Summer is rapidly approaching and Meon Valley's Westlands Farm Shop, based in Shedfield near Southampton, is offering helpful advice for backyard chefs.

With 90 per cent of British households reportedly owning a barbecue, the importance of grilling safely is paramount, with many people shying away due to fears of undercooked meat.

Suzi Howard, the farm shop's head butcher, has supplied her tips to not only ensure safe grilling, but also add some variety to the typical menu.

Ms Howard said: "Invest in a reliable meat thermometer to make sure the meat reaches its ideal internal temperature - it’s a quick and easy safety measure.”

"Meat should be at least 74°C at the thickest part."

Prior to placing any meat on the grill, Ms Howard emphasises the necessity of having white coals with no visible flames.

Ms Howard continued: "Flaming coals provide too high a heat too quickly and will burn the outside of the meat but leave inside raw. White coals provide a slow consistent heat that cooks the meat evenly."

Beyond the usual sausages and burgers, she also suggests trying a well-marbled steak cut such as ribeye or sirloin for a succulent alternative.

"Don’t underestimate a chicken breast or pork shoulder, which goes excellently with roasted vegetables on some grilled skewers.

"I recommend putting thicker cuts of meat, such as poultry and pork, on the barbecue first and in areas of indirect heat so they can cook for longer and all the way through. Put burgers and sausages on last as they don’t take as long to grill."

Flavian, another butcher from the shop, has excellent recommendations for marinades and rubs to add a flavourful kick to your barbecue.

Flavian said: "Marinade your meat in paprika, salt, black pepper, chilli flakes, chilli powder and rapeseed oil for a couple of hours before grilling.”

"Coat the cooked meat in maple habanero sauce. Just blend shallot, ginger powder, red wine vinegar, maple syrup, honey and water with habanero chillies and salt, then simmer in a pan until it thickens. Let it cool off before serving."

For further information, the farm shop's website is