More than 11 million barbecues will be ruined this summer, thanks to poor skills, under-cooked food – and drunken guests, it emerged. Researchers also found bad company and food running out too soon contribute to BBQ’s being hailed a failure. A lack of booze and a poor choice of music can also kill the buzz of an al fresco eating experience.

The study also found the average adult will attend or rustle up four ‘barbies’ this year, which is a staggering 108 million over the 27 million UK households. But of these, 11 per cent will fail spectacularly.  Nick White, spokesman for Simply Beef and Lamb, which carried out the study of 2,000 adults, said:

“Following this news, we are launching a campaign to get Brits grilling like Americans, Aussies and Argentinians.

“We’re asking Brits to banish boring barbecue food and to come together to raise the ‘steaks’.”

The study also found more than one in three (37 per cent) Brits have been at a BBQ that has been ruined by poor weather.barbeque, burning, coal, cook, cooking, dining, fire, food, fried, grill, lunch, meal, meat, nutrition, outdoors, picnic, preparation, protein, roasted, smoked, steak, temperature, royalty free,

Another one in five (22 per cent) have been subjected to burned or under-cooked food. Six per cent have even been at a BBQ which was wrecked by a fight.

The study also asked the panel of 2,000 adults to name their to barbecue bug-bears. While a dirty grill came top (27 per cent) and people with bad eating or table manners was second (21 per cent), one in five said they despised ‘back-seat BBQers’ who hover close to the grill criticising the chef’s cooking skills or offering pointless advice.

The amount of smoke from the barbie bothers more than a fifth of respondents, while 18 per cent are tired of the same old bangers and burgers.

The fact you spend hours cooking and then everyone is too drunk to eat is a particular irritation, as are awkward vegetarians.

Couples who publicly display their love for each other, men huddling around the barbecue and drunken arguments can all bug guests.

The study shows a fifth of people admit their barbecuing skills are pretty much non-existent, and 24 per cent go as far to say our barbecues are a national disgrace. Over half of those polled agree that countries such as the USA, Australia and Argentina are much better at barbecuing than Brits – despite our reputation for getting out the grill the minute the sun starts to shine.

The research indicates we are a nation of meat lovers – as well as being irritated by vegetarians, more than a third want to see more meat on their barbecue.  Meat steaks are also a favourite food for more than half of those polled.

Nick White continues: “It’s a misconception that steak is difficult to cook on the barbecue – it’s actually one of the quickest and tastiest meats to prepare on the grill.

“There are numerous ways to enjoy it, from cutting it into kebabs to marinating it in different flavours.  We have lots of easy BBQ recipe ideas on our website,* for anyone looking for inspiration.”


  1. Under-cooked food
  2. Rain
  3. Burnt food
  4. Bad company
  5. People who are too drunk
  6. Not enough food
  7. Poor BBQ skills
  8. No alcohol
  9. Bad music
  10. Boring and predictable food


  1. Dirty BBQ grill
  2. People with bad eating manners
  3. Criticism and advice from ‘back seat’ BBQ-ers
  4. The amount of smoke from the BBQ
  5. Drunk arguments
  6. Same old bangers and burgers
  7. Vegetarians being awkward
  8. Couples’ public display of affection
  9. All the men huddling around the BBQ
  10. The fact you spend hours cooking and then everyone is too drunk to eat




Photo credit: loonyhiker via / CC BY-NC-ND