(Photo: Robert Ingelhart via Getty Images)
Head to Aldi for flavourful kebabs but drop into Asda for show-stopping burgers. And if you really want to impress guests, splash out on Iceland’s pork ribs.
Those are the just a few of the recommendations you’ll find in Good Housekeeping’s annual barbecue taste test, which rates the best meat and veggie BBQ products from supermarket brands and grocers.
The panel—which was made up of both expert testers and consumers—blind tasted each product, rating each on their looks, smell, taste and texture.
Competition was particularly tight this year, with the panel testing a total of 121 products across all categories.
Planning a barbecue this weekend? Here’s where to head for the tastiest food.
Coming out top for beef burgers, Asda’s Extra Special 4 Salt and Cracked Black Pepper Beef Burgers (£3.30 for 4) scored 77/100. The panel applauded the beef burger’s bold, umami flavours and well-balanced yet simple seasoning.
Farmison came a very close second with its Hand Press Steak & Bone Marrow Burger (£10.95 for 4), which scored a respectable 76/100. The tasting panel loved how well the burgers were seasoned, noting the umami notes from the bone marrow. They liked that the burger was deep and complex, being described as both “meaty” and “peppery”, with a kick of heat.
Asda's Extra Special British Beef Burger with Truffle & Parmesan Melt was popular. (Photo: Asda)
Asda’s beef burgers reign continues with its Extra Special British Beef Burger with Truffle & Parmesan Melt (£3.00 for 2) voted best in the flavoured burgers category, too, scoring a high 86/100. The panel said that the burger was “succulent” and “oh-so indulgent“ with a béchamel-like cheese topper, gaining top marks for taste.
The runner-up for flavoured burgers was M&S, with its Chilli Cheese Beef Burger (£4.50 for 2) which scored 81/100. Testers noted that the burgers had “a really lovely hit of chilli that pairs well with cheddar”, noting that they looked “indulgent and moreish.”
M&S' Bacon & Cheese Sausage Swirl took the top spot for snorkers. (Photo: M&S)
The battle of the bangers was won by M&S, thanks toits Bacon & Cheese Sausage Swirl (£4.50 for 300g) scoring 85/100. This centrepiece is packed with herbs and black pepper, then topped with a glossy BBQ-style sauce. The panel hailed the “cheesy notes at the fore, with a touch of smokiness to finish”, adding that the BBQ sauce was “sweet and mouth-watering”. It was praised for being “like a decadent cheesy hotdog in one mouthful, perfect for a big white bap”.
Coming in second were the Tesco Finest 4 Pork, Cheese & Jalapeno Hot Dogs (£2.60 for 400g), scoring 77/100. Taste-wise, these sausages have light spicing and jalapeno tang that builds. The panel liked the faint hint of chives, which adds freshness to the pork and red Leicester.
Farmison’s Yakitori Chicken Skewers were highly praised. (Photo: Farmison)
When it comes to kebabs, Farmison’sYakitori Chicken Skewers (£10.95 for 4) scored 85/100, taking first place. The Asian influence was spotlighted by the panel, with testers praising the meat for being like a “classic, spiced, umami-heavy chicken dish in a good quality Japanese restaurant”, adding that the pockets of sauce had a great caramelised depth. The chicken is corn-fed and sold pre-marinated, with skewers provided to thread yourself at home.
Aldi did particularly well on the kebabs front, too. The Aldi Ashfields Grill Garlic & Rosemary Lamb Kebabs (£2.99 for 4) scored 83/100, coming in a close second to Farmison. The panel loved that the skewers had an initial natural sweetness from the lamb, with the mint sauce adding a well-balanced tang.
Beyond Burger was ranked best in the meat-free range. (Photo: Beyond Burger)
Meat-free options have made great strides this year, with a total of 35 products being tested in total. The Beyond Burger (£4.00 for 2) took the crown for best meat-free burgers, scoring 86/100. The panel unanimously agreed that the burger was an excellent meat replacement, praising the overall flavour for being well-balanced with a lightly smoky aroma.
The runner-up was the Co-op GRO The Bhaji Burger (£2.50 for 2) scoring 90/100. Packed with veggies and bold, bhaji spices, our panel loved the chilli depth and aromatics at play in this vegan patty.
There were some strong contenders for alternative sausages, too. In first place, with an impressive score of 89/100, was Tesco with its Tesco Plant Chef 6 Cumberland Style Bangers(£1.75 for 6). The panel loved the black pepper in these sausages, but the winning factor was the texture: the perfect balance of melt-in-the-mouth filling and a crispy skin.
THIS Isn’t Pork Sausages (£3.00 for 6) scored 83/100 coming in second, and were hailed for their rich, meaty and “marmite-like” flavour.
And finally, the panel crowned two “BBQ heroes” for those who want to really impress guests and add something a little different in the mix.
Iceland’s TGI Maple BBQ King Pork Ribs (£7.00 for 700g) came in first place with a score 90/100, while Asda’sUltimateExtra Special Tomahawk Steak (£25 for 1kg) was crowned runner up.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.