How to barbecue in a heatwave
The UK is seeing more and more heatwaves, and it’s important to know how to stay cool, hydrated and protected from the sun’s rays, while still enjoying the British summer while it lasts.
A barbecue provides the perfect centrepiece for all of this, allowing you to escape the heat of an overly insulated home, and to cool down as the heat of the day begins to ease off into the evening.
Here are our hints and tips on how to barbecue in a heatwave, to allow you to make the most of the weather in a positive way, and to keep your food and drinks at their best too.
Shelter and shade
First and foremost, if you’re holding your barbecue in the daytime, make sure you have plenty of shade and shelter from the sun available.
Colourful parasols are on-trend at the moment and will look fantastic basking in bright sunlight, while serving an important practical purpose too.
Keep food cool
Make sure you keep chilled and frozen ingredients cool until you’re ready to cook them, especially if you expect your barbecue to last for several hours.
It’s a good idea to keep most of your food in the fridge or freezer and only bring out the items you’re likely to use within the next hour.
When you want your guests to be able to choose their own foods to grill, consider an outdoor fridge or a large coolbox part-filled with ice, so ingredients are not just left out in 30-degree or even 40-degree heat.
Chill your drinks
Chilled drinks are another must. There are plenty of ways to keep drinks cool in hot weather. Firstly, try to chill them ahead of time, so you’re not trying to reduce their temperature once they’ve been poured.
Ice is the obvious way to keep drinks chilled, so stock up on plenty before your barbecue. Alternatively, make your own using ice cube trays or ice cube bags, and you can use fruit juices and other alternatives to water.
Be creative! A double-walled travel mug will keep a cold drink cold for longer and should also help avoid spills if it gets knocked over, while koozies can be used on anything in a can – not necessarily just beer.
Finally, just be aware of your environment. Recent weather has set new records for every part of the UK, meaning these are quite literally conditions many Brits have not experienced before.
It is possible to enjoy a hot day, but you’ll need plenty of drinks to stay hydrated, as well as shaded spots where you can sit and conserve your energy.
With just a few simple preparations, you can make sure your barbecue goes without a hitch, leaving you and your guests to enjoy some fresh food, cold drinks and shaded seating, while you also enjoy each other’s company.