Barbecues: A Taste of the States

A patio in Scunthorpe might feel like a world away from the sunshine states of Florida and California, but on those hot summer days, paving slabs offer a flat, level and stable surface on which to barbecue - whether you have a barbecue built into your patio, or simply set up a portable grill when the sun comes out.

But if you always associate barbecues with Australia, a look across the pond to America could give you some new recipe ideas, so you don't just end up throwing another shrimp on the barbie.

The American Dream

Recent research by Mintel reveals the foods Americans most love to grill - and those that, despite stereotypes, they're actually not so fond of.

Thanks to Mike Johnson at for this image.

The classic barbecue option of burgers is as popular as ever, along with chicken, which UK households now eat with a range of different marinades, from peri peri, to Chinese-style, to sticky barbecue glazes.

However, if you love a barbecued hot dog, you might be surprised to learn that 23% of Americans only ever eat them during the summer season.

Whereas chicken, burgers and other barbecue foods have year-round appeal, it seems a quarter of consumers think of hot dogs only when the sun comes out.

A Matter of Taste

One of the things that could be holding hot dogs back is the salt content - 26% of those surveyed by Mintel said they would eat more if they were lower in sodium.

An eighth (12%) of US consumers say they need more recipe ideas too, as 88% simply eat sausages - including hot dog sausages and frankfurters - grilled and served in a bun.

Thanks to Mike Johnson at for this image.

If you're embracing the American barbecue trend, but want to add a British spin to it, you might want to consider grilling some good-quality British bangers, but serving them American-style with yellow mustard.

The joy of barbecue food is that it retains the pureness of the flavour of the meat, and lets you complement it with the dressings of your choice - so don't be afraid to experiment to find the perfect fusion of British and American tastes.