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A Summer BBQ Picnic

The oxford dictionary defines a picnic as “an occasion when a packed meal is eaten outdoors, especially during an outing to the countryside “Better still combine your picnic with an Outdoor Barbecue!”

Summer allows so many opportunities to pack up and enjoy a Barbecue day with friends and family surrounded by nature.

Whether you visit your local park or drive further afield to a forest or beach picnic area here are a few tips that will take the stress out of packing and preparing.

Benefits of Outdoor Cooking and Perfect Picnics

Know your picnic area

If you have never been to the area where you intend to set up your picnic try and talk to a local or research on the internet. Some areas have built-in BBQ stands with areas set aside that you can use. There may be tables permanently on-site that you can use. Wherever you decide to set up your Barbecue make sure that you are aware of the local regulations regarding fire control.

(Don’t be afraid to ditch your lounge chairs and go deeper into your yard and throw down a blanket! Home IS where the HEART is and this would be something your family will never forget. Hey! Make it a Summertime Tradition! )


The portable BBQ

 There are many models on the market. Decide whether you want to use Gas or Charcoal / Wood as your fuel. Pointers to check when deciding on the grill you wish to use on your picnic are :

  • Gas or Woodburning
  • The overall weight of the BBQ
  • Do the legs fold up for easy transport?
  • It should be constructed of lightweight durable material


The Weber Smokey Joe at less than 10 lbs is highly recommended as well as the Weber liquid propane grill Q 1000. Also, consider the Coleman Propane road trip RXL Grill. Click in to Visit Our Amazon Store for more ideas.

All of these are available on our Amazon store with user reviews. And, for larger Home BBQ’s you can even order setup and installation on most of our Barbecue’s.  See Amazon Best Portable Grills 


Packing your picnic basket 

Remember to pack your basket in reverse order of how you will eat. i.e Snacks at top desserts at the bottom. It is best to pack meat or seafood in a separate cooler box. Make sure that everything, that should be, is well iced. A good idea is to freeze ¾ bottles of water to use as ice packs. That water can then be used to drink at the picnic site.


Table settings / Tablescape (Click in for more Ideas!)


Whether you use your fold up table, one supplied on-site or a picnic blanket try and choose summer bright colors and pack some light décor items that compliment your picnic area. Nothing transforms a picnic like a bright tablecloth!

There are melamine plates and bowls in so many colors that are lightweight and portable. Compliment your colors with matching paper serviettes and tablecloths. If its a special occasion take along a few balloons to tie to your table or weight down with stones around your picnic blanket.

Don’t forget a flat wooden cutting board and a sharp knife. The board can be used as a serving plate and even a shelf in your cooler box.

What food to serve?

This depends on who you are serving. Your menu can be as simple as sausages on the bbq served in foot-long buns or delicate salmon steaks served with fresh salads.

Before you decide on the picnic food make sure you have ingredients that will withstand the trip. Also, plan on prepping as much food as possible at home so that you just have to throw it together on site.

Pasta and bean salads are picnic classics. If you decide to use summers greens then make sure they are not the delicate wilt prone leafy salads. Dressings should be prepared at home but not added until at the picnic site. Here are some suggestions:


Crispy coleslaw.

Salt and drain the sliced cabbage before you leave home. This rids the cabbage of the liquid that would otherwise produce a soggy picnic dish. Add any dressing just before serving. Add julienned broccoli stems, crisp sweet kohlrabi slices, crunchy tart green apple slices or slivered carrots. All of these will compliment your slaw and are reasonably sturdy.


Pasta Salads

When preparing your pasta salad at home undercook the pasta slightly. It should be al dente. It will better absorb and vegetable juices or sauces. The pasta will soften slightly when you mix these in.


Canned beans

These should be rinsed of their residue at home before being prepared and packed for serving.

Quick Goat Cheese, Herb, and White Bean salad

4 cups Pre-washed mixed salad greens

¾ cup cherry tomatoes

½ cup canned cannellini beans drained and rinsed

1/3 rd cup goats cheese

1 Tablespoon fresh torn basil leaves

A few walnuts

At home mix the dressing :

Whisk together 1 tablespoon Olive Oil,1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar,1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard and a little salt and pepper. Store in a small bottle.

At the picnic throw all the greens/tomatoes, basil, nuts and beans together. Add the dressing and toss.


All of these salads and ingredients can be packed into a mason type jar. Not only do they look appetizing through the glass it’s a great way to transport ready prepared food. As the glass is recyclable its good for the environment as well.



An easy way to BBQ when picnicking is to use skewers. Make up the skewers at home. Keep them in foil, wrapped transported in your cooler box. Once placed on the grill the tin foil can simply be placed in your refuse bin .There are many different food items that can be skewered i.e A good tip is to use a dry rub on your kebabs. Somehow marinades always seem to leak!


Vegetarian:- Grillable Halloumi Cheese,  Peppers, Onions, zucchini and mushrooms

Meat eaters:- Cubed sirloin, Chicken breast, venison tenderloin, sausages, ground beef koftas

Fish eaters:- Skewered shrimp, swordfish, cod.

Kids parties: – Hot dog sausages, deboned chicken breasts. Serve with imagination!


A few final tips :


  • Be fire aware! Check at your picnic site whether they like you remove charcoal etc. Never pack up your picnic and walk away without checking the coals are completely cold.
  • Take all your refuse with you or dispose of safely in bins provides.
  • Have a great day out in the sun enjoying nature with your family and friends!

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GO Picnic!: 

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