ALTHOUGH we don't always have the sunshine to justify cooking up a storm in the garden, us Brits certainly have the enthusiasm.
But although sausages and chicken wings have their place at an al fresco feast, there's always room to draw inspiration from other barbecue-loving nations.
Mike Reid is executive chef at restaurant chain Gaucho, best-known for its Argentine steaks.
He says: "British people love the barbecue. We don't get as much practice as everyone else because we don't have the weather, but in the past ten years the popularity of the barbecue has really grown.
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"I'd recommend steak – the bigger the better. If you don't have steak it's not a real barbecue in my opinion."
In Argentina, the average person eats 500kg of beef in a lifetime and the "asado" (barbie) is as traditional a social event as the Sunday roast is to the UK.
Mike says: "Do what we do in Argentina and use the bigger cuts. Go to the butcher's, get a nice big joint of meat, put it on in the morning and slow grill it. It will be beautiful, one of the best things you've ever cooked on the barbecue.
"A cut like rib-eye is perfect. It's got enough marbling of fat to keep it moist as it's grilling so it breaks down and flavours the beef even more."
For an extra burst of flavour with your barbecued food, the chef recommends preparing marinades in advance, using charcoal where possible, and experimenting with different flavoured wood chips, such as lavender or whisky.
"If you're doing burgers or steaks, leave the coals burning for a bit before you start cooking so it levels out," he says. "Cook the meat on a high temperature when you start and when you turn it, drop the temperature a touch or move it to a cooler part.
"You get a nice colouring on the first side, and then you reduce the heat and cook it through nice and slow."
Impress your friends with this Gaucho burger recipe: