9 tips for winter BBQs

Nine Tips For Winter BBQs

9 tips to make the most of cooking outdoors in winter

Winter BBQs are a great way to spend time outside during the shorter days.  As well as getting all those fresh air feel good vibes and immune boosting benefits … cooking is a wonderful way to actively relax your mind. And there’s the added bonus of the warmth from the BBQ. We’ve been getting out as much as we can this winter. From grilled Cornish sardines to wild venison sausages with English Pinot Noir, here are our 9 tips for the best winter BBQs.

Winter BBQ Tip#1: Keep it simple

Winter BBQs are best when cooking just one thing on the flame. That’s because whilst it’s great to be outside, it’s cold out there.  And nobody wants to be standing all alone at the BBQ cooking up a four course feast.

Winter BBQ Tip#2: Cook up seasonal meat

December and January are game season, so it’s a great opportunity to be a bit more adventurous.  Take a tip from the Australians, the masters of outdoor cooking, and try BBQing a whole duck infused with beer.   Or keep it quick and simple and cook up sausages. There’s a great range of high quality, handmade game sausages at the butchers this time of year.  Many supermarkets have a pretty good selection too.

English food and drink pairing:

9 tips for winter bbq English pinot noir and sausages


Winter BBQ Tip#4: Don’t prick the sausages

Good quality sausages are not full of water so you don’t need to pierce them. Pricking sausages makes them dry out and they don’t taste as good.

Winter BBQ Tip#4: Don’t be afraid to “cheat”

Precooking food in the oven and then putting it on the BBQ for 5 minutes to give it a smoky, chargrilled flavour is a great way to get that winter BBQ vibe without having to put the hours in outside. This is especially handy if the weather is unpredictable.

grilled sardines Marasby top tips for a winter bbq

Winter BBQ Tip#5: Fish is in season and is great on the grill

The winter months, especially as we move into February, can be great for seafood from UK waters. And we’d really recommend searching out some Cornish sardines which are in season this time of year. The combination of BBQ smokiness and this oily fish is a classic combination and is guaranteed to give you memories of summer holidays. Try marinating them in a little oil, salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Sprinkle with chili if you like some extra heat. Serve on a hunk of sourdough and garnish with finely sliced onions.

English food and drink pairing:

Winter BBQ Tip#6: Make a British delicious seasonal slaw

All good BBQs have coleslaw and winter BBQs are no exception. Not least, because this is prime season for vegetables such as red and white cabbage and carrots, which are the heart of any great slaw. Try ribbons of carrot with a splash of oil, a dash of apple vinegar, a dollop of plain yoghurt, a sprinkle of sugar and plenty of parsley. It’s much fresher than traditional coleslaw and is terrific with chicken. Another favourite is shredded red cabbage, chopped up dried (or fresh) apple with oil, vinegar and a dash of sugar. This goes particularly well with sweet and spicey marinated meats.

English food and drink pairing:

Winter BBQ Tip#7: Go local on the carbs

Baked potatoes or a hunk of locally made bread are winter BBQ heaven. If you have time make your own flatbreads, rivercottage has one of our favourite recipes. Char them on the grill and smother with lashings of butter and garlic. Mini tip: for full on locally grown flavour freeze English garlic, which is in season over autumn, and slowly defrost it in a pan of melting butter. Sprinkle liberally with herbs.

Winter BBQ Tip#8: Season everything with herbs

Most of the live herb pots sold in British supermarkets have been grown in West Sussex. It’s a great way to bring depth and interest to your food using local, sustainable produce. This is especially welcome in the fallow winter months.

Winter BBQ Tip#9: Be organised

Sorry, we know that it might be a little late for this, but remember for next year. It can be hard to get BBQ supplies during winter, so plan ahead and buy BBQ equipment, coals etc at the end of summer when they are discounted. Keep them dry and ready to bring out with the winter sun.

Final Thought

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