Top Tips for Barbecuing In the Rain
July is usually one of the hottest months for barbecue parties but as the weather continues to disappoint, we have some top tips for barbecuing even when it’s raining.
We Brits are hardy and it’s unlikely that a shower or two will deter you from your barbecue plans. However, as this summer rapidly descends into a washout, you may be wondering how you’ll be able to keep grilling al fresco. But fear not – there are plenty of things you can do to ensure your BBQ isn’t neglected in the rain!
Pick the location
It makes sense to give yourself a head start when the weather’s bad, so choose a sheltered spot for your barbecue if the rain clouds look threatening.
Get a gazebo
Functioning like a giant umbrella, a gazebo will serve to keep the barbecue and food, and guests, dry. Letting you carry on with the cooking as well as preventing your barbecue party invitees from being soaked by any downpours, an open-sided gazebo is ideal.
You need a gazebo that will work safely with your barbecue, one that offers covering at a sufficient height and distance from the grill, and with all four sides open so air can circulate.
If you can’t get one for the day make sure to use a gas barbecue or your charcoals may go out prematurely!
As obvious as it may sound, make sure the barbecue is clean before you venture outdoors to start cooking, and allow plenty of time for the charcoal to heat up sufficiently first.
Grab a drink
Often, wet weather brings its friend cold weather along for the ride, so it’s a good idea to make plenty of hot drinks for your guests. Add a touch of spice too to warm everyone’s spirits.
Opt to grill easy, quick and tasty food on the barbecue when the rain arrives or is on its way. Avoid complicated dishes (no matter how delicious they are), as you want to be able to cook food quickly – especially as you may need to make a mad dash for indoors. Choose foods like burgers, sausages, fish and pre-prepared kebabs that don’t require long cooking times. And prepare all the dips, sauces, salads and sides beforehand, in the comfort of your kitchen.
In the rain, you’ll want to keep the lid of your barbecue down to prevent the flames becoming dampened. Keep an eye on the food but the lid-down approach keeps the barbecue hotter and helps to speed up cooking times.
Try indirect heat
As an alternative, you could make your barbecue a grilled meat feast instead. Simply cook a joint of meat like a whole chicken or leg of lamb using the indirect heat method – cooking slowly for a number of hours, basting as you go. This way, you could cook the vegetables in the oven and serve up a delicious barbecue-roasted dinner outdoors or indoors.
Boost the mood
Play some upbeat music, give the barbecue party a theme, line up some games – whatever you do, make it fun and people will soon forget that rain is falling from the sky.
Be the best host
Be adaptable as the host, happy to cook solo if the weather demands it as well as be the life and soul of the party when possible. If the rain really comes down, move your guests indoors and open the kitchen window so you can keep in contact while you grill the food and bring it inside when it’s ready for everyone to tuck into.
Of course, just because you’re tough enough to grill in the rain, doesn’t mean you have to eat outdoors too. Barbecuing is all about creating that amazing flame-grilled taste as well as a fun atmosphere, so if needs be you can always decamp to your kitchen to eat the prepared feast.