Well, but how exactly do you do you BBQ in the winter? Below are 6 tips for grilling and chilling this winter.
1 - Grill Check & Maintenance
Winter barbecue and charcoal grilling go hand in hand. If you have been using your grill all summer, it probably will need a bit of sprucing up! Check it from top to bottom to make sure everything is in working order, clean, and there is no build-up of oils and fats. If you have been using you grill all summer long, there is a chance that it will have some bits of food left on it which must be cleared away to make sure there is no bacteria build-up and to avoid cross-contamination with the new foods you are about to grill. Check for carbon deposit particles which might cause your grill to heat unevenly hence restricting grills operational function. If there is a bit of charcoal left from the last time you used your grill - dispose of it.
2 - Layer Up
How can you recognise a Brit abroad? They will be wearing a T-shirt and shorts during a snowstorm. Seriously though, do not do that what you need to do when charcoal grilling in the winter is layer up. Wear a hat, long trousers, shoes and boots, whatever you need to wear to stay warm, no point of getting cold later. Winter barbecue needs a little bit more than your grilling gear. You must think ahead to make sure you have prepared suitable clothing and footwear. If you are dashing from the grill back to your house, it’s a good idea to keep some slippers by the door to change into quickly. Don’t forget about your grill gloves, regular gloves might keep you warm, but can easily catch fire and your food checking skills are limited as winter gloves tend to be bulky and fluffy. Purposely designed grilling gloves are made to withstand extremely high temperatures and have long cuffs to protect your hands and wrists against burns. Made from fire-resistant material such as silicone, they often have special non-slip grip for safety when handling hot food and utensils. And best of all, they’re easy to clean—some are even dishwasher-safe.
3. Find the Best Spot for your Grill
If you’re thinking of having an outdoor BBQ in winter, then you’ve got to consider how to do it safely. For instance, where do you keep your grill? Is it in your garden shed? You should never grill in an enclosed area as the carbon monoxide build-up is deadly. Do you have a canopy you can use to cover yourself and the grill if the weather changes? Do you have enough wood fuels to last you for the next few hours? Are you going to use Lekto Hardwood Heat Logs or the Sawdust Briquettes or it’s going to be charcoal grilling? Are they easy to reach? How close can you get to the home? It might be tempting to move your grill right next to your house, but that is a dangerous fire hazard, and the smoke from your grill will definitely find it’s a way in.
4. More Time Might Be Needed
Charcoal grilling in the winter is slightly different from charcoal grilling during summer when the weather is hot you need less time to reach the perfect grilling temperature. A good rule of thumb is that a grill that needs 20 minutes to heat in the summertime might need 40 minutes in winter. It’s good to remember that if you have little kids or guest coming over to adjust your and their expectations. You don’t want hungry people asking you every 2 minutes if the food is ready and how much longer will it take.
5. Stop Peeking
Remember it is a winter barbecue, so keep the grill shut. As the temperature has dropped, it’s essential to keep that grill closed. Of course, you must check your food, but do it quickly and promptly, keeping it tightly closed the rest of the time, so the heat doesn’t escape and drop too much. Heat swiftly escapes each time the grill lid is lifted. If you like gadgets, you might want to invest in a digital temperature probe or get a thermometer for inside the grill, which is controlled by an app to monitor the temperature without lifting the lid.
6. Ad a Kick to Your Food
In the end, having a BBQ in winter is all about having fun and staying cosy. Choose recipes which are warm and comforting. For your grilled foods (meats, vegetable and cheeses) consider using spicy marinades. For example, try to season halloumi with lime juice and cayenne peppers before putting on the grill. If your guest can’t wait for the food to be ready, it’s a nice thing to have some pre-made ‘winter warmers’ such as carrot and coriander soup which you can keep warm on the grill.
We’re going to leave it there for now, as we wouldn’t want to overloading you or boring you with a seemingly endless wall of text. Hopefully, you’ll find the recommendations above helpful, but we still have a few more Winter Barbecue tips to share if you’d like to know more.
Image by @oldesigns_soy_candles
Image by @ pc_bbq
Image by @stasiasshack