How to Organise a Winter BBQ


Winter BBQ’s are a great excuse to dust off the grill and get some food favourites on the go, regardless of the weather – who said that hosting a BBQ has to be exclusive to the summer time?

This blog post will cover tips and tricks on how you can wow your guests and host a fantastic  winter BBQ party.

Can you BBQ in the winter?

Of course you can! Even if the weather’s cold, you can still enjoy a winter BBQ party. Although with the temperatures being much lower in the colder months of the year, there are a few things you will have to bear in mind. 
So , how do you ensure that you host the best possible winter BBQ? Here are our top tips:

1. Be prepared

Preparation is key when it comes to hosting a winter BBQ, cold temperatures make things slightly more tricky and ensuring you have everything in order can help ensure the success of your event.

Moving the BBQ

One of the greatest barriers for avid grillers throughout the winter are the cold temperatures. If you’re cooking outside, it can get a little chilly. 
A simple rearrangement of your BBQ might make all the difference in terms of temperature. Why not place your grill closer to the back door so you just have to walk a few steps away from your home? Remember to consider the direction of the wind and pick a spot in the garden that will shield you from any uncomfortable draughts.

Heating The BBQ

Preheat the grill to your desired temperature. In the summer, this process may just take a few minutes, but in the winter, preheating your grill may take much longer. Allow an additional five to ten minutes for your barbecue to warm up and achieve the optimum cooking temperature. 
Top tip: Barbecues work harder in the cold, so stock up on additional gas or charcoal briquettes. Running out of ingredients in the middle of a meal will place a burden on your wintry grilling. Remember to leave the lid of the BBQ closed to ensure the quickest and most efficient cook time.

2. Provide lots of shelter!

Shelter is essential in the winter months. Try putting up a gazebo to keep guests protected from the elements. (Ensuring the gazebo is not too close to the BBQ). After your BBQ, take your gazebo down and store it away in a dry place. It is always recommended that you investigate the wind levels prior to putting up a gazebo to ensure it will not blow away. 
Some of the gazebos that can provide excellent shelter for your guests during your winter BBQ are: 


Trader 32 Series

Our range of Trade Gazebos have a carbon steel frame that is robust enough to handle regular summer and light winter use. They offer great value for money without compromising on quality. 
This kind of gazebo is ideal for commercial and leisure use, including outdoor spaces at pubs and restaurants, garden parties, fetes, and fundraisers, to commercial traders and street food caterers.
All of our trade gazebos can be fitted with or without walls, giving you the ability to increase privacy, protection, shelter and security.

Extreme 50 HEX Series

Our Extreme 50 HEX range is one of the strongest gazebos of its kind in Europe and is a popular choice with commercial marquee companies and market operators, these gazebos also work just as well for providing shelter from the cold for you and your guests during your winter BBQ. 
Due to its overall heavy frame weight and stability, this commercial-grade gazebo performs exceptionally well all year round. 
Note: even the strongest gazebo of its kind needs looking after; our gazebos are not permanent structures and so you should not leave your gazebo unattended for prolonged periods of time.

3. Keep your guests warm



Using patio heaters or gazebo heaters 

Infrared patio heaters are typically a safe choice for warming up your gazebo or other similar structures like a canopy or marquee in the winter months. It is not a good idea to have fire pits or open fireplaces under/or within close proximity to a gazebo for fire safety reasons. Always check the instructions of your patio heater before using it. 
If you don’t want to use an infrared patio heater, an Infrared Halogen Gazebo Heater is an excellent choice as it’s designed to clamp to the centre pole of any of our pop up shelters and will also fit large umbrellas and tent systems (with a maximum stem diameter of 45mm).

Adding walls to your gazebo shelter

As the weather becomes cooler, adding sidewalls to your gazebo to keep the heat inside is a wonderful idea. If feasible, place your gazebo near a building’s entrance so that you and your visitors have easy access to both the interior and the outside.
If your gazebo has a window, draw it down to help keep the temperature up. You can also invest in winter gazebo covers which are essentially like putting a coat on your gazebo, protecting the roof and the frame from the weather.

4. Winter BBQ party ideas


Serve winter BBQ food

A BBQ would not be a BBQ without the food! Some ideas for winter warming food that you can serve to your guests include;

Why not try serving hot drinks such as mulled wine, muller cider or a hot toddy for the guests? Alternatively, hot chocolate, tea and coffee are firm favourites with those who want to opt for a non-alcoholic drink.

Create an outdoor cinema

An inexpensive projector and projector screen is all that is needed for a back garden showing of your favourite films and TV shows – then, simply gather friends and family for the ultimate outdoor cinema experience! Don’t forget to bring out lots of blankets, cushions and other warm things so that you can be cosy while you watch.

Toast Marshmallows

A fun and wintery treat – toasting marshmallows either on your BBQ or on a campfire is the perfect way to get cosy at your winter BBQ. Stick some large marshmallows at the ends of skewers or stick and toast on each side until they’re gooey and warm in the middle. 

Final thoughts

To summarise, you can still be a great BBQ host and ensure that everyone has a great time even when the sun isn’t out.
By making sure that you are prepared and provide warmth and shelter to your guests, you can ensure that everyone has a great time and your winter BBQ is a success.

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