When winter rolls around, many people in the UK close down their gardens until the fairer seasons return.
But, this year, we think things will be a little different! We’ve seen huge numbers of people revamping their outdoor space to get the most use out of it, so why should winter be any different?
However, in order to enjoy your garden during colder times, you need to be able to stay warm. This is where our wood heaters come in….
What is the best way to heat an outdoor patio?
Each way of heating a patio has different benefits and downsides. Fire pits are a favourite for many people as they feel the most ‘authentic’. However, others aren’t a fan of the smoke they give off.
Electric heaters are efficient, but you are limited to the closest powerpoint.
Gas heaters are much more portable and offer an ambient flame display - but, you will need to buy more expensive fuel for them. If you want to know more about gas heaters, see our buying guide for outdoor gas patio heaters.
But, one possibility that many people overlook is using their BBQ grill as a means of heating up their outdoor space.
Get the best of both - use your BBQ grill as an outdoor wood heater!
Just like a fire pit, a BBQ grill can provide you with a cosy wood fire to keep you warm as you enjoy your patio area. They just have an added benefit of allowing you to cook delicious food at the same time!
What’s more, unlike a fire pit, good quality BBQ grills use a flue to direct the smoke away from you. This can make sitting around it a much more pleasant experience.
Finally, the BBQ grill itself can help radiate out extra heat as the fire heats up the metal or stone structure.
Shop our fantastic value Fire Grill & Barbecue - perfect for this winter!
Can you use a barbecue in the winter?
You might be wondering, with low temperatures and damp weather, can you actually use a barbecue grill in the winter - for cooking or for heating?
The answer is yes!
Naturally, there are some extra considerations to make first.
Of course, if it is raining or snowing, the chances are that you won’t want to be sitting outside anyway, let alone attempt to get a fire going. Remember, you can’t use any solid fuel burning appliance under cover either, due to the smoke and fumes produced, so you will need to save it for a dryer day.
Once you have chosen a nice crisp winter’s day, set aside some extra time to allow the grill to heat up. It’s going to take you longer to get it up to temperature. While you can’t use your wood heater or grill in an enclosed space, see if you can create some shelter to keep any cold breezes at bay.
Tips for charcoal grilling in the winter…
Want some more advice for using a charcoal or wood grill in the winter? Take a look at these tips for enjoying a winter BBQ…
- Dress up warm when lighting your wood heater or barbecue. But, be wary of any dangling layers that might get in the way, such as scarves.
- Remember that your winter gloves might be warm, but they are not heat proof! Protect yourself from any burns with a heat proof glove
- Create a cosy area with blankets and cushions - just make sure they are all kept a safe distance from the flames
- If you are cooking, look for ‘low and slow’ recipes that require less heat. Why not get festive by smoking some turkey or salmon?
- Avoid cooking whole pieces of meat as these require more heat to cook through. Instead, try skewers and cutting smaller pieces for sandwiches or nacho toppings
- But, always make sure your meat is at a safe temperature to eat - buy a food thermometer to check to avoid the risk of food poisoning
- If you aren’t cooking meals on your wood heater or grill, head outside for some sweet treats instead. Take your hot chocolate, a pot of coffee or even some mulled wine with you, then toast some marshmallows or bake some apples as you warm up by the fire
Using your grill in winter has so many benefits! Not only can you still cook some treats and have some fun, but the heat they provide is even more appreciated on a winter's day.
Can you leave a BBQ or wood heater outside during winter?
So, what do you do once you have had your fun with your BBQ or wood heater? Can you leave it outside during winter?
You should always refer to your manufacturer’s instructions to see what the care they advise over the winter months, particularly in relation to rain and frost.
Most people like to store their barbecue or wood heater inside their garage or shed to protect it from any damage caused by wind. If yours is too large or difficult to move, a cover will usually do the trick. Just check there are no items nearby that could be blown into it.
Finally, make sure there are no bits of food or fuel left behind. These can form mould in damp conditions and attract unwanted visitors such as mice and rats.
Be ready for the spring and summer seasons!
Of course, one of the main benefits of buying a wood heater in winter is that you already have it ready for the spring and summer!
Once those long-awaited warmer days arrive, we’ve all seen the rush as people head out to get their hands on a new barbecue, heater or grill. So, plan ahead now and have yours ready to go whenever you fancy it.
After winter, there will be a few checks to make before firing it up again. Your grill or heater shouldn’t have succumbed to much damage if it was stored correctly, though you should still check for any cracks or leaks before you use it - particularly in the firebox and flue.
Then, give it a good clean to remove any debris that might have found its way in over the winter months - dried leaves and cobwebs are common offenders. Be sure no little critters have found their way in too - mice and birds might have made it their home during the cold months!
Some people like to give their wood heater or grill a good blast of heat before using it too, just to get rid of any dampness, though this isn’t always necessary.
Are you looking for outdoor living bargains this winter? See all of our BBQs, patio heaters & more now!
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