If you’re brave like me and not scared to get outside to light the charcoal BBQ in the winter when it’s freezing cold and raining, I’ve got a few tips you will want to read to try to make it as successful as possible.
The golden rule with BBQing is to be patient no matter what the weather, don’t panic, keep calm, and try not to rush anything. Read here how to BBQ right.
Can you BBQ in the winter
Of course, you can BBQ in the winter, there are a few obstacles like the rain, wind, and snow which can make BBQing a little bit more difficult but as my tips below suggest there are a few ways to overcome this. A good bit of common sense and understanding of how your BBQ works will make your life easier.
Unless you are a seasoned BBQ enthusiast try to keep things simple in the winter don’t go attempting your first brisket mid-winter, it won’t be fun and may not turn out great. Easy BBQ food like sausages and burgers can be jazzed up with some decent condiments so it will impress. Spicy food in the winter always goes down well to warm your insides, so take a step back and think about your menu before you jump into it.
How to BBQ in the winter
To have a successful BBQ in the winter, my top tips are:
- Position your BBQ out of the wind – Do not try to BBQ smack bang in the middle of your garden the wind will cause you a nightmare. The charcoal dust will be blowing everywhere, and you will struggle to control the temperatures. An ideal position could be next to a brick wall or in a corner of your garden where the wind isn’t coming at you from all angles.
- If you have suitable cover use it – I’m lucky enough to have a porch big enough to put my BBQ under and carry on grilling in the rain, just make sure to keep your door shut, otherwise your house will fill with smoke quite quickly.
- Prepare your fuel – Grilling in the winter will sometimes require double the amount of fuel as it does in the summer, be prepared to use more charcoal and make sure it’s within reach. If your charcoal goes out mid-cook or burns out it’s a pain to get it all going again halfway through.
- Learn to control the temperature before placing any food on the grill – The temperatures of the grill take a bit longer to stabilize especially if you’re planning a long smoke. The amount you normally open your dampers will have changed from the last time you use the grill in the warm weather. So it is recommended that you give some time may be up to 15 mins at a set temperature to allow it to settle before adding anything to the grill. This way you’ll have a much better understanding of how you and your grill are reacting in the colder temperatures.
- Longer cook times – Be aware that your food may take longer to cook so plan and give yourself some extra time before serving, it’s easier to keep foods warm once it’s cooked, than to try to cook food in a hurry.
- Keep the lid closed – Try to keep the lid closed as much as possible, you do not want all that heat escaping mid-cook, as I’ve already mentioned the cooking times will be longer, letting all the hot air out will just delay things further.
- Wrap up warm – The BBQ won’t give off much heat to keep you warm so make sure to wrap up warm. It’s a good idea to check what the weather is doing for the day. You can then make sure you are prepared for different obstacles the weather might throw at you during your grilling session. There is plenty of good weather apps available will give you a detailed break down of what the weather is going to do in your area by the hour.
- Lastly, don’t make your guests sit outside – as much as you might enjoy a BBQ in the winter, be mindful that your guests may not have the same enthusiasm as you. If you make it a regular thing during the winter you could invest in patio heaters to keep you and your guests warm.