Our top 10 outdoor cooking trends for Summer 2024

From evolution and rediscovery to technology and sustainability, the Lazy Susan team have picked our top 10 outdoor cooking trends for Summer 2024…

Our climate, while not always conducive to outdoor cooking, does provide us with just enough sunny days to enjoy our barbecues.

Barbecue culture in the UK has grown in popularity over the years too, whether that’s the influence of American cuisine or British TV chefs such as James Martin, Jamie Oliver and Tom Kerridge hosting outdoor cooking shows, we’re beginning to fully embrace it. 

Of course, there's the social aspect of it too. Very important to us here at Lazy Susan. Barbecues are a great opportunity to gather friends and family to enjoy good food and company. It gives us a chance to unwind, soak up some vitamin D (weather permitting), and enjoy food that just tastes better when cooked outside.

On top of that, the types of foods that can be cooked on a barbecue appeal to our desire for, and growing interest in, exploring flavours from around the world. We love to experiment with fusion cuisine and combine elements from different culinary traditions. 

Good BBQ seems to exemplify that for us. There’s just something for everyone, and even the leading supermarkets have recognised this - They will all have BBQ sections popping up on their chiller aisles in the next month or so.

The smokey flavours imparted into meat, fish and veg by grilling add an extra dimension to the food, making it even more tasty, and our love for a BBQ here at Lazy Susan is well known. The more we can have the more we can use our garden furniture!

With the official start of Summer 2024 just around the corner, the Lazy Susan team have selected our top 10 outdoor cooking trends to get you fired up -  From evolution and a rediscovery of traditional methods from afar to technological advancements and a need for greater sustainability, we've something for every grilling enthusiast.

1. Korean BBQ

Our top outdoor cooking trends for Summer 2024 | 1. Korean BBQ

Pair your garden table with a tabletop grill and get set for some “gogi-gui" this summer. Korean BBQ is their culinary tradition of grilling meat like beef, pork, or chicken, at the dining table. 

It's a social and interactive dining experience whereby diners cook the meat right at the table, often using gas or charcoal grills built into the table. 

The meats are often marinated in flavourful marinades such as soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, sugar, and pear juice, which tenderise and impart some serious flavour. 

The meat is then thinly sliced for quick cooking on the grill and served with a host of side dishes, known as “banchan”, such as kimchi, pickled vegetables, rice, lettuce leaves for wrapping, dipping sauces, and other accompaniments to complement the grilled meat.

2. Eco-Grilling

Our top outdoor cooking trends for Summer 2024 | 2. Eco-Grilling

With increasing environmental concerns, here at Lazy Susan, we’re hoping to see a big rise in eco-friendly grilling practices in 2024 and beyond.

This could include using sustainable charcoal alternatives like coconut husk or bamboo charcoal, as well as energy-efficient grills or solar-powered cooking devices.

On top of sustainable grilling materials and techniques, we are seeing a greater emphasis on cooking with locally sourced and organic ingredients. This helps to reduce our carbon footprint by removing the amount of transportation and pesticide use.

Energy-efficient grilling techniques, such as preheating the grill for a shorter amount of time and cooking with the lid closed to retain heat, can reduce energy consumption.

We can even go further by looking at how we can minimise our waste when hosting a BBQ by using reusable or biodegradable plates, utensils, packaging, and composting our food waste, instead of sending it to landfill.

3. Vegan BBQ

Our top outdoor cooking trends for Summer 2024 | 3. Vegan BBQ

As plant-based diets gain popularity here in the UK, we’re expecting to see more and more creative vegan BBQ options. 

From grilled vegetables to plant-based burgers and sausages, there’s been a big shift towards a better variety of meat alternatives specifically designed for grilling.

If 2023, was the year of the pulled jackfruit burger, then for us summer 2024 is all about the vegan BBQ chick’n made from crispy soy curls. 

If you’ve never heard of them or you’re maybe a little afraid to try them, then the video below from Country Life Natural Foods shows you how to make them:

4. Middle Eastern Kabobs

Our top outdoor cooking trends for Summer 2024 | 4. Middle Eastern Kabobs

Kabobs (also spelt kebabs or kebobs) is one the best ways to bring the flavour of the Middle East to your back garden. 

A popular dish consisting of skewered and grilled pieces of meat, typically seasoned with a blend of herbs, spices, and marinades, they are perfect for cooking on an outdoor grill and best served hot with rice, couscous, pita bread, and fresh salad. 

You can use various meats such as lamb, beef, chicken, or even seafood, along with a mix of vegetables. Mix it all in a bowl with minced garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, paprika, coriander, turmeric, salt, and pepper.

Thread the marinated meat and assorted vegetables onto soaked wooden or metal skewers, alternating between meat and veg, brush with olive oil, and cook them on a preheated outdoor grill on medium to high heat.

A recipe the team here at Lazy Susan loves is Feelgoodfoodie’s authentic Lebanese Chicken Kabobs. The chicken is marinated in yoghurt, lemon and garlic and it is super tasty:

5. Argentine Asado

Our top outdoor cooking trends for Summer 2024 | 5. Argentine Asado

If you love to cook steak on your BBQ grill, then Asado is the summer trend for you. 

