Cooking on a budget can be fun at first; however, once the cycle of budget meals has spun round the dinner table a few times, families can often become bored. Favourite budget meals include egg and bacon, sausage and mash, roast chicken, or burgers and chips yet even the hungriest person can groan when offered these again and again.
There is a way to spice up every budget meal, to make it appear different without actually changing a thing. Using the barbecue to cook the food will add flavour, fun and jazz up those meal times that nobody is looking forward to.
You can shop as you normally would, buying the items that are on your budget list as there’s no need to buy extra for the household. This isn’t using a barbecue to entertain, this is using the barbecue solely for you and your family as a way to enjoy even the cheapest cuts of meat without feeling as though you’re scrimping and saving.
Swap Sausage and Mash
Buy as you would the ingredients for the sausage and mash, yet instead of mashing the potatoes let them cook in the coals of the barbecue covered in foil. Grill the sausages and make a simple pea and mint salad out of the peas and hey presto – a new meal al fresco!
Egg and Bacon
For egg and bacon make French toast using the barbecue to grill the bread. Mix the eggs with a little milk and cinnamon and then dip the bread until it is soaked through. Place carefully on the barbecue along with the bacon and serve with grilled tomatoes.
Burgers and Chips
You may not be able to fry chips on a barbecue, but if you slice the potatoes thinly into discs and brush with oil you will make excellent fat crisps to serve with your burger. Burgers obviously grill great on an open flame and absorb the flame grilled flavour that many restaurants try and fail to replicate.
Change the Chicken
A whole chicken offers many meal alternatives and with just a little imagination you can cater to everyone’s tastes without leaving them hungry. Take the chicken apart piece by piece, removing the breasts first. Ideally you’ll want to remove the wish bone before this process as it gives a cleaner cut and allows for the whole breast to be removed. You can then take off the drumsticks, thighs, and wings and use the carcass for a chicken soup the following day.
Make a marinade for your chicken before grilling it on the barbecue; a cheap barbecue marinade can be constructed by mixing larder favourites such as ketchup and brown sauce with a little paprika. Serve with bread, baked or sliced potatoes and a little salad, saving the vegetables you’d use for a roast to add to the soup you will all enjoy the following day!
You can save money on a barbecue before you even start the cooking by consulting our exhaustive guide to a barbecue to suit every budget.