Polar Vortex Charcoal Grilling


Many people put their grills away for the winter.  I’m here to tell you you don’t have to!  Winter days can be long and boring.  Why not plan a great meal and take some time to grill it.  Here are some tips for grilling outside with charcoal when the temperature is below zero.

1.Be organized

Make sure you plan out every aspect of what you are doing.  Think the whole process through from start to finish.  Here’s a quick list:

  • Check your fuel.  Do you have enough charcoal on hand.  Make sure it is dry.  Do you have lighter cubes?
  • Have all your utensils out and ready to go.
  • Organize your food by length of cooking time. 
  • Have all your spices and seasonings ready to go.
  • Get your transportation pans staged inside and keep them warm.

2. Use a wind barrier

Wind can cause havoc with the whole grilling process from starting your chimney to keeping heat inside your grill.  By keeping your grill out of the wind you are reducing the chance of any problems occurring.  Changing the angle of your grill relative to the wind direction can help too. Be sure to keep your grill at least 5 feet from anything flammable or combustible. 

3. Add a few extra briquettes

Using a kettle in the winter months can be a little tricky.  Temperature of the grill is essential to cook food properly.  By adding a few extra briquettes we are making sure the grill will get up to the desired temperature.  Remember, it is cold outside.  We are heating the kettle as well as cooking our food.  When the kettle is cold to begin with it will take a little extra fuel to heat. 

4. Stay with what you know

As much as many of us love to experiment and cook anything and everything on our grills, sub-zero weather may not be the best time to try something out of left field.  By cooking something you are comfortable with, it makes it easier to understand the whole cooking process and how to fix it if you have done it before. 

Warmer months are great for trying out new things.  Winter is a great time to figure out your grilling goals and start the planning.