The 10 signs that show you have mastered the barbecue

How many can you tick off?

Sun's outs, fun's out – and, quite probably, the BBQ is out too. It's officially ‘super Sunday’, with the Cricket World Cup final, Wimbledon men’s final and the F1 British Grand Prix all reaching their climax this afternoon – and what better way to celebrate than with a tasty smorgasbord of meats and veggies, grilled alfresco to perfection.

However, whether you're in charge of the cooking may well be to do with your age, according to a new survey by B&Q. The DIY specialists have identified a particular age where we are finally confident to man the grill without burning the sausages or undercooking the chicken.


The poll of 1,000 adults also found to master the barbecue you must own all the correct utensils, be unflappable under pressure and never let food fall onto the coals.

The 10 signs that show you have mastered the barbecue

1. You're a certain age!

wooden wall with homebase barbecue and garden area

(Image credit: future PLC/Simon Whitmore)

Apparently, Brits don’t master the art of barbecuing until the ripe old age of 38. B&Q's research has revealed we have to wait until we’re almost 40 to successfully grill a burger without turning it into charcoal, cook a sausage without it being pink in the middle and toast a veggie kebab to perfection.

It also emerged adults typically take the reins and host their first barbecue when they are 32 years old and three in 10 see this as a logical next step once they have their own home and space to do it.

2. You time all the food perfectly

Because no one really wants to wait an extra half an hour extra for the chicken drumsticks.

3. You know where to place different meats and vegetables on the grill

barbecue with fish wrapped and grill

(Image credit: future PLC/Myles New)

Keep that delicate fish wrapped up and to the side but the steaks can take the heat!

4. You keep calm and carry on

Do you panic when a prawn drops through the grill, or the veggie burgers just won't cook? Almost half of those polled think confidence has an effect on the success of barbecuing.

5. You've graduated from burgers and hotdogs

burger with duck meat and fruit

(Image credit: future PLC/Will Heap)

Not surprisingly, three quarters of those interviewed as part of the OnePoll survey said they can confidently serve up the basics of sausages and burgers, while four in 10 can also cook steak.

However, one third who took part said they believe a grill expert should be able to rustle up dishes which aren’t just burgers and hotdogs. Whether that's halloumi, salmon, steak, kebabs or something more daring.

Incidentally, the foods Brits are least confident cooking on the barbecue are a roast joint, fruit and duck meat. So if they are part of your repertoire, you can confidently say you're a barbecue expert!

6. The coals and heat are ready in perfect time for guests arriving

It will ALWAYS take a while for charcoal to get to temperature, no matter what the packaging says!

7. You're confident in how to light the barbecue

charcoal grill with table and chairs with bowls

(Image credit: TBC)

You've always go a good stock of matches and firelighters at the ready. And go easy on the lighter fluid...

8. You've got the right tools for the job

According to B&Q's survey, over half the nation believe the tools they have impact their barbequing ability and many reckon they could have conquered the grill four years sooner had they had the right kit.

The most sought after pieces of equipment are a vegetable grill basket, a thermometer and an oil brush, while the most commonly owned utensils include a spatula, grill fork and cleaning brush.

Only five per cent have a smoker box, just nine per cent own a fish basket and only one in 10 have a charcoal starter.

9. You have a broad range of food types to cook

Honey Siracha steak strips, chorizo hot dogs, peppered mackerel and Korean-style chicken, anyone?

10. You marinate meat overnight

barbecue with chicken and grill fork with plate

(Image credit: TI Media)

It's all about the flavour!

Christopher Ray, category manager for outdoor at B&Q says: 'This weekend is set to be one of the biggest of the year for barbecue action and we can see from the research that there will be a mix of confidence levels out there.'

'Some people already feel like experts and others recognise they need to fine tune their skills and get their hands on some more tools for the best results.'

'With the right equipment, you can shave off a significant period of time in developing your barbecue mastery.'

Amy Cutmore

Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.