Don Your Way column: We've got perfectly good kitchens, so why have a barbecue?

With the glorious weather we enjoyed at the weekend, I am guessing more than a fair few people across Doncaster dusted down their barbecues and took to their back gardens to make the most of the sunshine.

By Darren Burke
Thursday, 04 July, 2019, 10:51

We all know that the British summer can be gloriously unpredictable, so in this country, as soon as the sun comes out, as soon as the temperature rises anything above about 6c, out come the bags of charcoal and packs of burgers for a spot of al fresco cooking.

And I'm not ashamed to admit I was one of them.

Darren Burke: What's the point of a barbecue?

However, I was faced with a slight dilemma for my first barbecue of 2019 - and that was not owning a barbecue.

Without boring you with the details, my old BBQ cooked its last burnt to a black crisp sausage last summer and went to the big barbecue graveyard in the sky, having seen better days.

Chucked in a skip last autumn, I hadn't got round to getting a new one.

With the temperature rising and the chiller shelves at Sainsbury's rapidly emptying of quarter pounders and kebabs and the kids wanting to have tea in the garden, I made the snap decision to purchase one of those silver tray throwaway things as a stop gap measure.

Fortunately, despite not having enough heat to cook everything I wanted to, it did the job for last Saturday afternoon and forced me into getting a new and proper permanent one a day or so later.

But the whole carry on set me thinking. Just why do we subject ourselves to the Russian roulette fun of barbecues over and over again?

There's the notoriously changeable weather to contend with, there's trying to get the damn thing lit (hands up if you've used an entire box of matches in nothing more than a light breeze) and of course the choice of how you'd like your meat served - red raw or blacker and crunchier than a bowling ball that's been chucked in a microwave for a few hours.

We've got perfectly good ovens in the kitchen that we know will cook our dishes to perfection - so why do we gamble on our grub being cooked by decamping everything outside?

It's like going on holiday - you work hard for 40 odd weeks of the year and for your well-earned break, you end up sleeping in a caravan, tent or B&B - ie, something that's considerably worse than the place you have as accommodation for the rest of the year.

Don't get me wrong, I do love a good barbie (and watching as everyone ignores the bowl of salad) - but it is certainly one of those things that falls into the category of 'Great British barminess' - and all served up with a good helping of stress, upset and dejection as side dishes.

In the meantime, I've now got the job of assembling my new barbecue - a box of bits and one of those rubbishy instruction leaflets - and that's likely to leave me hotter than a few barbecue coals (without the white layer of ash).

That's a story for another time.