Can You BBQ In Winter? - 2021’s Guide To Grilling & Chilling

variety of meat and vegetables grilling on a BBQ

There’s no doubt that BBQs are a staple of the summer, but can you BBQ in winter? You’ll be pleased to know that the answer is yes, absolutely! Just because the weather’s a little chillier and the days are shorter, there’s nothing stopping you from wrapping up warm and enjoying a cosy BBQ in the garden. How can you BBQ in winter successfully? Find out with the following winter grilling tips that show why the question of “can you BBQ in winter” is a no brainer.

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Preparation Is Key

As the saying goes “failing to prepare is preparing to fail” and this couldn’t be more true than when it comes to discussing “can you BBQ in winter”. First things first, you want to make sure that your grill is sparkly clean. During the summer when you’re barbecuing regularly, it’s common for fat, oil and bacteria to build up so give your BBQ a good clean to get rid of any potential contamination before you start grilling. It’s also a smart idea to prepare as much food indoors as possible so that once it gets outside, all you need to do is throw it on the grill. Prepare any meats with marinades and spices, and prep all sides indoors. Whilst it can be fun to prepare everything outside in the sunshine, when the weather’s cold it’s much easier to prepare the food inside until everything’s ready to grill.

veg wrapped in bacon on a wooden chopping board

Consider Location

When thinking about the question of “can you BBQ in winter”, one of the main steps to creating a successful winter BBQ is choosing the best position for the grill itself. You need to find a sensible spot where you're sheltered from the elements as much as possible without causing a fire hazard. You should never BBQ in enclosed spaces such as garages or sheds, however if you have a BBQ gazebo or canopy that you usually use for grilling, this is perfect for offering you some protection in case of rain. Once you’ve chosen your location, make sure the area is well lit as visibility is more of a problem during the winter, and you need to be able to see the food that you’re cooking! Lighting options that don’t come with cables, such as outdoor solar lamps, are ideal as they present less of a trip hazard than lights with cables.

Get Cosy

It might seem like an obvious point, but you can’t underestimate the importance of wrapping up warm for a winter BBQ. Layer up with all your usual cold weather gear, however avoid using regular gloves in replacement of grilling gloves, as you need to ensure you’re wearing proper heat resistant gloves that allow you to prepare the food safely. You also want to set up plenty of cosy seating for your guests. If your friends are questioning “can you BBQ in winter”, creating the cosiest set up will show them that you can! Set out plenty of fluffy throws and cushions, and if you have the means to do so, set up a firepit (at a safe distance from the grill of course). Lekto’s Kiln Dried Firewood is perfect for use in firepits or chimeneas, with a moisture content below 20% that ensures a clean, strong and efficient burn. An alternative option for a quick & easy campfire is a Swedish Torch Log. Swedish Torch Logs burn from the inside out creating minimal mess and presenting a flat surface which you can use as an additional cooking resource. Make sure your guests have plenty of hot drinks to enjoy as they’re enjoying the heat from the campfire, waiting for all the delicious food to cook.

toasting marshmallows on an open fire

Be Patient

When thinking about “how can you BBQ in winter successfully”, patience is key. When the weather is colder, it can take longer for the grill to reach the right temperature for cooking at, and so make sure to factor this into your plans. As a general rule of thumb, a grill that takes 20 minutes to heat during the summer might take 40 minutes during the winter. Light the grill early so that you’re not eating too late, and so that your guests won’t have to wait around for too long. It’s also important to resist the urge to peek at the food as it’s cooking. As the temperature is colder, it’s essential to keep the grill shut in order to prevent heat from escaping out and cold air getting in, which will ultimately slow down the cooking process.

meat cooking in a pan over an outdoor fire

Add Some Extra Flavour

By now we’ve certainly established that the answer to the question of “can you BBQ in winter” is a strong yes. It’s easy to enjoy a good winter BBQ with minimal effort, however what makes a great winter BBQ is the tastiest food. Winter is all about comfort food with warm flavours and spices and it’s easy to translate this onto the grill. Adding wood chips to your Lumpwood Charcoal is an easy way to infuse the food you’re grilling with mouth watering flavour. Apple wood provides a delicate, sweet flavour that’s perfect for infusing the likes of poultry and pork, whilst cherry wood adds a more distinctive, fruity flavour for smoking fish and beef. Make sure to check out our top 5 delicious winter BBQ ideas for 2021 for the tastiest recipes for your next winter grill.