening with friends. Their Provenance Best Sellers Box, for instance, packs in everything from flat iron chicken leg through to lamb leg Greek kkewers. Each box serves 4-6 people and add ons include suggested drink pairings.
Buy it, from £65, deliveries.provenancebutcher.com
The Ginger Pig BBQ Box
This generous offering from quality butchers The Ginger Pig gives you enough meat for 6-8 people, allowing you the perfect excuse to share a feast with family and friends. With steaks, pork chops and sausages, this is one for the purists. The stars of the show here though are the burgers that are hand-pressed and made from chuck steak and aged rib cap for a wonderfully rich flavour – all you need to do is come up with the perfect toppings. We'll take cheese, pickles and mayo, thanks.
Buy it, £96, thegingerpig.co.uk
Tom Hixson of Smithfield’s BBQ Essentials Box
Smithfield is one of London’s most famous meat markets, so going straight to the source means you cut out the middleman for delicious cuts at a fair price. Keeping things fairly traditional, this barbecue box includes a whopping 45 portions across sausages and two large portions of pork baby back ribs, which are ideal for marinating in a barbecue rub before covering in a sticky glaze. The most valuable player award though goes to the burgers. Tom Hixson’s burgers are made with marrow for an intensely rich texture and flavour – delicious simply topped with cheese, salad and sauces.
Buy it, £40, tomhixson.co.uk
Berenjak Kabab Kit
Take the effort out of barbecues this summer by leaving the tough bit to the professionals. This kit from Berenjak gives you gorgeous pre-marinated kababs as well as all the sides and sauces you need to make an impressive homecooked meal. Serving two people, this makes a great date night dinner to impress someone special with. You’ll receive two lamb kababs, two chicken kababs, metal skewers, tomatoes for grilling, sauces, salad and homemade breads to wrap everything up in.
Buy it, £50, berenjakbazaar.com
Donald Russell BBQ Meat Packs
Not content with just one box, Donald Russell has stepped things up with a whole plethora of BBQ meat packs for you to choose from. Plump for sausges for a simple supper, or go all out on a Great Taste awarded steak. Our favourite when we want to pull out all the stops is the Tomahawk which is matured on the bone for 35 days to give it a fantastic succulence. Can’t decide what to go for? The burgers and bangers box gives you 21 servings of various combos for an easy way to feed a crowd.
Buy it, from £3.30, donaldrussell.com
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