Sales of barbecues in the UK have matched the mercury and soared, and with the forecasts set fair for the foreseeable, expect to see plenty more BBQs under blue sky and sunshine.
With the tone for this positively Mediterranean summer set late last month, when the temperatures remained over 30ºC for six consecutive days for the first time since June 1976, the4 good weather has seen a slew of Brits ditch the indoors for some classic al fresco cooking.
A range of the country's top BBQ retailers have seen their sales figures double over the past four weeks, and with betting company Coral slashing the odds to 1-4 for this to be the hottest summer on record, plenty more burger buns and halloumi look set to be required before the dreary climes set in once more.
“At the start of the year sales were slow with the awful weather but over the last few weeks it has changed completely," said Richard Grant from BBQ Land, one of the UK’s leading barbecue specialists. "Our sales in May and June this year have soared compared to the same period last year.”
And those soaking up the rays aren't just plumping for disposable numbers, with an increasing proportion of charcoal chefs opting for the more expensive and durable models, which have seen the biggest sales jump of all.
“Our luxury barbecues have seen the highest growth in sales, particularly our ceramic ranges like Primo and Monolith Grills," Richard added. "Budget barbecues that cook poorly and only last a couple of years are becoming less popular as people realise if you spend more you get something that lasts a lifetime and can actually cook high quality food.”
With Monolith Grills - whose ceramic BBQs can reach high enough temperatures to bake pizza and can smoke, grill, or roast meats - seeing a 30% rise in sales compared to last summer, employee Paul Yates said: "Brits are becoming more interested in the concept of outdoor dining and cooking, spending more on barbecues which can do more things and cook better food.
“The humble barbie has changed," Paul added, with some of Monolith's models even coming with an option of Wi-Fi control, cooking can be done via an app. "The technology is better and so are the results! Forget the image of burnt burgers, barbecuing is now more about creating fine gourmet food, all year round.”