As the temperature continues to drop, you can be forgiven for wanting to pack up the grill and cosy up indoors instead.
However, there are benefits to firing up the barbecue in the cold weather. There are no flies to swat. You get to rug up in your favorite winter clothing. And you can roast up some toasty marshmallows at the end as well.
If you’re the kind of person who just cannot resist the temptation of a home-style barbecue – even when the comfort of indoor heating beckons – this guide is for you. Let Opening Louvre Roof show you: how to prepare your cooking environment, special considerations for cooking in winter, and the best way to dine outdoors.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Preparation is Key:
Wear warm clothes:
Just because the food you cook will be hot, that doesn’t mean you will be. You could be spending a few hours outside preparing, cooking, and serving your food, so be sure to bundle up.
But remember, safety first. Avoid wearing scarves, tassels, or any other item of clothing that may hang close to the grill. And be sure to wear heat-resistant gloves when operating the grill – not snow gloves.
Prepare the cooking environment:
You may need to reposition where your BBQ is currently located. Where practical, move the BBQ to a part of the outdoor space that is far away from combustible material, and there is at least 2 feet of overhang above you. To avoid wind exposure, try moving the BBQ next to the house either in a corner or next to a wall.
Does your outdoor living space have an opening roof patio? If so, you’re in luck. That means you can open the adjustable louvres to let air pass through and ventilate the undercover area. This way, any smoke you produce will rise and pass through the opening roof patio louvres, instead of building up and exposing you to harmful carcinogen.
Invest in outdoor lighting to help you see clearly at night. Visit your local hardware store to choose from a range of weatherproof lighting products, such as exterior wall brackets, ceiling lights, light bar spotlights, and bollards. These products can also illuminate pathways and provide extra security as well.
Have Extra Gas:
When the weather is cold, your grill will take longer to heat up and maintain a consistent temperature. Therefore, you can expect to use more gas than usual.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to keep an extra bottle of gas handy. That way, if you unexpectedly run out during a grilling session, you can simply replace the bottle and keep cooking at your own pace.
Outdoor Winter Cooking:
Now you’re ready to fire up the grill and start cooking! Keep in mind, the cold weather does present a few unique challenges, which makes the experience quite different from outdoor cooking in summer.
Food takes longer to cook:
Due to the extreme cold your grill may take longer than usual to heat up. Some components may even be frozen solid depending on where you live. Simply give your BBQ an extra 5 minutes to heat up before you start cooking.
Certain foods will take longer to cook as well. For instance, foods like chicken, roast, ribs, and turkey may take substantially longer than they do in warm weather. Be sure to add an extra 20 – 30 minutes on top of your standard cooking schedule so you don’t keep hungry mouths waiting.
Remember to keep food warm before serving as well. To do this, heat up a cast iron pan and transfer your cooked food to the pan until ready to serve. Keep in mind the cast iron pan will continue to cook the food for a bit longer. So transfer it to the pan just slightly before the food is ready to serve.
Dine in the great outdoors:
Since you’ve gone to the effort of grilling outside, why not dine in the outdoors too? Invest in a timber outdoor dining to host dining parties at your leisure any time of year. If you want to fight off the cold, invest in a portable gas, electric, or wood outdoor heater to stay toasty warm as well.
Top off the experience with a few bottles of wine, some music, and you’re set for a fantastic night of fun, laughter, and great food.
Sound like your idea of a great evening? Discover how an opening roof patio can help you enjoy the ritual of BBQ’ing all year round. To request a FREE consultation, call 1300 761 201 or fill out the online form.