Tip 29 – Year round BBQ – 30 Days to Better BBQ

Our weather in the UK has become one of the trademark features of UK BBQ, but maybe not for the right reasons. It has become somewhat of a national joke that as soon as you put flame to charcoal, the heavens will open and any plans for a BBQ are ruined. I’m not going to pretend that anyone likes to BBQ in the rain but hopefully with the tips below I can show that it isn’t a reason to stop using your BBQ.

I also want to talk about using your BBQ outside the traditional BBQ season. Many BBQ’s are put into hibernation at the end of the summer, destined to remain there until the next sunny bank holiday weekend. I use my BBQ’s all year round and I hope I can encourage you to do the same.


Rain, Hail or Shine!

Rain sucks! It seems to make every task that little bit harder (and wetter) but if we didn’t get so much of the stuff, we wouldn’t live in such a beautiful, green country so maybe we need to cut it some slack.

When most of us plan a big cook, the first thing we do is check the weather, maybe even before we decide what we are going to cook! If rain is forecast then you may be tempted to change your plans but as long as you take the horrendous weather into account there is no reason not to have your BBQ.

Rain and bad weather will have an effect on your BBQ so you will definitely need to take it into consideration. When rain hits the hood of your BBQ, it will have a cooling effect and bring down the ambient temperature inside your BBQ so you may need to add some extra charcoal to keep a steady temperature. The same can be said for cold, frosty day.

Wind can cause your coals to burn faster than usual so make sure you are set up in a sheltered spot and close your vents down a little if needed.

Remember that you don’t have to stand beside your BBQ at all times. Place it close enough to the house so that you can look out the window and check the hood temperature or use something like the iGrill to monitor the temperatures of your BBQ and food from the comfort of your house.

If a BBQ enthusiast hasn’t fired up the BBQ during torrential hurricane conditions, can they really be called a BBQ enthusiast? We all have those pictures of our BBQ’s smoking away with a garden parasol clinging on for dear life over it. The neighbours may think you have lost the plot but it is simply earning your wet weather stripes.


The Shack

When the garden parasol isn’t quite cutting it anymore, it may be time to look at building your own covered area for your BBQ’s. This can be as simple as a garden gazebo that will keep the worst of the rain off you as you cook to a large permanent structure for cooking and dining.

A few month’s ago, I had to take down my shelter as we were having some work done in the backyard so I have plans to rebuild it soon so I will be sure to document my plans on the website for you all to follow along with.

There are entire Facebook groups dedicated to outdoor cooking and dining areas so have a look at some different ideas and get inspired. Having somewhere to prepare and cook food in all weathers is a BBQ enthusiasts dream and it makes cooking all year round that little bit easier.


Having a BBQ vs Using a BBQ

When I tell people that we cook our Christmas dinner on our BBQ’s, I often think they picture our entire family sitting out in the garden with icicles hanging from the end of our nose, chasing a half frozen brussel sprout around our plates, but it really isn’t any different to cooking your Christmas dinner in the kitchen.

I fire up and preheat the BBQ’s the same way I would preheat the oven. I put the turkey and ham on to cook, the same way I would using an oven, and I get on with the rest of my day. Food cooked on your BBQ doesn’t have to be eaten outdoors. If this was the case, I’m not sure even the most hardcore BBQ veterans would want to do it.

Having a BBQ has become synonymous with getting the entire family around, setting up the garden furniture and enjoying the sunshine. The reality is, all you are doing is cooking dinner. If the weather is rubbish you can eat it in the comfort of your home.


If 30 days to better BBQ has help you with anything I hope it is these two things.

  • The possibilities of what you can cook on your BBQ are endless.
  • Your BBQ is a great way to cook food all year round

Tomorrow’s tip will be the last in the 30 Days to Better BBQ series. The tips will remain on the website for everyone to read back through plus I have something else special planned for them that I’ll release more details about soon.


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