Charcoal grills may sound like a product of summer, and they perpetually are. But did you know that some people use their charcoal grills outdoors during the wintertime? Some people get a real thrill out of doing this out in the cold (and even snow). It can be a fun experience if your family or friends don’t mind being outdoors during a snowstorm and want something warm off a grill without cooking indoors.
You naturally have some things to keep in mind before you do any wintertime grilling. Most of that comes in the safety of your grill as well as maintaining it afterward so you don’t end up with rust if there’s no grilling again until summer.
How Much Charcoal You May Need
If grilling burgers out in the cold, keep in mind you’ll need extra charcoal to keep the heat up. The DadCooksDinner blog recommends using about 25 coals, which is considerably more than normal. The important thing is to keep the lid closed as often as possible to keep the grill and the surrounding area heated. If you keep opening the lid, more cold air will get trapped under there and force the grill to burn more charcoal to retain the heat level.
Dealing with Cold Winds
A real detriment to grilling outside during a snowstorm is the possibility of cold winds blowing around where you keep your grill. A persistent cold wind as you cook could force your charcoal grill to work overtime and never get heated properly. That’s why you should place some kind of wind guard near your grill before winter even sets in. Having this in place in advance allows you to grill outdoors in cold settings without needing to adjust things at the last minute.
Dealing with Deep Snow
It’s always better to keep your grill up on a deck so deep snow doesn’t become a major problem for access. Regardless, not everyone has a deck, and you may have to tread through deep snow in your yard to get to the grill. All you’ll need is a shovel, even though it may take some work to clear the area before cooking begins. It’s worth it for many people, however, and creates fun wintertime activity for many. If the snow accumulates too fast, move the cooking indoors for the benefit of everyone.
Also be cognizant to the time of day. It gets dark early this time of year, and doing the grilling long before 4 or 5 p.m. is your best bet if you’re grilling for guests. This isn’t to say you can’t attach portable lights to areas around or directly on your grill.
Be sure to wash your grill thoroughly afterward and keep it covered with a tarp for the rest of winter if you won’t be using it again. You don’t want a pile of snow rusting the internal parts before next summer arrives.
If you need to buy a new charcoal grill or need a current one fixed, we offer both services here at Lawn & Leisure. We sell items related to outdoor living, though we know that none of that stops with the seasons.