by Alan Thayne

How to step up your BBQ game for a summer of sport

How to step up your BBQ game for a summer of sport

What a summer of sport we have to look forward to! Sport is a great opportunity to boost sales by catering for customers who want to watch a game and why not take inspiration from some trending global cuisines too!
In this blog we meet with Alan Thayne – one of our fresh meat specialist who supports the area of Penrith to Peterhead. He enjoys using his experience to show his customers a variety of products that can enhance and develop chefs’ menus.

I always look forward to this time of year when the days grow longer and hopefully also a bit warmer; we all need a bit of sun after all the rain we have had!
But, finally we can dust off the BBQ’s whilst planning our summer menus, incorporating ingredients associated with warmer countries.
Summer is also a great chance to cater for the many sporting events taking place!

Knowing the skill levels that you have available within your team will greatly affect the menu offerings that you can confidently deliver. By sourcing, some quality products to use as super subs you can raise your game and take your dishes to the next level, ensuring you stand out from the competition.


One of the go-to summer menu options is always a good burger! Some may miss the chance to play the clever game when it comes to adding customer spend to the basic burger. For instance, if you start with a smaller smash style patty (52845 bistro burger 113gm/3oz) this can be cooked quickly, which helps with getting dishes out the kitchen onto tables without too much time spent. It is also great as a lighter option or as a kids burger to keep them entertained whilst you focus on the game!
For a bigger offer you can double up or stack for a 6oz alternative – giving you multiple menu items (and more fridge space!) from just one product!
As these are cooking, you can easily start to mix things up by adding onions, cheese and chillies. To elevate your burger further and your customers spend add in extras like:

  • Smoke streaky bacon (22728)
  • Castello blue cheese slices (41189)
  • Panko onion rings (12394)
  • Chilli jam (12097)
  • Smoked applewood (74871)
  • Cuban chimichurri (91329)

Levelling up the flavours and taking a basic burger to new heights! Sub out your basic seeded bun and sub in a sweeter brioche bun, beer sourdough burger bun or even a pretzel burger bun, putting your dish in a different league!
Offering some gluten free options is also necessary to appeal to a greater audience. Just make sure you prepare these separately to avoid cross contamination. Learn more about catering for allergies here: 3 key considerations when managing allergens.
Have you tried our Marrakech souk burger recipe, which incorporates some fantastic Moroccan earthy flavours? To create this delicious burger, you need a bistro burger as a base then add some chargrilled peppers to give it a smoky taste. Separately, mix a fresh slaw; add in orange juice and seasoning, and allow it to marinade for an hour to soak in the flavours. Top your burger with a north African influenced mayo and some crisp little gem lettuce, all held in a toasted gourmet burger bun, perfection!
When you put these out on your menu alongside some great summer sporting events, you are sure to grow your fan base!

Hot dogs

Another great summer favourite is a hot dog style offering, that always goes down a storm. Why not use some of our flavoursome Lincolnshire jumbo sausages (18830) punching out more flavours and textures compared to a plain old dog.
These are great when cooked on the BBQ but can also be held hot if you are being called to feed the opposition as well as the home team. Simply top them off with caramelised onions and don’t forget to finish with ketchup and your choice of mustard.
View our pork offering here: Wholesale pork suppliers & distributors – Bidfood

Salt beef

When it comes to BBQ season you tend to find that there are some closet chefs out there who never really shine until asked for their input to a summer menu, and one of the dishes that could be is a slow cooked salt beef brisket (12367).
This is a fantastic raw product that you can really go to town on with additional seasoning and flavours to make it sing from the terraces. One of the best ways to cook it; is to slowly braise it in a combi oven covered with root veg and some aromas like star anise and cinnamon sticks, but don’t add any additional salt, as that is an immediate red card!
This can cook away nicely for a couple of hours until tender. At this point, it can be glazed with treacle and Chinese five spice to take it to yet another level.
In the recipe Salt-beef American-style sandwich you can see we have thinly sliced it, then layered with crisp summer rocket leaves and sandwiched with toasted sourdough bread.  A great alternative to bread is our soft corn tortillas (19706) that gives you the option of grab and go food to speed up service, while giving a stunning visual from the open dish.
Add some colour by using vibrant red cabbage slaw, pickled red onion (11373) and drizzled with some chipotle mayonnaise (94438), an absolute game changer! Once you have the salt beef cooked, you can then use it on your deli offering and simply shred over your choice of salad – what a bonus.

Rib eye

One dish that will always put you at the top of the league table is a seared red tractor rib eye steak (71000) these have a generous amount of fat that ensures they remain moist when cooked over hot coals (unless you leave them out there for the full 90 mins).
If I could give one bit of advice when cooking steaks, it would be – don’t be afraid to let them rest after cooking, like every sports professional do your shift and take some well-deserved rest on the bench. This will always give you a great outcome at the final whistle.
If you want to try a different summer recipe that is full of vibrant flavours, which can be served as a main course for one or be a team player by carving it up and sharing it amongst the rest of the team, take a look at this tasty and easy recipe: Italian Palermo steak – Bidfood.

To leave the opposition standing you could incorporating meats such as Flat Iron, Brisket, Pork Club steaks. Or for a safer bet, opt for marinated chicken thigh or inner fillet skewers as a cheaper, more versatile, easier to prep and cook on a BBQ.
The additional fat content of the thighs will ensure that they remain moist throughout the cooking process and they also hot hold well. As an alternative, panko crumb the inner fillet skewers to make a winning bar snack, starters, kids option or salad topper.
As we, all know you can’t predict the score when it comes to our weather and BBQs can quickly become a wash out, which is a GP killer! By using meats that can be utilised across your whole menus in multiple recipes or occasions will avoid unnecessary wastage – and save the game!
You can find some more fresh ideas for summer meals or innovative ways to elevate your dining experiences on the Seasonal Summer magazine view it here.
And to discover more about our fresh meat offering visit Farmstead | Own brand – Bidfood and Wholesale meat suppliers & distributors – Bidfood for the full range.

Enjoyed hearing from our fresh meat team? Check out Menus of the Future – interview with Jim the Master Butcher here.

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