You’d think that us Brits would know by now that summer doesn't mean four months of glorious sunshine and baking (no pun intended) 20-degree heat. Checking the weather forecast as June turns into July, August and September is as much of a national pastime as bank holiday weekend trips to Blackpool and summer fairs.
However, in spite of dodgy-looking forecasts, we’ll still optimistically invite all our friends and family over for a barbecue at the weekend.
Then, once all the guests have arrived and the delicious sausages and burgers are cooking on the grill, inevitably, the sky will darken as gloomy clouds roll over. The air will become cooler and it will rain.
In this situation, all is not lost. There are a few ways you can be resourceful, using your kitchen to save what could be a day ruined into a day of sizzling success.
It’s your plan B
Apart from the food itself, a plan B is perhaps the most important aspect of any British barbecue. Even if there’s the slightest chance that it will rain, you should have another plan in place, just in case.
Your plan B should still include cooking all of your food, but in the kitchen rather than out on the patio.
You can keep your food inside
Instead of storing your feast on a table outside, which would obviously be open to the elements, keep everything stored on a table inside. That way, you won’t be rushing to move all your tasty foods inside before the heavens open.
Your kitchen table or sides are the perfect place to keep your cutlery, plates and the cold food such as breads, condiments, coleslaw etc., which you’ll be serving alongside your cooked food.
If you don’t have enough chairs, you might want to find some volunteers who can help you get everything inside before it gets wet.
You’ll have different cooking options
The foods you choose should be versatile, and able to be cooked in your oven, microwave or on the grill.
The grill in your cooker is a suitable backup option for barbecue cooking, and in fact it’s actually an easier-to-clean option.
Think carefully about the foods you choose and pick some versatile options. The best barbecues always have a nice selection of salads, breads and condiments alongside the usual beef burgers and pork sausages.
The latter two options can be cooked inside, using the grill, which means they’re perfect choices for when there’s a chance of rain. Just because you’re not cooking alfresco anymore, it doesn't mean your food will be any less tasty!
You can enjoy a different sort of barbecue
An indoor barbecue isn’t the end of the world. You need to make the most of it. Once everyone’s inside, put some music on and enjoy each other's company. Before you know it, you’ll be safe and dry, sheltered from the downpour, and will be eating delicious food to a nice summer soundtrack.
Then, in classic British style, you’ll be able to curse the weather as you watch the rain fall from the kitchen window.
Finally, being inside doesn’t mean you have to miss out on fun and games. Get everyone playing board games or show everyone old holiday photographs, while the kids might prefer it if you have a games console prepared.
Your kitchen can save the day