RAIN can put a real damper on a barbecue – pun intended! Here’s how to stop a sudden downpour causing you to have a slight mental breakdown and do A Very Bad Thing.
Try something different with your barbecue
First, plan a wonderful barbecue as usual. Sure, you’ll have to serve the usual burgers and hotdogs, but also try a show-stopper like a whole leg of lamb marinated in lemon juice, paprika and sumac.
Or try an oriental take on coleslaw with fish sauce and lime juice. But don’t put yourself under so much pressure you go batshit loony. That’s quite an important barbecue tip.
Have plenty of lids ready
Obvious really, but if it starts to rain, have something to cover your potato salad etc. Invest in a barbecue with a lid, and a sheet of plastic is handy for quickly covering a whole table of food. It’s funny to think I spent years training to be a cordon bleu chef but these days I’m trying to stop burger buns going soggy.
Looking back, I think it was negative thoughts like these that set me on the path to The Very Bad Thing.
Keep an eye on the weather forecast
Try not to get caught out by it suddenly pissing with rain, like I did last summer. Countless items of food and hours of preparation down the f**king toilet and you’ll feel like crying or punching someone, or worse.
Have the oven ready
Here’s a neat tip – leave the oven on a low heat, then if it rains you can whack it up and quickly be finishing off chicken drumsticks and kebabs while you do hotdogs and burgers under the grill.
Just be prepared for a horde of guests all pestering at the same time for their burger like noisy, drooling, stinking pigs who want to cram their maws with as much free food as possible. Try to keep calm, even if you start getting the ‘red mist’.
Salvage what you can
It shouldn’t come to this if you’ve followed the tips above, but you can still keep the drinks flowing and cook food that isn’t waterlogged in the kitchen. Be aware some guests will fail to appreciate all the stress and hard work. Guests like Steve, who on that occasion said: ‘Have you got a normal Birds Eye burger? All this poncey food gives me the shits.’
Avoid doing A Very Bad Thing
What you definitely shouldn’t do at this point is hogtie Steve with tea towels as your horrified guests look on. Then don’t attempt to manhandle Steve onto the barbecue and cook him, all the while shouting strange comments such as: ‘What’s going on the barbecue next? You, Steve, you PHILISTINE SACK OF SHIT! Get ready to find out HOW JOAN OF ARC FELT!’
Luckily the other guests restrained me while I was giving Steve a honey and soy glaze, so he didn’t get even slight grilled. And the police couldn’t be arsed to take it any further, thank God.
Final tip: don’t have a barbecue at all
This is far and away the best method for preventing barbecue disasters. Now I encourage guests to bring a microwave meal, and we heat them up one by one while forming an orderly queue. It’s dull but you won’t worry about rain, attempted cannibalism or whether the chicken drumsticks are cooked all the way through.