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The best books for outdoor cooking

Dear reader,

The Great British Summertime is officially here and for our mealtimes that means one big change – the chance to eat outside! It’s that time of year when a familiar smell of barbecues wafts across the neighbourhood, we revel in warm evenings dining in the garden and might even camp out with an open fire.

What better focus for our edit this week than the best of books about cooking and eating outdoors – from signed copies of Tom Kerridge’s new Outdoor Cooking, to an amazing book from the owners of London’s Honey & Co. restaurant all about Middle Eastern recipes for the grill. So grab your tongs, don your apron, and get cooking outside this summer



Foolproof BBQ

Genevieve Taylor



Aimed at those who are perhaps a little trepidatious about barbecue season (burnt sausages and underdone chicken anyone?), this book is by a ‘BBQ and live-fire expert and cook’ who promises to deliver ‘failsafe cooking’, even for the complete novice. The recipes are indeed carefully and clearly explained with lots of little hints and tips along the way about things like fuel for your fire and preparing ahead for parties. There are 60 recipes including vegetables, meat, fish and poultry plus a few puddings too. A great price and one to keep by your side when temperatures flare.



Tom Kerridge’s Outdoor Cooking

Tom Kerridge


RRP £22

Billed as being for both beginners on the barbecue as well as the seasoned (not sure if a pun is intended?!) pro, this brand new offering from Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge is sure to be a hit. We have signed copies to boot, making it ideal for a gift, as we head into a summer of staycations and focus on enjoying the most of the great outdoors in the UK. Over 80 recipes range from serious heavyweights like pork and chorizo burgers, to dips, salads and snacks, desserts and drinks. It’s like a primer for outdoor eating, from small groups and big gatherings.  







Chasing Smoke

Sarit Packer & Itamar Srulovich



Cookbooks from Honey & Co. are always a thing of beauty and that’s before you get to the content inside. Their new one doesn’t disappoint – a journey around the Middle East that collects together inspiring recipes from different culinary cultures, all linked by a focus on grilling and smoking. The chapters are ingredient led (e.g. fruit & veg, fish & seafood, birds) and not only evoke the mouth-watering flavours of the Middle East (prawns in honey and fresh coriander, figs with manouri cheese and pomegranate sauce) but include features on key cities (e.g. Alexandria in Egypt and Thessaloniki in Greece) with recommendations for the best fire-fuelled eateries in each.






The Green Barbeque

Rukmini Iyer



You’ll recognise Iyer’s name from her hugely popular Roasting Tin series – cookbooks that promote simple, one-dish recipes and have collectively sold over 900,000 copies! She applies the same fuss-free, accessible approach to barbecue cooking with this new book of vegan and vegetarian dishes. Barbecues can be dull affairs for veggies, who often end up with just bread and salad (speaking from personal experience!) but this book has some amazing ideas that feel easy to make and look flavour-packed. I love the sound of crispy barbecue tofu or griddled papaya to bring some flavour to the non-meat barbecue.



Wilderness Chef

Ray Mears



For true outdoors chefs. This came out last summer but you may have missed it: the first cookbook from outdoors legend Mears that not only offers recipes to cook over the fire but shows you how to light that fire, to cook in ashes and leaves, to steam, smoke and even build a simple ground oven. His dishes range from children’s favourites (marshmallow s’mores and hot dogs) to rabbit and salmon for the grown-ups, plus some unique additions learned from living with indigenous peoples (Gurkha curry anyone?) It’s great fun, interwoven with stories from Mears’ travels, including such delights as baking a birthday cake in the rainforest and eating Emu leg drumsticks.

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The Camping Cookbook

Heather Thomas



Smaller in size but still containing 60 recipes covering all the camping classics and catering for all-day cooking on a portable stove, barbecue or fire pit. Breakfast might be Mexican chilli fried eggs with avocado mash and dinner, charcoal-grilled lamb, with toffee apple pan crumble if you’ve still got room for pudding! Oh and campfire-style hot toddies to keep the chill out on the inevitably cooler British evenings.


Price and availability checked Wednesday 2 June 2021

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