Barbequing in New Zealand Winter - Yes You Can!

Barbequing in New Zealand Winter - Yes You Can!

OK it's cold, that's because it's winter. Don't let that deter you from getting outside to enjoy some fresh air and biting winds! This time of year can be great for BBQing, there are neither flies nor mozzies to contend with and if you choose the right dishes to cook, you won't need to stand over the grill turning incessantly. Read on for tips and recipes to whet your appetite!

Stock up on Fuel. Fuel such as propane doesn’t burn so efficiently in cold temperatures, and food also takes longer to cook, so be prepared to use more fuel than you do in summer.

Use your bathroom scales to check your fuel level by weighing a full tank and then weighing it again when it's empty. That way you can estimate roughly how much fuel is left each time, before you start cooking.

For charcoal burning BBQ's you’ll need more solid fuel in winter too, so keep enough spare charcoal in a cool and dry place, ready for use when you need it.

Sufficiently preheating your barbecue can require longer in colder temps. Set aside an extra 10 minutes for it to heat properly.

Consider relocating the barbecue to a sheltered position in your yard.

Take a minute to tuck in your scarf and zip up your coat so they won’t dangle over the grill enticing flames to catch you on fire.

Use a timer and lift the lid as little as possible to minimise heat loss.

Although most of our recipes require little attention once cooking, please don't ever leave a barbecue unattended.

Suitable dishes for winter BBQing:

Fritters of all kinds • Whole chicken • Ribs • Slow roasted lamb leg • Smoked dishes - lamb shoulder, beef brisket or chuck, fish, ribs • Whole vegetables • Foil-wrapped dishes • Whole fish

Great for the cheaper cuts of meat that benefit from slow cooking, smoking is a great way to enlist the help of your BBQ for cold weather cooking. If you don't have access to a smoker, you can simply add suitable wood chips to your BBQ grill, loosely wrapped in foil.

For charcoal style BBQ smoking, place the hardwood chips directly onto the coals. Placing the meat directly on top of branches of woody herbs such as rosemary or thyme will also infuse their flavour into the meat. Below, a fillet of barramundi has been placed directly onto a cedar plank which had previously been soaked in water, then lightly oiled.

Here's a great recipe for good old American style BBQ smoked beef.

To slow roast lamb, first turn the BBQ up as high as you can, until it is thoroughly heated. Then turn the heat right down to medium-low and cook (still covered) for another 2.5 - 3 hours, resisting the urge to lift the lid. When the meat is starting to come away from the bone, remove from heat and rest the meat, loosely covered, for 15 minutes before carving. Try this recipe.

For chicken, the can of beer method is popular for BBQing. First, make sure your barbecue has enough height to accommodate a chicken on its end, with some room to spare. Open a can of beer and wet your whistle with around half of the beer. Place the can onto a heatproof dish to catch all of the juices, then place your prepared chicken over the can, so that the can sits inside the cavity and holds the chicken upright. It will take 80-90 minutes to cook the chicken, depending on your BBQ. It's best to test for doneness after 1 hour 10 minutes. The steam from the beer cooks the inside of the bird, so the meat stays super juicy. Here's a recipe from Jamie Oliver.

Cook whole aubergines (eggplants) on the barbecue, then split open and scoop out the flesh to make a fabulously smoky Baba Ganoush. Mashed with garlic, lemon, salt, tahini and cumin it's an absolute delight when spread thickly onto warm crusty bread.

Capsicum & Feta Parcels. It's like a barbecued Greek Salad! Mix together chunks of onion & courgette, cherry tomatoes, black olives, crumbled feta and torn basil or parsley. Drizzle with olive oil and season, then stuff loosely into halved capsicum. Wrap with foil and cook on the BBQ until tender, about 20-30 minutes.

Thai-spiced snapper. Purchase (or catch!) a whole fish, cleaned and scaled. Score the outside with a few diagonal cuts on each side. Rub the fish with a mixture of salt, sesame oil, chopped coriander and lime juice. The fill the cavity with coriander, sliced chilli, grated ginger, sliced spring onions, garlic and the remains of the lime that you squeezed. Wrap tightly in foil and bake on the BBQ for about 15 minutes each side, until cooked through. Leaving to rest before unwrapping helps to ensure the fish is cooked through and juices are retained. Serve with fluffy rice.

Click here for more of our favourite BBQ recipes!

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