We’ve talked about having a barbecue during winter before, but now that it’s spring in the UK you’d have thought you can throw those tips right out of the window until the end of the year. Unfortunately the weather in the UK has other ideas, and during the last week we’ve seen the coldest spring since 1963 and enough snow dumped on us to guarantee that all the swimming pools around the country would never go empty for at least another decade! Since you probably don’t want to go outside in this weather (and we don’t blame you) why not have an indoor barbecue party instead?
Tips on How to Have an Indoor Barbecue Party
Bad weather shouldn’t mean that you have to miss out on the lovely mouth-watering taste of barbecue food, who wants to wait for the good weather to roll around again just so you can enjoy the taste of a grilled sausage? A word of warning though, never – and we mean NEVER EVER – bring an outdoor barbecue inside. Charcoal and gas barbecues produce carbon monoxide, which can build up indoors and can kill. Stories like this one should serve as a warning to keep outdoor grills firmly outside where they belong. Given this problem, what can you do to have an indoor barbecue party?
If you still want to brave outdoor cooking in cold weather, take a look at these tips to still cook outdoors when you’re having the party indoors. However, here we’re talking about cooking indoors here, so what can you use? Thankfully there are plenty of electric barbecues available that will give you the experience of a barbecue indoors. These are usually compact models that you can fit on to your countertop; made up of open grills, not that much different from your outside barbecue, and contact barbecues that will cook the meat on both sides (meaning you don’t have to flip). If you’ve ever used a George Foreman grill the latter will be familiar to you and the nasty clean-up afterwards too! You could even cook your food on an oven grill, although this won’t do as good as a job as other ways.
The problem with indoor grilling is that the heat won’t be nearly as high as cooking outdoors, so you can expect longer cooking times. To get around this flaw try to use thinner cuts of meat. You’ve also got the problem that you’re probably not going to have as much space as you would on an outdoor barbecue, so plan accordingly to make sure you have enough time to feed everyone.
Take a look at this video for some great indoor barbecue techniques:
Unfortunately grilling indoors will never taste as good as doing it on a proper outdoor barbecue, but there are ways to get it close enough to that authentic taste of a lip-smacking summer barbecue.
Marinating All Night Long!
One way to ensure that you’ve got a good flavour on your meat is to prepare the marinade the night before. Create your own marinade, or have a look in your local supermarket, placing into a bowl along with the meat and mixing together. Keep it in the fridge overnight and the meat will absorb the marinade, taking on a tasty flavour.
Other alternatives are sprinkling Cajun spices, paprika or barbecue rub on just before cooking. It’s all about getting a bit of flavour into your food.
Keep an Eye On It
It’s easy to get distracted when you’re indoors and something is cooking in the kitchen. Outside everyone will be gathered near the barbecue, so you could have a conversation while you’re watching your meat grilling. People may be spread around the house at an indoor party rather than gathered in the kitchen, so don’t want off and leave your food to burn. Getting that smoky taste on a barbecue is great, but you can’t do that on an indoor grill and you’ll only end up with burnt food instead.
Make sure you’re stocked up on all the party essentials, which shouldn’t be much different from if you were having the party outside. Get some paper plates and plastic knives and forks, simply because no-one likes washing up all the party debris, plus that way you know that you’ll have enough for everyone and won’t run out halfway through. You’ll also want the inevitable alcohol and fizzy drinks!
Aside from meat, and for those who are veggies, you’ll want a range of side dishes to go with it. Try to avoid cold salads if the weather is bad, and instead opt for roast or baked potatoes, pasta and winter vegetables like courgettes and carrots.
Hopefully that will give you some idea of how to plan for an indoor barbecue party and not let the weather ruin your plans!