Brrrrrrr. It's getting awfully chilly out there. Everyone in my neighborhood, myself included, have been dusting off our snow shovels and breaking out the winter gear so we can dig out after each big storm. And as we all dig out our houses, there's one very important thing that no Weber lover should forget: Clear off that grill! Yep, you heard me. I know many believe that wintertime means grilling time is over, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Grilling is a year-round event and I for one love the ritual and excitement of bundling up and then firing up.
In fact, the latest Weber GrillWatch™ survey reveals that plenty of people share my same passion for winter grilling. More than half of American grill owners grill all year round and a whopping 37 percent keep on grilling when the temperature dips below freezing.
The numbers don't lie and I know I'm in good company. Therefore, I thought it would be appropriate to share my top five tips for successful winter grilling.
- Make sure you're decked out in all your best cold-weather clothing. I know your grill may be warm, but bundle up, and remember to avoid any scarfs, tassels or other clothing items that could come in contact with the grill during use! Your hands, feet, ears, and face will thank you later.
- Make sure you clear a path to your grill and remove all snow and ice before ignition—the weather alone will lower the temperatures inside the grill, so any additional snow will just add to this problem. Also, make sure there is ample room around the grill for you to move freely and give your grill enough time to pre-heat. In below freezing temperatures, the pre-heating process could take up to twice the time, so plan accordingly.
- Charcoal lovers should always be prepared with extra briquettes in cold weather. Grilling time may need to be extended or the grill may need a little extra fuel to reach the right temperature, so add briquettes when necessary. Gas grillers have it a little easier, but just remember to position the grill at a 90 degree to the wind. This will help control the temperature inside the grill even throughout gusty cooking hours.
- Through freezing temperatures and high winds, your Weber grill still knows how to get the job done, so be patient even if it's taking a little longer in cold weather. Winter temperatures aside, it's always a good idea to use a meat thermometer to make sure you food is grilled properly and to perfection.
- No matter the weather—snow, rain, sleet, wind—never grill inside your garage or under an overhang. Grilling safely is always the best policy, so be sure your grill is at least five feet away from all combustible materials and in a well ventilated area.
- Finally, remember to grill with the lid closed. Grilling when the temperature is below freezing will lead to longer cooking times and the more you open the lid, the longer your food will take.
So now, if you'll excuse me, I need to grab my coat and head out to the grill. I hope you'll follow suit...