BBQing tips, what if wind comes from the stern?

The recent article in Sail Magazine by Jan Irons, Natural Born Grillers, provides some great insights into grilling on a boat.  Though targeting cruisers who tend to have their own gear, those bareboating for their vacations can also gain some insights from Jan’s article.  Here are some highlights  from the article focused on charcoal grills:

Benefits – minimize cleanup, keep heat out of the cabin, keep the party going after sundowners

Fire Tips – Use enough lighter fluid and let it absorb into charcoal, keep the lid off and bottom holes open, close top to extinguish flame when finished, store charcoal in double plastic bags

Cooking tips – minimize uncovering the grill, use top holes to control the heat, check/turn food every 5 minutes, don’t clean the grill, just brush off heavy residue when cool

Recipes – article contains recipes for pizza and jerk kabobs, but, also, consider grilling vegetables particularly roasting peppers by burning the skin, placing in a bag, and cleaning off the burned remains

Safety – keep flammable material away from the fire, have water or baking soda nearby to control flame-ups, always have someone monitoring the grill, monitor wind direction as the bimini and carbon monoxide poisoning in the cabin are risks

The later situation, wind coming from the stern quarter, is particularly dangerous when the boat has been moored with a stern line to shore.  In such case, consider moving the grill to the bow of the boat attaching it to the bow pulpit on the leeward side.  I found that it’s just as safe as grilling in the stern.  The one caveat being the effect the grill’s heat might have on the furled jib.  If there’s enough clearance, follow the same guidelines as above and you’ll be just as successful grilling your meal.

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2 thoughts on “BBQing tips, what if wind comes from the stern?

  1. Regarding grilling in the Med.

    My wife and I have chartered in both Croatia (Kornati) and Greece (Cyclades) and were unable to find a charter company that would supply an outdoor BBQ. In the Caribbean every charter boat has a BBQ set. We love to grill our dinners and we were extremely disappointed that we were not able to.

    So, is there a solution for this in the Med?

    Best regards,

    Craig Kelly

    • Craig, Thanks for writing. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet found an answer to this problem either. Fortunately, I usually sail in the Med with European friends and we’re able to bring their marine charcoal BBQ with us when we charter. They bought an easily attached grill.

      I’ll make a point to post the question on some forums and get back to you if I get a good answer.

      Have a good summer. Gaetano

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