Hosting the Perfect Winter Braai

Who says braai’s are just for the summer months? With an outdoor heater, you can turn a chilly evening into an al fresco feast any time of the year. Imagine flipping burgers with snowflakes drifting down, or toasting marshmallows as stars twinkle overhead—sounds like a winter wonderland, right? Let’s dive into how you can host the ultimate winter braai that’s both chill outside and toasty inside.

Set the Scene: Setting up your outdoor space. Position your outdoor heater to keep your dining area warm. Add some comfy seating with plenty of blankets and cushions for that snuggle-up comfort. String up some fairy lights or lanterns to create a magical, twinkling ambiance that makes the shorter days feel extra special.

Fire Up the Grill: No need to mothball the barbecue just because the mercury’s dropped. Winter grilling can be even more fun than summer sizzles. Whether it’s steak, sausages, or skewers, everything tastes better when it’s cooked over an open flame, even in the frosty air. For a quirky twist, why not try grilling up some winter vegetables? Charred Brussels sprouts or grilled butternut squash make for hearty, smoky delights.

Warm Beverages on Tap: Swap out the summer cocktails for warming brews. Hot chocolate with marshmallows, mulled wine, or even hot apple cider are perfect for keeping your guests cozy. Set up a DIY hot beverage bar where guests can customise their drinks with spices, whipped cream, or a splash of their favourite liquor—because why should coffee have all the fun?

Winter-Proof Menu: When planning your menu, think rich and hearty. Stews, chilli, or a slow-cooked lamb shoulder can be prepared in advance and simply kept warm beside your Calore heater. Serve them up in thick, crusty bread bowls or with a side of garlic bread fresh off the grill for dipping and scooping.

Dress Code – Winter Chic: Encourage your guests to dress warmly, but make it fun! Think winter hats, scarves, and gloves. You could even make it a theme party—Nordic ski lodge, anyone? Hand out colourful blankets as party favours that guests can wrap up in and take home. It’s a quirky, practical touch that will keep everyone smiling.

Entertainment Al Fresco: Keep the vibe upbeat with some winter-friendly outdoor games. Bowls on the lawn to keep the circulation going or a simple game of poker.

End on a Sweet Note: What better way to wrap up a winter braai than with a dessert that doubles as an activity? Bring out a s’mores kit for guests to toast their own marshmallows on the grill. For a twist, offer a variety of chocolates—milk, dark, and white—and include some fun toppings like crushed cookies. or better yet dipped in bowls of warmed up, soft chocolate.  Strawberry options for those wanting something fresh.

Hosting a winter braai is all about creating warm memories that defy the cold. It’s a chance to laugh, eat, and enjoy the great outdoors, even when it’s wrapped in a blanket of cold. So fire up that grill, pour a warm drink, and make the most of the winter season in the warm glow of your gathering.

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