Winter BBQ Tips

Love to eat outdoors? Here are our 16 winter BBQ tips to make your winter BBQs hot stuff

Tips to make your winter BBQ hot stuff!

Gloomy and damp, raw and horrid. That’s the worst kind of winter day, time to hibernate. But on a good day it’s crisp and fresh with a huge bowl of blue sky arching above. On days like this the great outdoors beckons. Luckily there’s no reason why you can’t wrap up warm, fire up the BBQ and rustle up some tasty outdoor treats. Here are 16 winter BBQ tips for staying cosy outdoors on crisp, chilly winter days.

  1. A BBQ gives off a nice amount of heat but the focus is the food. To keep properly warm outdoors, think about specially-designed outdoor heat sources. There’s an exciting choice, everything from chimeneas to fire pits, firebowls, gas garden heaters, fire tables, electric patio heaters and fire baskets
  2. The wind makes things feel a lot colder. Can you create shelter for the occasion or stand your BBQ out of the wind? A carefully-placed garden sail could be just the thing. If you have a gazebo it’ll make a great place to eat under a roof while outdoors. You can add side walls made from blankets, rugs or a fabric of your choice, or buy a gazebo with it own curtains. There are some beautiful designs to choose from
  3. Good quality garden chairs and sofas have nice, thick cushions. They’re comfy to sit on as well as keeping your backside off cold, hard surfaces. Choose outdoor furniture offering comfort all year round or add your own thick cushions for winter comfort
  4. Bring throws, fleecy blankets and spare duvets outdoors to wrap yourselves up in
  5. Layer up with thin layers of clothing underneath thicker ones. Thermal tights and long johns are really good. Add a hoodie or wear a hat. Keep your feet and hands warm – when they’re warm the rest of you feels warmer. As long as you’re warm it’s lovely being outdoors in winter, especially after dark
  6. Hopefully your BBQ has a lid to stop the wind blowing it out or throwing the heat in the wrong direction
  7. It gets dark early so think about lighting. Warm white LEDs and coloured lights will add cosiness to the space, while pure bright white lighting can make things feel chilly
  8. Remember gas pressure plummets when it’s cold
  9. You’ll need more charcoal to make the heat as intense as it needs to be
  10. Allow extra time for the BBQ to heat up
  11. Sliced meat will go cold in no time. BBQ big chunks of meat slowly at a lower temperature so the cooked meat stays hotter for longer and let people slice pieces off it themselves
  12. Prepare and part-cook hearty stews, chillies and soups indoors then finish them off on the BBQ, cutting down the outdoor cooking time
  13. Cast iron cookware is great when the heat is uneven because it heats up like a radiator to cook evenly. Keep the pot on the barbecue for piping hot food
  14. Drink hot toddies, hot cocktails, mulled wine and mulled cider. Give everyone their own personal thermos and their drinks will stay hot
  15. This is the perfect occasion for a pizza oven, the best of which cook a good-sized pizza in less than 60 seconds so nobody has to wait for long. Share each pizza as it comes out of the oven and everyone gets a staming-hot slice at the same time
  16. Warm the plates indoors or on the BBQ

Give it a go, see how it pans out. If you fall in love with outdoor winter dining, you might want to tinker with the way you’ve laid out the entertainment space so it works just as well all year round. Work out how to add shade or shelter, find cosy corners out of the wind, buy the right kind of barbecue, collect together blankets and so on for people to wrap up in, buy personal-size thermos flasks for hot drinks. And dig out some awesome recipes to banish the chills.

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