Argentine Asado is a traditional Argentine barbecue that holds a special place in the country's culture and cuisine. It's not just a meal, it is a social gathering that is centred on the art of grilling meats, typically beef, over an open fire or charcoal grill.

This cultural ritual brings together family and friends to share good food and conversation and typically features various cuts of beef, including ribs, sirloin, flank steak, and sausages. 

Each cut is seasoned simply with salt, allowing the natural flavour of the meat to shine through. Asado is cooked slowly over low heat using wood or charcoal, and that low and slow process allows the meat to develop a delicious smokey flavour and tenderness. 

Asado is best served with a variety of accompaniments, including chimichurri sauce, salads, grilled vegetables, bread, and, of course, wine. 

It is a celebration of meat and fire, and the video below from Samuel and Audrey shows them in Mendoza, Argentina learning the art of creating Argentinian Asado from Audrey's father Daniel:

6. Open Flame Cooking

Our top outdoor cooking trends for Summer 2024 | 6. Open Flame Cooking

There's something primal and satisfying about cooking over an open flame. Methods like campfire cooking, fire pit grilling, and Dutch oven cooking have always been around but we’re seeing a renewed interest in their rustic charm and smokey flavours.

Open-flame cooking is relatively simple, requiring minimal equipment and ingredients. It allows us the opportunity to get back to basics and enjoy the pleasures of cooking over fire.

It gives us a connection to nature, enhances the overall cooking experience, and allows us to appreciate the beauty of our surroundings.

Gathering around the grill or a campfire, sharing stories, and enjoying good food together fosters a sense of camaraderie and connection. Whether you're grilling steaks, smoking ribs, cooking in a pot or toasting marshmallows, open-flame cooking offers a wide range of possibilities.

If you want to get back to basics this summer, then the Fort In The Woods Campfire Chilli recipes in the video below is a great place to start:

7. DIY Smokers

Our top outdoor cooking trends for Summer 2024 | 7. DIY Smokers

You can spend upwards of £1000 on state-of-the-art grills and smokers but some of the best BBQ we’ve tasted has been smoked low and slow on a DIY Smoker.

DIY smoking setups, such as oil drum smokers or cold smoke generator kits, are creating a buzz and people are exploring how they can create unique flavours at home. 

We’re talking low-cost and innovative ways to dig deeper into the art of smoking and curing meats and fish, and in the video above from BB Barbecue, Adam shows you how to transform a 55-gallon drum into a backyard smoker, while the video below from Melody Builds looks at a DIY cold smoker:

8. Smart Grills

Our top outdoor cooking trends for Summer 2024 | 8. Smart Grills

Of course, if there’s a DIY trend, then you can bet you can pay to fake it. Technology continues to infiltrate every aspect of our lives, and outdoor cooking is no exception. 

Smart grills equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity and smartphone apps are the must-have barbecue gadgets for 2024, allowing us to conveniently monitor and control our grills remotely.

Many come equipped with temperature sensors and probes that provide accurate real-time temperature readings, enabling precise cooking and helping us to ensure that food is properly cooked before we serve our guests.

As touched on in our Eco-Grill entry, smart tech is also allowing us to monitor and control the temperature remotely, so we can best optimise energy usage and reduce our fuel consumption. Environmentally-friendly and saving money is a winning trend in our book!

9. Gourmet Camping

Our top outdoor cooking trends for Summer 2024 | 9. Gourmet Camping

Forget your basic camping fare of pasta in a summit set, gourmet camping involves firing up a grill and using premium ingredients such as fresh meats, seafood, vegetables, herbs, and spices.

Outdoor enthusiasts are combining their love for adventure with outdoor cooked food. Gourmet camping cuisine is another hot trend blowing up in 2024. Think elevated camping meals featuring fresh locally sourced ingredients, creative recipes, and techy portable cooking gadgets.

Gourmet camping enthusiasts enjoy experimenting with creative recipes and cooking techniques to elevate their outdoor dining experience. This might include marinating meats, creating homemade sauces and marinades, or trying out gourmet burger combinations.

While traditional camping might involve basic portable grills or campfires, serious barbecue/camping enthusiasts are investing in high-quality outdoor cooking equipment such as portable gas grills, charcoal grills, or even portable smokers.

But as with many of these trends, it isn't just about the food, it’s also about the experience. 

From setting up your cosy outdoor dining area with comfortable seating, ambient lighting, and perhaps even a portable table or picnic setup to gathering around the grill, sharing stories, and enjoying good food together adds to the enjoyment of your camping trip.

10. Community Cookouts 

Our top outdoor cooking trends for Summer 2024 | 10. Community Cookouts

Thanks to the wonderful Andi Oliver and her Fabulous Feasts TV show, community cooking is sure to be big in 2024…

Outdoor cooking is a wonderful way of bringing people together, so expect to see more community cooking events and outdoor cooking competitions this summer. 

Whether it's a neighbourhood BBQ cook-off or a collaborative outdoor cooking workshop, these events are helping to foster a sense of community and culinary creativity.

Please give some of our outdoor cooking trends for Summer 24 a try, and don't be afraid to experiment with new grilling techniques and BBQ flavours! 

If you have any photos of your Lazy Susan Garden Furniture at your next BBQ, then we’d love to see a few snaps for our Do Some Good charity campaign. You can tag us @LazySusanFurniture on Instagram or Facebook or Upload Here.

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