Cheats barbecue supper (without the barbecue!)

Barbecues are the taste of summer, but like everything in life there are times when we need to cheat a little. Sometimes it’s because we are cooking for a crowd and can’t fit everything on the grill and sometimes it’s because we don’t have the time or the inclination to get the barbecue out.

This post brings together three great summer supper cheats with no charcoal involved…

cheats barbecue supper without the barbecue recently sent us a Crockpot slow cooker and asked us to try their slow cooked BBQ ribs recipe. The cooker arrived in the middle of a really busy weekend, which in a lot of ways made it the perfect time to try the recipe out.

We were going to be out most of the day on Sunday, so we did a small amount of prep in the morning and then set up the slow cooker and left it to do the hard work for us while we were out.

how to make bbq ribs in a slow cooker

The ribs need frying before adding to the Crockpot and because the dish inside is safe for the hob, you can start the sauce on the hob while you are frying the meat. After that the slow cooker can be left for a minimum of 4 hours (we left ours for 6 to fit in with our day) and the ribs are ready on your return home.

We got back late afternoon with two tired and hungry kids to a house that smelt amazing and I cooked two great cheat dishes to go along with our cheat’s BBQ ribs.

Cheat 1 – William Saurin Tinned Potato Gratin

If you are off to France for your summer holiday’s this is a great thing to keep an eye out for in the supermarkets and something we always bring back from our trips. Although the idea of a tinned potato dish may not inspire, you need to suspend your disbelief and give it a shot… after all it is French tinned potato!

Preparation is as simple as pouring it in a ovenproof dish, adding grated cheese and sticking it in the oven for 25 minutes. If you are doing a big summer party whipping up a couple of dishes of this is a quick and easy way to fill the table and nobody would ever guess its humble origins!

And if you aren’t planning a trip to Europe any time soon, you can also buy tinned potato gratin in the UK (with a markup) via a mail order French food company.

Cheat 2 – Corn on the cob on the George Foreman

If you love the browned grilled goodness of BBQ corn on the cob, you’ll be pleased to know you can fake it on a George Foreman quicker than you could get your charcoal up to temperature! We followed this recipe an used olive oil and seasoning, the results looked and tasted like the real deal.

Have you got any great BBQ cheat recipes or quick and easy summer suppers? I’m always on the look out for inspiration so please do share in the comments…


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I’ve been blogging for 12 years and making creative content for my entire working life. I am a marketeer and stock photographer by day, but I also love to make : cooking, sewing and upcycling! On this blog I share stories of creative family living as well as my photography and videos. If you’d like to get in touch, please email me. (link at top of page)
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Hello. I'm Clare.
I'm a photographer, maker & marketeer based on the West Sussex/Hampshire border. This blog focuses on creative family living through photography, design, crafts and interiors. Read more