With summer fast approaching and lockdown restrictions easing Brits will be eating outdoors more and more in the coming months.

But what is the UK’s favourite way of eating al fresco?

According to new research, Brits think BBQ’s are the best way of eating outdoors, beating picnics as the nations favourite method of outdoor dining.

Dads cracking cringey jokes, being unable to light the fire correctly and all the men congregating around the grill are some of the key components that truly make a British BBQ, according to respondents.

The study from margarine brand Flora reveals that almost two thirds (61%) of people look forward to firing up the BBQ this summer, compared to 33% who prefer to lay down their picnic blanket.  

Taking the lead as the UK’s grill aficionados, 69% of Geordies say they prefer BBQs to picnics, the highest proportion of any city, crowning Newcastle the nation’s BBQ capital. 

This compares to almost half of people from Leicester (46%) who prefer picnics over BBQs, the highest across the country.  

Citing their reasons for preferring to BBQ, Brits say they can be more adventurous with their cooking (23%) as well as finding barbies more sociable (58%). 

Despite spending more time than ever at home, it appears many are also happy being homebodies, with 35% saying they love to cook for friends and family in their own house. 

BBQs are not only for meat lovers, with over one in ten (13%) preferring BBQs to picnics because they find it’s easier to put plant-based options on the grill. 

Reasons Brits prefer BBQs to picnics: 

Dorset Echo:  The reasons Brits prefer BBQs to picnics. The reasons Brits prefer BBQs to picnics.

Catherine Lloyd, Marketing Director UK&I at Upfield, producers of Flora, said: “It’s clear that eating outside in nature is making people consider their impact on the environment, with 39% preferring to use reusable crockery and two-fifths asking guests to bring their own Tupperware to take home leftovers! 

"It’s brilliant to see a growing awareness across the nation for environmentally-friendly outdoor dining. With a number of plant-based variants in the Flora range, the brand offers plenty of options for several BBQ recipes and side dishes while still tasting great.” 

For those in team picnic (33%), health and convenience are key reasons for preferring to get the hamper out. Almost a third (32%) revel in the fact that picnics are less effort, stating that BBQs involve too much prep and cleaning.

Picnics are also perfect for plant-based diets, with one in ten (13%) claiming they find it easier to include these dishes in a picnic when compared to a BBQ. 

For the social media obsessed, picnics are deemed to be more Instagrammable (4%), while eco-conscious Brits say that BBQs emit too much CO2 (19%). 

Catherine added: “Whether you are on team BBQ or team picnic, both offer fun food occasions for the family.

"We are delighted to see how passionate the nation is about eating outdoors again, as it shows just how essential food is in bringing people together, especially at a time when indoor dining options are limited.

"With a quarter (24%) of Brits quoting crusty bread rolls with lashings of margarine as a quintessential component of a British BBQ, it’s great to see it viewed as a staple that elevates any picnic blanket or garden table.” 

To check out FLORA’s range of spreads and to search for Flora BBQ and picnic recipes, you can visit their website.