Diehard grill masters know that the cold weather doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy incredible BBQ year-round. Follow these simple steps to combat the weather and squeeze all the goodness from your grill… 365.
ONE: Consider re-positioning your cooking area in the winter to minimize the number of steps you have to take to get from your house to your grill. Identify the direction that the wind blows most often and try to find a spot that offers the best protection from the blusters of winter. Cooking close to a structure or house is your best choice to help block those cold gusts. Just be sure to avoid overhangs, porches and anything that could present a fire hazard. NEVER cook in an enclosed area.
TWO: Propane and gas act differently in cold weather. Make sure to have extra fuel on hand. Depending on how cold it is outside, you’ll use about 1 and a 1/2 more of what you would typically use to keep the grill at proper temperature during warmer weather.
THREE: Use ceramic cookware for heat retention. Ceramic cookware will help to insulate your food and keep it at temperature. This is handy for transporting food to your grill or back inside after you’ve created your grilled delights.
FOUR: Heat up a cast iron pan to temporarily hold your cooked food while you finish the rest of the cooking. Jut a caveat to keep in mind if you do this, food will continue to cook in case iron so take it off the grill a little sooner than you would normally.
FIVE: As is the case with all proper grilling, make sure to warm up the grill in advance. Give it a little more time to get up to temperature and combat the cold. Every grill is different but you’ll need at least 5 additional minutes. Remember, every part of your grill is cold and critical parts could be frozen solid. Also, ou may want to start warming the grill slower than you would in the summer, bringing the grill up to temperature over a longer period of time than usual. Heating it will help to reduce sticking.
SIX: Adjust your cooking time accordingly. Some foods will take slightly longer to grill but other foods like roasts, ribs, chicken and turkey may require substantially more time than expected. A good rule of thumb is to add 20 minutes cooking time per pound for every 5 degrees BELOW 45 degrees F.
SEVEN: Preserve your heat! Make sure to leave the lid down on the grill with the vents open. Every time you open the grill you will lose heat in the cooking chamber.
EIGHT: Choose quick cooking cuts. You can minimize the amount of time you spend in the cold but selecting food with a shorter cooking time. Thinner or smaller cuts of meat cook quickly over high heat. Thin steaks, pork loins, chicken breasts and kabobs grill to perfection in a few minutes, reducing your exposure and the number of visits you need to make to your BBQ.
NINE: Winter BBQ is about more than your grilling gear. Plan ahead and ensure that you’re prepared with suitable clothing and footwear. Keep those slip on shoes near the door along with a comfy coat, hat and scarf. Regular mittens or gloves can be difficult to grill in so consider fingerless versions so that you can maintain dexterity and a “hands on” connection with your food.
Follow these nine tips and enjoy the taste of summer with your family and friends year-round!