How to Grill in the Winter
Brrrrrrr. It's getting awfully chilly out there. Everyone in my neighborhood, myself included, has 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 love the ritual and excitement of bundling up, and then firing up.
In fact, the Weber GrillWatch™ survey reveals that plenty of people share my same passion for winter grilling. 53% of American grill owners grill all year round and 10% keep on grilling when the temperature dips below freezing.
Therefore, I thought it would be appropriate to share my top tips for successful winter grilling for our 365 grillers.
- Deck yourself 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.
- Snow gloves are not barbecue gloves. Make sure you are wearing heat-resistant gloves when operating your grill.
- Never grill inside your garage or under an overhang, no matter the weather—snow, rain, sleet or wind. Grilling safely is always the best policy, so be sure your grill is at least two feet away from all combustible materials and in a well ventilated area.
- 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.
- Be prepared with extra fuel. 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 or have an extra propane tank on hand. One trick is to position the grill perpendicular to the wind. This will help control the temperature inside the grill even throughout gusty cooking hours.
- Be patient through the freezing temperatures and high winds, your Weber grill still knows how to get the job done, even if it's taking a little longer. Plan on adding 5-10 minutes to the normal time it takes to preheat your grill in warmer months.
- iGrill is your friend. 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. iGrill is a digital app-connected thermometer that allows you to connect up to four temperature probes to monitor food from beginning to end. The app will notify you once grilled foods, like steak, chicken or roast have reached the perfect degree to serve.
- 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.
- Grill what you know! Winter is a great time to stick with tried and true recipes you know by heart to maximize efficiency at the grill.
- Keep your grill covered when not in use- especially in the winter- to protect it from the elements.
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...