There are millions of barbecue recipes available, so what I’ve tried to do is put together a barbecue bible of easy ones.
The secret to a good barbecue is to plan your menu around things that can be prepared in advance. Keep things simple and you'll be able to relax and enjoy the day with your friends and family.
When we heave the BBQ out of the shed on the first hot day of the year, I guess our first thoughts are usually of char-grilled burgers.
It is possible to buy some nice fat ones in the shops these days but homemade ones taste a thousand times better and you know exactly what you’re putting into your body! - not always the case with commercial ones.
With these homemade hamburgers you can make your own quickly and easily!
Steaks are also fantastic for quick and easy barbecue recipes - a bit more expensive of course so perhaps more suited to a special meal with friends.
You should not put salt on meat before grilling, because salt will release the juices and make it dry.
For a slower beef recipe (at least before it hits the barbie) try this barbecue brisket recipe, which I've added to my collection.
Always a favourite on the BBQ are sausages - especially with children. Buy the best quality you can afford – and with the most meat content.
You’ll please more people more of the time if you choose classic sausages and let them add flavourings in the way of mustards, sauces and salsas.
The grown-ups might like to try more exotic flavourings in the form of homemade Thai pork burgers.
Of course you can also barbecue pork chops and steaks and this pork ribs recipe has a sophisticated sauce using brandy and coffee - I know that sounds weird but actually it tasted pretty good! Or you could use the more traditional homemade barbecue sauce.
Pork fillet or tenderloin and larger pork joints offer further options if you have a bbq to cater for their size.
I’ll leave the whole suckling pig for another day! No, I won't actually! I have never tried it. Have you?
Like chicken, make sure you cook pork all the way through. It’s only beef and lamb that can be eaten rare.
Again there are a myriad of choices to be made where poultry barbecue recipes are concerned. You can have barbecue chicken breast or, as they are less susceptible to drying out, you may prefer legs or crispy barbecue chicken wings.
I try to vary chicken BBQ recipes by using a different marinade for chicken each time I plan an outdoor meal.
For what I believe is a traditional American picnic chicken recipe, try baked barbecue chicken.
Then there's guinea fowl, turkey or barbecued duck. Just make sure it is cooked all the way through with no pink meat.(duck breast can be an exception to this rule).
You can make burgers out of poultry too, such as my husband's favourite, low-cal turkey burgers.
Lamb is perfect for barbecue recipes because it needs intense heat and again there are choices of cut to suit any size of picnic.
Fish barbecue recipes are just wonderful too.
Fish is quite simple to barbecue as long as the flesh is fresh and firm. Don't handle it too much as the delicate flesh breaks up easily. I have a useful grill rack with a handle - the fish can then be turned without trouble and removed from the heat if it's too hot.
Don't overcook or it'll become dry and that's easy to do I'm afraid, so keep a close eye on it.
All types of oily fish are ideal because they are such a healthy option as well as being easy to barbecue.
Seabass, grouper and sea bream (dorada) are also good because these fish have firm flesh and tough skin so they don't fall apart on the grill so easily.
Unlike meat, you should salt fish before you grill it.
Mediterranean red mullet can also be barbecued but I think you should choose large ones. I find the small ones have far too many small bones and therefore become annoying to eat! That's a pity because they are a superb and pretty fish with a very distinctive flavour.
You can even barbecue fish cakes and you'll find them extra tasty grilled this way.
Quickly grilled on the barbecue, seafood is quite special too.
Prawns (with the shell on of course!) are lovely grilled over hot coals and only take a couple of minutes.
Then let everyone head and tail their own and maybe dip them in garlic mayo or just squeeze some lemon juice over them.
For vegetarians you can add a cheese like Halloumi and make wonderful vegetarian kebabs.
Don’t forget these! Not just for barbecue recipes but also for the fire.
If you have a rosemary bush in your garden (and I suggest you grow one if you have the space because they need no looking-after and grow very fast) then throw a bunch onto the embers to make delightfully fragranced smoke.
Other herbs can work too but its normally rosemary that you’ll have in abundance.
I normally find that when we've finished cooking all the meat and/or fish and vegetables that the embers are still hot. It seems a pity to waste them so why not finish with some barbecued fruit for desert?