Does your gas grill become a winter widow? Do you think that single digits outdoors means your cooking needs to stay indoors? Grilling during the cold months can provide many opportunities for creative cooking, continued healthy cooking through the winter and those wonderful summer smells to permeate your home.
For obvious reasons, people find themselves inside during the cold months. Many sit inside wishing for the warmth of the sun and the smells of summer. Those summer smells can live through the winter, the nutty smell of asparagus marinated with olive oil, the smoky aroma of a juicy steak sizzling on the grill as you see the smoke spiraling upward. Bring those summer memories back and continue grilling throughout the year. You spend good money for an outdoor grill, why not use it year round?
In the summer, popular items to grill are hamburgers, corn on the cob or bratwursts. During the winter, get creative and take those winter foods and escalate them to the next level on the grill. Imagine the smells of a marinated turkey, butterflied for the best contact with the grates and flame or how about a leg of lamb slow grilled while you make a mint sauce in the warmth of your kitchen. Winter vegetables, when slow grilled will caramelize and take on a nice smoky flavor for your discerning palette.
Winter cooking usually means heavier cooking, cream sauces and a higher use of carbs in pastas and potatoes, beans (as in chili or ham & beans) and drinking higher calorie drinks, like hot cocoa or cider. Using the grill brings back a healthier cooking as meats do not cook in sauces or fat.
For many, it is a mindset that cooking needs to end in September or October. But grilling will infuse a flavor that you cannot get from your kitchen. Whether you are propane grilling or grilling with charcoal, continuing your grilling habits through the winter will be a benefit in many aspects. And your neighbors will be jealous as they smell the wonderful smells coming from your grill. Better yet, invite them over for a winter grill.
One of the best smells coming from the grill in the wintertime would be a slow smoke as you use wood chips or woof pucks to infiltrate a beef brisket or a pork butt. Smoking in the low temperatures allows a lengthier smoking time to truly infuse a smoky flavor into the meat you are preparing.
Take the leap and grill in the winter. It will provide a healthier diet and will continue the scents and feel of the summer. As you look at grilling, make sure you have proper tools and have properly cleaned your grill to extend its longevity.
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