A brand new year has begun. And perhaps one of your new year’s resolutions is to get the most out of your barbecue – any excuse to get social! It’s the perfect time to start a plan for when you can expect to whip out the barbecue, whether you wait until the warmer weather gets here or not.
Here’s some inspiration that will carry you throughout the year…
January – Veganuary and Healthy Resolutions
Whilst it’s too late to recommend a New Year’s Day barbecue to help cure that hangover (next year!), a healthy detox for the month might make you feel better in general.
January is a very popular time of year to make healthier choices as people try to stick to their resolutions. You’ll find gyms to be at their busiest at this time, with people trying to work off the Christmas excess. Things then calm down a bit a month or so after.
Similarly, January has become synonymous with the encouragement of trying out a vegan diet. Dubbed Veganuary, you’ll see many big restaurant chains introducing plant-based specials and meat alternative burgers, promoting them for the whole month.
Perhaps you could see it as a challenge to try out some vegan items on the barbecue? Here are some ideas if attempting Veganuary interests you.
If you’re thinking it’s too early and cold to start barbecuing in January, think again, there’s plenty of ways to stay warm whilst you cook.
Our outdoor living range features patio heaters, plus fire pits in different styles. Both practical and beautiful, they are destined to become your new garden centrepiece.
Blankets, good seating, and some hot drinks or beers are also guaranteed to keep guests warm and comfy.
Some shelter such as a gazebo is another idea, protecting from rain, or harsh sunlight in the summer, but you can also always cook outside and bring the food in to your guests if the weather really isn’t ideal.
January is usually fairly quiet, giving you time to recover from the previous month’s festivities. But one idea, particularly if you’re Scottish, could be putting a barbecue twist on Burns Night.
Burns suppers are usually held on the 25th January, Scottish poet Robert Burns’ birthday. People usually have haggis at these suppers, so perhaps you could take inspiration and try barbecuing yourself haggis burgers or skewers.
February – Valentine’s Day
February is a short month but there’s a few excuses to try out a late-winter barbecue. The first is Valentine’s Day, so how about impressing a special someone with a barbecued meal? Whether you’ve been together a long time, or recently started dating, a bottle of red wine and steak (or vegan alternative) is a sure-fire way to their heart.
With the help of some fairy lights in the garden, and a fire pit to keep you cosy, it could set the atmosphere for a very romantic evening.
Sound a bit too lovey-dovey for you? Alternatively, you could grab a few of your fellow single friends and host an anti-Valentine’s evening. Have a few drinks, burgers, and celebrate independence!
February/March – Pancake Day and Lent
Pancake Day aka Shrove Tuesday also happens in February, though it can sometimes come later at the beginning of March. Originating as a way to use up eggs and other products before going on a fast for Lent, Pancake Day as it is now known could mean getting creative with food.
Pancake burger? Chinese style duck and pancake wraps? Whether you want sweet or savoury, using a barbecue will help to create pancakes that are perfectly crisped on the edges and deliciously soft in the middle.
Read more about barbecuing on pancake day here. You can also try our recipe for Nutella crepes with caramelised bananas.
After enjoying the pancakes, you can choose to partake in lent – giving up foods or making healthier choices for the 40 day run up to Easter. It could be similar to the resolutions you set in January, so don’t worry if you indulged more than you hoped at the start of the year, Lent gives you a second chance.
In fact, some people choose to give up meat for Lent, so if you ended up enjoying Veganuary, you’ll already have some meal ideas.
You can read more about foods you can barbecue during lent here.
April – Easter
Whilst chocolate eggs may not work on a barbecue, you can take the opportunity of Easter to create some real egg themed dishes. Lamb is also a traditional meat to have. You could even try out some hot cross bun burgers!
More recipe ideas can be found here.
May and June
Now we’re finally getting into the usual “barbecue season”. Hopefully you’ll be able to take advantage of the spring bank holidays, giving you extra time to cook and relax. There’s even an extra one for the King’s coronation this year.
The end of May to the beginning of June has been chosen for national barbecue week in 2023. Plus, June marks the beginning of summer, so hopefully the weather allows for plenty of al fresco meals.
July and August
Summer holidays for the kids – and maybe you too? If you’ve got a local vacation planned, or even if you’re just planning on going to the park, why not take your portable barbecue out with you? Not only is it barbecue season but it’s picnic season – just make sure that if you do barbecue in public, you do it legally, safely, and don’t leave a mess.
September and October – Halloween
September and even October is sometimes still warm enough to enjoy barbecues, you might only need a hoodie to keep you from getting chilly. As we approach winter again, a few occasions crop up, such as Halloween. Why not host a Halloween barbecue party this year?
November – Bonfire Night
If you’re out in the garden setting off some fireworks or having marshmallows, you might as well get the barbecue and fire pit on too. Just make sure to be safe – barbecue lights can help you cook, now that evenings are getting darker again.
December – Christmas Celebrations
Finally, we come back round to Christmas again. You might plan on doing dinner the traditional way, but if you are having a gathering with friends just before the family festivities, invite them over for a barbecue. A patio heater makes any garden feel like a toasty pub garden, just don’t forget the mulled wine.
Your Year Is Sorted
And there you have it, a full calendar of inspiration. So get more out of your barbecue this year. Or, if you’re thinking of buying a new barbecue, you now know that you can get a lot of use out of it!