With the veil of darkness falling early each evening and an icy chill filling the air, it is easy to leave the barbie covered up and instead opt to pan fry those steaks in the warmth of our indoor kitchens.
But that would mean missing out on delicious barbecued dishes for an entire season, which as a fellow BBQ-lover, I’m sure you would agree is entirely unacceptable.
Here are some tips to keep your barbie fired up this winter and help you to discover the exhilaration of cold-weather cooking:
1. Rug up
Let’s start with the simple things. Make like a bear and rug up.
Don whatever you need to keep warm while you’re out there – jacket, trackies, beanie, footy socks, ugg boots – don’t be afraid of looking as though you’re going moose hunting in Alaska. The important thing is that you’re comfortable.
Just make sure your scarf is tucked tightly into your jacket and not hanging loosely by the burners or things might get a little too warm.
2. Rug up…your beer
While you’re wrapping up your body, you may as well do the same to your beer. That ingenious, multi-purpose invention known as the stubby holder isn’t just for keeping your beer cold at summer barbies. It’s also for keeping your hands warm at winter ones!
What’s more, if that coat from Kathmandu isn’t doing the job, then your beer coat surely will. For those that prefer the finer things in life, a glass of red will be even more effective as it heats you up from the inside out.
3. Your BBQ will heat more than just your dinner
Now that you’ve found the motivation to battle the big chill, by rugging up more than a Russian in December, and thrown your first course on the barbie, you’ll probably need to start stripping off again. Remember, your BBQ is effectively just a serious heater for your food – this will become all too obvious as you lean over it to flip your sirloins being cooked at 300°C.
If that’s still not enough warmth for you, consider investing in an outdoor patio heater – the good quality ones are often so effective that they will not only keep you cooking outdoors during the colder months, but will open up a world of mid-winter outdoor entertaining as well.
Plus, they will certainly give you more success with our next tip.
4. Don’t suffer alone
Ok, so all of the above tips are so much easier to put into action than this next one, but if you can pull it off, it is surprisingly effective: convince your friends or family to suffer the cold with you and keep you company while you cook.
No matter what trial you face in life – waiting in line at the supermarket, peak hour traffic, power outages or standing over the BBQ in near freezing weather – it’s never as bad when you’re with loved ones.
5. Dance up some heat
You don’t ever see anyone pulling vintage Patrick Swayze moves on the dance floor complaining that it’s too cold, do you? Of course not, they’re generating too much heat doing the ‘come hither finger wag’ and the ‘shoulder-to-waist trace’. The problem is you’re not at the club on the dance floor; you’re standing at a BBQ, right? Wrong.
What are those in your hand? Tongs? Nope – they’re a set of clappers for keeping the beat.
What is that on the BBQ shelf? A spatula? Wrong again – it’s a microphone for hitting those high notes.
What are those on your feet? 12-year old ugg boots? Not even close – they’re MJ’s moonwalking dance shoes.
Bust out the portable stereo (or better yet, install a permanent outdoor sound system), drop The Best of Bon Jovi, or any other dance-inducing tracks, and you’ll soon find yourself steppin’, swayin’ and shakin’ your stuff so much that the cold is the last thing on your mind.
Just don’t get so caught up dancing disco like John Travolta that you burn the rissoles!