I’m a passive Facebook user, one group I follow is for Weber BBQ enthusiasts. Most group members are based in the US and one thing that surprises me is how popular a Winter BBQ is there, frequently there are posts of smoking BBQs surrounded by snow. Just in case it’s something you are considering to cook your Christmas Turkey, here are some tips to help you.
With both gas and charcoal, you will burn more fuel, so make sure you are well stocked up.
If your gas barbecue uses Butane, you may have an issue if it’s very cold, the liquid butane may not boil to gas. Propane is better a option in Winter but you will need a different regulator. It’s best to check with your manufacturer.
Charcoal will of course work at any temperature. If you are cooking a large bird or joint, you will need to add more charcoal while it cooks. Monitor the built in thermometer if fitted or buy a digital one with a sensor if not. If you use a Weber Kettle, it’s worth buying a hinged grate so you can add charcoal easily without disturbing the meat.
It will take longer for the grill to reach temperature, allow for this in your timing, again a thermometer is very useful.
It’s unlikely you will hang around outside with a Gin and Tonic for long, position the BBQ as convenient to the house as possible. Not too close though so it is fire hazard and beware of slippery paths and steps, it would be a shame to trip and spread your differ over the ground!
If you are real enthusiast there are fire resistant barbecue gazebos available to keep you dry if it raining or snowing.
Only consider doing a Winter Barbecue if you have a lid. Open it as little as possible as heat is rapidly lost.
For a Christmas lunch you are likely to be cooking more, and possibly a larger joint, this and the colder ambient temperature will all lead to longer cooking times. On a Weber Kettle keep all vents fully open. Monitor the thermometer if fitted and maintain the temperature. If it falls and you cannot raise it, then go for plan B, use the Kitchen oven. Don’t risk serving anything undercooked. At least you tried and hopefully it’s cooked enough for the barbecue to have imparted the smoked flavour.
Food will cool quickly once removed, so be prepared. Pre-warm serving dishes, ideally choosing ones with lids. Work quickly to remove cooked food from the BBQ and place in the dishes pop on the lids and take inside, assuming of course you don’t plan to eat out in the snow.
Enjoy your meal!
(An admission, the picture above does show our Christmas Turkey being cooked but it was taken in a warm South African garden, not in the cold UK!)
Possibly something to leave for the Spring!