Oh, the joy of grilling. Food just seems to taste a lot better when it has had a fire under it. We don’t think anyone can complain about that appetising aroma and the slanted charred marks that announce a prime meal is upon you. The problem is, living in such a changing climate, the prospect of grilling food outdoors is at mercy to the weather. Or is it?
We think that us Brits should embrace winter grilling like our friends across the pond. However, it can be fun yet challenging to brave the elements, or even a frosty day in the garden!
Due to new technologies and social media, grilling is becoming increasingly popular over here in the UK, thanks to trends such as outdoor kitchens and remote temperature controls which can be run from a phone app. The can-do attitude is key to promoting winter grilling - what could be more primal and zen than cooking a delicious steak or veg over an open grill in the fresh, crisp winter air?
So, where did winter grilling start? A lot of people argue that winter grilling properly took off with the development of the gas grill, as gas made it easier to maintain temperature when the temperature dropped. In addition to this, many budget-friendly meats like burgers and sausage all benefit from this cooking method. So, with a few tools and experimentation, you can create a masterpiece in minutes without having all the dishes in the sink
With all this in mind, one of the main joys of winter grilling is it can be a little more challenging than throwing a handful of hotdogs onto the coals; beyond the down jacket ready at the door, you may want to keep a few of these points in mind:
1) Invest in a quality grill, the old school brazier or two quid disposable briquette BBQ may have got you through the warm summer months but a winter grill should be a lot sterner. We advise going for a gas griddle with the highest heat rating you can afford; you want your grill heating up rapidly and maintaining a high temperature during the cooking process.
2) Never expect the grill to do all your work. Make sure that if there is a layer of snow or thick frost/ice on or around the grill, you clear it away as it will impede on pre-heating the grill effectively. This will also help to avoid slips when all the melted snow freezes over into ice near the grill.
3) As the old saying goes, “there is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.” Always dress for the job, you know your temperature threshold, but wrap up nice and warm and don’t leave anything dangling over or near the grill as it may catch fire.
So regardless of what your calendar says, grilling should be a national favourite all year round. Whether that’s grilling a Christmas turkey or planning on skewering some vegetables on a cold winters afternoon, an even heat, a clean grate and a bit of sizzle is all you need to make a memorable wintery meal.