Perhaps the defining food trend of 2020, the restaurant home kit became synonymous with endless days inside. While many have outlasted lockdown mania and became a staple of elevated home dining, one that remains as exciting ever is the BBQ box. Perhaps because there’s less fiddly plastic sachets of sauce required, or maybe it’s simply the pure joy of cooking outside, but the BBQ box feels like a necessary continuation from the depths of Covid.
Whether you’re whacking Dishooms lamb chops on the grill for a DIY feast without tackling the 40-minute-plus queues, or simply ploughing your way through Swaledale’s frankly enormous selection of prime-cut meat and chicken, these BBQ boxes will have you prepped for the remainder of this fiery British summer, where turning on any hob inside has seemed like a masochistic activity.
Home By Simon Rogan BBQ Box
The meal-kit craze may have largely gone the way of Zoom quizzes when the pandemic ended, but there are a handful of chefs whose at-home offerings are still a sure thing for a weekend barbecue or dinner party. With his superb supply chain in the Lake District, including beef from Lake District Farmers and veg from the group's own farm, Simon Rogan is one of those, and his deceptively simple barbecue box combines unctuous marinated short rib with knockout burgers made with bone-marrow-infused chuck steak mince and a liscious black garlic emulsion, and two bone-in chicken thighs that come with Rogan's BBQ rub, all for cooking or finishing on a hot grill – plus a potato salad, Our Farm salad and barbecue beans. An absolute winner.
£56, serves two; simonrogan.co.uk
Swaledale BBQ Meat Box
We always say, if you're not sure what to throw on the barbecue, ask your butcher. But if you don't have one near you to ask, one of the UK's best online butchers is a great place to start, and many have a curated selection especially for the grill. Swaledale's is a doozy: the ultra-sustainable, Yorkshire-based butcher has put together a box filled with knockout cuts, from tried-and-tested skin-on chicken breasts and delicious rib-eye steaks to juicy burgers and house-made beef kofte kebabs. Our pick, though, is the short ribs – cut super thin in the Korea-by-way-of-California style of LA galbi, they're perfect for marinating in a sweet and spicy sauce and cooking one-by-one on a tabletop grill, Korean-barbecue style.
Dishoom BBQ Kit
Let’s face it, if you hear the words “Dishoom BBQ kit” and the sun’s shining, you’re basically already at the checkout. The Indian restaurant group’s at-home offerings are wildly popular, and the barbecue version is a doozy: marinated lamb chops, seekh kebabs, chicken tikka, and deliciously pillowy naan for mopping up the juices. You’ll even get a packet of Kabab Masala for your own cooking, plus each sale raises money for NGOs in India.
Serves six. £75; dishoom.com
José Pizarro Spanish BBQ Box
We rather like the brazenness of putting out a barbecue meal kit that’s just meat, but when you tuck into iconic Spanish chef José Pizarro’s BBQ offering for six, you’ll see why. Namely, the pork – a hulking cut of the prized presa ibérica and pluma ibérica from the incredible Cinco Jotas – plus suckling lamb cutlets from Burgos. In terms of sides, follow José’s lead and get creative with some simple, elegant tapas, and thank us later.
Indulge Dining BBQ Meal Kit
For a show-stopping dinner party with a fine-dining flourish – where you get to grill over fire but don’t have to spend hours prepping – look no further than Indulge Dining’s meal kit. From Andy Bowler, a seasoned chef who’s worked for Simon Rogan and Gordon Ramsay, it includes everything to make beautiful steak, hasselback potatoes, and chicken and lamb kebab skewers, with sauces and garnishes.
£85 for two; indulgedining.co.uk
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Everyone’s favourite Iranian restaurant (no, really, it’s likely you’ll see Dua Lipa there or any given night), is letting you bring their grilled goodness into your own home. There are a few different kits to order depending on how many people you’re feeding, but the ultimate kit which comfortably feeds six is definitely your best bit. With a load of kebabs to grill on the BBQ, alongside flatbreads, salad and a huge amount of mezze, you’re at no risk of going hungry any time soon, plus it brings a different approach to the classic summer meal – no sides required.
Serves 5-6. £120; berenjakbazaar.com
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HG Walter have a few BBQ boxes on offer – there’s the classic box with a range of steaks, ribs, burgers, chicken and sausages, or if you feeling a bit more specific opt for the BBQ beef steak box, with seven different steaks spread over five different cuts, alongside two bone marrow troughs (bone marrow butter anyone?!), or the BBQ banger box which quite literally does what it says on the tin in more ways than one – featuring 42 sausages you’ll be loaded up on bangers which is a sure fire way to ensure a bangin’ meal.
From £33.25; hgwalter.com
Look, it’s certainly not the cheapest on the list, but when you’re getting restaurant-quality nosh at home and a full, three-course meal to boot (including sides), this really does seem like quite the bargain. Feeding up to eight people, it includes sea bass ceviche to kick things off, an entire spatchcock chicken and ribeye steaks alongside a tomato and thyme salad and potato salad for the main course and a strawberry cheesecake for the grand finale. I’m not sure whether Rick Stein can ship the views over the camel estuary to your door as well, but this is probably the closest you’ll get to Padstow’s salty shores from your concrete-fringed London backyard.
Serves 6-8. £165; shop.rickstein.com
Rockfish at Home
As written about in our deep dive into sustainable seafood, Mitch Tonks has been steadily working away at providing sustainable and delicious fish and seafood at his restaurants, and followed it up with Rockfish at Home, which allows that same supply chain to become available to consumers. The service allows you to order selections from each day's catch, but also offers pre-selected boxes. The summer BBQ box is a doozy, too – at the time of writing it includes plump fresh prawns, delicate scallops, butterflied sardine fillets (our box had some beautiful squid and sea bream), all with the guarantee of provenance that's unmatched in British seafood. Throw them on the grill with the accompanying garlic butter and you've got one hell of a late-summer feast.