How to save your socially distanced barbecue party if it rains

We're all waiting with bated breath for the government to relax the current lockdown restrictions on 29 March, when we'll be able to meet in groups of up to six in outdoor spaces, including private gardens. Coupled with the return of the British sunshine, there's never been a better time to plan a socially distanced barbecue party. And while we can't always rely on the government to come through, the spring weather has a very similar track record. Luckily we have some tips and tricks to ensure that grey clouds won't spoil the event.

Plan ahead 

If you're worried about rain stopping play, there are a few things you can do to make sure that a few drops won't ruin your celebration. Our first recommendation is to do as much as you can beforehand, just in case. Marinating your food not only injects a much-needed burst of flavour but also gives you one less thing to do on the day.  Ross and Ross has an extensive range of pastes and dry rubs that are perfect for a BBQ celebration.

Get the taste of the Caribbean even if you can't get the sunshine with our Jerk Rub for Chicken, or embrace the exotic flavours of North Africa with our Moroccan Rub for Lamb instead. Using a dry rub not only imparts flavour but can also tenderise your meat. Season up to 24 hours before you plan to cook for the best results.

Normally we'd advise having an alternative space in your home to keep your guests warm and dry if the weather turns. but that's not currently an option. Alternatively, it's worth looking at some outdoor solutions, such as gazebos. It's possible to rent them as well as buy them.


Cooking for your guests when the heavens open

We find ourselves looking expectantly at the sky every time we plan a barbecue, but it'll be especially nail-biting this Easter. If you've got a gas barbecue, you should be ok - one person will have to volunteer to man the grill under an umbrella for a while, but traditional coal barbecues don't fare as well in the rain.

However bad the weather gets, don’t be tempted to bring your barbecue into the garage or even the kitchen; carbon monoxide poisoning is much, much worse than standing under an umbrella. Make sure that your barbecue is weighted down well in windy conditions, as you don't want it landing next door!

If all else fails, you'll have to use your oven instead. While your oven can't replicate the rich, smokey flavours of the barbecue, it can be a lifesaver on rainy days. It won't replicate the searing heats that we love for steak and seafood, but it's definitely up to the job for our Moroccan Spiced Shoulder of Lamb and Classic BBQ Spatchcock Chicken. If the weather improves, you can give them a quick blast on the grill at the end of cooking.

Ross and Ross has an extensive range of oils and seasonings to spice up your barbecue party whatever the forecast. Check them out here.