When Is the First BBQ Day in a Year?

Summer is here, and with it comes the season of backyard barbecues! There’s nothing quite like gathering around the grill, enjoying delicious food and the great outdoors.

But have you ever wondered when the first BBQ day of the year is? Depending on where you live, the date can vary widely. There are, however, some factors that can help you know the earliest possible day to fire up the grill. Read on, grab your tongs and let’s get started!

Why Do People BBQ?

BillyOh Kentucky Smoker Charcoal BBQ
BillyOh Kentucky Smoker Charcoal BBQ

Meat and veggies being grilled in a charcoal grill

Barbecuing is a beloved tradition that has been around for centuries – and across the world. Understanding its history and cultural significance can help you appreciate BBQ even more.

Historical background

BBQ has its origins in ancient cooking methods used by indigenous people globally. This includes the Taino people of the Caribbean and the Maori of New Zealand, to name a few.

In the US, BBQ became popular in the 19th century. Different regions then began developing their own unique styles. Great examples are Memphis-style ribs and Texas-style brisket.

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In the UK, outdoor grilling started to gain popularity in the 1970s, mainly influenced by American culture. Since then, many Brits have started enjoying the activity during the summer months.

Cultural significance of BBQ

BBQ also has a strong cultural significance in many regions around the world. Take BQQing in South Korea, for example. It’s a popular way of cooking meat at the table, with friends and family gathering around to grill and socialise.

In Brazil, churrasco-style BBQ is a staple of the cuisine. The meat is usually cooked over open flames and served with traditional side dishes.

Sharing food and drink is a common way to bond with others. The act of grilling food can be a fun and interactive experience too. BBQ provides the perfect opportunity for this! Barbecuing, overall, is a great way to bring people together.

From Weather to Holidays: When Can You Start Grilling?

Firing up a charcoal grill

(Image Credit: Pxfuel)

The first BBQ day of the year is influenced by various factors, including:

  • weather conditions
  • seasonal changes
  • cultural and regional differences
  • popular events and holidays

1. Weather conditions

The weather is a crucial factor in determining the first BBQ day. Cold, wet, or windy weather can make it uncomfortable or difficult to grill outdoors. Therefore, the temperature, humidity, and precipitation levels need to be considered.

2. Seasonal changes

The BBQ season generally starts in spring or early summer when the weather starts to warm up. It’s the time of the year when people are more likely to spend time outdoors.

3. Cultural and regional differences

Different cultures and regions have their own unique traditions and customs around BBQ. For example, some regions may have a specific day or holiday that marks the beginning of the BBQ season. 

In Canada, Victoria Day (the last Monday before May 25th) marks the beginning of BBQ season. This day is also known as the May long weekend. It’s a popular time for Canadians to enjoy the outdoors and start grilling. While others may have a particular type of food that’s traditionally grilled first.

4. Popular events and holidays

Some holidays, such as Memorial Day in the US, mark the unofficial start of the BBQ season. Although there are no specific events in the UK, the spring bank holiday is a favourite time for BBQs.

Another example is the Summer Solstice (usually around June 21st). This marks the longest day of the year and is a popular time for outdoor celebrations.

Firing Up the Grill

(Image Credit: PeakPx)

These tips are a surefire way to help you host your first BBQ of the year:

Tip 1: Prepare your grill and tools

Make sure your grill is clean and in good working condition. Check that propane or charcoal and ensure it’s stocked. Prepare all the necessary tools, including a grill brush, tongs, and spatula.

Tip 2: Choose the right food and drinks

Consider the preferences of your guests and choose various meats, vegetables, and sides. Don’t forget to provide options for those with dietary restrictions.

Tip 3: Invite guests and set the mood

Send out invitations in advance, and make sure to let your guests know the time and date. Set the mood with decors, music, and outdoor lighting to create a festive atmosphere.

Tip 4: Safety tips for grilling outdoors

Follow proper safety precautions when grilling outdoors. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and never leave the grill unattended. Make sure children and pets stay away from it. Lastly, never use gasoline or other flammable liquids to start the BBQ.

Tip 5: Consider the weather

Be prepared for any weather conditions by having an indoor backup plan in case of rain or wind. If it’s a hot day, provide plenty of shade, and keep guests hydrated with water and refreshers.

Tip 6: Have fun and enjoy the company

The most important tip for hosting your first BBQ is to relax and enjoy the company of your guests. Don’t worry too much about the food or decorations. Instead, focus on creating a fun and welcoming environment everyone can enjoy!


BBQ is a popular social activity enjoyed all over the world. And the first often marks the beginning of the outdoor cooking and dining season. Factors that determine when include the following:

  • weather conditions
  • seasonal changes
  • cultural and regional differences
  • popular events and holidays

Besides the fun, it’s also important to focus on safety and preparation. We hope this guide has helped you plan ahead and make the most of the outdoor cooking season!