Enjoy plenty of guilt free BBQ's this summer with a few tips from Bates Body Factory and a helping hand from The Buckingham Butcher!

We all know what it is like when you want to lose a few pounds for summer, or perhaps you feel like you have and are now worried about enjoying yourself this summer? BBQ’s are great for weight loss as it’s similar to grilling as no added fats are involved in the cook process. On the downside, most barbecues involve an abundance of food and drink, so it’s easy to overindulge. Well there is no need to worry anymore with these simple ‘keeping it healthy’ tips which will allow you to enjoy BBQ’s with your friends and family this summer!

1 – Go Lean

Whilst we all associate BBQ’s with sausages, burgers and ribs, there are also plenty of healthier alternatives available. Examples include chicken (skinless varieties), sirloin steak, trimmed pork chops, fish and vegetables, all of which taste great grilled on the Barbie!

Don’t be afraid to be adventurous when using lean cuts, try making your own lean burgers.  We use the BB’s ‘extra lean’ steak mince mixed with fresh herbs, grated veg, chopped shallots combined with egg and breadcrumbs. You could also try some salmon and vegetable skewers, simple to make and great for the waistline.

 It is also important to enjoy what you eat so don’t deny yourself, if you fancy some sausages after a good week then go for it, just be sensible and watch how many you have. We love to enjoy a few of the BB’s Lamb and mint sausages (our favorite here at Bates Body Factory) or if we want to be that bit healthier the BB’s chicken sausages with lemon and thyme makes a great substitute.

2 – Swap marinades for dry rubs

Lots of off the shelf sauces will be high in sugars, which can add those unwanted calories to your lean cut of meat. Go for the dry rubs or venture into your herbs and spices cupboard. A few we would recommend include paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin, rosemary, thyme, sage, basil, and of course garlic.  You can also add instant flavor with Worcestershire sauce, low sodium soy or a simple squeeze of fresh lemon and some black pepper.

Personally we have found the BB’s meat to taste great when cooked on the BBQ plain, especially the chicken and steak so don’t worry if your cupboards aren’t stocked.

3 – Get wholemeal

You don’t need to forgo the buns and rolls just because you are on a diet. If you make sensible decisions they can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet. We like to have spicy bbq chicken in a wholemeal pitta bread, or our lean burgers in a Kingsmill wholemeal thin!

Remember though not everything on the BBQ has to go in a roll, if you go for the hot dog have your burger with some salad or coleslaw instead.

4 – Dip wisely

Be careful not to go crazy on with the crisps and dips. If you want to enjoy a few, opt for the tomato and yogurt based dips or bring along some reduced fat hummus. Swap crisps for vegetable crudités and try to avoid the creamy calorie dense dips.

5 – Don’t add calories in your side dishes

A simple salad can taste great in the summer alongside a flame grilled steak, but there are plenty of other exciting sides you can add to your BBQ spread. Try corn on the cob with garlic and chill, feta and chickpea salad, tabbouleh, sweet baked potatoes, healthy homemade coleslaw or vegetable kebabs.  

Check out our healthy tabbouleh recipe below (Serves 2):

·         50g Bulgar Wheat 

·         50g fresh, chopped coriander (use parsley if you aren’t a fan of coriander)

·         200g ripe tomatoes diced

·         1 red onion finely chopped

·         ¼ cucumber finely diced

·         Juice of ½ a lemon

·         1 tbsp. olive oil


1)      Rinse the bulgar wheat in a sieve until the water runs clear. Drain well. Cook as per the package instructions.

2)       Keeping the coriander in a bunch, chop the leaves roughly. Don’t worry about the inclusion of some of the stalks; this all adds to the flavour.

3)      Put the chopped herbs in a large bowl and add the tomato, cucumber and onion.

4)      Thoroughly drain the bulgar, then add to herb mix, along with lemon juice and olive oil. Mix thoroughly, season and serve.

Tip: This always tastes better the next day when the flavours have infused, so try making it a day in advance!

6 – Alcohol

We all know a proper summer BBQ should be washed down with an ice cold beer or a large glass of wine, but a few wise choices could save you those extra calories. Try adding some ice and soda to half a glass of white wine, this way you are reducing your unit and calorie intake without feeling like you are missing out. Another low calorie option would be to try a clear spirit with flavoured sparkling water. My favourite is gin with lemon and lime infused sparking water.

Treat alcohol as you would food when looking to lose weight. You wouldn’t eat 3 burgers and expect to shed a few pounds; this works the same if you are indulging in 4 or 5 pints! Remember it’s all about balance.

7 – Don’t be too hasty

We have all been here, the BBQ Gas goes off and the table is laden with BBQ treats…”what do I have first?” BBQ’s are great for grazing throughout the evening so have a small plate to begin with and go back for seconds later. Don’t over do it in the first sitting, your body needs a chance to burn off those calories before you plough a load more in! Go steady and anything you didn’t get to try will taste great the next day for lunch.

