Whereas grilling is usually seen as a staple throughout the warm summer months, especially around the time of holidays like the 4th of July, building up the energy to grill during the wintertime can seem like a real pain. Firstly, you have to deal with snow or ice that has built up on or around your grill – depending on where you live you may also have to deal with trudging through multiple feet of snow just to reach your grill! In addition, the cold temperatures and reduced daylight can prove to be a challenge when grilling. Luckily, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to make grilling in the wintertime as seamless as possible. I am sure everyone craves one or more of their favorite grilled meats or veggies during the winter as well as during the warmer months of the year.
Your Grill Needs Proper Shelter Too
Not only is it necessary that we take extra measures to keep our bodies warm and protected from dangerously cold winter conditions, but our grills also deserve this extra time and love. One of the best things you can do to protect your grill from snow and ice is by purchasing a grill cover. Make sure to measure your grill well in order to purchase a cover that fits just right and will prevent moisture from getting trapped in niche spots within the grill. Any concealed moisture from melted snow or ice can easily ruin the metal that makes up your grill.
Another helpful move that can prevent you from having to remove layers of ice and snow from the cover on your grill when it comes time to light it up and cook your favorite foods is to go outside and scrub off any snow or ice that builds up after a single snowfall. This will make things so much easier on you when you decide you want to grill and do not have to do the extra work of knocking off multiple layers of snow from your grill.
When It’s Time to Get Grilling
As emphasized before, most people likely are not thrilled to have to go outside and grill during the colder season months. However, many small changes to your routine can make the transition from summertime to wintertime grilling as seamless as possible.
One huge change you can implement is moving your grill closer to your home. This will make the journey outside to get to your grill shorter and easier to accomplish when you are freezing your bum off. Make sure though to not place your grill too close to your home, as this can be a fire hazard. Keep it at least ten feet away and do not be tempted by the cold weather to grill inside your garage or under your covered patio – this could cause you to grill much more than just a few burger patties.
When you are grilling in the winter, the last thing you want to do is get the family ready for dinner half an hour early. Pre-heating your grill will take significantly longer than it does in the summertime. Be sure to allot yourself double the pre-heating time you typically would to be on the safe side and not leave yourself and others waiting hungrily to finally eat. Another thing you want to make sure to do during the winter is to purchase extra fuel. Increasing the amount of time it takes to cook your food also will increase the amount of fuel your grill eats up while accomplishing this. By having extra tanks of fuel on hand, you can prevent running out while cooking your favorite meal and having to travel angrily through the winter weather to purchase some more fuel.
While Your Steaks are Searing
With how much harder your grill has to work to reach a suitable temperature when cooking, it is important that you are mindful of the amount of time you spend opening up the grill. I know it can be tempting to open it every couple of minutes and check on the progress of your beautifully seasoned and soon to be seared steaks. This will just extend the grilling time immensely during the winter and could even dry out the meat you are cooking.
Another helpful tool to have handy is a food cover. Depending on how cold it is outside, your food can very rapidly cool down while you are opening up your grill and taking it out. A food cover can save all the hard work you accomplished by keeping your food warm and protected from the frigid temperatures outside.
Essential – Post Grilling Care
When it comes to regular grill upkeep, this also can play a huge role in the effectiveness of you future wintertime grilling. After removing food from the grill, be sure to clean it properly. Grease and char can easily build up on the grates of your grill. Though this happens anytime you use your grill, it is especially essential to keep the grill gates clear by scrubbing them after each use in the winter. Your grill uses a mechanism called convection to properly heat your food, and this necessary flow of hot air through the grates and around your food can be hindered greatly by built up grease. With the already increased fuel and time needed to grill in the winter, making sure that the grating is clear is imperative to prevent your grill from taking even longer to heat up.
General Cold Weather Grilling Advice
Though grilling in the winter seems pretty daunting, small changes can make it as comparably accomplishable as grilling during the warmer months of the year. To make it more enjoyable make sure you bundle up! Wear a large coat and pants to keep any cold air / wind from making you miserable as you go outside to use the grill. Also be sure to have adequate lighting outside if you are grilling in the evening. The sun typically sets earlier, so it is helpful to have lighting set up directly around where your grill is so that you do not burn yourself from not being able to see well enough.
At Lawn & Leisure, we can provide you with any and all grilling advice and can answer any further questions you may have regarding grilling during the wintertime. To find the right grill for you, hop over to our showroom to find a variety of coal and charcoal grills or give us a call to talk through your options.