Lovejoy Catering and Events offer barbecue catering in Essex and further afield, from large events such as BBQ wedding catering to smaller garden parties. BBQ catering offers versatile, mouthwatering food and a party-like atmosphere in the comfort of your back garden or at a venue of your choice. 

Now that summer is here it is time to dust off the barbecue, if you haven’t already, and don your hilarious apron. For most British people there always seems to be an excuse to light the barbecue, although cooking well on a barbecue does take some skill and concentration and lots of practice.

Whilst a barbecue seems an easy food option, there are actually many different things to consider when planning a successful barbecue. Fortunately, BBQ catering is one of Lovejoy Catering and Events fortes, and as one of the top three catering companies in Chelmsford, we want to share with you our top tips for hosting a barbecue. 

Consider the weather 

Unfortunately, even in the height of Summer in the UK, you will need to consider a wet weather plan, whether this involves hiring a marquee or pre-heating the oven. As successful barbecue caterers, Lovejoy Catering and Events always discuss wet weather options with our customers to make sure they are prepared. We will still cook on the bbq under a catering tent at our events even if it is raining – we have done this on several occasions! 

BBQ Catering Equipment 

If you have decided to host a barbecue you are going to need a grill whether this is gas, electric or charcoal-based, and a set of utensils. When choosing your barbecue and the tools you may need, it is worth considering how often you are going to be cooking on the barbecue, the number of guests and who for. For example, you will need at least two pairs of tongs – one to handle the uncooked meat and a clean pair to deal with the cooked meat. You will need a third pair, and an extra griddle pan, if you are catering for vegetarians.

Preparing Your Barbecue 

Depending on which grill you have opted for, light your barbecue around half an hour before you want to start cooking and let the flames die down. If you are using charcoal, this should have burned down and be coated in white ash. Ensure the barbecue is at the right temperature, it should be hot but if you can’t get close enough to cook on it then it’s too warm. 

Controlling the temperature of your barbecue is essential as no one likes the taste of burnt meat. You may even like to have different temperatures across your barbecue, one side piled full of hot coals and the other suitable for slower cooking.

Preparing Your Meat 

Meat should be room temperature when placing it on the barbecue, so don’t forget to take it out of the fridge around 20 minutes before you intend to cook it. If the meat is too cold when it hits the grill it could burn on the outside before it’s cooked through to the middle.

Test The Meat

It can be hard to tell how well-done meat is on the barbecue. Cut into chicken and pork and check whether the juices run clear, or invest in a temperature probe. Once you have checked that the meat is cooked let it rest for a few minutes. This allows the meat to reabsorb its juices and become more tender, a trick a lot of people miss.


Often understated and forgotten about, fish is lovely on a barbecue, but can be difficult to get right and you may want to leave this to the expert BBQ caterers, especially if you are cooking for a lot of guests. If you do opt for a fish dish, don’t forget the lemon as this will stop your fish from sticking to the barbecue as well as adding moisture and flavour. Another option is to cook the fish in tin foil as this gives you the opportunity to add herbs and seasoning whilst its cooking, which gives it a wonderful flavour.

Don’t Forget The Sides

Sides are almost as important as the meat at a barbecue, especially if you are catering for a larger number of guests with a variety of dietary requirements. Lovejoy Catering and Events offer a variety of sides to compliment the meats including homemade coleslaw and deliciously spiced herb couscous. Check out our menus to see the entire list!

Clean Your Barbecue 

You have finished cooking and now comes the dreaded part – cleaning your barbecue. It can be so tempting to leave this chore until your guests have gone, but our top tip is to clean the BBQ while it’s still warm. 

If you leave residue from your last barbecue on the grates, it will char and burn the next time you light your grill. Not only can dirty grills contain a lot of bad bacteria, but a dirty grill can also be a major fire hazard so get this done so you can enjoy the party.

Spend Time With Your Guests

Hosting any event can be daunting and it is easy to become overwhelmed with managing the event yourself. By preparing your sides in advance, and lighting your barbecue early, it is possible to provide a delicious barbecue and still spend time with your guests. The key is in the preparation and delegating tasks to friends and family. 

If the thought of hosting your own barbecue seems too much, why not take a look at our barbecue menus and let us provide the BBQ catering so you can really enjoy your day.

Hiring BBQ caterers ensures that you still get to enjoy the event rather than spending time preparing, cooking and cleaning. As experts in barbecue catering in Essex, we can provide everything you need for your barbecue to be a success, and you won’t have to worry about how you are going to store your food leading up to your event as we bring it on the day.

Not only can BBQ caterers provide delicious, flavoursome food, and introduce new and exciting flavours, but we can also bring our own equipment and clear up afterwards!

No barbecue is complete without some drinks. Our bar services would be a great addition to your barbecue so that you could really enjoy your party! 

Don’t forget to like us on Instagram and Facebook to find out more about our barbecue and wedding catering services or get in touch with our friendly events team to discuss your wedding or event today.