For more tips and advice on healthy eating visit our website  www.batesbodyfactory.co.uk/bbf-approach-nutrition

Win a deluxe BBQ and meat for Father's Day with The Buckingham Butcher and Mix 96 FM

We’ve teamed up with Mix 96 FM to give Dad the chance to win a brand new, deluxe gas BBQ worth £200 and some of our finest meat to cook on it this Father’s Day.

How to enter:-

To be in with a chance of winning, all Dad has to do is upload a picture of himself with his old, dirty barbecue to the Mix 96 FM website. For full details and how to submit your pictures- click here.

The competition is open for submissions until 9am on June 19th 2015 - so what are you waiting for?!

At the end of the competition Mix 96 FM will pick out the dad most deserving of a new BBQ and the  beautiful meat hamper from The Buckingham Butcher!

And to whet your appetites, why not check out our latest hints & tips  and barbecue recipes?

Remember, just click here to submit a picture of dad with his old, worn out BBQ.

Best of luck to everyone!

Trevor, The Buckingham Butcher

Celebrate National Barbecue Week with The Buckingham Butcher

Fingers crossed, the weather is warming up, and it’s National Barbecue Week! So come and stock up to treat your family over the coming weekends.

As ever, we’ve got some great deals in-store, including:-

* Gourmet rustic burgers - £15.99 for a tray of 20. That’s only 80p each! They’re all fresh so can be frozen.
* Marinated chicken thighs and pork steaks ribs - £4 a tray or three for £10.
* Chicken Tikka breast fillets
* Minted lamb chops
* And for something different, try our marinated chicken or pork in a Jim Beam Bourbon sauce.

Says Trevor: “We’ve got a great steak selection but I’d recommed a Rib Eye for the grill and make sure you cook them medium. This allows the marbling to cook through, leaving the juiciest steak for you to enjoy.

“And please don't forget our humble sausages which are making us famous throughout Buckingham! Around 18 sausages for £5 and 12 different varieties!”

Meanwhile, here are some top BBQ Tips, courtesy of National Barbecue Week…

1. Hot Tip
A good guide to grill temperatures is the hand test. Hold your hand around 6 inches from the grill; if you can only keep it there for around a minute, the temperature is too hot, 2- 3 minutes is high and an ideal searing heat. 3-4 minutes means a medium temperature, ideal for normal grilling. 4-5 minutes is fairly warm and good for keeping food warm. Any longer and the grill is not ready.

2. A Long Soak
Marinated food tastes great and grills better, as apart from enhanced flavour, it also helps protect food against high grill temperatures. Normally the longer the better, but a simple tip to cut marinating time is to place food in a sealed plastic bag, massage in marinade and place in fridge. This cuts marinating time by half.

3. Long & Slow
BBQ is not a race against time, so don’t grill too quickly or on too high a heat as this causes food to burn on the outside whilst being under-cooked in the middle. The trick is to ‘sear on high’ and then take it ‘low and slow’. It helps if the grill-bars are well oiled, but don’t turn food to often as this reduces heat.

4. Gas Or Charcoal?
Most first time BBQ’ers buy a simple charcoal grill, but gas grills can now cost under £50. So just what’s the best? Well, gas is simpler to use and more easily controllable, whilst charcoal is more traditional and adds that essential BBQ taste. A simple guide is ‘gas for ease’ and ‘charcoal for taste’.

5. BBQ Parties
Choose a theme - the US, Australia, South Africa and South America, especially this World Cup year, are all good. It also helps that they have great wine and beer too! The Caribbean and Mexico are also cool. Remember great BBQ parties are based on the three ‘B’s’ – Blues (or any music you fancy), Booze & BBQ’s.

6. Follow Smoky Joe
Enhancing that true smoky BBQ taste is best done on charcoal by throwing wet wood chips and herb branches on the coals. Try different types of wood (apple is good) or vine clippings. A similar, although not quite as good, effect can be achieved on a gas grill with a lava rock bed.

7. Become A Real Grill-Star
Create some Barbi-theatre, by ‘fanning-the-flames’. Quickly press down on meats or poultry with a long-handled spatula; this releases natural fats, causing a brief ‘flare-up’. Please take great care when attempting and keep any clothing well clear. Do NOT attempt to enhance effect by adding extra oil.

8. Over The Rainbow
Introduce some colour to your Barbi food - red, green or yellow bell peppers are great flame-roasted to enhance flavours. Once skin has blackened, place in a plastic bag to cool. The skin will then easily peel-off. Green and yellow courgettes also grill well, as do chilies, asparagus and aubergine.

