Cold Weather Grilling
Cold Weather Grilling
Cold weather is right around the corner. With the passing of Labor Day, many people consider grill season to be wrapping up for the year. But, what if, this year we choose to keep on grillin' all year long?! Here are some guidelines to keep you (and your grill) going all winter long.
Keep your grill tightly covered when not in use.
Make sure to use a form-fitted cover that is properly secured. This will protect your grill from the snow and ice.
Make sure there is a safe, clean path to and from the grill.
Shovel any snow and ice away from the walkway, as well as from around the grill itself.
Perform a safety check.
Take a look to ensure all snow and ice are removed from the grill before beginning. Check exposed hoses for any cracks or for maintenance issues due to the cold weather.
Move the grill closer to the house (if possible).
Remember to abide by all safety clearances. It's best to keep the grill at least 10 feet from any combustible objects (i.e. siding). Additionally, you should never use your grill in an enclosed area such as a garage, covered patio or screened porch.
Bundle up before going outside.
Take note of any bulky winter clothing items or loose flowing scarves. While necessary to keep warm, be mindful of getting these objects too close to the flame. Tuck your scarf securely into your coat. Keep in mind, winter gloves are not made from the same material as heat-resistant gloves.
Take time to plan so you aren't standing in the snow searching for tools. Also, if you're using charcoal or a propane gas grill, don't forget to keep extra fuel handy. Your grill will have to work harder in the cold and wind, thus using more fuel to keep a constant temperature.
Allow for extra time.
Not only will it take longer for your grill to heat up, but it will also take longer for the food to cook. Make sure to adjust cooking times accordingly.
Keep the grill closed as much as possible.
We know it's tempting to keep an eye on your food, but keep that lid closed! The more heat that escapes, the harder and longer your grill will have to work.
Keep the area (and grill) well lit.
As we all know, the darkness sets in much earlier during the winter. To avoid any accidents, make sure the area is illuminated properly.
Clean up fast.
We get it, no one likes to stand around cleaning the grill; especially in the freezing cold. But keep in mind, food that has frozen to the grill grates will be even more difficult to clean later.
Choose easy, fast-cooking recipes.
Recipes that require continual basting or lengthy cooking times aren't exactly ideal when it's 20 degrees outside. Select dishes that cook quickly like kebobs, fish, steaks, chicken breasts or burgers.
Keep the food warm.
After removing the food from the grill, immediately cover it to ensure it stays warm. Imagine having to reheat your perfectly seared steaks in the microwave. No thanks!