What Are The Do’s And Don’ts Of Grilling In Winter
A great way to break the monotony and stagnant feel of winter months locked indoors is to use your barbecue! It can seem like a rather preposterous idea at first, with all the snow and ice everywhere and outdoor temperatures that don’t seem like they’d suit a grill at all. But if you keep an eye out on the weather and time it out right, you can easily whip up a delicious lunch or dinner as a pick-me-up for your entire family.
Naturally, winter and grilling don’t exactly mix all the time. There are certain things that you have to do to ensure your safety and that the food doesn’t get ruined. To help, we’ve written this article to act as a guide on what the do’s and don’ts are when it comes to barbecuing during the winter. If you need accessories to make grilling easier, you can check out a list of accessories and products at dicksonbbq.com for all that and more.
Among the many warnings and dangers that you might find while searching about how to grill during the winter, many tips can greatly improve how your grilling is done. While the snow and ice of a cold winter can make barbecuing a daunting task, these tips are more than enough to make sure you have a little fun while firing up your barbecue for a hot meal.
Be prepared ahead of time
The first and most important step in winter grilling is to be prepared with all your tools before you start using the grill. Do keep your tools somewhere where they’re easy to reach, so in case you need light to see or even some baking soda to put out an accidental grease fire, you aren’t running back in and leaving your food unattended.
Preheat your grill
Much like you do during the summer, preheating your grill before actually barbecuing is incredibly important. However, during the winter months, it’s even more important to preheat your grill.
During the winter, the decrease in the temperature outside can cause your grill to take a much longer time to properly heat up. Regardless of what your grill uses as fuel, the coldness in the air can reduce the heat that you need to grill with, needing a longer time before you can start barbecuing. Where you could easily start grilling after 10 to 15 minutes of preheating during the summer, you’ll have to wait 15 to 20 minutes or even longer during the winter.
Wear proper protection
One of the many dos of barbecuing that carry over from summer barbecuing is wearing the proper protection. If you don’t have a pair of barbecue-specific tongs to use, invest in a pair of fireproof or just heat proof gloves. More often than not, these gloves are long enough to also cover your hands up to your wrists, but you’ll need to find ones that do.
While having proper grill gloves is important, do also wear proper clothing to protect the rest of your body. Just because you’re standing by a heat source that’s giving off lots of heat doesn’t mean that you don’t have to wear proper winter gear. Just like normal winter gloves won’t protect your hands from high levels of heat, heat proof gloves and similar gear won’t stop you from freezing. Dress up like you’re going out to a store but swap out your winter mitts for grill gloves!
Open the lid frequently
One of the key things that you have to remember – and that’s near impossible to forget – is that the weather is cold. As obvious as that statement is, the cold weather outside can slow or stop your grilling. Every time you open the grill to check on the food or flip it over, the heat that’s built up inside escapes. The more you open the lid, the more heat escapes and the longer you’ll need to stay outside to cook the food.
So, if you’re worried about how long the food needs before flipping, don’t be! Instead, keep the grill’s lid shut and look for a recipe or tip that tells you how long to cook each side for. Before you know it, you’ll be heading back in for a delicious hot meal.
Leave your grill uncovered after you’re finished
If you find that you regularly use your barbecue, even during the winter, make sure you don’t leave the grill uncovered after you’re done. While it’s a good idea to clean your grill’s grates after barbecuing, many people do just want to head back in after a session of winter grilling, especially to keep their freshly grilled food hot.
But, by leaving the grill uncovered and your grill unclean, you’re creating a nice and toasty spot for all sorts of critters and crawlies to make a home out of. And when you go to fire up the grill again after a day or two, you might accidentally end up with an added nasty surprise. So, make sure to invest in a good grill cover, preferably one that can be tied off near the bottom while covering any openings. Not only does this ensure that nothing gets in, but it can also prevent your grill from rusting due to all the snow!
Following these tips on what you should and shouldn’t do when grilling during the winter is fairly easy. While the weather might be cold enough to put out your grill’s flames or sap some of the heat from it, doing something as simple as angling it so the grill’s lid – or your body – blocks some of the chill wind can greatly help.
With a bit of practice, you can easily start doing these without knowing. For all you know, a lot of these tips can even carry over when winter’s finally over and summer’s back again.