9. Criss Cross
To achieve professional, cross-hatch grill-lines, sear meat, fish, poultry or fruit/vegetables on a hi-heat, lengthwise to the grill-bars. Remove and quickly wipe grill bars with oil and repeat at right-angles. Once both sides are seared return to normal cooking, turning infrequently.

10. Safety First
Position BBQs on level ground, well away from hedges, fences, or overhanging shrubbery. When lighting charcoal, only use proper BBQ lighter fuel. Never, ever use petrol or other flammable liquids. If using ga,s ensure grill lights immediately. If it fails, turn off gas, leave for a few minutes and try again.

Hope you enjoy!

Trevor, The Buckingham Butcher

A huge 'thank you' from The Buckingham Butcher

We’ve been open for just a month and we’re overwhelmed with the response we’ve had from our customers.

We thought we were onto something from the start.

We know that people want to buy good meat, but in these times of austerity we also know that watching the pennies is imperative.

We also know that many people are becoming disillusioned with the big supermarkets (you only need to look at Tesco’s recent financial results to see that!) and want a more personal service from traders they can trust.

We hope that we have provided the quality, the service and the cost savings to you – and we will continue to serve the Buckingham community in this manner.

Meanwhile, in just four short weeks we’ve had some amazing feedback from you. We’re not ones to blow our own trumpet (okay, not all the time), but we’ve been so honoured to have received these comments from our customers that we would like to share them…

“We visited the Buckingham Butcher last week. Bought a large selection of meat – beats anything you would buy in the supermarket, Costco and the like. What a great little find, both in quality and cost.”

“Fantastic. Amazing value, staff were very helpful and friendly. Kids want to go back tomorrow just to talk to them.”

“Very welcoming. Great prices and awesome meat. Will be back.”

“Exceptional. Won’t be going anywhere else for my meat after discovering this gem of a butchers.”

“Very friendly people and you’re always met with a smile. Good size shop, very fresh and clean. Meat is out of this world; they definitely have the best selling bacon by far. Very good value for money.”

“I’ve never felt so welcome walking into shop in Buckingham.”

“Very helpful. Even carried my shopping to the car!”

“Absolutely brilliant value for money. I could not believe it! Lovely people who can’t do enough for you. I will never buy my meat anywhere else.”

Thank you so much for your kind words! Our goal is to always provide the produce and service that we would expect as customers ourselves. We’re very happy that you are all happy with The Buckingham Butcher experience.

See you in the shop soon!

Trevor, The Buckingham Butcher

Why we all love the great British Banger sausage

Whether they’re grilled on the barbecue, served up with creamy mash and onion gravy, or sliced into a sandwich with onions and mustard, sausages remain a firm family favourite throughout the UK.

But did you know that the sausages are one of the oldest types of processed food in history, dating back to ancient times? And that they’ve actually been mass-produced since the 19th century?

And ever wondered why they’re nicknamed ‘bangers’? Well, during World War 1, when the UK suffered from food shortages, producers packed out their sausages with cereal and water. And that meant that when they were cooked on open fires in the trenches, they would hiss, pop - and bang!

Today things are very different, of course, with reputable producers and butchers providing high quality sausages – in many different varieties.

And at The Buckingham Butcher, we have no fewer than 11 different flavours of sausage, all made to our traditional recipe. And, as ever, you’ll not find this quality at such low prices – for just £5 you’ll get 1.3kg (around 18 sausages).

Our sausage menu includes:-

Traditional Pork
Pork & Garlic
Pork & Chilli
Pork & Stilton
Pork & Apple
Pork & Mustard
Pork & Leek
Beef & Cracked Black Pepper

Stock up now in time for the BBQ season!

Trevor, The Buckingham Butcher

Welcome to The Buckingham Butcher

Welcome to The Buckingham Butcher, the newest butchers store in the beautiful Buckingham area.

We’re delighted and very proud to welcome you to our new shop and we’re looking forward to showing you how our commitment to our customers will mean that we will provide you with the best quality meat – but at the lowest prices around.

As we’re a trade shop that’s now open to the public, we are able to offer the best cuts of meat at prices up to 40% lower than the supermarkets. We don’t have an expensive High Street shop front, either – but our produce is as good as you’ll find anywhere else. Just loads cheaper!

My team and I have over 100 years’ combined experience in the business, so we can help you find the right cut of meat, whatever you’re planning for dinner. And we’re looking forward to sharing some of our favourite recipes with you, too, to help provide inspiration for your cooking – whether that’s for midweek meals, or for when you’re entertaining.

We’ll have new special offers each week, plus the chance to win a hamper, so please sign up to our newsletter so that we can keep you informed of what’s happening here, what deals we have on, and what new recipe we think might tantalise your tastebuds.

We hope to see you soon!

Trevor, The Buckingham Butcher