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).
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, £20.50, 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 £5.85, riverford.co.uk
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
StarChefs a taste of Ynyshir BBQ box
Michelin starred chef Gareth Ward is unashamedly meat obsessed and is famous for his refined use of barbecue cooking in his Welsh restaurant. For the first time you can now get Ward’s cooking in your own kitchen, thanks to this StarChefs BBQ box. The menu gives you four different proteins to stuff into soft, fluffy bao buns – think wagyu beef with black bean sauce; duck hoisin with a spring onion oil; or char siu pork. You’ll receive the meat and fish ready to finish on your own barbecue, and all the garnishes are included too. At £150 for two people, this isn’t one for a group get together but better for a date night or for celebrating something special.
Buy it, from £150, starchefs.co.uk
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 whole Cajun seasoned chicken and deep south reasoned lamb riblets among a whole host of other cuts. Meat is often organic, always high-welfare and the packaging is environmentally friendly too.
Buy it, from £55, ethicalbutcher.co.uk
Hawksmoor at Home Barbecue kits
We have to admit, we already have a soft spot for Hawksmoor’s DIY restaurant boxes. The brand has nailed the at-home experience, bringing top-quality ingredients to kitchens all over the country. As with their steak boxes, the BBQ meat pack from Hawksmoor is luxuriously packed with the best cuts to really impress guests with. In each kit you’ll find the restaurant’s signature belly ribs with pickled slaw, three different cuts of steaks (fillet, Tomahawk and Sirloin), four burgers and six Beavertown beers thrown in for good measure. Instructions are included for how to cook each cut perfectly, so all you’ll need to do is buy the garnishes.
Buy it, from £125, shop.thehawksmoor.com
Monthly BBQ Boxes from Provenance Village Butchers
What sets Provenance Village Butchers apart from the rest is that instead of sticking with the same thing all summer long they instead curate a fun new barbecue box to try each month. These tailored packs include everything you need for a fun, themed evening with friends. Their Mexican box, for instance, packs in everything from lime and tequila chicken skewers and spiced steak through to corn on the cob, tortillas, guacamole, salsas and hot sauce, as well as the tiniest details like fresh lime to finish your dishes off with. Each box serves 4-6 people and there’s a new one to look forward to every four weeks, meaning you can have a fresh monthly feast periodically throughout the summer. 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, £70, 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 18 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
Hawksmoor The Steak Box
There’s something to be said for keeping things simple when it comes to barbecuing meat. Hawksmoor’s offering focuses on steaks of the highest quality, and give you a luxurious restaurant-quality product that you can cook in your own home. Along with this BBQ box you’ll receive a video masterclass by head chef Matt Brown, who will talk you through cooking the perfect steak by way of his fool proof step by step process. Each steak box contains a 35-day dry-aged prime rib, sirloin and rump, as well as a fillet steak.
Buy it, £85, shop.thehawksmoor.com
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 meal 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, £30, berenjakbazaar.com
Prime Feast BBQ Feast Box
Packed with the finest quality meat, this luxurious option is the perfect thing to buy for a party when you want to celebrate something special. You get two separate burger kits (which come complete with buns, salads, sauces and pickles), ribs and sauce, and steaks. On top of that you’ll receive sauces for your steak and fresh garlic, rosemary and thyme which you can baste your meat with as it cooks. You’ll receive full cooking instructions too, to ensure your meal goes without a hitch.
Buy it, £140, primefeast.co.uk
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
Mac & Wild BBQ Box
There are small, medium, and large iterations of this BBQ box from Scottish mini restaurant chain Mac & Wild. Your party size will of course dictate the box you choose, but for example the medium box includes ribeye steaks, beef burgers, venison burgers, lamb chops and pork sausages and will feed between 4-6 people. With just a few extra bits like a couple of salads or a few buns you’ll have yourself quite the feast, and the careful packaging and speedy service means you get top-quality meat without any hassle.
Buy it, from £28.82, macandwild.com
Smokestak at Home BBQ Boxes
Looking for some properly dirty American barbecue food? Find what you’re looking for in Smokestak. This popular London restaurant now does at-home barbecue kits that make you look like a whizz in the kitchen without you having to hardly lift a finger. There are boxes that change monthly, plus other combos which stick around whatever the weather. If you’re obsessed with little charred pieces from a BBQ we’d like to gently point you in the direction of the ‘burnt ends’ which you can add to your order. These are crispy, gnarly little pieces of brisket, pork shoulder and belly covered in smoked beef dripping and smothered in house made barbecue sauce.
Buy it, from £5, smokestakshop.co.uk
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