With cooler temperatures right around the corner, it’s time to throw the cover on the grill and wait it out until next summer, right? Wouldn’t that be a sad thought. Although there’s nothing quite like summer grilling, cold weather grilling also has its qualities – some of which are indescribable.
So before you winterize your outdoor grill and settle for an indoor “grill” for the upcoming winter, review these helpful tips on how you can take advantage of grilling in cold weather.
1. Location Is Everything
Two things come to mind – proximity and shelter. If there’s a way you can position your grill so that it’s close to a door and out of the wind, that would be the best case scenario. Be careful not to grill in an enclosed, non-ventilated area as the fumes are harmful and your house could catch fire.
2. Get Comfortable
Dress warmly (keep your head warm) and wear shoes that you can quickly slip on or off as you go in and out of the house.
3. Keep It Simple
On really cold days, avoid dishes that take a lot of time and preparation. Fish, chicken breast, pork loin, brats and steak cook up quickly and are hassle free.
4. Plan Ahead
Get your marinades, rubs and glazes ready ahead of time so everything is in place and ready to go when the grill is heated up.
5. Preheat Longer
Grills take longer to preheat in cold weather. Allow your grill to preheat an additional 10-15 minutes from what you typically do. This will ensure that the grates are blazing hot and ready to sear the meat without it sticking.
6. Use Extra Fuel
You’ll need to keep a steady eye on the temperature of your grill to make sure you are running it high enough. The wrong temperature will ruin your best made plans. In almost every cold weather grilling scenario, you will need to crank up your gas knobs and leave the lid on.
7. Use Lump Charcoal
If you are using a charcoal grill, consider lump charcoal as it burns hotter and faster. Avoid using charcoal of any kind that is damp.
8. Smoke Your Food
Often times, getting your food smoker up and running in cold weather is the biggest challenge. If you have a high quality smoker then it’s pretty low maintenance. Once it’s preheated, just run out every hour or so to make sure everything is clipping along.
9. Check Food Temperature
Carry a digital temperature probe to check the temperature of your meat when you figure it’s about done. Cold weather grilling can be finicky and the last thing you want to do is serve undone chicken or pork to your guests.
10. Savor The Environment
Cold weather grilling gives you something special and peaceful to enjoy. Imagine the snow slowly falling, the quiet evening hours and the sight of friends and family huddled inside laughing and enjoying each other’s company. Relish the fact that you are helping to make this all possible. At Bradley Smoker, we know that good fun means good food with good friends.