Just when we thought winter was behind us and we could look forward to spring and its imminent arrival, the temperature plummets and it’s suddenly seriously chilly outside! However, despite this temperature tumble, you don’t need to abandon the BBQ – far from it, in fact, as sunny, crisp winter February days are ideal for throwing a barbecue party and cooking al fresco for friends and family.
At this time of year, outdoor lighting is all needed to ensure there is sufficient light in your garden – you can be pretty decorative with this, adding lanterns and candles for atmosphere and to complement the main light source.
As a rule, the person in charge of the grill cooking has a good chance of keeping warm on a chilly day or cold night. But what about everyone else, those without a permanent place by the hot coals, how can they stay warm by the BBQ?
This will make a big difference to the warmth of your party. There are various outdoor heaters available, depending on your needs such as the size of garden or patio area that has to be kept warm. Two of the most common heaters are the firepit and patio heater.
With a firepit, you can literally bring the fire outdoors, burning logs in the pit to generate heat while you cook food on the barbecue and then enjoy eating outdoors in comfort. You can buy a combined firepit and grill also, for those days you fancy barbecuing a burger over the flame while you warm your hands – or perhaps to take the pressure off your main BBQ, when you have lots of guests round.
For a relatively large space, patio heaters are effective at keeping people warm by the barbecue on a cool evening. Models of these heaters include those with a big warming range, and with this option you also have complete control over the levels of heat that is generated, turning it up and down according to the temperature and demands of guests.
Now, we know you’re hardly going to venture outdoors to fire up the barbecue without having several layers on at this time of year! But there are a few things you can do to maximise your warmth and to stay warm for longer.
Wear lots of layers to keep you nicely insulated, and don’t forget to pop a hat on together with a thick winter jacket, and any other accessories you want. It’s a good idea to keep a pile of blankets and throws to-hand, ready to wrap around any guests that begin to shiver!
Eat and drink well
Eating warm and wholesome food will help you stay warm throughout the barbecue party. And keep a hot drink close by, so you can hold it to heat your hands as well as warm you from the inside – a hot toddy or even a cup of tea should do the trick. Depending on personal preference, choose something nice and spicy like mulled wine or spicy coffee – similarly, you could add some spice to your favourite BBQ sauces too.