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Raising the Barbeque - Mike Reid Download Image


  • Burnt food, serving meat to vegetarians and having to call the fire brigade amongst Brits biggest barbeque fails
  • The people of the South East, West Midlands and East are bottom of the pits, claiming the most amount of blunders
  • Research carried out as part of Aldi’s Raising The Barbeque campaign, which aims to help Brits up their grill game this summer

Serving burnt food (47%), not being able to light the barbeque (25%), and arguments over the grill (11%) are amongst the UK’s most common barbeque mishaps, and those in the South East are the biggest offenders, according to a recent study amongst 2,000 Brits by supermarket Aldi.

Ahead of a summer during which 273 million barbeques are expected[1], respondents were asked to admit to their most frequent barbeque blunders.  As well as serving burnt and undercooked food, Brits also admitted to forgetting to clean the grill, not having enough food/sauces, and failing to accommodate vegetarian and gluten free guests.

Serving burnt food47%
Not being able to light the barbeque25%
Serving undercooked food21%
Arguments over the grill11%
Forgetting to clean the grill11%
Not having enough food11%
Forgetting sauces10%
Having to call the fire brigade8%
Serving meat to veggies6%
Forgetting to cater for specific diets5%

The survey results also ranked regions accordingly to expose the UK’s worst offenders, revealing that:

  • Over a quarter of people in the South East serve guests undercooked food, with those in Portsmouth being the guiltiest culprits (40%)
  • Things often get heated for those in Wales, with 1 in 5 (20%) claiming to argue with family members or partners at alfresco gatherings
  • Serving meat to vegetarians is a reality for 30% of people in Leicester
South East
West Midlands 
North East
South West
East Midlands
North West 

However, while this varied series of mishaps has unsurprisingly led to 1 in 5 Brits lacking confidence at the grill, all is not lost. Despite a succession of unfortunate events, a third of Brits claim they want to be more adventurous at the grill this summer and 30% claim they will brave the barbeque every single time it’s sunny.

The survey was commissioned by Aldi as part of its Raising The Barbeque campaign, which aims to help turn Brits from pit-iful grillers in to gourmet barbeque masters this summer, with hints, tips and recipes from celebrity chefs Judy Joo and Mike Reid.

Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi UK, said: “While it is apparent that barbeque blunders are commonplace in the UK, it is encouraging to see us Brits are keen to brush up on our skills and become more adventurous at the grill.

“Our brand new Raising The Barbeque online hub has been designed to help Brits up their grill game, with the help of great chefs Judy Joo and Mike Reid who are both passionate and experienced in the subject of barbequing.

“We hope that together we can inspire a nation of gourmet grillers that help redefine the British barbeque as one of the world’s best.”

Journey from ‘Nil Skills’ to ‘Grill Skills’ with these Top Barbeque Tips from Ready Steady Cook Chef and Gaucho Culinary Director Mike Reid:

How to light your barbeque

The easiest way to start your barbeque is to get yourself a barbeque chimney. If you don’t have a barbeque chimney starter though, a great little hack is to simply scrunch up a piece of paper towel, cover in vegetable oil and then light in the middle of your coals. It burns hotter and longer this way and will kick start your coals.

How NOT to burn your food

When cooking meats, remember that each cut needs to be cooked differently. Generally, the rule to work with is the higher the fat content the higher the initial heat you cook it on. You want that beautiful caramelisation on the first side. Whereas if you have a leaner cut like fillet or rump, take caution with a gentler heat, as you don’t have much fat to be rendering.

How to be more adventurous

A barbeque with a lid is key if you want to cook a variety of things on it. It basically becomes an oven so think of the endless possibilities!

How to clean your grill

To clean your grill, spray with vinegar, leave for about 5 minutes and then scrub clean with some scrunched-up foil. Brewed coffee is also a great way to tackle grease on your barbeque, given its level of acidity. Just pour into a large basin and soak your grates for around an hour. Rinse with warm water, and they will be good as new! (This also works for utensils etc.)

How to become a barbeque pro

Invest in the right tools. Having the right equipment will help take your barbeque game to the next level. A great pair of tongs is essential along with a good barbeque spatula. Also look at good brushes and spray bottles as well to either spray on marinades whilst cooking or fill with water to create smoke on wood and coal barbeques. You don’t need a barbeque fork though – they can do more harm than good when grilling as they create holes in your food and allow the juices to pour out.

Those looking to up their grill skills should head to the Raising The Barbeque hub at to find out more.


For further information, images or to request a sample, please contact the Aldi press team on:

020 7479 0910

Please contact the Aldi team at Clarion to confirm product details and availability prior to print.

Notes to editors:

Mortar Research polled 2,006 respondents on the 9th April 2021 as part of Aldi’s barbeque study.

[1] Aldi research showing that Brits expect to attend or host an average of four barbeques this summer

For more information, please contact the Aldi Press Office on:
T: 0161 235 0300 or