How to make year-round barbecuing more enjoyable

Winter barbecue

For cottagers, barbecue season never ends—and rightly so. Just because it’s January doesn’t mean you have to keep the cover on your grill. “There are all kinds of ways to make barbecuing every month of the year a great experience,” says Duff Dixon, president of Ontario Gas Barbecue. To make it more pleasant and efficient for you, try following these five tips.

Keep warm

That goes for you and your food. Keep a hot plate nearby for the food, and if you plan to do a lot of grilling in the off-season, consider investing in an outdoor heater. Not only will it help keep you warm, but it can also transform the space around you into a comfortable place for others to gather. That way, if you do have to stand in the cold to tend to your food, you’ll at least have some company.

Measure it

Grilling in the winter requires even more patience than normal, as it may take a little longer to get the job done. For that reason, we recommend adding a few extra tools to your list, such as a meat thermometer, which will help ensure your meat is properly cooked.

Be prepared

Make sure you have everything you need, so you’re not constantly going in and out. Again, what you’ll need differs in the winter, since higher winds can slow down temperature recovery time. For instance, if you’re using a charcoal grill, you’ll likely need more briquettes than you would in the warmer months.

Go low key

One of they keys to winter barbecuing is ensuring you’re able to keep the lid closed as long as possible, so you don’t waste too much energy. Stick to recipes that don’t require basting. If you want to cook something like chicken or turkey, try a rotisserie so you don’t have to continually check its progress. A rotisserie is also perfect if it’s particularly cold outside, since it will take care of most of the work, allowing you to find somewhere warm to relax.

Position properly

While it’s essential that you keep your grill in a well-ventilated area, moving it to a side of your house or cottage that’s shielded from the wind can make a big difference, not only allowing you to focus more of your attention on your food, but also letting your grill retain the heat it needs.