Don’t let the cold and rain deter you – having a barbecue is an exciting way to cook food, come rain or shine! Just because it seems British summer has officially departed does not mean it’s time to shift your barbecue into the shed or wrap it up for winter.
Although this summer has been a completely different story quite often our summer barbecues are often filled with shivers, sheltering from the showers, and dashing, wheeling the barbecue to a more sheltered spot because of the sudden gusts of wind. So embrace the winter months and view them as an opportunity to spice up your chilly evenings and cook some wholesome recipes in the fresh air.
To ensure your winter barbecue is a success, we have some top tips for you…
As you can never predict the British Weather, one thing we know for certain is that winter nights can be cold, at times wet and damp! You will find no pleasure out of winter outdoor cooking with frozen fingertips and runny noses, so before you head into the garden make sure you’re warmly dressed – finger less gloves with a mitten covering are great for letting you manage the barbecue and keep your fingers warm, and don’t forget a hat, scarf, thick socks, big jumper and jacket too.
On really cold nights, you might want to get a bonfire going with a fire pit or use a patio heater to kick-off some additional warmth.
It may sound obvious, but make sure you have cleaned your barbecue in advance and that you have enough coal, firelighters to hand or that you have enough gas within your bottle. These things are easy to overlook in between barbecuing, and the last thing you want is to delay cooking while you wash the grill or run to the shops for fuel.
Keep it simple
On chilly nights, it’s best to stick to easy barbecue foods like sausages, burgers, fish, and chopped vegetables on skewers, because these will cook quickly and well, however we do have some simple menus below that if prepared in time there’s no reason can’t also be enjoyed throughout the winter too.
For foods that require longer, like jacket potatoes, to save time outside prepare these earlier and add them to the barbecue before you head out for the hands-on cooking. Do all your sorting and chopping in the warmth of your kitchen, to reduce your barbecuing time.
Put a lid on it
In the summer, it’s lovely to see the sausages sizzle and burgers lightly burn on the open barbecue grill. However, the winter weather will likely dictate the need to close the barbecue lid and keep all the heat inside (however please ensure your BBQ can be used/cooked with the lid down). Make sure you keep an eye on how the food is progressing, but the lid-down approach does help boost the cooking temperature.
Make it fun
Invite the neighbors round and gather some friends to join your winter barbecue and really enjoy cooking alfresco.
You should also ask guests to bring something along – their trademark barbecue dip or homemade spicy ginger beer, mulled wine – to add to the cheer of the occasion. Munching on snacks before and after the barbecue is all part of the great tradition..
If all else fails and the weather runs your plans to cook and eat outside, head indoors to eat your barbecued feast! You can always venture outside again later, to toast those marshmallows and enjoy mugs of hot chocolate, to round off your perfect winter barbecue.
Some recommendations from the World of Power staff members:
Grilled Chicken Nachos
As winter is all about comfort food, why not enjoy these nachos from your BBQ, there perfect to share and easy to prep indoors and finished off outside on your BBQ.
- 8ozTortilla chips
- 2 cups finely grated Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup chopped chicken
- ¼ cup BBQ sauce
- Optional Extras
- 1 Tomato
- 1 red onion
- 1 jalapeno thinly sliced pepper
You’ll need 2 15×12 inch sheet of heavy duty aluminium foil
- Preheat your BBQ
- Mix BBQ sauce with the chicken and cook chicken thoroughly.
- Make the foil boats, take sheets of foil and crimp the sides so that you have “Boats”
- Assemble nachos, arrange layers of the tortilla chips over the bottom of the foil (if it ok for the tortillas to overlap) sprinkle 2/3rds of the cheese (saving some to place over the chicken). Place the BBQ chicken and any optional extras and the remaining cheese over the top.
- Place on the BBQ for approx. 10-15mins until the cheese is melted and the chips are slightly brown
- 2 pounds carrots, well cleaned or peeled
- 1 pound bacon
- ¼ cup maple syrup
Bacon Wrapped Carrots
- Wrap the carrots in the bacon
- Arrange on a wire rack on a baking sheet and roast in a preheated oven until the bacon is crispy and the carrots are tender, about 15-20minutes, glazing with the maple syrup half way through.
- Remove the carrots and finish off cooking on your BBQ for the remaining 10-15mins continuing to glaze with the maple syrup.
If however you feel you’ve done all the Barbecuing for this year, please see below some handy hints and types of how to take care of your BBQ over the winter and best ways to store.
- Before putting your BBQ away please enjoy that your BBQ has been thoroughly cleaned with warm soapy water
- If your BBQ is going to be stored indoors ensure that you do not put a cover over your BBQ, remove all the grills and griddles and store them separately within you home.
- If your BBQ shall stay outdoors we’d recommend you purchase a BBQ cover, however we do recommend your BBQ is aired from time to time throughout the winter months to prevent damp areas and build up condensation.
Spiced Barbecued Pineapple with chocolate dip
- 1 Star Anise
- 1 Cinnamon quill
- 5 whole cloves
- 8 Szechuan peppercorns
- 100g Unsalted Butter
- 1 Pineapple, peeled, cut lengthways into 8 wedges
- Finely grated 1 zest of lime
- 100g dark chocolate finely chopped
- 1 cup cream
- Place the star anise, cinnamon, cloves and peppercorns in a dry pan over medium heat. Toast for 3 minutes or until fragrant.
- Transfer to a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, and grind to a fine powder. Place half the spice mixture in a bowl. Add the butter and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Preheat a barbecue or chargrill pan over medium-high heat. Thread the pineapple onto skewers and brush with the spiced butter. Grill, brushing frequently with spiced butter, for 10 minutes or until lightly charred.
- Meanwhile, for the chocolate dip, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Place cream and remaining spice mixture in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Bring to the boil, then pour through a sieve over the chocolate. Set aside to cool for 1 minute, use a spatula to stir until smooth and combined. Stir in a pinch of sea salt.
- Serve pineapple skewers with the spiced chocolate dip, grated lime zest and extra sea salt.