There’s lots to love about summer, but for the foodies of this world it’s getting the chance to cook (and eat) outside that really excites us. It’s hard to beat being outside in the sunshine, drink in hand, with the smell of the barbecue and the sound of food sizzling away. And with our somewhat unpredictable weather, we jump at every chance we get to fire up the barbecue and get a few friends round for the day.

While some people might settle for a few barbecue staples – burgers, sausages and a vegetable skewer or two – those who love to cook always go the extra mile. But it can be hard to figure out what to cook, especially when you’re catering for a crowd. Next time you’re stuck for a bit on inspiration, give one of the five recipes below a try – they’ll be snapped up the second they hit the table.

Barbecue Rub

If anyone knows how to barbecue it’s the Americans, and US-style grilling has taken the UK by storm in the past few years. The secret to it lies in the dry rubs applied to cuts of meat the day before, leaving plenty of time for the flavours to infuse and creating a beautiful crispy ‘bark’ once cooked. It’s easy, too – simply place all the rub ingredients in a Vitamix, blend into a powder and apply as needed.

Jerk Chicken with Coriander Mayonnaise

If you’re a fan of Caribbean spice, then barbecuing a batch of jerk chicken is a no-brainer. Fruity, hot and incredibly moreish, the chicken absorbs plenty of delicious smoky flavour when cooked over coals. Use the Vitamix to make the marinade the day before, and be sure to serve the simple coriander mayonnaise on the side – it adds a cooling, fresh flavour to the chicken.

Corn on the Cob with Cajun Butter

The sweet flavour of corn is perfectly complemented by a lick of smoke, and slathering them with plenty of butter blended with Cajun spices as they’re brought to the table means they might steal the show. As everyone tucks in, you can impress them even more by telling them you made the butter from scratch using double cream with a Vitamix – a guaranteed way to earn some seriously culinary brownie points.

Sweet and Sour Cucumber and Watermelon Salad 

With all the focus on the barbecue, it can be easy to forget about the sides and salads, which provide a much-needed counterbalance at the table. This refreshing Asian-inspired combination of juicy watermelon and cucumber is made all the more delicious thanks to a simple dressing which takes just thirty seconds to make in the Vitamix.

Whole Fruit Margarita

With all that delicious food on offer, you need something equally delicious to drink with it – and this cooling cocktail made with whole fruit will go down a storm. This margarita is incredibly simple to make, as all you need to do is add all the ingredients into a Vitamix along with plenty of ice cubes, blend until smooth and pour into salt-rimmed glasses. If the sun’s shining and everyone’s outside, it’s the perfect way to cool off.