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Countdown to Kick Off – 10 Steps to hosting a perfect BBQ Cookout

Charlotte from BBQ rub specialists Smoke and Flame shares their best tips for hosting a great Superbowl BBQ !

With over 4 million Brits tuning in, Superbowl Night is firmly etched onto the UK’s social calendar. So use our guide to plan your night and don’t let your party be a Hail Mary!

We’re on hand to give you the step-by-step countdown to make sure your BBQ and your night run without a hitch AND you don’t miss out on all the on-screen action.

Sound good? Read on…

1: Invite your guests

And ask for RSVPs. Set up a specific Whatsapp group and let them know you’re pulling out the stops. Check for dietary needs. Give them some time to respond, chase the stragglers and move onto the next step…

2: Set a budget.

You can’t have Wagyu tastes if you’ve got a sausage and burger budget! Feeding ten people a top of the range steak could cost you over £500 for the meat alone. Switch that down for Pulled Pork Shoulder and you can buy enough meat to stuff 10 people for about £20-25 and still have leftovers.

Sure, people will talk about your wagyu steaks for years to come – but they will also do that for an amazing brisket or chunk of pulled pork, in our experience.

Image credit:

Wagyu Steak for the BBQ
As a rough guide, to serve 6 people with decent appetites you will need:

Pulled Pork: 2 to 3 pork shoulders – circa £25.

Pork Ribs: 6 racks. About £25-30.

Beef Brisket: 5 – 6 lbs. Around £40.

OK, let’s get creative…

3: Finalise your menu.

There are 3 things you need to consider now you’ve set the budget:

  • Flavours
  • Sides
  • Time Spent at The Grill.

Flavours – the best spice blends for barbecuing.

Nothing says “America” more than The Superbowl and the temptation is to go with big American flavours – Boston Butt Pulled Pork, Tulsa Brisket, Babyback Pork Ribs are classic BBQ dishes.

Nepalese Chicken Sekuwa – Image credit Smoke and Flame

But don’t scare away from something further afield and wow your mates whilst you’re at it. Particular suggestions include Korean Pork Belly, Nepalese Sekuwa… even simple Chicken Tikka kebab cooked over coals is probably a level above what you’ll get served up at your local Indian.

Black Country Chicken Tikka

Not sure how to blend the perfect BBQ rub? Invest in some bespoke spice blends such as the ones crafted by Smoke and Flame (we provide easy-to-follow cooking instructions too).

Black Country Chicken Tikka – Image credit Smoke and Flame

Simple Sides for a BBQ

You want to watch the game and you also need to cook! So simplicity is good and doing sides on the BBQ is even better.

Some extremely easy choices:

For pulled pork: Baps, coleslaw and BBQ sauce (all bought or made in advance). It cannot get simpler. Get the guests to serve themselves.

Steak: Break from the norm and give them a smoky baked potato. Wrap a spud in two layers of tin foil and chuck it directly onto the coals. Serve with salad and chimichurri sauce (made earlier).

Asian flavours: A simple pilau rice – making it in advance is easy if you have the spices; buying it is even easier.

Too basic for you? We offer a free e-book, with 15 Easy-To-Do Side Dishes  for any subscribers to our email list – if you want something a bit more sophisticated.  You can sign up here:


4: Tell others what want you want them to bring.

Put on your big girl pants and be direct – they’ll probably appreciate it. Tell them what you’re providing and what they need to bring (drinks and/or snacks). This message will also prompt any cancellations before you waste money on food.

5: How to still watch the game (and still ace the BBQ)!

How much do you need to watch every play? That determines how long you’re willing to spend in front of the grill.

Cooking a steak takes far less time but it’s intense work – you need to keep turning the meat so it doesn’t burn. You should plan for around 10-15 minutes away from any TV screen. And, if you’re like me, you’ll probably miss the biggest moment in the game!

Stay with me a minute…

Conversely though, cooking something ‘low and slow’ like Boston Butt Pulled Pork or Tulsa Brisket is more likely to see you have more time away from the grill and in front of the TV. Sure, it takes hours to cook (but it’s very low maintenance and the work is done by the BBQ not you).

You’ll want to rest your brisket or pulled pork for at least an hour before serving. Wrap it up, pop it in a low temp oven, slow cooker on low (or leave in the bbq if it’s cool-ish). 2 hours resting is fine (some even recommend it) – so, with a typical Superbowl lasting up to 4 hours, you could stop cooking before the game has started and still ace the food! Yes!

When are you serving? Half time or pre-game?

After you’ve thought about that, it’s simple maths: Start time = Serving time – time to cook and rest meat.

Some approximate cooking times are below but the platinum measure is via a Meat Thermometer Probe:

BBQ Cooking times for pulled pork, brisket, ribs

There are lots of ways to cook pork ribs. For melt in-your-mouth, fall-off-the-bone ribs, the 3-2-1 method is popular. We describe the technique here.

6: Get your ingredients.

We’re not going to tell how to do a food shop. Needless to say, however, we do advocate for our own range of internationally inspired spice blends.

7 (optional): Craft the playlist.

Or just use one pre-made from Spotify or Amazon Music.

8: Recheck your plan of action.

Dream of victory. Rest and get ready for game day…

9: Check the weather…

light the BBQ, take the meat out of the fridge and replace it with drinks, cook and serve.

10: 3 final tips:

If it rains heavily, bring it inside. Don’t fight it (unless you’ve got a Ninja – we’ll write about those soon). Can you fit everything into your oven if you need to come inside? All of Smoke and Flame’s rubs work indoors and out.

If you’re doing pulled pork or brisket and you’re using a meat thermometer, don’t panic when the internal temperature stays the same for a couple of hours. That’s normal.

Did Somebody Say Just Eat?

We’d love to know what you think of our guide. We’d also like to help with anything you’re struggling with (mainly BBQing but we do give general life coaching too).

Please comment below!

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