It's that time of year again! The leaves are changing, the air is getting crisp, and the holidays are just around the corner. That means it's time to prep your outdoor kitchen and grill for the colder weather of winter.
Winter grilling can be challenging, but with the right tips and strategies, you can grill no matter the elements. Here are our top 10 winter grilling tips to help you grill all winter long.
Keeping Your Barbecue Going in Cold Weather
Are you the type who loves to grill, no matter the weather? If so, you'll need some winter grilling tips to help you keep grilling all winter!
First things first, make sure you have a reliable and sturdy grill. A good quality grill will make all the difference, especially in the colder months. Investing in a good grill now will save you time, money, and hassle in the long run.
Once you have a great grill, it's time to start thinking about your grilling strategy for winter. Make sure you have plenty of propane if you don't have a dedicated gas line. You'll also want to think about which types of food you'll be grilling. Consider sticking with heartier meats and vegetables that can withstand cooler temperatures.
Finally, don't forget about safety! Grilling in the winter can be dangerous if you're not careful. Make sure to keep an eye on the weather and never grill alone. With these winter grilling tips, you'll be grilling all season long!
10 Winter Grilling Tips
1 | Choose the Right Grill
When it comes to grilling in cold weather, size matters. A small grill will have difficulty maintaining consistent heat, so your food will likely take longer to cook and be inconsistent. Choose a larger grill to cook more food at once and distribute heat evenly. If you have the space and budget, consider investing in a built-in grill. They may cost more upfront, but they’re worth it in the long run because they retain heat better than portable grills.
2 | Clean Your Grill
This step is twofold. First, you want to ensure no food residue or grease build-up on your grill grates that can cause flare-ups when you're cooking and make it difficult to get evenly cooked food. Second, you want to clean the outside of your grill, so it looks nice and presentable. No one wants to use a dirty grill, so make sure yours is sparkling before your next cookout.
3 | Consider Gas or Propane
If you typically use charcoal to fuel your grill, consider switching to propane or gas during winter. Gas and propane grills heat up faster than charcoal grills, so you won't have to spend as much time standing out in the cold while your grill preheats. Propane and gas are less likely to produce sparks or embers that could ignite any dry leaves or debris that may have blown into your grill area.
4 | Inspect Your Propane Tank
If you have a propane-powered grill, it's essential to inspect your propane tank before each use. Check for leaks, dents, or other damage that could cause problems. It's also a good idea to keep a spare tank on hand if you run out of gas while cooking. No one wants their steak dinner delayed because they ran out of propane!
5 | Invest in a Grill Cover
A good quality grill cover will protect your investment from the elements and extend its lifespan. When choosing a cover, make sure it’s made from durable material like vinyl or polyester and waterproof and UV resistant. You should also ensure the cover is snug-fitting so it doesn't blow away in strong winds. And last but not least, remove any snow or ice from the cover before using your grill so the weight doesn't damage the cover or your grill.
6 | Create a Windbreak
Wind can be one of your worst enemies when grilling in cold weather because it can quickly cool down your grill and dry out your food. To combat this, create a windbreak by setting up your grill near a wall or fence. If you don’t have anything to block the wind, try lighting some citronella candles or torches and placing them around your grill area. Not only will they provide some extra warmth, but they’ll also keep pesky bugs away while you cook.
7 | Dress appropriately
Make sure you dress appropriately for the occasion. The key is to layer so you can easily remove clothing if you get too warm while cooking. Stay away from oversized coats or sweaters with fringes that can touch the food or catch fire. Instead, opt for a close-fitting jacket that you can zip up to keep the heat in. And don’t forget about your head and hands! A pair of grill gloves will come in handy when you need to adjust the temperature on your grill or move hot food off the grill.
8 | Preheat Your Grill
This step is essential no matter what time of year you're grilling, but it's especially crucial in winter. You want to ensure your grill is nice and hot before adding any food. This will help ensure that your food cooks evenly and doesn't stick to the grates. Just be careful not to leave your grill unattended while it's preheating—you don't want any accidents!
9 | Use Indirect Heat
If you're used to grilling with direct heat, you'll need to adjust your technique for winter grilling. Direct heat works well in summer because the air temperature is warm enough that it doesn't affect the food too much. However, in winter, the air temperature can cause problems with direct heat grilling—namely, uneven cooking and overcooked food. To avoid these issues, cook with indirect heat instead. This means setting up a two-zone fire by using burners on one side of the grill and leaving the other side off. Then, when you're ready to cook, place your food on the empty side of the grill so it cooks indirectly from the heat of the lit burners (rather than directly from the flame). This method may take a little longer than cooking with direct heat, but trust us—it's worth it! Your food will be cooked evenly and taste better as a result.
10 | Keep the Grill Hood Closed
Another important tip for winter grilling is to keep the hood closed as much as possible. This will help trap heat inside the grill and prevent heat loss. Plus, it'll also speed up cooking time since the food will be exposed to more intense heat. Most grillers touch and flip their food too much, allowing juices to drain out and the food to cook inconsistently. Keep the hood closed and use a timer to only check your food a couple of times until ready.
Get Ready for Winter Grilling with Summerset Grills
Hopefully, these tips will help you enjoy grilling all winter long! If you need any help or advice, our team of experts at Summerset Grills is always here to help.
Summerset Grills has all the outdoor kitchen appliances and grilling accessories you need to make your winter grilling dreams a reality! From luxury gas grills and outdoor ovens to outdoor refrigeration and storage, we have everything you need to step up your grilling game this season.
Contact us today, and let us help you find the perfect outdoor kitchen appliances and accessories for your winter grilling needs!
Grilling is one of the best parts of summer—but just because summer is over doesn’t mean you have to put your grill away until next year! With these tips, you can keep the barbecue sizzling year-round!