Food & Drink News

It’s Official: BBQs Beat Picnics

barbecue bbq beef charcoal
Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

With summer on the horizon, Brits are getting set to eat outdoors – and now the nation has spoken, BBQs beat picnics when it comes to the UK’s favourite al fresco food setting, according to new research.

The study from margarine brand Flora reveals that almost two thirds (61%) of people look forward to firing up the BBQ this summer, compared with 33% who prefer to lay down their picnic blanket.

Taking the lead as the UK’s grill aficionados, 69% of Geordies say they prefer BBQs to picnics, the highest proportion of any city, crowning Newcastle the nation’s BBQ capital. This compares to almost half of people from Leicester (46%) who prefer picnics over BBQs, the highest across the country.

Citing their reasons for preferring to BBQ, Brits say they can be more adventurous with their cooking (23%) as well as finding barbies more sociable (58%). Despite spending more time than ever at home, it appears many are also happy being homebodies, with 35% saying they love to cook for friends and family in their own house.

BBQs are not only for meat lovers, with over one in ten (13%) preferring BBQs to picnics because they find it’s easier to put plant-based options on the grill.

Grill Rookies

When looking at what Brits expect to be on the grill, burgers are the top BBQ staple according to three-quarters (75%) of respondents; however, some might be leaving them to cook for too long as over a third (36%) think burnt food is synonymous with a British BBQ. Revealing other key components, almost half (45%) say they think of men congregating around the grill, while one in five (20%) say dads cracking jokes their kids find cringeworthy is what they think of most when they think of BBQs. Further perpetuating the stereotype that Brits are grill rookies, a third (31%) also say struggling to light the coals is typical BBQ conduct.

grilled meat on charcoal grill

For those in team picnic (33%), health and convenience are key reasons for preferring to get the hamper out. Almost a third (32%) revel in the fact that picnics are less effort, stating that BBQs involve too much prep and cleaning. The same number (32%) also say it’s easier to be healthy at a picnic, while budget-conscious Brits state that picnics allow them to use food staples they already have in their kitchens (26%).

Picnics are also perfect for plant-based diets, with one in ten (13%) claiming they find it easier to include these dishes in a picnic when compared to a BBQ.

For the social media obsessed, picnics are deemed to be more Instagrammable (4%), while eco-conscious Brits say that BBQs emit too much CO2 (19%).

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