Tips For BBQing in the Rain
There’s nothing worse than damp charcoal on a barbecue. Barbecues and British weather are two things that don’t tend to go hand in hand. Yes, it might be raining. Does that mean you need to cancel the BBQ? Not necessarily. There are plenty of ways to keep your BBQ out of the firing line of the rainclouds.
Get an Umbrella
For health and safety reasons, we don’t recommend this method, but this is still a popular choice (according to the British BBQ society Facebook forum). You can always get yourself a large brolly that will cover both you and the grill, or more ideally a parasol that can be secured to the ground properly. Remember that if you do this, ensure the umbrella is far enough away from the heat source to avoid any fire hazards!
Holding an umbrella in one hand is a bit impractical, so this should probably be a last resort option. Robin Tunsley - a member of the British BBQ Society – couldn’t have said it any better... “The only trouble I found is, when using an umbrella, you have to put your tongs down to drink your beer”.
Cook Low & Slow
Rain will make the air cooler and damper, which isn’t ideal for reaching high grilling temperatures. However, this doesn’t have to stop you from cooking with lower temperatures. A bit of drizzle won’t stop you from achieving that tender pull apart meat on a larger joint. The best thing about this method is that the smoky flavours will be enhanced.
Add Extra Fuel
To keep those temperatures high, you will undoubtedly need more fuel. Place a layer of lit charcoal over a layer of unlit charcoal so that you can keep the heat for longer or continue adding it as you go along.
We recommend using a chimney starter to light the charcoal if you want to reach the desired temperature more easily. This allows you to get the charcoals hot before pouring them onto your grill - simply add a firelighter to get the flame going first. Chimney starters - or charcoal chimneys - can be bought at supermarkets, retailers or ordered on amazon.
Precook Indoors & Finish Off Outdoors
This method will work particularly well for something like ribs. You can leave them on a low heat for a while, then nearer to the time of serving up, transfer the dish to the barbecue to sear both sides for the last leg of the cooking duration.
Try Charcoal Briquettes
Charcoal briquettes – although more challenging to light – burn for much longer and are commonly used in pizza ovens, tandoor ovens and smoking pits. They are made from recycled wood waste that is compacted into a dense briquette shape. The briquette is then carbonised and turned into an even denser charcoal briquette. When you’re planning a barbecue that lasts for several hours this fuel will see you through some challenging cooks.
Make Or Buy A BBQ Shelter
If you can’t be bothered with all the above, you could just find a sheltered place to store your BBQ. You can buy grilling stations, with a little roof and storage space as a cute garden feature or you could even build one yourself. IMPORTANT: Make sure this is in an outdoor space with plenty of air circulation – do not use a barbecue inside your home or garage.